Dave and I have been touched by amazing kindness by Penny who invited us to spend a night at Lakeside Lodge and Spa which overlooks the Swartvlei. Our stay included dinner and breakfast and apart from one thing, everything was amazing. We go to Sedgefield about 4 times a year to see Dave’s mum who is in her nineties. She is still living in her own home and time spent with her is precious. We only see Marguerite for lunch on a Saturday, but have taken to driving down the day before so that we don’t have to do a 900km round trip in one day.
We arrived at Lakeside Lodge shortly before 5pm and we were warmly greeted by Dee Dee who showed us to our room and explained where everything was and how things worked. She told us to call her if we needed anything and she confirmed the time of our dinner booking. The first thing I did was try and make us each an espresso using the machine in the room. The first pod did not puncture, and as I was trying to get it to drop, Ian came to the room with some treats for us. Together we made Dave an espresso which was cold, and so I tried again, getting two small, hot espressos from the machine. This was using the large cup option and as I said, this was the one thing that did not work perfectly.
Dave and I both logged on to the internet – there is free wifi throughout the facility – and given the location, the signal is not strong, meaning the connection is quite slow. But, as we were there to relax and not work, this was not an issue. Once we had checked our emails we headed off for a walk around the grounds. We went into the dining room which has a pub area as well as a wine tasting room and ordered a Glenfiddich each to enjoy. We took our Brandy glass of single malt to the front lawn to enjoy while marveling in the peace and quiet we love at the Swartvlei. There is an amazing feeling of solitude when you gaze out overlooking water.
After our drinks and before the sun set, we headed back to our room. Dave read the news on the flat screen TV using the decoder while I made myself a mug of rooibos to enjoy while lying in the bath, reading my book. This is my most indulgent treat. I made use of the shower gel to create a ‘bubble bath’ and left the blinds open in the bathroom to enjoy the plants and ambient light. The bathroom lighting is superb and there is even a heating element in the room. There was an abundance of good quality towels and two bathrobes and I made a note of the make so that I can get myself a new one. I let the bath drain while I got dressed and applied my make-up using the make up mirror in the bathroom. This has a flip side magnifying mirror for close up views! Included in the amenities was soap, shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer. There was a small container with cotton buds and cotton wool balls, as well as a shower cap and candle. A hair dryer is provided as well as bath and shower anti slip mats which we didn’t make use of.
Once Dave had showered and changed we made our way to Benguela Brasserie. What I really like about the Benguela brand is that you can see the same artwork and tableware throughout the establishments. While we were at dinner the room was straightened up, the bed turned down and the tea and coffee replenished. Water bottles and glasses were placed on our bedside tables.
I had just woken up when the alarm system was switched off, signalling the start of the day for the staff. Dave filled the kettle and turned it on, but when I told him there was no instant coffee he left the machine to me. I used 4 pods for each of us, doubling the amount of water that was pressed through each one, and then topped the cup with the boiling water. This was no substitute for a good cup of coffee, but given the great tea selection I was able to make myself a mug of Earl Grey tea to get my caffeine fix in. After a good lie in reading books, I went to shower. The shower head is amazing, letting enough water rain down on me, and the water pressure was more than decent.
Each room is named and we were in room 5, ‘Fish Eagle’. The little patio in front of the door has a table with chairs and a water bottle set out, as well as an ashtray. As we walked in there were two fantastic wingbacked chairs and a small table, perfect for reading books. There is a reading lamp as well as a table with a mirror in front of it and plug points for a hair dryer etc. The carpets are lush and the bed is huge. An extra length king size bed with emperor pillows and excellent quality linen. The one bedside table has a telephone and the other a very fancy alarm clock that I think will also take an iPod. The bedside lighting is perfectly adequate for reading books, and there is plenty of lighting both in the room and the patio. At the foot of the bed is a bench as well as a luggage stand. I put our one suitcase on this and unpack into the cupboard, just making use of the shelves. There are plenty of hangers and in the cupboard is a safe, towels for the pool area, extra blankets and pillows and an umbrella. The bench was used for the extra cushions that were on the bed. I used the ‘hat stand’ for my handbag and for my bathrobe after I had bathed. For warm days you can use the ceiling fan, and if the weather is too hot, or too cold for that matter, there is also an air conditioner unit in the room. It took me a while to get used to the switches which are ‘upside-down’ when compared to the ones we have at home. I really liked the fact that not only did the plug points have the standard South African fitting, but also a universal fitting for overseas guests, a euro plug point and an USB charger. The bar fridge included complimentary water as well as a variety of drinks and snacks at a cost.
Disclosure: Dave and I were guests of Lakeside Lodge and Spa and our stay was facilitated by Carla van der Merwe. Penny offered us our entire stay on the house.This post is in line with my blogging policy.
What I blogged April 20:
- one year ago – Soda Bread
- two years ago – Mirage
- four years ago – Lemon Grass
- five years ago – Pan Fried Hake