After spending 2 nights in the Northern Drakensberg at Montusi Mountain Lodge and another 2 nights at River Run cottage in the mountains we were looking forward to discovering more of KwaZulu-Natal as our journey continued down towards the Midlands.
We were fortunate to have a 3 night stay booked at Pleasant Places Guest House which allows for a far more leisurely pace when exploring a new area and so we meandered our way down Nottingham Road stopping in at the obligatory Chocolate Heaven then continued via the Midlands Kitchen for lunch and finally on to Lidgetton where Pleasant Places is perched.
Read more about our Midlands Meanderings in my upcoming post featuring our Top 10 Things to do in the Midlands with kids which will be out next week!
Prior to this (first) visit to the Midlands of KZN I was always under the impression that the area was a lush, green, almost English countryside, however during our visit in winter we found that in fact the colour of the Drakensberg and the Midlands was in fact a golden brown, scattered with avenues of bare branched trees and smokey skies.
If I’m honest, I was a bit disappointed. I was looking for glorious greens and lush landscapes…. fortunately on arriving at Pleasant Places we finally found our green!
Midlands Meander Accommodation – Pleasant Places Guest House
Located in the shadow of huge towering evergreen trees and surrounded by a gorgeous garden of forest ferns and blossoming camellias, Pleasant Places is exactly that – a pleasant place to escape and surround yourself with the beautiful colours and sounds of nature.
Aside from the verdant beauty, the next aspect of Pleasant Places to catch your attention is the view!
From their vantage point on the side of the hill you look out over the most picturesque panorama that is typical of the Midlands. Rolling hills, fields of cows, wisps of clouds against a bright blue sky.
An ever-changing painting before your eyes as is evident in the two photos below – both taken at the same spot but at different times of the day! Enchanting!
We arrived to a warm welcome by owners, Phillip and Pippa, who showed us to our sumptuously decorated family suite – certainly the most comfortable room we were to stay in on this trip!
Pleasant Places has recently undergone an extensive renovation and refurbishment. The interiors have been designed by Pippa, an award-winning interior designer, and they are stylishly understated, yet with a level of luxury and comfort you would expect in a 5 star hotel.
There are 6 private rooms, each with their own separate entrances and en-suite bathrooms. The individually decorated, thatched rooms are generously sized and the comfortable beds, underfloor heating, tranquil colours & soothing textures combine to create a welcome sanctuary.
We stayed in The Cottage at Pleasant Places which has two en-suite bedrooms, each with a seating area, as well as a common entrance area with a couch and a tea and coffee-making station. Our rooms were warm and welcoming, decorated beautifully and so comfortable that it was hard to drag ourselves away!
Quaint cottage windows look out over the garden and across the valley and it was beautiful to open the windows and listed to the abundant birds while watching the sunrise over the valley each morning.
Inside the main reception area there is a dining room, tv lounge and larger lounge with fireplace. Outside there is a main viewing deck where you can enjoy sundowner drinks and a large covered patio for relaxing days spent reading or slowing sipping a cup of tea in this tranquil environment.
After unpacking our bags and making ourselves at home we headed back inside to the dining area for a meal. Pleasant Places is a B&B so Breakfast is included in the stay but Dinner is available on request and is an especially useful option after a long day of travelling with kids! Phillip and Pippa proved to be exceptional cooks and, after offering us a G&T from their extensive craft gin collection, we were treated to a delicious meal just a few steps from our beds!
After rising with the sun (you don’t want to miss the sunrise from this vantage point!) we headed out for each day to explore the surrounding area. Phillip and Pippa were only too happy to give us suggestions of the must-see spots in the Midlands so we took their advice and went meanderings the Midlands at leisure, grateful for a warm, comfortable home base to return to each evening.
On our final morning at Pleasant Places Pippa suggested that the kids join her to feed their horses down in the paddocks below the house, so we headed out early to see another side of the property and to enjoy this daily activity of farm life!