african escapes

Text Naomi Larkin, Graham Wood, Bambina Olivares Wise ESCAPE THE CITY WHAT Quiet Mountain Country House WHERE Magaliesberg, Gauteng, 014-576-1258, WHY WE LOVE IT This absolute gem of a getaway is an hour’s drive from Joburg but feels a world away. The main homestead, with just seven suites, is set in a beautiful garden with wonderful views of the mountain range. There’s a quiet grace and formality about this hideaway – in the absence of children or day visitors. The pace is sedate and you can while away the hours beside the pool, take a mountain walk, or just have tea on the deck and watch the swans. X-FACTOR The food is spectacular – delicious four-course dinners and sophisticated breakfasts – and the service is excellent. A CLICK AWAY

Two New Travel Websites Worth Noting

•  If you want to save some money on your next holiday or simply don’t want to stay in a hotel, then check out The site pairs travellers with locals who are offering accommodation by renting out their homes or apartments, or in a sharing setup. •  Regulars and first-time visitors to Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls will find useful, with accommodation listings, travel tips, and visa and climate information included. OLD FAVOURITE WHAT  Winchester Mansions WHERE  221 Beach Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, 021-434-2351, WHY WE LOVE IT  Winchester Mansions is an institution, not just for Capetonians but also for out-of-towners who want to enjoy the action on the Sea Point promenade. With ocean views from the bedrooms and Harveys bar, it’s the perfect weekend retreat or meeting spot for sundowners. The Sunday Jazz Brunches always pull an appreciable crowd and the Gingko Health and Wellness Spa is an extra reason to visit. X-FACTOR Recent renovations to this gracious lady with her genteel Cape Dutch architecture has upped the elegance factor while maintaining the warmth and hospitality that regulars love. SPA OF THE MONTH Who wouldn’t welcome a break from the stress of city life, served up in an aromatic cocktail of rose, rooibos and eucalyptus slathered on your skin? Joburg’s Africology spa offers treatments designed to balance mind, body and spirit, while the store stocks an array of all-natural products for face and body. The sacred blends with the sensory in the aptly named Goddess Treatment: an invigorating whiff of eucalyptus, followed by a back massage and a de-stressing, anti-ageing, cell-renewal facial. It concludes with a foot massage and the soothing hum of a Tibetan singing bowl to summon positive energy. Africology, shop G18, The Zone @ Rosebank Phase 2, Rosebank, Joburg, 011-447-5877, This article was originally featured in the November 2011 issue of House and Leisure.