A friend of mine has this quirky way of seeing life. She strongly believes that every day of your life has to be accompanied by a theme song that best describes the way you feel or how you want to feel that day. At first, I thought her eccentric ideals were nothing but main character energy but the more I thought about it, the songs seemed to automatically play themselves in my head.
That same friend accompanied me on my latest stay at Rosemary Hill Farm which has become a true home away from home. When settling down to write this review, I realised there were three songs in particular ear-worming their way through my head. What better way to describe my time at Rosemary Hill Farm than through songs, three songs for each day of my stay.
Day 1 -17 January 2023
Easy by The Commodores
My return to the Netherlands was fast approaching, with only a week left, it suddenly all felt incredibly overwhelming. I’d made sure to fit in as many plans as possible. I’d just returned from my Cape Town trip the night before. I had little sleep and my friend and I were both frantic yet excited about the journey ahead. The moment we hit the first patch of gravel road leading into Rosemary Hill Farm, we found ourselves unknowingly relaxing.
The tension seemed to be shaken off by our slow bumpy lead-up to the entrance. For this trip, I suggest car rental or Uber if you are feeling brave (to pay the fees) and patient for the journey as it is a bit of a drive into Rosemary.
Check in was at 2pm, so they had scheduled a picnic in the gardens to help pass the time. While we waited for the set up, we had drinks in the dreamy Rosemary Hill Cafe courtyard. When the basket arrived, we were lovingly escorted through the grand gardens, to our beautiful spot nestled in a picture-perfect section of the Maze, thanks to Lindiwe. The contents of the basket were not only beautifully presented and deliciously fresh but they also accommodated my friend’s dietary needs by adding gluten-free bread for her to enjoy.
We were then given our key and a map to give us to our unit. From afar, peaking through the trees, I could make out something. Like some kind of a mirage, the reflection from Rosemary Hill Farm’s newest accommodation edition, The Treehouses’ exterior, played magic tricks of a master illusionist. It wasn’t until we got closer when we realised that the outside of The Treehouses were wrapped with reflective windows so they seamlessly blend in with their natural background.
These stunning and innovative transformed containers had an even bigger surprise for us on the inside. Tastefully decorated with soft pastel furnishings, the interior had a surprisingly romantic feel created by using wallpaper of the famous painting The Creation of Adam (by Michelangelo). This seemingly small space was spacious and housed all the necessary self-catering conveniences we’d need. Apart from the wrap around floor to ceiling windows, the true joy was the suspended chill-net at the end of the porch.
After settling in, we then spent the rest of the day exploring the grounds around the area, after which we got ready for dinner. Dinner was absolutely delicious, we opted for the chef’s special and a mouth-watering on the bone T-bone steak. Absolute bliss. When I think of the entire day, the thing that came to mind, for some reason, was a breakup. It’s like being in a toxic relationship for a long time then finally having the mental fortitude to end it. You feel free, life feels… easy. No stress, no fuss and all your worries and troubles are a thing of the past. Lionel Richie sings it best:
“Seems to me, girl, you know I’ve done all I can.
You see I begged, stole, and I borrowed.
That’s why I’m easy, I’m easy like Sunday morning
That’s why I’m easy, I’m easy like Sunday morning”
Day 2- 18 January 2023
Sunday by Maroon 5
There’s something about being on vacation that makes every day feel like a Sunday. I’ve often said that vacation is my time to rest, I do not want to be bothered by the trivial things of life and sometimes that means opting to skip breakfast in exchange for sleep. I did not skip breakfast this time and I was glad I didn’t because it ended up being a great way to start the morning.
After breakfast we were treated to a Segway tour of the farm. I was anxious about getting on a Segway after falling the first time I tried. Our guide Gerry was patient, thoughtful and attentive. He made sure we felt comfortable and gave us time to take pitstops whenever we needed to.
There were parts of the farm I hadn’t seen before and he guided us past the different accommodations available at Rosemary Hill, while sharing the history and functions of the farm. We then spent about 45 minutes enjoying a more upbeat ride through the natural obstacles and challenging our new found confidence on a whirly bicycle course.
After a refuel at the cafe, we headed to the pool, splashing around and catching some sun. I could really put my new swim skills to the test in the generously sized pool. We then headed back to the treehouse and lounged around, enjoying the cool afternoon breeze. It wasn’t long before I fell asleep on the chill-net, exhausted from the pool shenanigans.
“That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never want to leave.”
Day 3 – 19 January 2023
We Love This Place by TKZEE
The feeling you get from being well rested in a peaceful place does wonders for your mental well-being. I woke up satisfied with the time I had spent on my trip back to South Africa. As I packed up in preparation to check out, I replayed all the things I enjoyed about being home. I felt more prepared to travel back to the Netherlands after this stay because my anxieties surrounding the trip were watered down by the magnificent experience at Rosemary Hill Farm.
People often ask me why I bother coming back and I always say this “there’s no place like home but even more so, there is no place like South Africa”. It takes leaving your home country to appreciate just how spectacular it truly is. I get to come back and experience the things I miss and people like my friends, family and the strangers that make South Africa so colourful.
For those who follow me, you will know that this is not my first stay at Rosemary Hill Farm. I’ve stayed here twice before with my mother on similar media stays. The previous times, we had stayed at the Pods at Cabinville and the second time we stayed at Pod iDlala. This time I was invited back because they wanted me to experience the newly built Treehouses. You’d think that returning to a place over and over again would make it lose its magic, when in-fact it reignites and reaffirms the love you have for it. A place is more than the sum of its parts, it’s about the people and that feeling that’s hard to describe.
Rosemary Hill Farm is no different, the staff truly elevated my experience. Each person had their own unique way of making me feel like I was exploring a new place. The amenities and ambience of the farm is beyond anything I have ever experienced. Each accommodation provides a different experience which caters to your unique needs. From the stunning wedding venues; the sunset spots, walking trails and quaint cafe, Rosemary Hill Farm truly is a breath-taking gem.
As a Pretoria girl I usually prefer to escape to Johannesburg or Cape Town and explore the sites each city has to offer. I often forget how special Pretoria can be. Rosemary Hill Farm is in the perfect location, less than 2 kms away from the nearest freeway and only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Once you pass the toll booth, it feels as though you’ve paid for access into an exclusive part of nature solely made for you.
With the pressures of social media, there is this inane feeling to chase new places and be the first to discover hidden gems. We have been inundated with the rush to keep up with our favourite influencers, that we break the bank fighting to be seen on social media.
What I’ve found is that travelling isn’t only about discovering new places, but returning to old ones to create new memories. Rosemary Hill is that place, a second home that I will never tire of returning to. With accommodation to suit any budget in these trying times, it’s something I recommend you experience for yourself.
To end our journey, we slowly drank the last sips of our fabulous vacation, while daydreaming about our next stay and which accommodation we’d select. We took one last stroll in the gardens, taking in all we could. As we drove out of the gates and back onto the bumpy gravel road, we both knew one thing…we really love this place.
“Oh how we love it here.
We really love this place today
The music is playing and that’s why we’re saying
We really love this place”
A quick shoutout to the staff at Rosemary Hill for being awesome, especially the waiters and waitresses for making this entire stay awesome. A more special mention to Kuda, she was absolutely incredible.