05 September 2011 by Robyn Campbell

Gourmet guesthouses: good dinner, good night

In South Africa, we have a saying, ‘maagies vol, oogies toe’, meaning a full stomach makes the eyes close. Check out these Free State guesthouses that know that a good night’s sleep needs a good dinner.

Sometimes, all weary travellers can hope for when they arrive at an establishment is a friendly face to show them to a clean bed. More’s the reason to celebrate when you check into a place that serves terrific food too, like these gourmet guesthouses in the Free State.

Old world hospitality and brilliant beef dinners will gladden your heart and sate your appetite at Bishops Glen guesthouse. Set on a large cattle stud farm, north of Bloemfontein, your hosts, Ted and Bits, will ensure memorable home cooked meals night-after-night - you can steak your life on it.

Meltingly tender, veld-raised lamb roasted with garlic, crispy-golden roast patats (potatoes), sous boontjies (green beans slow-stewed with potatoes and butter) and pampoenkoekies (pumpkin fritters) dusted with cinnamon sugar make a meal at Springfontein guesthouse a near-celestial event. Don’t dream of slipping away from your antique brass bed with its crisp cotton sheets, to sneak a second helping at midnight, lest the yellowwood timber floors creak and give you away…

Farm-to-plate doesn’t come more delicious than the Karoo lamb dinners hot out the oven at Garingboom Guest Farm, an eco-friendly sheep farm near Colesburg. Stop there on a biting Free State winter’s night and see how swiftly good red wine and their fragrant lamb bredie, followed by the sweet-sticky bliss of malva pudding and homemade custard, eases you into peaceful slumber.

Guests at Pula House can’t wait to rise and shine. After a night out on the town in one of Smithfield’s lekker local restaurants, the full Monty awaits at breakfast time. Cooked with love and using ingredients sourced from local farms nearby, indulge in a brekkie with all the trimmings then settle your digestion with a walk in the gorgeous gardens of this restored Victorian mansion.


comments powered by Disqus