We were featured on the Carmen Footprint blog. Check out this very cool blog to follow Carmen’s adventures and wellness travel.
By Carmen, 9 June 2017
I think that every human has a resonance with a place outside of the city bounds, a place of rest from the glass and concrete of the city. Whether we are aware or not, we search out the slow paced lifestyle, to behold the ebb and flow of seasons and immerse ourselves in the tranquility of nature. For some it is the ocean, others it is a mountainous landscape or getting lost in the bush.
I have a few of these havens, and recently I discovered another place of rest. A simple 2 hour drive outside of Durban and into the Midlands, a little piece of heaven resides at Bramleigh Manor. And part of the magic is the fresh approach employed by Andre and Kait, who have been entrusted with managing this family owned property. Besides offering a home away from home in beautiful surroundings, they are also planning future workshops at the farm. A bit of “going back to the basics’ such as bread baking, soap making and backyard farming.
My discovery of Bramleigh Manor was all due to their collaboration with another friend, Brad Wills, in offering a sourdough bread baking retreat at the farm. Now don’t get overly excited, this isn’t a regular occurrence yet but after the retreat I’m almost certain that fresh, healthy bread will be part of the already delicious and fresh foods available. All foods are either sourced locally or slowly being produced on the farm.
Fancy learning about aquaponics? Andre has successfully been experimenting in a greenhouse on the farm. According to him, it was fun and it worked but nothing beats the produce from good old soil. He is now looking at growing produce in small plots around the house. Possibly replicable in an urban backyard, so watch this space. Another lovely feature is the use of solar power and a Tesla Powerwall battery source. Forward thinking I’d say.
Get your trainers on because on the edge of the backyard is a forest, wild and wonderful and ready to explore. Moss covered paths, sunlight breaking through canopies of green, the gentle sound of trickling water and the smell of wet earth form part of this ecosystem. You can take a slow leisurely walk along the pathway, taking in the barky details of every ancient tree or run the trail turning the scenery into a blur of greens and browns.
The farm has its fair share of feathery, fluffy and scaly friends. On the last count by some researchers, there were over 200 species of bird in this forest. And bats, but let’s ignore the bats. The menagerie consists of a dog and cat, chickens, geese and tortoises.
The chickens roam free most days, except when, like naughty children, they have destroyed freshly planted flowerbeds. Then their farmyard access is restricted, albeit only somewhat. Don’t be surprised if one is brave enough to enter the house and you are confronted by a feathery guest in the passages. And yes, the cock crows but at such a distance that it didn’t disturb my sleep as I snuggled deeper into my duvet.
Cold spring water originating in the forest supplies every tap at the Manor. It doesn’t get more natural and healthy than this. If you want to immerse yourself in the mineral goodness, you can take a dip in the dam but be prepared to endure the burn of icy water against your skin no matter the season.
The air is fresh and the late afternoon sun has the effect of a tranquilizer. Whatever your vision touches, is a delight. Out here, everything is teeming with abundant life. When the heat of the sun disappears, it is replaced by the warmth of an indoor fireplace which obviously is well accompanied by a glass of red wine. Bring out a board game, a good book or the simple pleasure of the art of conversation. Relax, unwind and forget about the world out there.
- Bramleigh Manor is on a farm off the Loteni Road and approximately 30 minutes drive from Nottingham Road.
- Plenty farm roads to keep the avid mountain biker busy.
- Fresh raw milk is supplied by the farm next door to Bramleigh Manor.
- Conference facilities available
- Enquire about one of their future workshops email@example.com
You can contact them directly or book by clicking HERE.
- 1 Self catering cottage which sleeps 2
- 2 orchard suites, sleeping 2 people in each suite.
- Loerie suite sleeps 2 (named after the loeries that hangout here)
- Owl’s nest inside the main house, 2 rooms sleeping 2 each. Ideal for a family.
- Backpacker accommodation for 4, self catering.