Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Take route 62, don't  rush- just cruise... a gentle meander through Worcester, Robertson, Montagu and finally Barrydale, take a right towards the main road and there she is....

The Majestic Barrydale Hotel
This is most certainly the longest we've ever driven for a dinner party, but the occasion merits it, we're celebrating! Our good friends just became the brand new proprietors of this gorgeous old Hotel- Theo and Tracy, who seem to fall graciously, generously and effortlessly into their new roles.

Theo Nel and Tracy Goosen- aka the renaissance couple

As we enter, my 11 year old says with delight what we are all thinking, ' Mom....it's a Top Billing Hotel!!"
The contrast between Karoo Hotel exterior and modern luxurious interior is striking- then add oodles of charm and history and you have the look.

Our ivy-clad bedroom  and bathroom window (our bathroom was bigger than the bedroom with a luxurious white couch)- it overlooks the leafy dining room courtyard which leads to private honeymoon garden suite.... can't describe how gorgeous or say more, will simply have to stay there and take more pics...hint, hint!.

During our pre-dinner explorations, you'll never guess what we found in the Hotel's backyard..... The Belanti - the towns old cinema building complete with stage- gallery and PROPS! 
T'heo says, ' I  bought the Belanti cinema and got a Hotel!'

'The Belanti' original cinema in Barrydale

Before dinner, drinks in the bar that opens on both sides onto the wrap-around balcony, locals mingle with guests. By this time, the main street it dead quiet, not a car goes by- nothing, our collective kids are running wild through the main street on bikes and skateboards- I know.... initial parental PANIC.... and then the realisation that we're in the Karoo, all is well, all is quiet....except in the bar of course!

The well- stocked and comfortable  local bar in the Barrydale Hotel

The Slaghuis across the deserted street

Dinner in the hotel dining room is a Karoo feast- succulent Karoo Lamb on spit, boerebrood, fragrant carrot & orange salad, I'm pretty sure there was grilled mealiemeal with a delicious sauce, potato salad and more, but by this stage the wine was flowing and well, what can I say....

Romantic dining room with fairy light and driftwood chandeliers

 Wonderfully surprised the next morning to find a copy of the Weekend Argus and Die Burger outside our bedroom door- the fairy must have been 'super-woman' manageress Annalize, and there she was, overseeing the bountiful breakfast, as if the party hadn't ended only a few hours before- did I mention charming and capable?!
Breakfast was all a hangover could wish for, cereals, fruits, yoghurts, eggs every which way you could want, bacon, boerwors and onions, cheese scones and jugs of hydrating ice water!

Saturday morning explorations of the town......

Trattoria like restaurant on the side of the Barrydale Hotel- note the row of  gorgeous Leopard trees Theo has brought into the new landscaping of the gardens

Happy locals on 'pay-day' Saturday morning- we couldn't get far without taking pictures of everyone and their grandmothers!

Perfection! These tall cypress trees in the drive-way across the road- I wished the drive-way was longer..

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