P and I have had a hectic couple of weeks and needed a little escape. We had heard so much about Clarens and decided to book this weekend away for some much needed R & R. The only rule for the weekend was to disconnect by switching off the tv and our phones (so no social media, emails, phonecalls, watsapps) so that we could reconnect to nature and ourselves.

This was the first time we booked a self-catering stay as opposed to a hotel room. When we looked for accommodation we were so drawn to Ashbrook Lodge for the good price, cosy fireplace and the balcony braai area with a view that we went with the Da Vinci apartment.

Ashbrook Lodge
Ashbrook Lodge
View of Maluti mountains from room
View of Maluti mountains

Traffic getting out of Joburg on a Friday is always a nightmare, but the drive is about 3.5 hours. We were welcomed by Fiona on arrival and she gave us a brief intro to Clarens. She is a chef and bakes through the night so that she has a smorgasbord of treats every Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market at Bibliophile. We went the next morning and had the most amazing chicken pies and cupcakes for brunch. We also bought some homemade fig jam, can’t wait to open it and try it out!

Pies and Savouries
Pies and Savouries
Homemade jams
Homemade jams
Quiche
Quiche
Orange and Choc Cupcakes
Orange and Choc Cupcakes

Claren’s is a tiny village that oozes charm.  I loved walking the streets- there are beautiful art galleries and shops full of interesting trinkets, homemade soaps, antiques, teddy bears, toys, teas. The backdrop is the magnificent Maluti mountains and its just such a romantic town!

Clarens

We had a delicious lunch at Clementines, you can see the restaurant review here.

After lunch we walked up the road to the conservancy where some trails start and took an easy path up the mountains that opened up to a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate mountains in the distance. It was so calming being up there, I could have stayed there forever!

Clarens view
Clarens view
Trail walk
Trail walk
Conservancy
Conservancy

But the sun began hiding in the clouds so we made our way back to the apartment to start on our dinner. We had packed sausages, lamb chops and chicken sosaties to braai, a few salads and some rolls and a good bottle of red wine of course!

The next morning, after we checked out, we went on a stunning drive through the mountains of the Golden Gate Sanparks – we stopped along the way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and take plenty of photos. The road  here leads you to the N3 Harrismith so once we reached the N3 we took the route back home to Joburg.

I have fallen in love with this place and want to return with our entire family later this year so that they can experience it too!

 

 

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