The Midlands Magazine - Edition 10

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60 20 gems oF

nottingHam road

A weekend excursion or a countryside breakaway, Nottingham Road is a place worth stopping by in the heart of the Midlands.

38 a little slice oF

mKHUZane magic in tHe midlands

We look to the intricacies of Sugarcane Farming in the Midlands and just how a husband-and-wife team makes a huge difference in achieving business success. And did we mention they produce their own handcrafted rum?



Di Smith’s latest publication, A Lighter Way of Being, gives us all some nuggets of wisdom to live a little lighter.

44 tHings to

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44 37 liVe a little


54 midlands

Under tHe cHristmas tree

We are shining the Christmas spotlight onto a couple of local places, offering some unique and eclectic gift ideas.

30 spread YoUr Wings

As part of exploring the talented people right here in the Midlands, we decided to take to the skies, well, not really.

do tHis FestiVe season

From markets to an adrenaline rush, to sipping on wine, the Midlands has many memories for you to make and enjoy for the holidays.

60 poocHes are coming WitH

This time we search for places to stay for a weekend away or a holiday getaway that is perfect for you and your plus one. And yes, we mean for you and your pooch.

in eVerY issUe 04 Ed’s Note | 08 #Fabstuff | 10 Social Scenes

16 My 033 | 18 Inspiration | 48 Local Recipes | 53 Gardening | 68 Health 70 Community

on The CoVer

Unearth the wonders of the Midlands in this all inclusive and environmentally friendly tourism company has to offer. Read all about it on page 34.

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People are moving, and there is a new, noticeable shift in the movement of families and individuals - well, in my humble opinion, at least. We know that there are many, many multi-generational families in the Midlands, but lately, I hear more and more conversation about people either moving into the area or couples and young families migrating elsewhere.

Those sincere gestures moulded us into the community and helped us understand how our contribution could make it collectively better for all.

Fortunately for us, the Midlands is one of those well sought after locations that appeal to many of those couples and families I mentioned, offering a welcome alternative lifestyle to modern-day city life. Midlands living may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it continues to appeal to more and more people. What does that mean for locals, though? As locals, you may get very rooted and protective of places, routines, and behaviours that make you feel comfortable and grounded. We also worry about how the influx will change the essence of what supposedly makes our piece of paradise so special. Don't mess with the recipe as gran would say, right? Having made a few significant moves in my time, I can tell you that the locals in the community I was moving to made our time there most special. I cannot think of one place or time where we weren't warmly welcomed, invited over for braais and dinners or to local events, and helped beyond what is considered doing the neighbourly pleasantries. Those sincere gestures moulded us into the community and helped us understand how our contribution could make it collectively better for all. We loved the experience each and every time. That expression that people make a place is so so true, and if you're wondering why more and more people are choosing the Midlands… well, it's obvious, isn't it…the Midlands has great people! Some of my favourite articles in this edition are "Gems of Nottingham Road", meeting Kelly and her family in "People of the Midlands", and "A Little Slice of Mkhuzane Magic", which looks at the intricacies of sugarcane farming in the Midlands. All of these (and more) showcase how wonderful the Midlands and the people are. So, it's still a little while off, but as I wrap my Editor's Note, I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Whether they are close or a little further than you'd like, we hope you get to spend quality time connecting and sharing love and peace. Enjoy the mag until we chat in the New Year; God Bless.

Justin scott,

and the Fabmags team

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pUBlisHer Lorinda Scott editor Justin Scott grapHic design Savannah Erasmus sales eXecUtiVe Brita Kleinhans 061 063 2202 sales director Lucille Wendler 083 747 3694 in HoUse JoUrnalist Alicia du Plessis in HoUse copY editor Kai Coates prodUction manager Sharlene Odayar contriBUtors Amanda Low, Maritsa Gouws & Tim Johnson admin & accoUnts Anrea Munsamy social/eVents 082 562 7202 Head oFFice 032 946 0357 104 San Hall Office Park Kirsty Close | Ballito, KZN local oFFice Nottingham Road printed BY ROC Media coVer pHoto Narina Exelby

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents FabMags Publications cannot be held responsible for any omission or errors, or for any misfortune, injury or damages that may arise therefrom. The Midlands is published by FabMags Publications, 104 San Hall Office Park, Kirsty Close, Ballito, South Africa 4418. Copyright The Midlands and FabMags Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or any part is prohibited without prior permission of the publisher. All products and services featured in this publication are subject to availability and are not stocked by FabMags Publications.

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Follow uS!

inSPirinG FoodieS Our last issue was definitely diverse and packed with new faces of various inspiring Midlands personalities, ranging from finances, health, food, and, dare we say, alpacas! We caught up with Jackie Cameron and a few of her students creating their own foodie brands from artisanal ice cream (with a twist), chocolate, and baked treats. Explore the diversity in the world of food and wine. missed oUr last edition? Here’s tHe linK www.issuu.Co.Za/faBMaGs

donT miSS! Christmas is approaching us faster than we can deck the halls with boughs of holly. our latest edition is decked with ideas of places and presents that you just don’t find in the average shop, whether you are at a loss for gift ideas or tired of the same old gifts. we also venture to nottingham road to find some hidden gems there.

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inSTaGram oF The monTh @drmeGanmedina dr Megan Medina is our hilton-based homeopathic and wellness practitioner. she specialises in “happy hormones”. her areas of expertise range from fertility, pregnancy, birth support, postpartum care, paediatrics, and overall wellness support. you will find her sharing her journey and story, not afraid to tell us the truth of our hormones and health, but in a supportive and caring way, for women who need extra support or for men who need to give their women some support. Check out our lovely dr Meg.

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We are both thrilled and proud to bring you the November issue of The Midlands Magazine! A lot of hard work, collaboration, and inspiration went into conceptualising this latest edition - but it is ultimately the local residents and valued clients who make it all possible. To ensure we always stay relevant and tethered to the community, we invite our readers to connect with us on all our social media platforms and websites. Follow us for updates and sneak peeks and so we can also see what you’re up to!

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1. siX dogs HoneY lime gin

Is an irresistible combination of farm honey, home-grown limes, and the finest botanical spirit. Sip it, and you’ll taste classic notes of juniper, coriander, and the earthy tones of angelica, complemented by a bite of zesty limes and a subtle infusion of honey to soften and sweeten the overall taste. Retail price is R450

2. neoVita proBi-tUm proBiotic These gummies assist with maintaining gut flora and aid digestion, with a high dose of good bacteria proven to help with IBS, prevent tummy bloating, assist with heartburn and acid reflux, and may boost immunity. Two different probiotics are utilised, that being Lactobacillus Paracasei & Lactobacillus Salivarius. The gummy is vegetarian friendly and is suitable for adults and children three years and older. Retail price is R179

3. soFtlips repair range

Available in menthol and cherry, this unique glide-on formula contains moisture-rich and long-lasting protectants which assist in providing fast-acting relief and healing to those suffering from dry, chapped, windburned or problematic lips. Its hero ingredient, menthol, provides an immediate cooling sensation whilst SPF15 protects one’s lips from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Retail price is R29.95

4. JoHn Bannerman’s WHisKY

Made using a very slow distillation process, which ensures as much copper contact as possible, that creates Bannermans’ beautiful fruity flavours. Bannermans’ uses a blend of exceptional five to six-year-old whiskies, while the legal limit is three years. Think tasting notes with a delicate vanillatoffee nose, complex with rich honey and oak notes in the mouth. Retail price is R215

Be Bright Collagen Powder This hydrolysed collagen powder is 100% pure and highly bioavailable that combats the unwanted effects of ageing by: restoring skin collagen density and moisture, strengthening bone, muscle, joint, tendon and cartilage health, and supporting gut health and targeting issues in the digestive tract, to name a few. These come in 180g, 350g, 700g jars and refill pouches. Retail price from R290

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Encompassing your every need for corporate functions, micro weddings, private functions and fine dining experiences.

illow and Lily is a team of friends with a passion for people, beautiful spaces, memorable experiences, great food and quality living.

The semi-self catering cottage has two king bedrooms and a shared bathroom; it has a basic kitchenette with the idea that one would enjoy the Midlands Meander and return with ‘heat and eat’ treats to enjoy.

Coming from Dalton and Wartburg, two life-loving mums, Margie and Candace, and Margie’s son Lance, fell in love with the KZN Midlands; they all moved to Notties in January 2020. The three decided that with Lance’s dream of cheffing, combined with Margie and Candace’s love of people, it was the perfect mix to take on their adventure.

The cottage also has its own private braai area, with views of the surrounding rolling hills. The other five bedrooms are all situated within the main guest house, each with an ensuite bathroom. One of the bedrooms is paraplegic friendly with easy access to the dining room and veranda. Each room is adorned in carefully curated decor, simplistic and fine finishes.

Willow and Lily is a Bed and Breakfast that allows accommodation for up to 14 adults in a variety of rooms, some with queen and some with king beds.

Accommodation includes a cold buffet breakfast and a plated hot breakfast with all of the delicious locally sourced trimmings. Dinner can be arranged on request and

served in the dining room or on the veranda overlooking the beautiful dam area, filled with lily pads and willow trees. The gardens are currently lush and green and joyful with the summer rose blooms. The dam is ready for a line to be thrown, and the wine is always chilled; it’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. At Willow and Lily, we encourage utter relaxation, peaceful settings and a truly elite experience, and it is for this reason that we do not accommodate children under the age of 12. To book your stay, corporate event, micro wedding or private function, get in touch! @willowandlilykzn @willow_and_lily_kzn

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sociAl scenes

SPar ladieS VirTual ChallenGe nottingham road In September, Nottingham Road Spar teamed up with the local Earth Route Market, to host the SPAR ladies Virtual Challenge. The event was used to celebrate the unity of the community, its incredible woman and to mark the start of spring. Runners had a choice of two excellent trail runs, 5km and 10km on the nature reserve next door, and could run between 8am and 2pm. The theme for the day was “tickled pink”, stallholders and runners went all out and dressed up for the occasion. The staff from Notties Spar dressed up and cheered every runner on their start and finish of the race, which created an incredibly fun atmosphere. Live music, free pink gin and wine tasters, best-dressed prizes, and an awesome market helped to create a fun-filled event which was the talk of the town for weeks to follow.

The PeoPle

1. Dannie Hughes, Siobhan Baker, Karen Vivier, Claire Buys, Nicky Trussler, Lisa Campbell, Jodi Kendall & Shreane Goodenough 2. Sherrilee de Bruyn & Molly Staats 3. Gary & Travis Hesom 4. Desrae & Andrew Turner 5. Zanele Makhatini, Khombi Zuma, Thobile Makhaya, Ayanda Mncube, Londiwe Hadebe, Mbali Mtambo & Mbali Mncube

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Gallery ZAZA Hilton Hilton welcomed its new art gallery, exhibition, and workshop space called Gallery ZAZA on 2 October 2021. A rainy, misty, and cool spring day was not going to stop Gallery ZAZA from opening its doors or from visitors joining and popping in to see what this new space is all about. Run and facilitated by our local graffiti artist Jono Hornby, the opening started out with only a few people but gained momentum throughout the late morning. There was a great turnout of people despite the misty Hilton weather. It was vibey and inspiring meeting artists from different walks of life all coming together to exhibit their paintings and sculptures. This gallery is not to be missed, and it will undoubtedly add a bit of “ZAZA” to Hilton.

The People

1. Yves Vanderhaeghen & Jaqui Hiltermann 2. Donna Hornby & Sam Divett 3. Bridget Krone & Cuba Ikaneng 4. Phillipa Gordon & Estelle Sinkins 5. Rory Klopper & Jono Hornby

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sociAl scenes

annual CraFT & Garden Show Hilton A fun-filled event, celebrating Heritage Day over the long weekend, was launched with Hilton’s first annual, community-run, Craft & Garden Show at the Hilton Train Station. Proceeds went to raise funds for The Hilton Steam Heritage Association. Filled with local crafters, small growers and artists, it was a beautiful weekend to celebrate a treasured heritage site in Hilton as well as supporting the local community.

The PeoPle

1. Tristan & Laila Kleinhans, Anele & Levi Ferreira & Zoe Kleinhans 2. Cindy Phiri and Sphe Dumakude 3. Heather Coleman, Karin & Robyn Mertsch & Luanna-May Hutton 4. Terry English, Sage & Brendon Burroughs 5. Ariksha & Samisha Beepath



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OUR JOURNEY Frozen For You was born from the international award winning catering company By Word of Mouth. By Word of Mouth catering and events has been voted top catering company for 21 years and has been in existence for 28 years. It is a family owned business, run by Adrian and Karen Short, both passionate ‘foodies’ and entrepreneurs. In March 2018 Frozen For You was born, giving clients more access to their much loved favourite recipes and giving people the opportunity to serve their award winning restaurant style food in their homes without having to wait for a special occasion. After huge demand, we are very excited to announce a big milestone for Frozen For You – our products are now finally available in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Frozen For You at Flanders Mall in Mount Edgecombe opened in September 2021 and our store in Hilton has just opened their doors at the new Hilton Avenues. We look forward to welcoming you to our new stores in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

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social scene

Healing Earth Umhlanga On 27 October, we were invited by Healing Earth to celebrate the launch of their gorgeous new Healing Home Collection and their new spa at Brahman Hills. The cocktail celebration took place at The Beverley Hills Hotel. We spent the evening mingling and enjoying the delightful canapés and we were treated to beautiful pamper hampers that left us feeling spoiled.

The People

1. Mpume Zwane, Elisabeth Brandt & Janine Sholto Douglas 2. Roxy Scott & Jamie-Lee Wagner 3. Lorna Gourlay & Phillipa Reynolds 4. Lauren Abdo & Christine Macvicar 5. Onwaba Maholwana & Tendai Mandizita 6. Linda Lee & Joyce Wilmans

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FavouriTe place To have a coFFee in The Midlands?

hoW do you Keep FiT and acTive in The Midlands?

Nino’s Café in Hilton at the (Upper) Quarry Centre. Not only do they have amazing coffee, but their outside area boasts a picturesque view of a dam at the centre.

describe your ideal WeeKend in The Midlands?

Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment and some Thai cuisine at the Taste of Thai restaurant at the Quarry Centre, make a stop at the renowned Nelson Mandela Capture Site, have a light lunch at the café there, and of course, for outside visitors, hint hint, booking a stay at The Living Collective’s house number five at The Gates Estate in Hilton, surrounded by the gorgeous views of the Umngeni Valley.

I enjoy going for a hike at the Hilton MTS and taking a nice walk within the Gates Estate.

The Midlands Through The eyes oF a local Meet Wendy Nwankwo, the founder of The Living Collective and passionate about always adding a bit of TLC to whatever she does. @officialwendyn Where is your go-To spoT For The besT caKe/ pasTry/baKed good in The Midlands? The Upper Milestone in Hilton. Their coffee is the benchmark, and it’s seldom matched. They also sell pastries and freshly made artisanal bread. Truly excellent coffee and superb baking.

FavouriTe spoT For a daTe nighT in The Midlands?

Hartford Hotel in Mooi River is a perfect and elegant spot for date night. The restaurant has beautiful Victorian aesthetics. It is always a lovely experience to have dates there.

WhaT are soMe Fun acTiviTies ThaT you enJoy doing in The Midlands? Between Piggly Wiggly in Lions River and Checkpoint 103 Activity Hub in Balgowan, there’s plenty of fun activities to do like wine tasting, candle dipping, zip-lining, epic carting, bubble soccer. The list is endless, and there is something for the whole family.

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Head office: 031 941 5041




Midlands office: 082 363 1072


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you are noT in ThiS alone Words aManda low There is truth in the saying that one of the greatest blessings in life is to be a mother. My journey to motherhood was not an easy one. After a 3-year struggle to conceive with countless doctors’ visits, invasive procedures, fertility treatments and repeated heartache and disappointment month after month … our prayers were finally answered. The joy of finding out that you're pregnant is something for which many women and couples yearn. After a long journey of waiting, we were blessed with our precious little miracle, Trent Michael Low, for whom we had prayed and anxiously waited. No matter where you are on the waiting journey, take some time to acknowledge what you are going through. Fortunately, I did not do any of this alone. I shared my fears and anxiety with my amazingly supportive husband, family, and friends. I sought professional help to deepen my knowledge and understanding. Finally, I was introduced to a specialist who followed a more holistic approach, and this enabled us to conceive naturally. What joy we experienced! In the midst of that joy, when you find out you are going to be a mom, there are so many questions to be answered and decisions to be made. Which gynaecologist should I choose? Who can recommend a good paediatrician? What pre & post-natal support is available? Where can I access professional advice on child-rearing techniques? ... the list is endless. I am truly grateful to have had the most wonderful pregnancy and an incredible birth experience, thanks to the most

amazing professionals who were, and who still are, a part of my support network. I was also fortunate to have had a very special lady, who will be familiar to many of you, Ginny Oosthuizen, by my side as our doula before Trent was born, during, afterwards and everywhere in between. I couldn’t have done it without her. We all know that motherhood is amazing, but it can also be challenging and lonely at times. A strong support network consisting of family members, friends and professionals are essential for a new mom. I had the most incredible support right from the start, and this made a huge difference to my experience as a first-time mom. As a result, I was inspired to create a supportive community by founding Moms of the Midlands. The saying couldn’t be truer than, "it takes a village to raise a child.” Seek help from a close friend, family member or from a local support group. Find someone with whom you feel comfortable and share your feelings. Let them all out. Take a deep breath and take some time out for yourself. Most importantly, remember … you are not in this alone.

no matter where you are on the waiting Journey, take some time to acknowleDge what you are going through.

aManda is a Momtrepreneur in the true sense. She runs a successful business as a Marketing Communications specialist and is the founder of Moms of the Midlands. Her motherhood journey has inspired her to create a space for moms to connect, learn, and thrive.

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Nottingham Road is the heart of the Midlands, a place worth stopping by for locals on a weekend excursion or for those who need a countryside breakaway. Below we pin a few gems for you to seek out and visit. opening image fordoun

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Fabulous Fordoun


et within fertile farmlands, this old dairy farm, complete with milking sheds, a grain silo, and a plethora of old stone buildings, was transformed to become the renowned Fordoun Hotel & Spa, an oasis of pampering for mind, body and soul. Located near Nottingham Road in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, it ensures spectacular views across rolling hills and pastured valleys towards the distant Drakensberg Mountains. Imaginatively converted from an 1860s farmyard, dairy, and homestead, each bedroom and suite is individually styled,

highlighting the historical past while focusing on luxury and comfort. Serene pastoral countryside, dams, and meandering trails beckon walkers, cyclists, and flyfishing enthusiasts. Heightened appetites are satisfied by fine gourmet cuisine prepared with seasonal farm produce and the freshest local ingredients in the fine dining restaurant, Skye Bistro. Fordoun’s renowned and award-winning wellness spa features an indoor heated pool, outdoor pool, floatation tank, rasul, and much more. Spa lovers revel in the many relaxing treatments, combining international

ranges and uniquely African products made from Zulu traditional healing plants grown in the indigenous garden. The charming Farm Village welcomes families with modern self-contained cottages around an idyllic village green, perfect for picnics or perhaps an impromptu game of cricket. Each cottage is well equipped with a fully fitted kitchen, fireplace, DSTV, DVD player, barbecue and is serviced daily. The wedding/conference venue can accommodate up to 180 guests. @FordounHotelandSpa @fordounhotel

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Earth Route Market


ith glorious local farmto-table delights in mind, a team of local Notties residents came together and created the Earth Route Market. Every Saturday morning in the Nottingham Road Farmers Hall, you will find a buzz of local farmers, artisans, and crafters sharing the work of their hands at the Earth Route Market. This is no ordinary farmers’ market – the dream is to bring the community together and to inspire both residents and visitors to move towards conscious living by building awareness of how our actions impact our environment. “We’ve imagined and created a space where we can match our values to our purchase behaviours, reduce our waste footprint and be the change for a better environment.” The team has gone to great efforts to pull off an inviting, well-organised market with excellent offerings from coffee and cheeses to fresh produce, chicken and meat, ice cream, baked goods, and more. The market is fast becoming a weekend highlight for many families. Head out there early (it opens around 7:30am), grab coffee

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and pancakes and do a whole weekly shop in the Farmers Hall. Your shopping could look like: Linga Lapa’s fresh country loaf, a loaf of Wild Bread Sourdough, a couple of packs of stir fry mix from Dunroamin, fresh farm eggs from Bramleigh Farm, chicken flatties and caramel ice-cream from Hillview, cheeses, dry wors, and smoked trout and Boerenkaas, Audrey’s Goats Cheese, and veggies from Vincent. Plenty of breakfast options are available, too: Jabu’s Bacon & Eggs Rolls, the scrumptious Breakfast Bowls (a got-tohave), croissants, and so much more. There are a number of lifestyle and craft stalls at the market, too – you will find those outside in the sunshine where the live musician generally plays too. Stall owners have to meet at least three of the Earth Route Markets criteria: Products have to be grown or created using environmentally friendly practices, products use biodegradable/recyclable/eco-friendly packaging, products must be homegrown or handmade, products must contain ingredients or materials that are 100% traceable, and finally, you have to be local, living within 70km of Nottingham Road.

This brilliant community initiative epitomises the farm-to-table movement and has great ambitions to become the locals’ preferred supplier for fresh produce. If you care about buying local, ethically produced, earth-friendly, quality goods – in plastic-free packaging –support Earth Route Market. Next time you are in Notties as a visitor, or if you are a local contemplating heading out to Howick to do your weekly shop – stop by one Saturday and give the Earth Route Market a try. You’ll be glad you did. 063 841 5639 @earthroutemarket @earthroutemarket


A Country Escape


etherwood Farm seeks to give everyone visiting an opportunity to soak up everything that the Midlands Meander is so proud to be a part of. A quick drive from the city of Durban or a pitstop from Joburg, one is able to experience a variety of passionately brewed craft beers at Happy Days Brewery, a freerange, mouthwatering Angus Steak at the Fork n Cleaver, a cup of coffee with the famous blueberry cheesecake at Blueberry Café or if you are lucky, all three! All this whilst having open gardens to peruse and boasting the views of its very fortunate position facing the rolling hills that lead to the Drakensberg Mountain range (even if it may be from our “loos with a view” with a visit from our cattle friends).

Not only are visitors able to enjoy Netherwood Farm for a short period, one can appreciate the farm-style accommodation available for all those wanting to extend their trip. With the relaxing stand-alone, self-catering cottages, guests can indulge the working farm that Netherwood prides itself on. From dams to fish to walking and biking trails to explore, Netherwood Farm is truly something to experience especially being so near to other respective outlets on the Midlands Meander.

For those lovers seeking to make their wedding day a unique yet beautiful getaway, Netherwood offers a hilltop chapel with expansive views of the midlands hills with a mountainous backdrop that offers the perfect intimate setting for an unforgettable ceremony. Afterwards, guests can join the

newlyweds at the contemporary indoor/ outdoor venue that can accommodate up to 250 people overlooking three dams. Lidgetts Grant Lodge at Netherwood Farm sleeps up to 20 people in nine bedrooms to accommodate wedding parties, large family getaways, friends get-togethers, or even work retreats that can utilise the boardroom that is available. With so much to offer for day visitors, weekend getaways, work events to the memorable celebrations with family and friends, Netherwood Farm welcomes you to enjoy the countryside like never before. @netherwoodangus @theblueberry_café

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Village Café Based in Gowrie Village on Nottingham Road, this popular and much-loved café now boasts an indoor, as well as an outdoor space, and most recently, a workspace counter that can take your remote working experience to a new level. It boasts plug points for convenient charging, full Wi-Fi coverage, and a workspace that will make your day sail along. Need a gift? Looking for something “simply beautiful” for your home? Look no further! We have a stunning range of homeware,

locally roasted coffee as well as coffee and tea accessories available for sale. DeTiAmo “made in the Midlands” has partnered with us in our retail section to bring you exquisitely crafted homeware items that are worthy of any home locally or internationally. The Midlands Meander experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of these wonderful gems! 082 823 0751 @villagecaféonnottinghamrd @Village_café_on_nottingham

Creme Cafe “The best-kept secret in the Midlands” as described by one ardent fan, and “A little slice of heaven” by another. For us, it’s "our space in the sunshine!" Join us in the quad for a delicious coffee, a fresh-pressed juice, a frappé, or a creamy milkshake. We would love to share our secrets with you. You’ll know you have a quality coffee and excellent service when you discover that Creme Cafe is an offshoot of the renowned “Village Café" where excellent service is the standard, and customer care is of vital importance.

082 823 0751 @Cremecafé1 @Creme_café_meandersquare

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ffectionately known as The ’Fassl, which has been operating under the leadership of Sean Wakeford and his team for 22 years, catering to locals and tourists alike, and is still the home of the famous crispy Eisbein, amongst other tasty dishes within an Austrian/German theme, using fresh local ingredients. The revamped pub boasts 14 draught taps, offering the famous Nottingham Road Brewery craft beers, as well as imported beers, ciders, and G&T. Gin tasting is lots of fun, with 30 different gins and a variety of topics to choose from, as well as some tasty new cocktails. An exciting addition this year is the partnership with Top Gear Entertainment who are offering superb kid’s entertainment under personal supervision

on weekends and holidays, with water slides, jumping castle, paintball target shooting, jeep rides, rocket, mechanical round-about swing, sand-art, candle dipping and soft-serve ice cream as some of the offerings. Adult team-building activities and games are also on offer, either on-site or off-site, adding value to conference groups and other gatherings in the area. There will be regular, intimate live music gigs this festive season, with the new boma area offering a relaxed, festive atmosphere for sun-downers on summer evenings or cosy log fires in the cooler weather. Even pets are welcome on the lawned outdoor area with its stunning view. Wednesday evenings is local’s night, offering a burger and beer special in addition to the regular menu. Bingo, great

fun for all ages, takes place on the first and last Wednesday evening of the month. There is live music playing on the other Wednesday evenings. The Delicatessen offers a variety of local Midlands products like cheeses, cold meats, salami’s, pâtés, German sausages, mustards, and sauces, as well as imported goodies. The perfect place to shop for a picnic, home treat, or gift. Bierfassl is open seven days a week from 9:00am, and the kitchen takes last orders at 9:30pm, so pop in anytime for a drink, a bite to eat, or a cup of coffee and cake; you will be most welcome! @TheBierfassl @bierfasslrestaurantandpub

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othing is more expensive than a missed opportunity, so now is the time to implement your Plan B in Europe!

Creating a Plan B to protect against both political risk as well as economical instability are two of the main reasons that many South Africans are looking offshore. The prospect of putting together a meaningful legacy that protects the investor and his/her family’s future is an exciting option worth exploring.

There are currently three residency options available: • The Fast Track residency programme: permanent residency is secured in two months • The Slow Track residency programme: permanent residency is secured in two years • The Immigration programme.

Europe remains being the preferred geographic location for many investors as the lifestyle on offer is appealing, the opportunities are enticing, and Europe is the world’s largest trading block. Europe’s stable economy, decreasing unemployment rates and on-going political stability has cemented it as being a safe destination for our hardearned ZAR.

The Fast Track programme is very attractive because it gives three generations in the same direct family line the legal right to live in Cyprus without having to go through onerous immigration processes should they wish to make a permanent move. All dependent children up to age 25, plus both the parents and the parents-in-law qualify for residency on the same property purchase under the main investor. The property can be used as an investment tool to earn a Euro-based income; and there is no need to live in Cyprus for the residency permits to remain valid. No other programme in Europe offers this!

Cyprus, an English-speaking, ex-British colony, and full EU member, has been voted as having THE BEST permanent residency programme available, immediately benefitting the investor and his/her family with many attractive benefits.

On the Slow Track programme siblings, non-related investors and multiple investors can buy a property together and still each secure residency in their own right! This is a unique benefit in Cyprus - as most other countries do not allow multiple

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investors or require that you either live in the country or have a prescribed minimum investment in property. An astute offshore property investment that works for you in the short, medium, and long term is the achievement of a lifetime. In Cyprus investing in the Fast Track residency programme will reap financial rewards and lifelong benefits. Can you afford not to take advantage of this while this programme is still open? Cypriot Realty – a proudly marketing company in operation for more than 13 years – can assist you. We are recognised and respected as Southern Africa's authoritative offshore investment specialists, promoting Cyprus as an ideal destination for acquiring permanent residency, property investment, immigration or retirement and starting an EU-based business - we understand investor's needs. Contact us for a confidential meeting to discuss how we can help you realise your and you family’s Plan B in Europe.

083 448 8734

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Restaurant review

A spot of lunch at the local bistro at Old Mushroom farm left us satisfied and inspired. Every little place in the Midlands has a story behind it; you just need to sit down and stay a little longer to find out more about it, which made us appreciate it even more.


ll you need is some passion and a wood-fired oven. I recently visited The Spot Bistro with my parents at the Old Mushroom Farm, just up the Karkloof Road. And it seems like The Spot Bistro is fired by a passion that Victoria, the owner, started. She moved from Durban to the Midlands and combined her knowledge of environmental consultancy with her love of food. The restaurant has a homely feel to it and is innovatively decorated with pre-loved tables and chairs. What adds even more homeliness is the selection of classic 70s, 80s, and 90s music played from a cool old vinyl player; you can even bring and play your own vinyl records. What I really liked about the menu here was its diversity of dietary desires and needs, from gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and including a variety of meat options. It really is an all-inclusive menu with options for the kiddies as well as the doggies.

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words Alicia du Plessis We started with some Vegan Chicken Wings; one serving was enough for the three of us. You would think these were real chicken wings; they looked like it but were coated cauliflower. They tasted delicious and were perfect to snack on before the mains. My mom ordered the Breakfast Pizza, one of her favourites. It is always a treat to see how she delights in it. It comes packed with, well, a full-on breakfast - eggs, bacon, baked beans, caramelised onions, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and slices of avo - the best of both worlds! Mr Tweedy came second with my dad’s likes as he devoured most of his pizza, although he did leave one or two slices for later. There is another winner here, topped with chicken, mayo, rocket, and microgreens with a Napoli and mozzarella base. I enjoyed something a little bit different. I had the Baked Calzone, almost like a pizza base, but folded over and filled

with butternut and mozzarella. I did not quite know what a Calzone was exactly (shocker, I know), but that was quickly realised, and I have to say it was delicious. It was an excellent alternative to pizza. To top it off, we enjoyed their Bar 3 dessert. If you guessed Bar One wrapped in pizza dough, well, you guessed right. Who would’ve thought? Just like our starters, this was enough for the three of us. With some ice cream, it was just right to satisfy that sweet tooth. What makes The Spot extra unique is how almost all the meals are cooked in the wood-fired oven. It is definitely worth a stop and a special place we can recommend (especially if you like the sounds of Brian Ferry, Queen, and some other Golden Oldies). 0798906386 @thespotbistro The Old Mushroom Farm, Karkloof Road, Howick

To promote health in soil and all its product for a greener more colourful environment 2021 PRICE LIST NUTRI MULTI-MIX COMPOST Lawns – Flowers – Planting – Trees (Blend of chicken litter, horse manure, biochar & topsoil)


Large 75dm³ bulk bag @ R80 p/bag

Compost / Topsoil / 50/50 Bukkie Load @ @ R1,100

Home delivery to PMB/Howick/Hilton for all orders over 10 bags BULK DISCOUNTS

15 bags = 1 extra free bag 20 bags = 2 extra free bags 40 bags = 4 extra free bags & 10% discount 200 bags = 20 extra free bags & 15% discount Bukkie Load: 1.7m³ compost or topsoil @ R1,600 delivered

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Superloads @ R5,500


(WhatsApp or SMS orders taken) 083 513 6569 AMBERGLO FARM D292 Merrivale

Tipper Truck Superloads: 10m³ Multi Mix compost R6600 delivered* 10m³ 50/50 topsoil/compost R6600 delivered* 10m³ Sifted topsoil R6600 delivered* * These prices may vary according to distance travelled

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As part of exploring the talented people right here in the Midlands, we decided to take to the skies. Well, not really, but we heard from Kelly, who is a pilot and savvy businesswoman, spreading her wings all while staying grounded throughout it all. Words kelly van der Merwe

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hat if I told you there is a place that’s magical, a place of peace, where you don’t look over your shoulder or lock your doors. A place where children run barefoot on real grass. At night the darkness is all-encompassing, and the sound of tree frogs and jackals howling fills the air. What if I told you we found this magical place? My husband and I, along with our three children, made the decision to exchange the fast-paced city life for this magical place in the Midlands. But let's rewind a bit first. In the year 2000, I became a commercial pilot. This was a dream of mine since the age of six. I specialised in the VIP sector of business jet aviation and have a passion for people and customer service. After working for the Oppenheimer’s for 10 years, and just after having our third child, we realised we wanted to get out of city life. I wanted to be a mom on my terms. My husband who has now been by my side for 19 years is a helicopter pilot and farmer so I knew the balance between city life and farm life would always be an important part of our lives. I understood it meant keeping our children grounded yet also allowing them to experience the best of both worlds. We initially moved out of Joburg for a slower pace to my hometown Durban in 2012, but we always knew it was a stepping stone to the farm life we had been dreaming of. Durban was the perfect fit for us for the next seven years as we built our aviation business from the bottom up. Aviation One was established in 2010 when both my husband and I had been working in corporate aviation on a VIP level for over 10 years. We wanted to create something for ourselves making use of the years we had spent in the industry gathering knowledge. This proved to be perfect timing and our business strategy was very well received by top South African firms who owned aircraft. A turnkey solution evolved for private individuals and corporates alike who needed the headache of managing their aircraft removed. Leon, my husband,

had always had a passion for filming and photography. In 2010 he teamed up with a world-renowned wildlife photographer to film and photograph Africa in its extremes. This relationship blossomed into a friendship and we have been working with this client ever since. We have expanded our footprint out of Durban, we now have partnerships all over Africa as a result of our VIP customer service. Relocating to the Midlands To backtrack a bit, we also owned our Advantage Brahman Stud farm, which was established in 1998 in Newcastle, an exclusive white brahman stud farm for other farmers to strengthen their gene pool. We are a family-owned and run farming operation which gives our children insight into day-to-day running. They are lucky enough to see calves being born and even get to bottle feed the odd calf. We take pride in producing quality hormone-free cattle that roam on the slopes of the lush Midlands grasses.

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The Midlands has been very good to us as our client base has grown substantially since relocating. The climate is great for Brahman and the local farmers are a tightknit community. Today it is the culmination of integrity and hard work that has made Advantage Brahman Stud many farmers’ first choice when buying bulls to improve their herd. In March 2019 we finally made our dreams a reality by buying one of the most beautiful farms in the Lidgetton Valley. We relocated Advantage Brahman Stud from our existing farm in Newcastle to the Midlands. Running the Aviation Company would also mean commuting and overseeing remotely, we knew the sacrifices it would take, but we were up for the challenge. In no time we became entrenched in an old-fashioned community, where the pace is slower and the people genuine.

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During lockdown in 2020, we realised just how fortunate we were. Whilst the world was locked up inside, we were able to take walks together on our farm and appreciate what we really had, freedom, space, and real family values. It was then that I was able to begin a deeper journey of finding true contentment by helping more people of the Midlands through the birth of the Midlands Food Bank, which I run together with my friend Riaz Nakooda. The lifestyle that the Midlands has to offer, being a young family bringing up children, is second to none. Often people ask us why we haven’t immigrated yet, and we simply tell them that we feel like we have. Looking back, I understand life is all about seasons. I had my fast-paced pilot life while I was building my career and

now that I’m privileged to be a mom I’m able to pivot between mom, farmer's wife, aviation company owner, corporate jet pilot, and serial entrepreneur on my terms. Yes, I commute to Durban a few times a week, sometimes I visit six or seven different cities in a few days, but nothing beats getting home to that magical Midlands air. We as women are always trying to juggle all the balls at the same time, sometimes we need to prioritise one ball over another for a season. That’s okay. Right now we have exchanged the Mr D App for home cooking, and shopping malls for farm chores, but that doesn’t mean I cannot still be a cutthroat career woman in a male-dominated industry.

073 244 4467

064 756 8469

082 450 6792

072 190 5548


072 592 4097

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Unearth the wonders of Boston, Dargle and Impendle with what this all-inclusive and environmentally friendly Community Tourism Organisation has to offer.


he iconic Inhlosane ridge, visible from across the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, rises to 2026m from the surrounding settlements of Impendle, Boston, and Dargle. From the peak, the views of the countryside and the Drakensberg are incredible. In this area, you are likely to spot the Cape Parrot flying between patches of indigenous forest, Wattled Crane foraging in wetlands, endangered Blue Swallows swooping across grasslands, or an Oribi sitting quietly in the long grass. It is a bio-diverse region, the catchment of the mighty Mkhomazi River and the Umgeni

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Words Nikki Brighton River, a thriving farming community, and a hub of hiking, walking, fishing, cycling, motor-biking, horse-riding, and birding activities that have been a bit of a secret until recently. In 2018, owners and managers of tourist establishments in the area joined forces with the local municipality to form the Boston, Dargle, Impendle Community Tourism Organisation (BDIT) to create awareness of the relatively unexplored area and create employment. There are accommodation options to suit every taste. With Midlands country

weddings very much on-trend, BDIT offers a fabulous variety – from elegant, old school, or rustic – choose between Calderwood Hall, Dargle Forest Lodge, Mount Park Guest Farm, Crab Apple Chapel, and Old Furth Estate. If it’s a party venue that you are after, then Boston T Party is a great spot for a celebration! There is no need to drive far afterwards, with plenty of beds available at these venues or on neighbouring properties. Should a quiet afternoon of trout fishing be your thing, the waters at Copperleigh Trout Cottages, Tillietudlem

cover story Nature Reserve, Boschberg Cottages, and Star Dam Estate will keep you well entertained. Perhaps some of your family would rather walk in the forest at Khula Shanti or explore the hills on horseback at Stormy Hill Horse Trails. Just along the road are para-gliding and hang-gliding heaven – from Mahaqwa in the village of Bulwer. Not that keen on an active escape? Then the views of Impendle Mountain from the deck at Maphanga Lodge might suit you best, or the friendly farm stays and cosy cottages at KhulaShanti, Elvesida Guest Farm, Fine-Alley Country Cottage, Everwood Estates, Beverley Country Cottages, or Le Bonne Vie, that all offer an authentic Midlands experience. Chairperson Sue Brighton comments, “We put a lot of effort into assisting those members who have not benefitted from the formal tourism industry in the past - supporting rural homestays and local guides in the beautiful Nzinga area just outside the town of Impendle. Here there are opportunities for cross-cultural experiences, exploring rock art, local craft, tasting traditional lifestyles, and learning about indigenous agricultural and spiritual practices. We engage with local schools, educating the next generation about the benefits and opportunities that tourism can provide our region.” This means that unique experiences are available to visitors who head (just slightly) off the beaten track.

The climb is steep but not difficult and worth doing if you are in the area. Walk through proteas and deep blue agapanthus, magenta Senecio macrocephalus, and swathes of pink Watsonia in springtime. Here you may spot black-backed jackal on the slopes, Natal red rock rabbit between the boulders, and certainly hear baboon calls echoing across the valley. The 8759ha Impendle Nature Reserve is not open to the public, but special arrangements can be made to visit. The value of this land to conservation (particularly Eastern Mistbelt Forest, Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, and rare species such as Drakensberg cycad, dwarf chameleon, and blue swallow) was recognised in 1983, with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife managing the reserve since 1994. These valleys certainly contain a lot of history – from the wagon tracks and stonewalls that crisscross the hills to stories of elusive leopards, legendary farmers, and heroic Chief Duma. The BDIT region was one of the original haunts of Bushmen hunter-gatherers who moved between these foothills and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg. In the early 1800s, the Bushmen found themselves trapped between Shaka’s army and Boer settlers who laid claim to the forests and pastures, those who could, took refuge in the mountains of the ‘Berg.

Impendle is an important birding area where many specials can be found. Twitchers are likely to tick off African Marsh Harrier (Circus ranivorus), Grey Crowned Crane, Wattled Crane, Denham’s Bustard, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Bush Blackcap, or the Black-winged Lapwing (Lioptilus nigricapillus) on their ambles.

Find a pub to chat to the locals, or settle in at the Picklepot Café for breakfast or homemade burgers accompanied by the famous Picklepot pickles, and share your discoveries with other patrons. It may be your first visit to the area, but there can be little doubt that you will make new friends here and it won’t be your last.

Make sure to take your eyes off the birds for a moment, and marvel at the vleis filled with Satyrium hallackii in spring, the banks of the Elands River rimmed with red-hot pokers, the variety of orchids in the grasslands, and Anemone faninnii waving in the summer breeze.

Many roads lead towards Impendle. Take the picturesque Dargle Road and trek all the way through to Boston. Or turn right after Boston onto the P127 and trundle through the hills. Follow your nose with the peak of Inhlosane to navigate by – who knows what unexpected treasures you will find. Don’t keep them secret.

The flora on Inhlosane is worth investigating, too – the altitude and geology mean it is different from the area below.

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to pay it forward Leading on from our theme of Love this

term, the Cordies boys are excited to fill Shoe Boxes with “love” for the elderly, as part of our social responsibility. #UnlimitedOpportunityForBoys


033 342 3077 | 101 Howick Road Pietermaritzburg

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Described as “A stunning Zen gem” by Louis and Chrissie van Loon, Founder of The Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, Di Smith’s latest publication, A Lighter Way of Being, gives us all some nuggets of wisdom to live a little lighter. Words di sMiTh


i Smith is a child of Africa. She grew up among the Xhosa people on their family farm, Willowdale, in a magnificent part of KwaZulu-Natal called East Griqualand. Her childhood days consisted of roaming free, on horseback, or on foot. Nature taught her the cycles of life and death and turned her to the shifting of the seasons and life itself. She began her formal education at The Holy Cross Convent in Kokstad. At the age of twelve, she was sent to board in Pietermaritzburg. Having a free spirit, she ran away. “From childhood, I loved books and reading”, says Di. “I love biographies, autobiographies, and I read good novels for relaxation. In my spiritual quest, I have travelled through books that have helped

me integrate the essence of teachings into my everyday life.” When we asked Di about her books, she said, “I published my first book called ‘You’re Awesome’ in 2011. I worked with an amazing photographer, Terrence Mtola, for the images in the book. We were honoured when Father Desmond Tutu agreed to write the Foreword. You’re Awesome became a South African bestseller”. Her latest book, A Lighter Way of Being, was published just before lockdown. She explains, “Both my books have been personal narratives of short stories and poetry. This book is a contemplative and poetic journey to the heart of awareness, with South Africa as the backdrop. Through my inward journey and my teachings of meditation, I was inspired

to write A Lighter Way of Being to open a door for others to live a richer, more meaningful, and creative life. Again, I was privileged to work with an extremely talented fine arts photographer, Ker Stanley”. The text in the book comes from Di’s awareness of whatever is in front of her; she explains, “The tangible opposite is Ker’s artistic ability. Fired by his imagination, his images in the book are random, absurd, and totally inspiring”. For those who are inspired to write too, Di gives some good advice she received from the author Marguerite Poland, “Set aside a certain number of hours a day for writing, switch off from the world. To write, just start writing, and the words will come”.

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We look to the intricacies of Sugarcane Farming in the Midlands for this edition’s Farming Feature and just how a husband-and-wife team makes a huge difference in achieving business success. And did we mention they produce their own handcrafted rum? Words Brad & Marisa O’Neill, edited Nick Nel. photos Marisa O’Neill & Saysha Baker


rad and Marisa O’ Neill proudly share their little slice of Mkhuzane magic, Seafield Farm, with us. Seafield, ensconced in the undulating hills of the Mkhuzane Valley, may be termed a medium-scale farm in size, with 210.6 hectares under sugarcane. Seafield has consistently delivered high yields as well as above-average quality cane, which is measured as Recoverable Value (RV). Over the past ten years, we have achieved an average of 110 tons per hectare with an average RV of 13.20. Over the last 20 years, since the introduction of the RV system in 2000, we have averaged 109 tons per hectare with an average RV of 13.30. As the figures proudly boast on our behalf, we have been blessed with remarkable

consistency, even though we have experienced adverse weather conditions like frost, drought, and more recently and dramatically, snow. We are most fortunate that Seafield has deep, well-drained, red Hutton soils, which have an average of 50% clay content and are naturally high in organic matter. These good soils, married with a mean annual rainfall of over 900ml, as well as the application of best management practices, ensure that we are able to continue achieving optimal crop yields. Our philosophy revolves around the simple to say but constantly demanding insistence on sustainability. These sustainable farming techniques include compulsory fallow cropping of every field for at least a year.

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w.tthheeMMI IDDLLAANNDDSSma maggaazzin inee. .ccoo. .zzaa 40 40 || wwwww.


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Molasses, sugarcane juice, or cane syrup


Usually at 30 – 33ºC & pH 5.5 – 5.8 for 1 – 3 days


Using either continuous or pot-still distillation


Often carried out in charred oak barrels


Different distillates blended for consistency


The first distillation of rum in the Caribbean took place on the sugarcane plantations there in the 17th century. Plantation slaves discovered that molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. Later, distillation of these alcoholic byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first modern rums.

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and employee. We have a very low staff turnover, and we believe engendering this happy labour force is a cornerstone to developing a hard-working, productive labour force. We also belong to a harvesting syndicate, together with neighbouring farmers, and this has proved efficient and cost-effective. We are very proud of Brad recently being awarded the distinction of the 2021 Toyota Kwanalu Young Farmer. Brad, typically modest and always willing to downplay his own efforts, suggests this accolade is surprising for him, but a quiet word with friends and the community in which the O’Neill’s are immersed suggests otherwise. Known for his Germanic oversight and genuine care – for his farm, his

community, and our collective future – this honour seems entirely befitting a duo who exudes passion, as this husband-andwife team really do lean mutually against one another. That passion led to our next exciting project when, in 2018, we embarked on an exhilarating venture that symbiotically dovetails with, and diversifies, Seafield Farm. Thus, Sugar Baron Craft Distillery was born. We follow the traditional Agricole style for producing our handcrafted rum. The essence of freshly harvested, handcut sugarcane is extracted, fermented, and bottled on-site at our distillery to create only the finest product.

Belinda de la Mare 072 102 4734 FB Hilton Garden Centre iG

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Have a festive season full of excitement and making memories. Words Kai Coates

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KarKlooF Farmers’ marKet

eartH roUte marKet

eartH roUte marKet

cHecKpoint 103

KarKlooF canopY toUrs

candle dipping

HigHgate Wine estate

nottingHam road BreWing co

sWissland cHeese


ou better not pout, you better not cry, you better not shout; I’m telling you why Midlands is full of fun this year! This festive season, everyone has their ‘lights and decorations’ up for you to enjoy. From markets to activities, you will always have something to do. Midlands is full to the brim with things to do! You’ll surely find something for you and your family.


The Karkloof Farmers’ Market has a Christmas surprise! Not one but six Saturday, Creative Christmas Markets! These Christmas Markets will be full of wholesome, delicious and unique homemade treats and local crafts for everyone to enjoy. From Saturday 23

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November and every Saturday till 28 December!! It sure is going to be Holly Jolly. @KarkloofFarmersMarket Every Saturday, early morning, the earth route Market, jam-packed with local artisanal and fresh produce, with local crafts, is the best place to chat with all the local stall owners and start your Saturday morning on a wholesome note. This market is a must-attend for anyone in the Midlands. @earthroutemarket The Festive Market at The Wine Cellar is full of crafts, food and drinks, entertainment, gifts and music. This market will surely get you in a festive mood and allow you to find some fantastic homemade gifts, from 10 till 12 December. Do not miss out on all the festivities! The December Christmas Market


Midlands has a vast range of things to do, from something more relaxed to fueling your adrenaline. Find what you want to do or just do it all! Are you ready for your adrenaline to spike and for your competitiveness to start? checkpoint 103 has it all for you. From an obstacle course to the new outdoor epickarting and target shooting! What kid and or adult wouldn’t want a day full of active activities? The facilities also have a small restaurant on-site so that you won’t lose your energy. @checkpoint103 Zip through the canopies this festive season at Karkloof canopy Tours. Another family fun activity to do and experience

Highgate Wine Estate the beautiful Karkloof Forest Reserve with views of a waterfall and the valley. With a fully guided tour, you’ll have a ‘zip’ of fun ‘flying’ through the trees. It’s a great active activity to do. @karkloofcanopytour You’ll wiggle with excitement when you decorate your own candle at Candle Dipping at Piggly Wiggly. With so many different designed candles, you can dip them in colourful wax and then paint detailing on as well; what an awesome activity and gift to give as it’s handmade with love. Get the whole family involved in being creative this festive season! @candledipping Looking for something a little more adult-friendly? Why not try getting more acquainted with your wine? At Highgate Wine Estate, you can enjoy a lovely wine tasting and lunch while learning about the beautiful estate and the process of the wine. Not to mention that this is a gorgeous place to propose *cough*, just kidding, but in all seriousness, bask in the scenery of the vineyards and enjoy the wine. @highgatewine

candle dipping If wine isn’t your style, then don’t worry. Nottingham Road Brewing Co. is here to quench your thirst. From Premium Lager to Pale Ale, get yourself a beer tray and taste them all, not to forget the cool names and mascots for each one to enjoy. Feeling hungry while you are tasting beer, then indulge in a snack basket. You will NOT be disappointed. @nottiesbrewery The Midlands has gorgeous views of the mountains and rolling green hills, so why not enjoy a picnic taking in some views. Swissland Cheese, a goat cheese heaven, with their goats in the fields for you to feed and admire, and even better, the delicious cheese. All you do is grab one of the picnic baskets with a blanket to sit on, and shop inside for your cheeses, crackers, and toppings, then go out into the garden and enjoy a lovely picnic. It’s fun and delicious for everyone! @swisslandcheesefarm Now that you know of a few markets and some things to do this festive season, you can ensure that you’ll have a memorable time!

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proUdlY sponsored BY nottingHam road spar and tops

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Food + drinK

Christmas Spiced Salad

• • • •

2.5ml ground cumin 2.5ml ground coriander Large pinch of salt 200g roasted walnuts

BY Chef 'n ThyMe

Fresh and colourful for the festive season and all made from scratch. serve this beautiful salad with a chef 'n Thyme beef Wellington. available from notties spar in the frozen section. Chef 'n Thyme came about five years ago, and Notties Spar was our first outlet. We started off supplying fresh salads and expanded into our frozen meal range and catering for functions. Our kitchen is based in Bergville, and we pride ourselves on only using the best quality ingredients. Chef 'n Thyme has grown from strength to strength thanks to our wonderful staff, word of mouth and the amazing support that we have received from the wonderful Midlands community.

CHRISTMAS VINAIGRETTE • • • • • • • • • • • •

30ml finely chopped coriander 30ml finely chopped mint 15ml white wine vinegar 15ml Dijon mustard 1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped 125ml mild olive oil 15ml honey 5ml ground coriander 7.5ml ground cumin Pinch nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined. Set aside for later.


Oil for greasing 60g Spar brown sugar 80ml water 10ml honey

Place foil on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil – set aside. Combine all the ingredients, besides the nuts, in a pot. Put on low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced and is caramelised. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts until coated. Spread walnuts over the foil, sprinkle with salt and allow to cool.

CHRISTMAS SALAD • • • • • • • • • •

1x 410g Spar chickpeas, drained 250g Cream cheese 100g Dried Cranberries 2x 30g First light farm summer mix microgreens 40g wild rocket 1x cucumber, made into ribbons using a peeler. 1x butternut, peeled and cut into small blocks. 3X beetroot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds. 1x pomegranate seeds 2x avocado, cut into wedges with fresh lemon juice squeezed over. Black pepper and Salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C, put butternut and beetroot into separate pans and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the butternut is golden and beetroot is cooked through. Place the rocket, microgreens and chickpeas on your platter and lightly use your fingers to make sure there’s not a layer of each ingredient. Add the cucumber, beetroot and butternut and again, use your fingers to bring some of the bottom ingredients to the top. Add the avo and sprinkle over the Candied Walnuts, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Lightly use your fingers

to bring some of the bottom ingredients to the top. Using a teaspoon, place spoonfuls of cream cheese on the salad. Finish off with some freshly ground black pepper and salt. Just before serving, drizzle with your Christmas vinaigrette.

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Roasted Honey and Mustard Wood-Smoked Gammon BY darGle valley MeaTs

sweet and smokey deliciousness served like a masterpiece. This glazed gammon will be the talk of your christmas dinner till next christmas. Set in the foothills of the southern Drakensberg, Dargle Valley is a family-run butchery and farm. Known for creating high-end products, it is no surprise that this little family business has grown from strength to strength - becoming a household name among customers who want to know where their meat comes from. All of their products are handmade on the farm using the finest quality meat, blended with custom spices. They avoid using gluten and MSG, and no rusks, starches, or soya is added to any of their products. Their hams are hand-pressed, and their bacon is dry-cured as they believe that you can taste the difference - guaranteeing a healthier product for you and your family.


1 Dargle Valley Meats Wood Smoked Gammon 2 teaspoons Hot English Mustard powder 100ml Honey 6 cloves 2 bay leaves


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Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the gammon in a large piece of tinfoil. Rub the gammon with the mustard powder and honey, then scatter over a few cloves and bay leaves. Wrap the tinfoil loosely

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around the gammon to form a pocket. Make sure the foil is tightly sealed. Place the wrapped gammon into a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour per kg. Once the gammon is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool enough just to handle. Peel off the thick skin making sure to leave the fat on. You may need a sharp knife to help you along. Next, using the same sharp knife, score the fat in a criss-cross pattern at least 2cm by 2cm.


1 cup Spar apricot jam 1 cup Spar brown sugar 60ml Hot English Mustard 1 teaspoon dried ginger

Mix all the ingredients together to form a thick paste and smear it over the top and sides of the gammon. Pop the gammon back into the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Baste the gammon with the glaze that has melted off after 10 mins. Decorate your gammon with pineapples, cherries, apricots whatever you fancy! We suggest putting these on after the glaze and before it goes in the oven, as this will give your gammon a lovely caramelised look. If you feel the glaze has not caramelised enough after 20 mins just pop the grill on for a few minutes. Watch it carefully as it burns very quickly.

Food + drinK

Christmas Pavlova BY finChley farM

sweet and light with juicy berries and cream are what makes a delicious pavlova. This is a perfect dessert to share for the festive summer season. Finchley Farms Barn Eggs are produced in our cage-free barns on the Finchley Farms in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Finchley has been a familyowned and run business for over 30 years and involved in poultry for the last 25 years. We are supporters of Humane egg production, and this method is becoming more and more popular as the customers become aware of this new world standard of egg production. We were the first company in South Africa to be validated by AFSQ to meet all the standards and more of the Gazetted Barn Egg method of Farming. We are very proud of this achievement as we are now the national blueprint for Barn Eggs in South Africa.

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • •

6 Finchley Farm Barn Egg whites 1.5 cups Spar Castor Sugar 2 teaspoons cornflour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon white vinegar 2 tubs Spring Meadow Cream 2 tubs Westwold Blueberries 1 punnet Freshline Strawberries 1 tub Cherries 3 tablespoons Spar Icing Sugar

METHOD Preheat the oven to 120°C fan force. Using a pencil, mark a 20cm circle on a sheet of baking paper. Line the baking

tray with baking paper, pencil side down. Using an electric beater, beat egg whites just until firm peaks form. Gradually add castor sugar, one tablespoon at a time, make sure sugar is dissolved between each spoonful. Add cornflour, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat for 30 seconds. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto a baking tray using a circle as a guide. Shape meringue into the desired shape using a spatula. Bake for one and a half hours and then turn the oven off—

cool Pavlova in the oven with the oven door ajar for one hour. Take out and cool at room temperature. Beat cream until firm peaks form, pipe or dollop cream onto Pavlova. Decorate Pavlova with blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. Lightly dust Pavlova with icing sugar.

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The Little Garden Shop That Could Words Belinda de la Mare


’ve always been an entrepreneur and when God was handing out tenacity, I was in the front of the queue. So when I heard that Hilton Garden Centre was for sale, it didn’t occur to me that this vet nurse had no horticultural experience or that the frail economy was still trying to shake off the crippling effects of COVID. This was a challenge. Moira Uys loved to grow things and at the time, Geraniums were in short supply. She planted out 500 F1 hybrid seeds and she waited. It did not go well! As the tiny seedlings emerged, their leaves were mottled and yellow. She tried iron chelate on them, which nearly killed them. She pruned them back and just when she was about to give up, they recovered and were flowering within a month. This encouraged Moira to plant out another 6000 seeds. These grew into beautiful plants and sold out quickly. She then organised her planting so that she would have a constant flow of flowering geraniums. Attie, her husband, was roped into building greenhouses, installing fertigation systems, and planting seeds in the evenings. Before long, they realised that this could be a full-time enterprise and the idea of Hilton Garden Centre was born. The Uys family and two labourers built the shop at The Rotunda. That was 20 odd years ago. Ryan, Moira’s

son, told me recently that although he was an only child, the garden shop felt like a sibling to him, always around and taking up plenty of his parents' time. When I approached Moira with the idea of buying her shop, she was thrilled, recalling her hard work and sacrifice and we agreed that Hilton Garden Centre would remain a bespoke family operation. I wanted to give a big THANK YOU, for seeing this little business through the early days, the black frosts, the

hard winters, the virus, the change of ownership, and the riots. It’s not often that a business lasts this long. And here, after all, are my gardening tips. Go into your garden. Appreciate the incredible creation of plants and insects around you. There is always something wondrous to experience. Soak up the beauty of delicate blooms and the fragrances of glorious flora, reward yourselves with this gift. It’s been a tough year, and a garden is truly a gift, so dig it!

Belinda is a qualified vet nurse, but she has been an entrepreneur and creative for many years, dabbling with a variety of career choices, from pharmaceutical marketing to being an equine artist. She is married with three children and lives happily in the Midlands, working on establishing her newly-acquired garden centre. w w w. t h e M I D L A N D S ma g a z in e . c o . z a

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If you are not sure what to do for Christmas gifts this year, look no further than right here on your doorstep - the Midlands, of course. We are shining the Christmas spotlight onto a couple of local places, offering some unique and eclectic gift ideas. These are our 12 “unique places” of Christmas.

The Wedgewood Emporium at Piggly Wiggly is a wondrous world of confectionery sampling and gifting. The Emporium is the flagship store of Wedgewood Crafted Confectionery. This handmade confectionery company started from humble beginnings in the Walters’ family kitchen 20 years ago and continues as a family business, still inventing new and wonderful things on their farm in the Midlands. Visit the Wedgewood Midlands Emporium and enjoy learning about Wedgewood’s renowned handmade honey nougat. Sample some of their artisanal chef’s newest inventions and experience Wedgewood’s world-first liquid nougat ice cream. Browse their gifting range, all locally handmade and gift wrapped for you by Paddington the Emporium Curator. This is a destination shopping experience with a touch of food theatre for all the family to enjoy. Wedgewood Crafted Confectionery caters to the Gluten and Dairy Intolerant, Halaal, and Kosher markets.

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What better way to spoil your loved ones this Christmas than with a thoughtful gift from Flowers & Leaves at Piggly Wiggly Country Village. All the Flowers & Leaves Collections are created with a well-considered balance between captivating perfume and therapeutic value, suitability to all skin types, and unisex appeal; sustainability and affordability. In this beautifully curated space, you will find bath salts that will ease weary bodies, butters to restore skin to glowing youthfulness, hand and body washes that will cleanse without disturbing your skin’s natural balance, and delicately scented soy candles to fill your home with natural fragrance. Flowers & Leaves are also well known for their extensive collection of quality essential oils and carrier oils. All of these make for beautiful gifts on their own, but you will also find a wide variety of stocking fillers to suit every taste and budget, like their highly fragrant Scented Sachets or the Bath Salts with the addition of a handmade Linen Bag. Open every day from 9 am to 4 pm.


Abby River is a Midlands-based baby boutique online brand. We pride ourselves on high-quality baby products. We pay close attention to detail to ensure practical yet beautiful products for your little one. With a wide range of clothing and accessories for your baby, why not get our sweet summer set with a matching headband to dress your little one for Christmas lunch? We’ve got beautiful affirmation cards where you get to spend some time in the morning speaking positive words to your child; what a great bonding experience! Looking for a gift for someone expecting? We’ve got a wide range of essentials for any newborn and expecting mom, ranging from beautiful and soft swaddles to nursing scarfs for easy feeds in public.

We create original designs, experiment with new weaves, mix different fibres for exciting effects, and create a range of textures. We dye the yarns, creating beautiful colours and effects. We are proud of our Hand Woven Heritage. Ours is a team of skilled crafters, creating handwork that is both original and beautiful. Our thorough and professional approach to the design and hand-weaving processes has appealed both locally and worldwide. Our Protea Throws and Clivia Wraps are ideal for that luxury Christmas Gift. Woven from a Mohair blend with a bit of wool to help the lustrous and shiny mohair fibres hold together and a tiny bit of Nylon for strength. We offer them either Fluffy (hand brushed to raise the fibres) or a Boucle, which has little curls all over the throw. The fibre is strong and resilient, lasting many years but ever so soft to the touch and cuddly!

Spoil your loved ones with a gift voucher to KwaZulu-Natal's premier wine estate. Situated in the KZN Midlands, Abingdon Wine Estate is a boutique producer of fine wines. The estate made history in 2007, producing the first certified KZN estate wine. The wine bar and restaurant is the ideal spot to enjoy this Christmas. Abingdon produces a range of Methode Cap Classique, white and red wines to suit everyone's taste. Vouchers can also be used to treat yourself to wines from their wine shop (available at the estate and online). For those wine enthusiasts wanting to know more, the KZN School of Wine offers a range of fun or serious wine courses at the estate to include vineyard and cellar tours as well as lunch. w w w. t h e M I D L A N D S ma g a z in e . c o . z a

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At Groundcover, we have your Christmas gift shopping covered. Gifts for men: What kind of men are on your list? Outdoorsy and rugged? Clean cut and office-ready? Whether you’re shopping for your husband, dad, brother, or friend, our shop has picks that are thoughtful and useful. Our men’s range includes our rough and ready outdoor boots, to our smart and casual shoes, and leather goods from an understated leather campus bag to a handcrafted leather briefcase in full-grain leather. Whatever his style, we have you covered. Gifts for women: This year, the best gifts for women are practical and functional, but special enough that she wouldn’t buy them for herself. Whether you’re shopping for your wife, mom, sister, or friend, she will love a thoughtful, well-made gift. From soft leather bags to beautifully handcrafted shoes to our colourful accessories, our gift guide for women is full of no-fail gift ideas for her. Visit us for all your Christmas shopping in our 100-year-old shop on the Currys Post Road, or visit our website for all our Christmas goodies.

Our Ultimate Stash Pouches are locally produced and handcrafted from the finest quality tanned genuine leathers. They are stitched to perfection, guaranteeing durability and functionality. They are designed to store your stash, tobacco, rolling papers, filters, scissors, lighter and other accessories. They also fit a full-size chillum, large vapes, and English pipes. With a full wrap-around zip opening the pouch up completely, quickly transforming into a large rolling surface that can be used either on a table or your lap. Available in several colours, The Ultimate Stash Pouches also feature two large storage compartments and a kingsize rolling paper holder. They retail at R395,00.

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"I need to find something different this year". That's where Jaspers comes in! Jaspers Tobacconist and Van Coller Cuts barbershop situated at The Rycroft centre, 56 Main Street Howick, offers a range of smoking accessories, Vape liquids and devices, CBD creams, oils and more! For Christmas 2021, we'll be putting together perfect gift packs that will be customized according to our customers’ requests. We take orders for custom rolling trays, ashtrays professionally cut and painted to your specs. Jaspers is owned by long time Howick local entrepreneur Scott Taylor Peek; after the success of his social media and marketing company and then his novelty brand "The Bad Badger", he decided to throw caution to the wind despite lockdown and Covid-19 and open his first retail store. Embracing Richard Branson’s philosophy of "Screw it, let's do it!".


Christmas time is fast approaching, and here at The Ellenbird, we feel as if all Santa’s elves are busy at work. Christmas is a time when the shop looks like Santa’s workshop – overflowing with thoughtfully and tastefully crafted sought-out gifts. The excitement is mounting as our 90 suppliers are already hard at work creating handmade gifts with love or locally sourced with pride. We provide a wide range of gift ideas, from stocking fillers, toys for boys, young and old, a beautiful gift for a special lady, and of course, the girls are spoiled for choice. We have gifts handcrafted from wood, knitted stitch by stitch, handwoven with care, and created from pure inspiration. There are some gifts to brighten up the day, some to spoil, to pamper, for the home, for fun, even for her and him, for me and you, and some just because. There is something for everyone. @TheEllenBird

Christmas is almost here! Inevitably that also means a sometimes frantic Christmas shopping experience! This year though, The Private Collection Interior Company can make that a much more pleasurable one for you. Based at The Old Mushroom Farm in Karkloof, you’ll find the most gorgeous range of personally curated gift items and enjoy a luxury shopping experience you won’t find anywhere else in the Midlands. Browsing through our Maison, you’ll find gorgeously heavy crystal and marble candle holders; artist-designed blankets, wraps, and scarves from an innovative South African design studio; luxury fragrance diffusers from France, the UK, and South Africa; a vast range of beautifully scented candles and fragrance oils from KZN and Cape Town; super-soft 100% Turkish cotton towels; beautiful scatter cushions in a range of both local and international Hertex fabrics handmade just for us by a top Durban design house, and the most beautiful lamps and pieces of furniture offering luxurious texture and layers for your home (or the lucky person you’re shopping for). We can courier to your door if you aren’t able to enjoy The Private Collection Interior Company shopping experience in person just yet. @theprivatecollectionic

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Pura Vida

Miss Molly’s Tasty Treats Miss Molly’s date balls are dainty mouthfuls of deliciousness and nutrition homemade with love in the Midlands! What started as a Covid-19 side-hustle has now become a labour of love. Using only the best quality ingredients and her Granny Molly’s farmstyle recipe, Miss Molly’s date balls are stocked at selected Midlands coffee shops, delis, and restaurants and is the perfect moreish snack to keep energy levels high this Festive Season! The ideal accompaniment to your favourite blend of tea or coffee or a healthy treat for the school lunch box. Retails from R30 per packet of six.

AROMATHERAPY ROSE GERANIUM HAND & BODY LOTION AND HAND & BODY WASH DUO - Massage a little of this light and creamy Hand & Body Lotion into your skin for all-over hydration and nourishment. This aromatherapy lotion will leave your skin soft, nourished, and beautifully fragranced. This silky lotion is mindfully blended with pure essential oils of balancing Rose Geranium, calming Chamomile, and relaxing Clary Sage, which will help to balance the emotions, alleviate stress, and calm the mind. Rose Geranium Aromatherapy Hand & Body wash is a delightfully fragranced organic hand and body wash that leaves your skin feeling cleansed and freshened. Fragranced with Rose Geranium essential oil to help find balance and calm. Everything you put onto your skin penetrates deep into your cells - why not apply something that heals and smells amazing! Free from damaging toxic products and full of skin-loving ingredients, which are kind to your skin and to the environment and are, of course, cruelty-free. This duo of natural Aromatherapy products will make the perfect gift for someone special.


Exquisite lingerie for all women as well as mastectomy wear. Fittings done at our premises in a private and positive environment. You will be treated with the respect and dignity you deserve,

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In 2019 Lydia was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. After this traumatic time, treatment and reconstruction, she realised the need for supportive underwear, not only for mastectomy patients, but for all women. Contact Lydia for all your bridal lingerie, mastectomy bras, specialized bras and everyday underwear.

specialising in perennials; shrubs; Fuchsias and flowering plants

083 384 2815 Open Monday - Friday 09h00 - 16h00 Saturday 09h00 - 13h00 and Sunday (Summer only) 09h00 - 12h00

Located in the lovely Hilton Quarry Centre, Jaxx Hilton offers an easy going, cosy atmosphere. Their breakfast, lunch & new pizza menu reflects the mix of the contemporary & traditional styles of the two new owners. Old favourites as well as new, trendy and delicious dishes are on offer.

HILTOn 033 343 2226

A regular customer describes the restaurant as “The perfect mix of classic & contemporary, with a twist here and there ”, With seasonal & local ingredients at the forefront of the Jaxx menu, helpful staff readily available & consistently good food, what is not to love?

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We’ve retaken to the countryside, but this time in search of places to stay for a weekend away or a holiday getaway that is perfect for you and your plus one. And yes, we mean for you and your pooch. Words aliCia du Plessis

clYdesdale coUntrY lodge Escape to the Midlands Countryside and enjoy a peaceful stay at our elegant country lodge, situated on the banks of the Lions River. There's no need to venture far; spend your days exploring our grounds, relax in your spacious room or suite, enjoy a braai and truly unwind. If you're looking to venture a little further, there's plenty to discover - from the Nelson Mandela monument and the full Midlands Meander experience. If staying in is the order of the day, pick up a book and sink into a sofa by the fire, play a gentle board game or take a walk along the riverbanks. If the grounds are calling, don some walking shoes and explore the acres of forests around us with your dogs, challenge your friends to a game of pool or sit in a deck chair with the sun on your face and a glass of Pimms in hand. The Trough is a spacious room, having large, fully opening doors affording a light and airy feel and providing stunning views across the lawns to the river beyond. Although quite sizable, little enclaves and cosy corners abound in this room, providing ample opportunity to sit with friends or family, to snuggle up with a good book, play board games, or just simply to soak up the tranquil atmosphere.

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There are eight suites and rooms here at Clydesdale, which are an irresistible fusion of the past and present. Every room is individually styled and designed so that no two are the same, with gorgeous soft furnishings, plump cushions, and quirky furniture. We provide flawless attention to detail and homely charm in bucket loads, as well as the most spectacular views over the Lions River. We have several well-trodden paths close by, as well as others slightly farther afield, but whichever you choose, walking enthusiasts or those who prefer a gentler and more relaxed walk are sure to find something to suit all abilities. To the West of the lodge, there is the stunning Inhlazane Mountain, and just north of the hotel is the less well-known but equally worthy, Kamberg, in which there a number of picturesque lakes and reservoirs can be found. Pooches are coming! Your four-legged friend will love our grounds and the Midlands countryside beyond, so why leave them at home? Our very own loving pets welcome well-behaved dogs.

trAvel FeAture

11 KarKlooF Is a rustic, pet-friendly farm stay located in the beautiful KZN Midlands, only 6.5 km from Howick. Set in prime farmland of the Karkloof valley, surrounded by stunning views, 11 Karkloof is the perfect choice for a relaxing getaway. Initially operating as a mushroom farm, the buildings have been transformed into unique self-catering units, which accommodate 51 people in the two houses, five cottages, and The Old Mushroom Farm Apartment. The cottages sleep four people, the Round House sleeps 12, the Falls House sleeps 15, and The Apartment sleeps four. Each unit is self-contained and fully furnished with 100% cotton linen and an equipped kitchen. The Old Mushroom Farm’s artisanal hub is located on the same property, and The Karkloof Farmer’s Market is next door. Restaurants, shopping centres, Karkloof Canopy tours, Karkloof Falls, the Karkloof Polo Club, and the Karkloof horse trails are all in close proximity making it an ideal destination for the whole family and people from all walks of life.

mission HoUse Welcome to Mission House - 360 (The House) because of the vast views, and 180 (The Cottage) for the same reason. We’re on the Curry's Post Road just 10 minutes out of Howick, a fast-growing midlands town we are really proud of. You’ll have to come and stay with us for us to share just why we think it's the best place. And best of all, we’re PET FRIENDLY here at Mission House! We look forward to the arrival of guests and, sometimes, even more so, your pets. We’ve had a few visits from Samson, the large furry black rabbit who, we’re sure, enjoys the excitement of a trip out of Durban and into the fresh countryside just as much as his fantastic humans. Moby, Mia, and Lauren came from Joburg and said: “@missionhouseaccommodation…was magical! “This little gem is my favourite place, and I cannot wait to go back” Mia, Moby, and I went on this adventure on our own, and we loved every single minute.

You have the entire place to yourself, a fenced-off garden around the house, and a MASSIVE field right outside your gate.” We thrive on making sure guests, and their pets are treated with the care and respect they deserve. Witnessing a dog experience a large open field, having come from the confines of suburbia, is pure joy. 360 is large, bright, and spacious and is situated on a ridge with magnificent views of the Drakensberg, the Karkloof Forest, and the midlands countryside. It accommodates 12 guests. It has DSTV and WI-FI, a fully equipped kitchen with a Nespresso coffee machine, and a laundry with a washing machine and dryer. There is a Weber for braaing, and an open fireplace in the lounge with some firewood provided. There is also underfloor heating and electric blankets on the beds for chilly nights.

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trAvel FeAture

Far aWaY place In the heart of the Midlands is a Far Away Place, and let us just say it goes without saying that they are pet friendly. With a handful of dachshunds, an SPCA special, a gigantic bird aviary, exotic ducks, and chickens, this tranquil spot will give you all the solitude and fresh air you need for a country getaway.

toilet, and basin. All beds feature 600 thread count Egyptian cotton linen.

You can enjoy lazy days in hammock chairs on the patio and get to know, Wimpy, Smooch, Chino, Peanut, Toffee, Jellybean & Lady.

The main bedroom has a queen-size bed with an en-suite bathroom, a loft bedroom with two single beds and an upstairs bedroom with a queen-size bed, toilet, and basin. Similar to Dashy Cottage, all beds feature 600 thread count Egyptian cotton linen.

There are two cottages to choose from, the Dashy Cottage, which was revamped in 2020, and the Nguni Cottage. Dashy Cottage is a 5-sleeper unit with views to forever down the Karkloof Valley. It has an open-plan kitchen, lounge, fireplace, braai, and an amazing patio with hammock chairs. There is a main bedroom with a queen-size bed, a loft bedroom with a double bed, and a single bed and bathroom with a shower,

Nguni Cottage also has views (to forever) down the Karkloof Valley. Careful attention has been paid to decor and finer details to make your stay a luxurious, comfortable one.

There are two dams on the property if you fancy some fishing or a swim. You can also take long walks or cycle your way through the countryside. There is also an airfield if you wish to fly in. It is the perfect spot for families, couples, serenity or adventure seekers.

caladdi Bed and BreaKFast So often, places are described as “pet friendly”, but Caladdi Bed and Breakfast has managed to even make the travelling pets feel welcome by giving all their furry guests a bacon titbit at breakfast. This award-winning establishment boasts eight tastefully decorated rooms, all en-suite with little bespoke touches like handmade soaps in the bathrooms and French press Manna Roastery coffee on their beverage trays in each room. They welcome all types of pets as long as they are house trained and socialized, as they will have to get along with Caladdi’s own menagerie. These include Holly and Storm, the two very welcoming Golden Retrievers, Bailey, the Belgian Shepherd, who is still learning to be a friendly host, and the two Jackie’s, Willow and Rosie, who kind of run the place. They also have four super friendly cats who will often walk into your room to get some love and a scratch but know they shouldn’t be there.

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If that’s not enough, there are a multitude of free-range chickens, bunnies, and of course Nova’s passion, her two thoroughbred horses, two robust little ponies, as well as her livery guest, Jude, who is owned and ridden by Sadie Bisset. All these beauties will also come up to the paddock fence for love, a pat, and some human attention, but be careful not to be beguiled by their pleading eyes for a carrot or two. Caladdi is perfect for an overnight stay, weekend getaway, or just a morning at the new onsite, N-Squared Garden Bakery. Prior arrangements do need to be made with Nova, however, as there are some “Pet Friendly” terms and conditions to consider, as well as a nominal nightly rate for your fur buddy. Conveniently situated on the R103 between Howick and Nottingham Road, this destination is suitable for all types of vehicles, motorbikes, and cycling enthusiasts. This is truly a place where good folk meet and tails are wagged.

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Beauty review

Visiting the Midlands always feels like a treat, let alone visiting a spa in the Midlands. Brahman Hills is all about transformative wellness in the Midlands and is one fine example of a tranquil space away from the hustle and bustle. Words Alicia du Plessis


n August of this year (2021), Brahman Hills Spa went under the new management of the Healing Earth Spa. It is situated right past the on-ramp into Nottingham Road. I had no problem finding it, nestled in its own countryside spot here in the Midlands. I visited the Healing Earth Spa to experience their Transformative Package, which included an hour-long body massage, half-hour foot or head massage, a facial, and a smoothie of your choice afterwards, and yes, it was quite a transformative experience. I was ushered into the changing room and given a snug towel gown and slippers to wear. Then I went through to a sitting area where I had a small cup of chamomile tea with honey, just to get me in the right mood to be able to leave behind the frazzled mind.

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I was in the “Revive” room, and as I lay on the massage bed, I could not help but worry if my car would be blown over by the wind, as ironically, the wind outside was on a mission of its own. I could not do anything but just enjoy the massage and feel the neglected knots on my back as Winnie, my wonderful masseuse, applied more pressure along that area to totally release all the tension. She also used hot stones, which felt amazing.

overlooking cows and buck in the distance, and then the Steaming Room for a few minutes - it really added the finishing touch. There are also two pools that need to be mentioned, of which one is heated. Afterwards, I enjoyed a delicious “Creamy Cacao” smoothie, made and presented with real care. (As a side-note: try the smoothie with coconut water if you are not too keen on alternative milk products).

It was an overall sensory experience because of the delicate aromas from the Heal and Repair African Potato Balm body butter and Marula and Neroli massage oil. All the products used were from the Healing Earth brand. I enjoyed the feel of them on my skin, especially for someone who has sensitive and dry skin. The facial cleansing gel and cream were not too harsh on my skin either. After my treatment, I sat in the Sauna

I read a quote in the changing room that said, “Life is about balance. You don’t always need to be getting stuff done. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back, and do nothing”. @HealingEarthAfrica @healingearthafrica

CREATING A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY FOR MOMS OF THE MIDLANDS. A strong support network is essential for a new Mom. I had the most incredible support right from the start, and this made a huge difference to my experience as a first-time Mom. In the midst of that joy, when you find out you are going to be a Mom, there are so many questions to be answered and decisions to be made. Which gynaecologist should I choose? Who can recommend a good paediatrician? What pre & postnatal support is available? Where can I access professional advice on child-rearing techniques and obtain notice on health & safety workshops, perhaps? How do I get access to eco-friendly kids’ products? Wouldn’t it be good to know which local coffee shops are child-friendly, what pampering options exist for Moms? ... the list is endless. On the 1st of May 2021, Moms of the Midlands launched an online directory to showcase local businesses, services, and parenting resources. An online platform created with everything you need as a Mom & Mom-to-be in the Midlands.

Are you training to become a Superhero? We are known for our high-intensity training. We have a great community, Pushing people way out of their comfort zones is what we are good at. We will transform you into a lean, mean, muscle machine. We offer personal coaching in a safe and vibrant environment where people celebrate ALL your successes! Our community eats healthy to fuel our bodies to push us even further, may it be with cardio, or with weights. If a class setting is too intimidating for you, then you can choose to do your own training programme in our open gym between 10 am and 2pm daily. The options are endless!

Made for Moms & Dads by a chef Mom. We source only the freshest, locally grown, produce from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands farming community – supporting local. Ingredients are seasonal - that means certain items will not be available year-round. Advanced, international equipment releases maximum nutrients and flavours. Our professional facility strictly follows all hygienic protocols. There are no added preservatives, salt, or sugar. Jackie Cameron Baby Food – prepared with integrity…

Do you have something to offer or share with our Moms? We would love to extend an invitation for you to be a part of our supportive community for Moms of the Midlands. Thank you to all our partners for your continued support.

Amanda x

Nestled in the leafy suburb of Hilton and set on a 11 hectare property, Cowan House Independent Preparatory School offers an educational experience which encourages self-belief, curiosity, and the unlocking of a child’s potential. Cowan House offers unique opportunities for both day scholars and boarders, in an environment which is both independent and co-educational. Co-educational Primary Schools allow for a family schooling experience, while developing important life skills. With a solid foundation of academic excellence, sporting opportunity and the exciting world of the Arts, Cowan House creates an environment for the important foundations of a Primary School Education as well as opportunity for our girls and boys to embrace our values of being themselves, being reasonable, being caring and being their best

Dr Kath Carr recently relocated with her family from Durban to the Midlands. After obtaining a diploma in Child Health during community service, she worked in the discipline of paediatrics for 3 years during. Kathryn has now been working as a generalist for 8 years. Her passion is paediatric work in the context of family medicine. A paediatric vaccination clinic is included in services offered. Kathryn wishes to provide compassionate and holistic care in a secure, comfortable environment.

My name is Relene and I have been an Accredited Beauty Aesthetician since 2017. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. I am a great believer in this quote, it is so powerful. The way your happiness shines after your treatment is what brings me the greatest satisfaction. Mom’s are always taking care of others, this is my message to you to remember to take care of yourself. My main focus, and the treatment I absolutely love, is classic/ hybrid eyelash extensions. Second in line is gel overlays. Let’s get creative together, test my skills. I love to explore with freehand nail art. It’s like painting but just on a teeny tiny canvas. Other services that I provide are pedicures, gel toes, waxing, RVB facials and massages. Come and Relax. Forget about everything but yourself!

Penny has a purpose built studio based in Howick, KZN. Her main focus is on Maternity, Newborn, Children and Family photography and offers her sessions in both her studio as well as outdoor lifestyle photoshoots at a location of your choice. With over thirteen years experience, having trained with international photographers, as well as being Mom to three beautiful children, she fully understands how best to work with children and always manages to capture images that will tell your personal story and that you will be proud to display on your walls.

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Come on put on your running shoes Words Maritsa Gouws Living in the Midlands provides the best routes and scenery for running. This morning at 5 am, I ran with a good friend of mine. Her husband normally joins us, but only if we promise him that it will be a low-intensity run and there will be coffee afterwards. He just isn’t a morning person. Full stop. On the days when he drags himself out of bed, he enjoys the run, and he is always high spirited at the end of it. Once you have decided that you can not be forced to get out of bed, it becomes easier and easier not to go. Getting up when it is dark outside is not easy. Putting on those running shoes, getting changed, filling up your water bottle when the whole house is still asleep is not easy. But there is something about not giving up. It makes you brave. It is the first step to a new healthier, happier you. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and deep fulfilment. The first week is always the hardest, but when you do it constantly, it becomes a way of life, and when you look again, your brain will automatically tell you to get up before the alarm clock does, you will break your “getting dressed“ record every morning. You all know the dedication it takes to get up and to achieve goals. You are not alone. You are with others who are also trying to sort out life’s issues in their minds whilst running. Your test will come. When it is raining or when it is the holiday season, and you get

the opportunity to sleep late, have a massive breakfast, laze around, do nothing but relax. The more you leave it and decide not to go out there and smash it, the harder it will be to get back into it. The holiday season is the time that you should actually push the hardest. Think about it. You will have more time to shower when you get back from your morning jog, more time to enjoy your coffee on the patio, more time to be mindful of what you eat and how you fuel your body. This is not just true for running, but with all training. The same rules apply. So next time you sleep late thinking you will start tomorrow, know that there are people out there who have just completed training. They are enjoying the sun on their face drinking a cup of coffee, and already have answers on how they will deal with the day and everything that life has to throw at them. Come on. Put on your shoes.

But there is something about not giving up. It makes you brave.

MARITSA is a happily married wife, a proud mom of two and a fabulous “Glamma” of one! She is a motivational speaker, mentor and owner of Super M Community Fitness.

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Free Screening Tests • Full Diagnostic testing • Hearing Aid Fittings • Free hearing aid cleaning • Registered with all medical aids • Home visits on appointment

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Are we an Entrepreneurship hub? Words Tim Johnson


ecently I’ve been thinking about Artisanal Entrepreneurs and why they seem to be choosing the Midlands to get started. So, what do I mean by an artisanal entrepreneur? Whilst it most certainly includes the baker, the butcher and the candlestick maker, a 21st

Century artisan also includes a digital designer or software developer, an online retailer, a manufacturer of a small but bespoke line of items, a consultant with a niche speciality and so on. Dare I say that even a highly skilled and specialised real estate practitioner fits into this category? Either way, it is increasingly clear that the future will see a resurgence of artisans as an economic force. Just think about the last time you genuinely promoted or waxed lyrical about an off the shelf, mass-produced product or cookiecutter, impersonal professional service? It is this innate need for us to be heard, recognised or to make a difference that provides artisans with the opportunity to succeed. Of course, the key is to be authentic, build meaningful personal relationships, understand your customers’ needs intimately, have a unique story or motivation, and connect. So why is the Midlands becoming a hot spot for many kinds of businesses and start-ups? In my view, a lot of it has got to do with the fact that entrepreneurs tend to be drawn to particular types of communities and locations, of which the Midlands happens to be a prime example. The first thing they look for is a place to set down roots. Whether you are setting up a consultancy or e-commerce enterprise that allows you to work from anywhere, or you’re trying to fulfil a particular local need that requires you to be present and well networked, the fact remains that if you can work in a place where you and your family can be happy, it makes the choice that much more simple.

We, therefore, find a mix of experienced and new entrepreneurs shifting their attention to our area because it is undoubtedly one of the most liveable destinations in the country. Another factor is that artisanal entrepreneurs look for a strong sense of community. In historically smaller, more close-knit towns, it is often easier to build relationships, share ideas, and establish an identity for you and your business. In the Midlands, whilst a portion of the population has been here for generations, the majority of the area is fairly new. It means that along with the deeply ingrained sense of community and a desire to protect our small-town values, it is this shared sense of starting fresh or looking to escape the rat race, which galvanises people. The community therefore celebrates and supports new businesses and entrepreneurs that are looking to add value and contribute towards a growing community. There has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to start a business. We certainly need more people contributing to the economy and creating employment, and we’ve got an environment as good as any in the world to make it happen.

It is increasingly clear that the future will see a resurgence of artisans as an economic force

TIM is a frustrated golfer, semi-fit mountain biker, excited Notties resident, pretty experienced marketing and real estate expert, and the MD of Local Real Estate.

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