Weekend getaway: Johannesburg to Parys

Inside the Plum Tree cafe, Parys


We have a house rule. The best weekend getaways are less than two hours away and involve no cellphone reception (it’s the one time I thank the networks for a job not well done – that doesn’t excuse the dead spots in Joburg’s “under-resourced suburbs” like Sandhurst, Dunkeld and Parkhurst where for around two to R20-million you can get a house but not an uninterrupted phone call. Funny that.) Okay, they also involve crisp white linen, large bath towels, warm weather, a natural wonder (in this case a World Heritage Site), a smidge of shopping, delicious food and great company (these all necessary, in no particular order).
Human Right’s Day weekend in Parys checked all the boxes.
Parys lies just over a 100km south-west of the city in the Free State, where the sky lets you know how vast it is. Continue reading

Cocktails at The Saxon

#69. Mix up a cocktail in Saxon-boutique-hotel-style, one of this city’s most luxurious and discreet hideouts. Once the home of Douw Steyn – and still owned by him – the Sandhurst residence was Nelson Mandela’s first home after he was released from prison in 1990 (It now has 4 presidential suites). It’s where he took time out to edit his master work “Long Walk to Freedom” and where, rumour has it, Oprah keeps an office when she visits South Africa to check in on her Leadership Academy for Girls. Continue reading