Set out for Balgowan hamlet, amid the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal, along the Midlands Meander route…
Here, you’ll find the delightful Gowan Valley Guest Farm and, not far away, a Swiss-style chalet surrounded by grazing goats – a setting reminiscent of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi – that is home to the Swissland Cheese creamery.
The Gowan Valley Guest Farm, set alongside a river and looking out over the nearby farmland, provides a peaceful retreat. There are a number of comfy accommodation options to choose from, all with a warm country-house feel.
We love the dedicated four-sleeper family room on the upper level of the Thatch House, decorated in neutral tones with cheerful tea-coloured pillows and throws.
Start your days with a hearty farm breakfast served in the River House dining room, where sunlight streams in through large open windows, and the gentle sound of water flowing past and birds chirruping create an uplifting atmosphere.
After a short but scenic 10-minute drive, you’ll arrive at the Swissland Cheese creamery. To sample an assortment of their flavourful goats’ cheeses, take a table in the loft Billies Bistro and order a cheeseboard to share. You’ll be treated to six varieties, including the award-winning ash-coated St Maure, alongside sweet and savoury accompaniments, like cold meats and fig preserve.
If it’s a sunny day, bring along a blanket, purchase a cheese variety pack from the shop downstairs and enjoy a picnic out on the lawns under the trees. Visiting with the family? Ask for a bag of pellets to feed the goats – children will delight in having these gentle creatures nibble out of their hands.
Claim your special offers
Quote ‘w&hGowanValley’ when making your reservation to receive a 10% discount on the booking rate. Valid until 31 January 2017; standard T&C’s apply. To book, email [email protected] or call 071 881 9333; see gowanvalley.co.za
Quote ‘w&hSwissland’ when visiting the Swissland Cheese shop to receive a 15% discount on one of their popular cheese variety packs – perfect for an impromptu picnic. Valid until 31 January 2017; standard T&C’s apply. To make a reservation, call 082 418 3440 or just pop in; see swisslandcheese.net