Cranford Country Lodge
The year is 2021, we’re fighting a pandemic and the hospitality industry in South Africa is on its knees.
Yes, it sounds like an intro to one of those end-of-the-world horrors/dramas. You expect to hear dramatic music, the opening scene showing desolate wastelands…okay, we’re getting a touch dramatic here but, the hospitality industry is taking a massive knock in South Africa at this time and it can feel quite ‘end-of-the-world’ lately. But, and there is a but….
…we seemed to have tried booking when every single bride and groom in KwaZulu-Natal who had to postpone their wedding since March 2020 was now having their wedding…on this very weekend. Every. Single. Wedding. ON THIS WEEKEND!
We tried booking at Stardam Estate. Fully booked. We tried Brahman Hills. Fully booked. We tried Old Halliwell Country Lodge. Fully booked. The chorus? “Sorry, we’re fully booked for a wedding or, there is a wedding nearby and wedding guests have booked us out.” Okay, okay, I’m going to make this happen. I’m not a quitter! What’s the best way to find out about hidden spots nearby that may have availability? You ask for recommendations! I telephoned Old Halliwell again and asked to speak to Joe Seegers who has been one of the most gracious hosts we’ve had in the past and asked if he could recommend anywhere close by that may have availability. He gave us a list but said “try Cranford Country Lodge first.”
Cranford Country Lodge Booking
Some googling was done before contacting Cranford Country Lodge and it looked to be a beautiful place offering freshwater fishing. The man was going to be happy. We telephoned through and quickly received an email confirming our booking and had some questions answered such as “what type of fish can be caught there?” The man was being a pest. It’s bass fishing in case you’re wondering. We had telephoned on the day that we wanted to check-in so, as soon as we received that booking confirmation from Cranford Country Lodge, bags were thrown into the Landy and we put foot. We’ve mastered the skill of smart packing and can be ready to hit the road in less than five minutes sans toothpaste, chargers etc.
Road to the Cranford Country Lodge
… so onto Cranford country Lodge we go … It’s a fairly easy drive from Durban as the road is mostly tarred and with a large chunk of your travel being on the highway we made it in one hour and 30 minutes. We drove through Howick (had to stock up on some wine) and our GPS lead us the rest of the way on Curry’s Post Road. Make some time to explore the area if possible as you have some interesting stops along the way such as Heavenly Hammocks, Tumble Downs which offers an excellent menu, Groundcover Leather and, for the coffee fans like us there’s Terbodore Coffee Roasters.
Now we’re here…
The first sight that greets you as you drive into Cranford Country Lodge are these beautifully patterned horses. I had never seen such markings before and although I’m a bit wary of horses (they are big and scary in my view) I was curious as to why there were so many of them and if they were a bit of a mishmash in terms of breed or if this was a specific breed. Driving through the gates we were greeted by our hostess who was suddenly barraged with a million and one questions about the horses. We were fascinated by the replies and after a short conversation were directed to our cottage that we were booked in for the weekend. The Butterfly Cottage.
The cottage caters for 5 guests with a double bed in one room overlooking the expansive lawns and another bedroom in the back with three single beds. The cottage is well appointed and offers everything you need for a self-catering weekend away. Our cottage had it’s own private garden area with a braai adjacent to the kitchen which was were we spent our evenings protected from the elements as it is surrounded by dense shrubbery. It is very private and you forget that not too far away there are other guests staying. We didn’t make any noise. Promise.
I was left to unpack as weirdly enough I quite enjoy nesting (this often coupled with a glass of wine). The men headed out to try their luck at bass fishing and by the time they returned, me two glasses in, there were stories of success. They had caught three bass in the short amount of time it took me to sip my sav blanc with pleasure (Please note that at the time of writing this post, alcohol sales are banned in South Africa and a glass of wine would be heavenly right now)!
A successful day for the men, a beautiful setting for all of us and…the fire is started and we relax.
Day 2 at the Cranford Country Lodge
We sadly did not get to stay the entire weekend as had to go into Howick to see a relative who was not doing well but, made the most of the time that we did have there.
An early breakfast of bacon and eggs was followed by a walk around the grounds to work off the breakfast. The men went fishing which the young man quickly tired of and went on his own mission towards the horses. They were extremely gentle but I was still keeping a fence between us and them. Afterwards, It was back to camp, pack up and head to Howick but, we made ourselves a promise that we would definitely return as the fishing is excellent, the scenery spectacular and the history of the area fascinating.
It is no wonder that this is a favorite venue of brides and general visitors as well. The beauty of the area is captivating and there is a hum of romance in the air with a sense of old-world charm.
Cranford Country Lodge…we will be back and this time we’re staying the entire weekend!
For those curious about the horse breed, they are known as Appaloosas. But, don’t take our word for it…go on, hit google, hit book, and have the best holiday ever!
Cranford Country Lodge RATING: 10 out of 10
Rich in History
Well stocked bass dams
DSTV Hotel Bouquet for those not wanting to miss the sport
Self-catering with a well-appointed kitchen
Coffee and tea supplied but bring your own filter coffee as they do have a plunger
Tennis court on grounds
Salt Water Swimming pool on grounds
The Midlands Meander
None that we can think of
Telephone: 082 556 6748
Tours and Educational talks