#20 – The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa, Drakensberg

March 2019

At last, we finally made it to the Drakensberg! A trip we planned for a couple of months and one that has certainly set the bar for us, when it comes to child friendly accommodation. Those of you that follow our Blog will know we arranged this trip for Xander’s 5th birthday, and it was one of the best celebrations and Getaways we have had to date!

We flew to Durban and drove about 3.5 hours to our destination, The Cavern Berg Resort & Spa, nestled in the foothills of Northern Drakensberg in the Amphitheatre World Heritage Site area. You will find a lot of Resorts and Hotels in this area, but after doing extensive research, I soon realized there were only a handful that catered for families with children to this extent. A playroom with nannies, separate kid friendly menus, daily children activities, pony rides and the list goes on! The Cavern is a family run and owned Resort, currently being run by the third generation in this family, with 75 years in total. It is at the Cavern where I could clearly distinguish and experience the difference between a family run Resort vs a corporate Hotel chain. There is just no comparison when it comes to the personalized service, attention to detail and flexibility (to suit your and your children’s needs).

We booked for six days in an inter-leading standard family room, that offers two bedrooms with one King size bed and three single beds. Spacious rooms with more than enough room to play, each with an on-suite bathroom (one with shower and one with bath). Our unit offered breathtaking views of the mountains, tennis courts, bowling lawn and horse stables. Behind us you could find the Resort’s Play Room and Child Dining area, literally a hop and a skip away. This proved to be the perfect location for us, as Xander and Zara was close enough to make their way there on their own, which meant my husband and I had ample free time to read a book or just relax on our patio. The Playroom Nannies have a dedicated daily kids-activity at 3pm, that Xander and Zara never missed! We visited during the Resort’s low season and it was without a doubt the best time to go for us. The Resort was quiet and serene and the weather was still perfect, about 25 degrees during the day. At night you might feel a few drops of rain on your skin, just before you then get spoiled by the sound of dramatic thunder echoing in the mountains. This was then followed by attention grabbing calls from the wild baboons, an experience we and the kids will never forget!

Our booking was made on a full board basis (excluding drinks), offering a well-organized meal schedule, with specific times set out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This eliminated a lot of the planning and stress that goes along with a holiday, so my husband and I were also able to put our feet up and relax with our children, without having to plan or prep any meals. Breakfast and dinner are ordered from a menu that is changed on a daily basis, with lunch offering a buffet consisting of delicious mains, salads and breads. I was extremely surprised by the quality of the food, expecting bulk foods such as pastas and lasagnas. On the contrary, it was gourmet meals that I would normally see to be served in a 5-star restaurant. Exceptionally creative, unbelievably delicious and visually very satisfying. Xander and Zara ate from the kiddie’s menu, that offered more child friendly options. They could dine in the Playroom under the supervision of dedicated Nanny’s, or they could dine with us. I don’t think it is necessary to confirm which option we went for! Having three daily breaks from the kids did wonders for my husband and I 😊. It really ensured we had valuable time to ourselves to have uninterrupted conversations, a rare commodity in our home! The Nanny’s are in fact available any time of the day, but babysitting in between meal times are then charged for. There were always fresh fruits available during each meal time, so I usually took an apple or banana for the kids, should they get hungry for a snack in-between.

We really tried do as much activities as we could, but there were just too many for us to get through in six days. The Resort caters for anybody and everybody, from active activities such as guided hikes (to see bushman paintings, age old rock carvings, animal spotting or waterfalls), horse riding and tennis, to more relaxed options like visiting the Forest Retreat Spa, pool area, playing board games or spending time in the reading room (where no children is allowed). There is also awesome mountain biking and running trails, for the really active families. The entertainment desk has a daily schedule listing and explaining all the activities for the day and week. This allows you to plan your stay, and to make the most of the time you have. You can also keep an eye on the yearly Activities Calendar that offers activities such as Birding & Nature weekends, Photographic workshops, Yoga Retreats, Nature Journaling, MTB & Trail Runs, Painting Workshops, Stargazing and many more.

Fondly known as ‘The Resort of many happy returns’, The Cavern is a place where families bond, friendships are formed and memories are made. It is a special, tucked-away romantic getaway for couples, a gentle place to find quiet and solitude, as well as a safe and child-friendly resort with a range of fun activities for families. A place I would hands down and without a doubt recommend to anybody, especially families with kids. Do yourself a favor to go through your calendar and book a stay for you and your family that you will remember forever. The Cavern has touched our hearts and will surely see us again, GKG approved!

For more information, contact:
Website: http://www.cavern.co.za
Telephone: 036 438 6270
Email: info@cavern.co.za

 

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#19 – Three Feathers Cottages, Langebaan

We were very excited about completing our year of Getaway Reviews at a special place on the West Coast, with grandpa by our side. Xander and Zara both have a very special place in their hearts for their one and only grandpa (as I sadly lost my dad in 2010), so they especially were looking forward to this weekend. We needed a place that will allow us to social together easily, but still give us our privacy when needed and this is exactly what Three Feathers Cottages offered us. Situated in a private nature reserve namely Oliphantskop Langebaan, Three Feathers Cottages overlook the Equestrian Estate Long Acres and northern side of Saldanha bay. The accommodation offers a laid-back country style atmosphere, with birds, horses and open spaces for hiking, walking and cycling. A quick drive will take you to the beach, Laguna Mall and Club Mykonos.

The Cottages are really beautifully decorated; light pastel colour schemes, with a modern and stylish finish. It really gave the Cottage a luxurious feel, and had everything we needed with top of the range kitchen necessities. The kitchen and living room are in one open-plan space, with the bedroom and on-suite right next door. Both areas are very specious, so for us as a family of four, this was perfect. The living room includes a sleeper couch and the bedroom offers a big double bed, with ample space for a camping cot or mattress on the floor for the kids. Our lovely host Babeta de Klerk offered us a COMFY(SAK), and boy was this a hit with Xander and Zara! I could not get them off this thing, asleep or awake – definitely a product I need to look into for our home. Lovely outdoor patio with built-in braai, overlooking a beautifully decorated and lit garden. A bit of a windy weekend, but luckily a well oriented patio that shelters you from the south easter. Oh, and let me not forget the chest of toys in the living room, so these hosts have got you covered!

Upon arrival Friday afternoon, we quickly settled in and started exploring. First stop, the horses! Literally a 10 second walk from our Cottage, the kids really loved having these animals so close to them all weekend. What a treat! As the sun went down, we lit our fire and relaxed as Xander and Zara played on the lawn in front of the Cottage. After a lovely braai and melted marshies on a stick, we were off to bed. 5 steps, and grandpa was in bed too! Saturday morning, the kids ran next door to wake up grandpa, as it was time to head to the beach. As the wind was still a bit strong, we rather opted for a stroll on the beach, before we headed off to Kokomo for lunch. Stunning beach-front restaurant with awesome seafood and kids play area. We headed back to our Cottage to put the kids down for their nap, and my husband and grandpa nipped away to Mykonos for some late afternoon entertainment. I love nothing better than a quiet 2hours to myself, so no complaining from me! We were sad as the sun set on our last night in Langebaan, but reflected on our weekend with another relaxing braai with fun and games on the lawn.

The next morning, we had some tea and rusks by the horses, because Xander and Zara had to tell them all about our weekend. And of course, to let them know we have to leave soon, but that they should not worry, as we will be back again! A promise I am happy to keep on their behalf, as Three Feathers Cottages is truly a secret hiding place on the West Coast. Comfortable and beautiful accommodation, that is kids friendly in all aspects of the word. For the purpose of this exercise, certainly GKG approved!

For more information, visit the details below:

Website: http://www.threefeathers.co.za
Cell: 083 541 0517

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GKG Product Review – BRUSH Salon

When my first child was born, it used to be a lot of fun taking him to a kids hair salon. But since then, the novelty has somewhat worn off for me, especially now that I have two little rascals running around!  It is for this reason that I have lately been on the lookout for a great salon, that is both great with kids, but also really meet the standards I have set when I must take a seat myself. A trip to a salon can be an expensive one, therefore if you are anything like me, you want all your boxes ticked, to get value for money and look like a princess afterwards. I was introduced to BRUSH by my sister-in-law Suzanne, somebody that always looks like a million bucks, so of course I agreed to give them a try. Xander was also due for a haircut, therefore I decided to tag him along.

The salon is conveniently situated close to my home, at Tygerwaterfront in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. It is run by Salome Zietsman, a beautiful lady that is not only an immensely talented hair dresser, but probably the best hair stylist I have ever met. A combination that is truly scarce these days. Her team consists of a group of enthusiastic hair professionals, that make it their mission to spoil and transform you. They carefully listen to your ideas and requests, whilst giving honest and informative feedback to ensure the best possible outcome. Another rare find for me, is a blow-dry champion. I have heard it all and received a lot of promises in the past, and still sometimes end up finishing the job myself at home. This really infuriates me! I have curly and frizzy hair and have realised over the years that when I find a blow-dry champion I must stick with them! If you share the same sentiment, write down these two names: Lenacia and Lee-Anne. It’s a pleasure!

Xander had an absolute blast! He was treated like a little prince and entertained by comic conversation and little toys by a bubbly lady called Janelle. His snip was quick an easy, which was such a relief. I have finally found my one-stop-shop, a place I can visit with or without my kids. So, there I was, with my list of boxes to be ticked, and here they are:

  • Waiting period very flexible – will always try and accommodate you
  • Very friendly and experienced staff
  • Wonderful with kids
  • Amazing head massage at the basin (yes, this is a box for me!)
  • Great refreshments that make you feel spoilt
  • Quality products used in store on available to buy
  • Reasonable prices and value for money

At the end of my visit, I realised what makes BRUSH so different from other salons. They don’t offer a service, they offer an experience. Something that goes beyond all the boxes you want ticked. It’s the feeling you have whilst you are treated like royalty during your visit and the indescribable confidence you get when you walk out the doors!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/tygerbrush/
Contact: 021 914 1179

 

GKG Product Review – Lancewood Spread Delight

If you have small kids like me, you will probably know that most of the time your little ones are fixated on a specific spread for their sandwiches. One that they want to eat day in and day out, with no negotiation! For Xander, that is Marmite. Sometimes peanut butter, but mostly Marmite. I have tried to switch things up and introduce new choices, but it always ends in a tantrum. It is for this reason that I am over the moon about the newly launched Lancewood Spread Delight…and what a delight it is!

I have tried three different flavours and they are all extremely tasty. They are:

  • Spread Delight Marmite
  • Spread Delight Chocolate
  • Spread Delight Plain

The Marmite flavour has been an absolute game changer in our house. It has pushed Xander out of his ‘marmite comfort zone’ and he loves this new spread on his lunchbox sarmies! Zara is lover of Nutella toast, so anything chocolate gets a thumbs up from her. I on the other hand have always been a cream cheese lover, so I basically dish up dollops of this one on basically everything I eat! It is packaged in a flat container, resembling a small margarine tub and has truly become a go-to item on my grocery list.

I’ve also been following Lancewood on social media, and they have been posting the most decadent baking recipes, using this new spread. It will make your mouth water every time. My next one to try is their Chocolate Banana Cupcakes, using the Chocolate Spread Delight and an easy frosting alternative. Does that sound decadent or what!?

For more information, visit their website below:

Website: www.lancewood.co.za
Contact: 021 492 3973

 

 

GKG Product Review – Mally Leather Bags

For the last couple of months, I have been shopping around for a new baby bag, as well as a handbag. I ideally wanted both items to be made of genuine leather, but as you can imagine that would have been a costly purchase! Therefore, I decided to put all my efforts into finding a baby bag that is not too big, so that it can transition into a handbag when I eventually ditch the nappies and baby bottles! One that is functional and spacious for now, but also trendy and of good quality. I looked at every type of baby and nappy bag on the market, even business bags and camera bags. Finally, I found the perfect one. A bag that make heads turn and my heart sing!

Mally Leather Bags is a very proudly South African, online leather bags company. They focus on offering leather goods that are both understated, and functional. While taking trends into careful and creative consideration, they keep design simple, and they’re led by an appreciation for utility and longevity. All of their bags are made with 100% bovine, African leather and all elements are sourced locally. The bag I chose is called the Beula Baby Bag and is especially unique, because it was designed by a parent, for parents! They understand what it’s like to need to have more than two hands at once, and so this bag was created with plenty of space for every possible bottle, accessory or essential item needed throughout the day. It has 3 inside bottle holders, 2 outer bottle holders, a dummy and car key clip, a zipped inner pocket, a cell phone and money pocket, as well as an outer front pocket with more space. The Beula can also be used as a laptop, handbag or camera bag, it’s a multifunctional bag – therefore the perfect bag to transition into whatever you need it for!

Needless to say, I take my Beula Bag everywhere! When I’m out with Xander and Zara, or shopping on my own. Traveling for the day or attending a business meeting. It is honestly the most versatile and luxurious bag I have ever owned, I absolutely love it!

For more information, visit their website below. Delivery is free of charge and the bag comes in brown, toffee (mine), tan and black.

Website: www.mally.co.za
Contact: 082 218 6956

 

 

#18 Gourikwa Reserve – Gourits

August 2018

For our 18th Great Kids Getaway, we decided to take leave on the Friday and make a long weekend of it, as it was also my husband’s birthday. We hit the road during Zara’s afternoon nap, because we all know one sleeping child is better than none! Also, seeing that this would be a lengthy 4-hour drive to Gourits, we did not want to only get going after work.

Gourikwa Reserve is one of the most unique private reserves along the South African coast, with 5km of pristine coastline and a rich variety of indigenous fauna and flora. Previously known as Reins Reserve, they have reverted to the original “Gourikwa” and have made major upgrades to the reserve. Amongst the upcoming changes will be an awesome putt-putt course and touch farm that will be added by the end of the year (2018). Located in the heart of the scenic Garden Route, the 2000ha reserve is nestled between Mossel Bay and Stilbaai. The Reserve is also a beautiful venue for weddings, offering a chapel, wedding arch and pool house with a bar.

When I’m away, I like nothing more than hearing the ocean and the breaking of the waves on the shore. It is the most hypnotic and relaxing sound, along with the sound of rain and thunder. This was exactly what we got, as the Cottages are all less than 100m from the shore break, making every morning a unique experience. There are a total of 6 deluxe Cottages all fully equipped with a kitchenette, built-in braai and very spacious rooms. Five of the Cottages have double rooms that sleeps 4 people and one unit sleeps 2. All rooms have their own bathroom and Wifi and DSTV are also provided in each Cottage.

We spent our weekend walking the stunning nature hiking trails, as we explored the Reserve in all its glory, zebras and all! The shore on the Reserve is not a sandy beach, but rather a rocky area that meets with the ocean. This was however perfect for Xander and Zara, as they spent most of their Saturday and Sunday playing ‘catch and release’ with crabs, little fish and sea creatures! I sometimes find a rocky area like this to be more entertaining for little kids, as there are just so many things to see and learn! If you are however longing for a beautiful sandy beach stroll, make your way to Gouritsmond beach, situated in the hearth of the classic coastal village. Gourits offers moderate weather conditions throughout the year, but the summer seasons have this seaside village come alive with over 150 000 beach lovers at a time from all around the globe to soak up the sun in this beautifully kept village.

Evenings were made of cosy braais overlooking the waves and ocean, whilst simultaneously listening to the crackling of our fire and the hymn of the sea. This Getaway was absolute food for the soul and we returned with fully recharged batteries, GKG approved!

Visit their website for more information.

Website: https://gourikwa.co.za/
Tel: 087 702 9126

GKG Product Review – Little Fox Co

Being the mommy of a pigeon pair has really given me access to the most adorable baby and toddler clothing in South Africa. It allows me to buy for both genders, and being a supporter of locally made items, I just love finding new brands that offer something different to the mainstream brands on the market. I recently stumbled across a brand that caught my eye when I saw they make t-shirt pairs for kids and mommies, how awesome! When I took a closer look, I was delighted to see the design of these t-shirt pairs are not kitsch, but rather plain and simple. Something I would undoubtedly wear. I delved a little deeper so see what else they have to offer, and I am glad I did!

From leather booties to adorable headbands, babygrows and even unique items such as letter blocks. It was a pleasure to find another proudly South African brand with such unique products. Little Fox Co. clothing is made to the finest detail from locally sourced material. Every little thought and thorough planning goes into the style and pattern, resulting in a fashionable and high-quality product, designed by mommies, for mommies.

Little Fox Co comes as a spin-off from these two sisters’ first successful brand Little Woodpecker that offer laser cut Baby/Home/Wedding Décor, clothing branding and personal laser engraved elements. Another one-stop-shop which is perfect for anybody, especially our full time working mommies!

For more information, visit their Facebook Page below.

https://www.facebook.com/Little-Fox-Co-967966340071206/?ref=br_rs
https://www.facebook.com/littlewoodpeckeryouquotewecut/