• The Woodturners…

    Father and son team, John and Andrew Early have turned their obsession with the beauty of wood into award winning pieces, using only salvaged pieces of wood. Each bowl is turned from wet wood, left to dry for up to four years, then re-turned, sanded and waxed or oiled. “Pieces will continue to dry throughout their lifetime in a dynamic process that makes them ‘living' art works, says Andrew. Experience John and Andrew Early's beautiful wooden vessels and exclusive furniture, which is sought after by decorators around the globe, and which has earned them an Elle Decoration International Design Award and a Conde Nast House Style Award. 0723656270 www.andrewearly.co.za
  • Michael J Mawdsley Jnr

    Michael trained and worked as a goldsmith and jeweller for over 25 years before turning his mind and hands to sculpture - an almost inevitable move since at the core of all his work, the creative drive had always been the main motivation.

    The whole process of taking a basic idea through to a finished bronze requires the same creative drive and ability whether working as a creative goldsmith & jeweller or a sculptor and although Michael still produces jewellery, he finds the sheer physicality of the bronze art form more challenging and more satisfying.

    Michael’s sculptural work to date covers the triad of African Wildlife, the Human Form and the Local Flora. He has produced works from the very small, often to use as door knockers or business card holders, through to large, stand-alone works of art.

    If you are interested in commissioning a specific work, please either phone him on +27 (0)83 294 0107 to discuss.
    Michael John Mawdsley Jnr: http://www.vivavoce.co.za/

  • Rob Fowler at Corrie Lynn

    Corrie Lynn & Co. furniture has been in operation for more than 10 years. They specialise in custom-made furniture using a variety of different woods.

    Robin Fowler, a self-taught cabinet-maker has successfully been designing and manufacturing wooden furniture for a variety of clients all over South Africa. These clients include corporate businesses, game lodges, hotels, restaurants as well as individuals looking for something different.

    Robin has mentored and trained Corrie Lynn & Co staff to produce furniture from raw wood to the finished product. Staff member’s craftsmanship is recognised through labels attached to the individual pieces of furniture.

    Furniture Making Workshops
    Due to demand, Robin is now offering different courses in furniture making at his workshop at Corrie Lynn Farm in the beautiful Dargle Valley in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

    Courses have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 participants to allow for individual attention.

    The courses vary from a very basic level for first time furniture-makers to more advanced specific courses on joints and specialised machinery. The price of the course includes all materials, refreshments and lunches.

  • Lemonwood Facebook page

Current Rates at Lemonwood


If you hadn’t already seen our rates on the website we want to update you on our 2017 rates at Lemonwood. We pride ourselves on offering top quality accommodation at a reasonable and fair rate.

So book yourself a weekend away in one of our cottages and you’ll pay R410pp per night (Kids under 12 R325) or book out the main house with friends or family and you’ll pay R485pp per night (Kids under 12 R325).

All you have to bring is what you would like to eat and drink and coals etc. for the braai, everything else is provided. There is a minimum 2-night stay at the weekends in the cottages and the house is a minimum of 2 nights at any time.

All includes VAT

We’d love to welcome you to our little piece of heaven on earth. Email booking@lemonwood.co.za with the dates you’d like to visit and we’ll do the rest.


Our Veggie Garden

Lush, overgrown and green. We love our veggie garden. At Lemonwood we are all about going green. Clean eating, recycling, solar heating and life in the natural beauty.

Setting New Year Goals

I am not one for resolutions. They are daunting and often mean giving something up, and more than not they are not followed through. So what I have decided for 2017 is to set goals. Just a few goals I want to aspire to this year that will bring more joy and peace into my life.

What are your thoughts on setting some New Year Goals?


Get a pen and paper and start jotting down some ideas of what makes you happy. Mine include, getting away, spending time with friends, and having time for myself.

So now we take those ideas and turn them into goals.

In 2017 I want to… add your goals in.

Admittedly we live in one of the most beautiful countrysides in the world (yes we believe so) and so setting goals that bring peace is not difficult. Maybe you live in the busy city and need a break away. Come spend a retreat weekend at Lemonwood, take a walk through the forest, clear your head, relax with a G&T and our views, and start setting your 2017 goals.

You won’t regret it, and you’ll get home feeling like a brand new person. We look forward to having you so drop us a mail on booking@lemownood.co.za to make your reservation.

Have a look at our cottage rates here.

A Chocolate Cake Road Trip to the Midlands

There are many things that lure people to the Midlands. Sometimes, it is a longing for some quiet farmland surroundings, while other times it is the call of an action packed adventure. Or could it be as simple as the best chocolate covered waffle? Armed with a sweet tooth and a map, discover how many temptations are tucked away in the Midlands Meander. If you are driving to our Lemonwood Cottages from Durban or Johannesburg, here’s a list of the best confectionary pit stops.


#1 Wanda’s Cafe
Stop here for an amazing cup of coffee, brewed by the Barista ‘Wanda the Fish’, and a homemade biscuit or a slice of farm style lemon meringue

Yard41, 4 Shafton Road, Howick | 22 min from Lemonwood Cottages | 033 330 2673 | http://www.yard41.co.za/ | open Monday to Sunday from 6.30am until 3pm

#2 Florentines Belgian Chocolate shop
Imagine a classic and crispy waffle with Italian ice-cream and 70% dark chocolate sauce.. its a taste unlike anything! Or treat yourself to fresh strawberries dipped in a cup of white chocolate

R103, Howick | 20 min from Lemonwood Cottages | Open daily 8.30am – 5pm (except on Monday) | +27 33 330 4146 |

#3 Tasha’s Fudge
After studying at the Silverwood kitchens , Tasha Jardim took her grandmother’s fudge recipe and started this successful home grown business. You’ll love her ‘pick n mix’ jar of fudge with all sorts of crazy flavours such as red velvet, mince pie, French vanilla coffee, honey & Horlicks and cheesecake !

Shop 1, Jacaranda Centre, Hilton Avenue, Hilton | 27 min from Lemonwood Cottages | +27 (0)83 381 8483 | Email: tj@tashas-fudge.co.za | visit http://www.tashasfudge.co.za | Open Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 16:30

#4 Blueberry Cafe
As the name suggests, they have the best blueberry cheesecake (the berries are freshly picked!). Their restaurant is artistic, spacious and relaxing with large windows that look out over to the surrounding farmlands and the distant Drakensberg mountains

Netherwood Farm, R103, Nottingham Rd | 33 min from Lemonwood | Open everyday 8-4pm | +27 33 266 7132 | http://www.blueberrycafe.co.za | info@blueberrycafe.co.za

#5 The Sugar Shack and Chocolate Heaven
How divine does a handcrafted Belgian Chocolate fondu sound? We love this shop even more for the long list of health benefits that come from eating chocolate that they’ve put on their website. High quality dark chocolates has flavonoids and theobromine that help with immunity, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and even sun protection!

The Junction, Nottingham Road | 32 min from Lemonwood | Cell: +27 (0) 83 305 2273 | cynthia@traditionalsweets.co.za. | http://www.chocolateheaven.co.za

Midlands Meals Under R100

What you will soon discover, if you haven’t already, is that most restaurants in the Midlands are a part of a food culture that cares about the environment and our wellbeing. It is a place where you can go back to the simple pleasures of pasta or pizza, knowing that the meal is home baked from locally sourced ingredients. It was lunch time and we went in search of a light meal that was healthy, wholesome, organic and under R100. Here’s what we found…

#1 A wood fired pizza on a focaccia Base with mozzarella, caramelised red onion, camembert cheese & basil pesto

R90 at Il Postino Pizzeria. Dargle Road, Howick | 8 min (6.7 km) from Lemonwood Cottages I GPS: -29.475773, 30.104378 | Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 – 15:00, dinner Tuesday to Sunday, 18:00 – 21:00 | +27 (0)72 905 9390 ilpostino.pizzeria@gmail.com

#2 Balsamic Beetroot, Roast Tomato and Green Pepper Risotto

R75 at Granny Mouse I The Bistro Old Main Road, Balgowan | 19 min (18.0 km) from Lemonwood Cottages via R103 | Open daily, 07:00 – 21:00 | +27 (0)33 234 4071

#3 Fresh peppered goats’ cheese, a water biscuit and sweet fig preserve.

Fran, the owner of “Swissland Cheese” has a passion for sustainable farm life. In her small and cosy shop she has an impressive array of cheeses, all matured and cured in different ways. While you choose between a light, smooth creamed cheese or a matured Pecorino, they might encourage you to create your own picnic basket from their shop with fresh bread, olives, salami and a glass of wine.

Swissland Cheese Shop I Old Main Road, R103, Balgowan I 28 min (23.6 km) from Lemonwood cottages I Open:  Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, public holidays and school holidays from 9.00 am to 4.30pm. Closed:  Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, I 0824183440 I cheez@telkomsa.net I http://www.swisslandcheese.net

#4 Organic pomegranate, fresh tomato and rhubarb salad.

Michel and Sally Haigh are both artists and their quirky restaurant, Cafe Bloom, has a comfortable and friendly ambience. Their salads are seasonal as the produce is freshly picked from their vegetable garden.

Cafe Bloom. R103, Mooi River, South Africa I 34 min (36.1 km) from Lemonwood Cottages via R103 I 033 266 6118 I haigh@bundunet.com I Monday 7.30am to 4pm; Wednesday to Sunday 7.30 to 4pm

#5 Thai Salad with beef fillet strips marinated in honey, garlic, soy and ginger served on a bed of garden salad with sesame seeds and peanuts

R83.00 at Tumble Downs Café I Currys Post Road, Howick | 25 min (23.8 km) from Lemonwood Cottages via R103 I GPS: -29.420033, 30.197147 | Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 – 16:00, Thursday to Saturday, 11:00 – 18:30, and public holidays: 11:00 – 18:30 | +27 (0)82 802 2837 info@tumbledowns.co.za

Note: To give you the freshest option all menus are seasonal and the prices may change from the time of this blog post

Things to do with your family in the Midlands

School holidays are around the corner and there’s loads to look forward to in the Midlands this Summer! Here’s a preview of our top 5 activities for the whole family, especially for children!


#1 The Witness House and Garden show

Check out this event, featuring fantastic garden and floral art. There will be fashion, music, dancing, cheese and wine, dog shows and a kids’ zone complete with miniature gardening.

Venue: Royal Show Grounds, Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg | 33 min from Lemonwood Cottages | 23-25 September | R60/day for Adults, R40 for Children under 12; pre school children free | Tickets available from http://www.gardenshow.co.za

#2 Try “Horse Play”

A “Horse Play” session begins with instructions on how to build a relationship with your horse, so that it no longer sees you as a predator and becomes comfortable with you as a leader. At the end of the morning, you will be able to use your body language to instruct the horse to circle, stop or change direction.

Carl Bronner, the main facilitator, is passionate and gives practical advice. She is the mother of four beautiful, black Friesian horses, each weighing a powerful 750kg. Her sessions are a lovely activity for the whole family, especially for young children who are horse-lovers, and it is a great way to learn patience, trust and leadership skills.

Venue: Old Kilgobbin farm, Dargle Valley | 11 min from Lemonwood Cottages | Open 9am to 12.30pm | R500.00 per person | 082 807 7772 | http://www.horseplay.co.za | Email info@horseplay.co.za

#3 Fly a kite!

Access your inner child. There are some things that never grow stale, such as having a family picnic, flying a kite or going for a walk in the forest.

#4 Go for a hot air balloon ride

Go big or go home! If you’re feeling bold and adventurous, here’s a crazy suggestion! Try something that you have never done before. How breath-taking would the view of our beautiful country be from above? The hot air balloon leaves from the Midlands or the Drakensberg at sunrise and your ticket includes coffee and breakfast.

Hot Air Ballooning SA | +27 (0)83 446 9423 | info@hotairballooningsa.co.za | R2400 per adult and R1200 per child under 12 (5 – 8 people)


Image Credit | travelground.com

#5 Get creative with candles

There is much fun to be had for kids when they are making their own rainbow candles with colourful wax, paint, and glitter. The Piggly Wiggly Country Village is also a great place for lunch and has many other activities such as sand art, a miniature train ride and putt-putt.

Venue: Piggly Wiggly Country Village | 11 min from Lemonwood Cottages | Open daily, 09:00 – 17:00 | +27 (0)33 266 6980 | 084 381 8010 candles@candledippingshop.com | Website: https://candledippingshop.wordpress.com/contact-us/ | Candle dipping: R12 – R108 | Sand art: R20 per postcard

How exciting are all of these! Need accommodation while you’re up here? Email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za and stay in one of our cottages.

Hello Spring!

Oh what a beautiful morning… Oh what a beautiful day.

Hello Spring!

Spring in the Dargle Valley is just magical. Flowers are opening, the leaves are turning bright green in the forest around us. Waking up in the mornings with birds and butterflies all over the garden is the best way to start the day.

So now that we are in September reality kicks in that there are only 4 months left of this year. Say what!!! AND in that time we need to plan for December holidays. Whatever that looks like for you and wherever you are planning to go we are sure there is a little bit of pressure on you at this time of year.

Can’t get away too far, and looking for affordable accommodation during that time of the year is not always easy. That’s where the Midlands is the perfect spot to get away and take some time out. It’s not far from JHB or Durban and there is plenty of fun for the whole family.

Our self catering accommodation rates can be found on our website.

Take a look at our website and each cottage, and start planning your Midlands getaway for this December. Email Kate on booking@lemonwood.co.za with any questions you have and we so look forward to having you stay.

While you’re planning take a look at our blog post about things to do when you stay at Lemonwood – click here.

Yoga Retreats at Lemonwood

We have two more yoga retreat weekends coming up at Lemonwood this year! These weekends are a great opportunity to rest, meditate, reflect, and regroup.

yoga lemonwood

Google Image

Jennifer will guide you through the sessions and all the details you need to know are below. Contact her soon to book your spot. Get a group of friends together and join us amongst the forest fauna and flora of Lemonwood.

This is not advanced yoga. Beginners are welcome.

All accommodation, food and yoga at a cost of R1800 for the whole weekend.
Top class accommodation, welcoming hosts, excellent vegetarian food, and you can do yoga at your own level.

Teacher Jennifer Ingram who has been teaching for over 30 years and trained by YYI and by Kundalini Yoga International Institute will be leading each session.

To book email jeningram2710@gmail.com OR phone 0314623963.
The next weekend is 9th – 11th September then 11th-13th November.

Lemonwood Cottages Rates

We have four comfortable and peaceful cottages – Oribi, Samango, Serval and Dassie. We also rent out the main house (our family home) which was built for entertaining and is large and airy. The cottages sleep 4, 4, 3 and 2 people respectively and the house sleeps 8, although sofa beds and/or mattresses are available to extend all of this. It is also possible to rent out the whole place for much larger groups or family gatherings.

Lemonwood Cottages

Main House at Lemonwood

All bedrooms are en-suite and there are open fires, under-floor heating and electric blankets for the colder months. For the nights when you don’t want to sit outside and wonder at the unbelievable stars, there is DSTV and a DVD player and of course the sparkling, solar heated pool. I have many games which I am happy to lend and a large library of DVDs.

The kitchens are fully equipped and the cottages are serviced daily. (The main house can also be serviced by prior arrangement). A laundry service is available on request.

All the accommodation is very close to the bush and is secluded and safe. The dawn chorus will wake you in the mornings and if you are an early riser you may catch a glimpse of the spectacular Knysna Louries or Paradise Flycatchers on their early morning rounds.

Lemonwood Cottages

Samango Cottage

Lemonwood Cottages

Oribi Cottage

Lemonwood Cottages

Dassie Cottage

Lemonwood Cottages

Serval Cottage

The Self Catering Cottages are R385 pppn.
Children under 12 – R325 per night.

Main house R425 pppn.
The house is a minimum stay of 3 nights for 6 adults and 2 nights for 8 adults.
Children under 12 – R325 per night.

All you have to bring is what you would like to eat and drink and coals etc. for the braai, everything else is provided. There is a minimum 2 night stay at the weekends in the cottages and the house is a minimum of 2 nights at any time.

All includes VAT.

What’s happening in the Dargle Valley

Well what a week it has been in the Midlands, and the white frosty Dargle Valley. As you may have seen all over Facebook there was snow all over the place and with plummeting temperatures our fireplaces have been working overtime.

Snow Dargle

Image Credit | Jean Allen

Visitors have been flocking in to the area and it has been a fantastic and festive season that is for sure. With so many delightful restaurants, cafes and craft stores along the Meander it has made for a magical Winter wonderland experience.

However the snow does not last, and there are some other events coming up in the Dargle Valley to look forward to. Get those legs turning and enter the Marriott Dargle Trails Festival. There is a trail run, MTB ride, fun walk and more. All the details are in the image below and you can enter on the Roag website.

dargle trails

If you need accommodation for that weekend, stay with us! Email Kate on booking@lemonwood.co.za.

We look forward to having you to stay soon in our little piece of paradise, the Dargle Valley.

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  • Pet Friendly @ Lemonwood Farm…

    Bring your dogs on holiday with you to Lemonwood farm!

    Canine Guest Etiquette
    A guesthouse owner's list of dos and don'ts - by Elaine Hurford

    •When you arrive - PLEASE leave your dog/s in the car. Don't let them out on a stranger's property until the host has given you the go-ahead. The resident dogs might not like it. It's best to meet on neutral territory OUTSIDE the gate where they can sniff and get to know each other, and then bring them into the property together.
    •Close gates behind you at all times! This is absolutely vital both in town (traffic risks) and rural areas (there may be farm animals about).
    •Bring the lead! I can't believe how many people travel with no form of restraint for their dogs. It's plain stupid.
    •If you are asked to keep your dog on a lead outside the room or cottage, kindly adhere to this rule. If your dog chases and harms the resident cats or ducks for example, you will have a very unhappy host. Remember that in rural areas some farmers don't hesitate to shoot strange dogs on their property. Sheep and ostriches present wildly exotic scents to urban dogs, and you do not want to go home with a corpse.
    •Bring your own dog bedding AND a big old sheet to cover sofas, chairs, beds or other comfy and tempting places to sleep. The dog will feel more at home and the host will appreciate the fact that your pooch hasn't left hair or mud on the furniture.
    •Feed your dog out of doors or in the kitchen / bathroom, preferably on a piece of newspaper, and clean up afterwards. Pick up dog poos and dispose away from the premises in a knotted plastic bag.
    •Travel with your grooming tool to brush sand and mud out of doors. Don't let wet dogs into the house - you know very well how smelly a wet dog can be.
    •Bring favourite toys and chews with you. It makes the dog feel more secure and prevents furniture damage.
    •Ask ahead whether there is an enclosed garden or patio where you can safely leave them while you go out to a restaurant or shopping. (Some owners do not make this clear in their Pet Policy.) It's not always possible to take your dog everywhere with you, and you can't leave a large pup indoors to consume the furniture and carpets - even for a minute.
    •Check ahead that the local vet will be in residence - or consult your latest edition of The South African Pet-friendly Directory to find out where the nearest vet is. Many small towns don't have a vet. You don't want to be stuck in an emergency and your host won't want to tend to emergencies at night or after hours.
    •If your dogs are diggers, they are best left at home until you've cured them. One remedy is to bury a ball of chicken wire in the hole and cover it with sand, or bury the dog's own excrement in the hole and cover it. Both are unpleasant finds for the digging dog.
    •If your dogs are barkers (and most dogs will start protecting "their" new territory very quickly), keep them quiet until a respectable hour in the morning, and on weekend afternoons. Even if they don't bark at home, you never know what exciting stimuli might be on the other side of a new fence.
    •Please keep your dogs from jumping at the hosts' small children or grandchildren - and for that matter on the hosts themselves! Your dogs may be very sociable but a lavish display of affection from a strange dog may frighten small children.