• 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.

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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

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.

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.

Visit the NEW Farmer’s Daughter

The Farmer’s Daughter used to be located on the R103 next door to the Belgian Chocolate shop, however these lovely lasses took note of the sensational new development, Yard 41, and have moved to 4 Shafton Road, Howick.

Serving up their farm fresh menu as usual, just in a beautifully new and unique setting.


Their restaurant now looks out over this spectacular view!


The Farmer’s Daughter also cater for events and weddings, and Jen’s cakes are STUNNING! Get in touch with them on their Facebook page, where you can also find more details.

There is a great event happening at The Farmer’s Daughter in August, so for all those art and photography lovers take a look.

Art by the fire

School holiday fun in the Midlands

School holidays are around the corner and we bet you’ll want to get out the house with the kids. The great thing about the Midlands is that there is plenty of great accommodation or if you live in PMB or Durban it’s an easy day trip.


Our cottages are in the Dargle Valley and are also pet-friendly so you can bring the whole family when you stay with us. Spend a long weekend or a week holiday with us and your kids will have SO much to do in the area. Here are some ideas…

Hiking in the Lemonwood Forest

Candle Dipping at Piggly Wiggly

Mini put-put at Piggly Wiggly

Chocolate making at the Belgian Chocolate Shop

Canopy Tours in the Karkloof

Mountain Biking in the Karkloof

Horse Riding in Nottingham Road

If the weather is cold we also have a variety of DVDs you can watch in your cottage, while the fire blazes.

Email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za if you’d like to take some time out and spend a few nights in our cottages.


Loving the chilly Winter weather

Winter is indeed on it’s way and these three pictures sum up just why we LOVE the chilly Winter weather in the Midlands.

Break out the Winter coats!


It’s not often in KZN that we get to adorn our warmest coats, BUT as Winter sets in in the KZN Midlands a Winter coat is a saving grace. Our best days are when the sun is out and we meander the twists the turns of the Dargle Valley, stopping off for a picnic by a dam or a cup of coffee at a coffee shop. It’s the best way to spend a Winter’s day.

Stock the fireplaces!


Each of our cottages is fitted with a working fireplace and we replace/replenish the wood supply daily so you will be sure to arrive home to fresh wood ready to be lit. Snuggling up by the fireplace as it heats your cottage up, is one of the best family memory making experiences in Winter.



Of course the best way to warm up on a Winter morning is with a tasty cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Our personal favourite is a coffee from either Terbodore Coffee Roasters or Steam Punk Coffee (both Midlands based coffee roasters/cafes). Make sure you pack your warm drinks before you set off for a Midlands visit in Winter.

What’s your favourite thing about visiting the Midlands in Winter?

If you are looking for a place to stay, whether for a weekend or longer, you can email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za and we’ll let you know what dates are available. Take a look at our website with a full gallery of images for each of our cottages and the main house (which we also rent out). You’ll find that link here.

We hope to see you soon! Have a super day ahead.

5 reasons why getting away is good for your body and soul

Yes it’s true, there are real benefits to getting away for a weekend or a few days. Not just for your general morale, but for your overall body and soul. We love that Lemonwood is a place for many people to retreat to. A haven of peace where one can just enjoy the nature around them.

Lemonwood Cottages are surrounded by forest and the Dargle hills, where birds are chirping and traffic is a far cry away. Getting away for a weekend is easy as we are located on the Midlands Meander, and just a few kms off the R103.

Here are 5 reasons why getting away is good for your body and soul.

1: You have every reason to sleep

Sleep is so important for our bodies. Sleep allows our brains and immune systems to catch up and be replenished. Sleep allows your brain to take time out to make sense of everything that has happened over the day/weeks and with enough sleep you can wake up with clarity of mind and soul. Getting away for a weekend may be just the way you can get in those extra zzzz’s.

2: Experiencing a change of scenery

We’ve all heard the saying “a change is as good as a holiday” well combine change and holiday and you’ll feel like a new person. We speak to so many people who say they just needed to get out the city for a few nights to gather themselves. Sitting out on the porch of your cottage, ponder overing the infinite view towards the Drakensberg does wonders for your body and soul. These images of peace and beauty release endorphins into our minds which aid in feelings of joy and calm. A calm mind equals a calm body.

3: Get active

Getting away sometimes means getting active. Walking, hiking, day trips around the meander. All these activities are stimuli for our brains, which produce positive and constructive pathways. This inevitably leads to a more positive outlook on life which influences every day we live. A morning walk through the Lemonwood forest may be just what you need to feel alive and active again.

4: The importance of alone time

Everyone is unique, and with the constant barrage of comparison in today’s society sometimes it is vital that we get away for some alone time. Alone time allows one to connect internally with their emotions and state of being. Pack a journal, your book, or your ipod with your favourite music and get away by yourself for a few days. Get to know yourself again and enjoy every moment of your ‘me-time’ as you are reminded of the amazing person you are.

5: The value of family time 

On the flip side taking time out with friends and family is also a big part of what our bodies and souls need. Your kids may be needing quality time with you and a weekend away in the Midlands may be just the thing you need. Been working nights for the past few months, plan a weekend away with mates where you can reconnect and laugh together around a braai. It’s moments like these that remind our minds that we value ourselves. Making time for these getaways will naturally improve your well-being and sustain your body and soul longer.

These are just a few reasons why getting away is so important for us as human beings. Pick one or all and treat yourself to some time out. If it’s not in the Midlands, then anywhere you desire. However if the Midlands sounds like a good idea, drop us a mail to book a cottage at Lemonwood.

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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.