• 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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Yoga retreat with Lauren Pinnoy

yoga retreat

We are so excited to be hosting Lauren Pinnoy for a weekend of yoga at Lemonwood. This retreat will be a great way to destress and reenergise for the months to come.

The programme includes yoga, meditation, and forest hikes to reconnect with your body, mind and nature.

Here is all the info from their Facebook event which you can find here.

Date: from Friday 22 July, anytime after 2, until Sun 22 May (late arrival or early departure is no problem)

Activities: yoga (mornings before breakfast, evenings before dinner), hiking (will be optional at anytime but will be encouraged after all yoga sessions), meditation included in yoga session, time to explore the Midlands meander.

Price: 3200 ZAR pp sharing (includes all meals, (optional extra for saturday lunch) two nights accommodation, yoga, forest hiking, fresh blended juices.)

Early Bird Special: 2900 ZAR (book and pay before 27 May 16)

Book: e-mail lcpinnoy@gmail.com for details or booking

Food: vegetarian (please mention any allergies when booking)

Additional dates:
12 August
29 October

Accommodation: there is space for maximum 20 people. 2 people sharing a room with ensuite.
Option of own room: R1000 extra

If this sounds like something you don’t want to miss then make sure you take advantage of the early bird rate and we’ll see you in July!


Run, walk or hike through the Lemonwood Forest

The magnificent forest surrounding us is the ideal setting for a run, walk or hike. Meander through the trees, spotting birds and animals, or set the pace for a good jog in the cool of the shade.


If you’re looking for more of an adventure you can hike through forest and when you reach the top enjoy the amazing views towards the Drakensberg and surrounding valleys.

If you’d like to join us for a guided walk please let us know when you make your booking and we can arrange a time and day.

Over 200 species of birds have been recorded on the farm. The Knysna Lourie is a permanent resident. We also have the Cape Parrot, Narina trogon and Martial Eagle. The shy Samango monkey can be heard and often seen in the canopy around the cottages or stealing fruit from the abundant garden. You may go to sleep (or not) to the alarming and hysterical shriek of the Tree Dassie. Reedbuck and bushbuck are often seen. We have also seen a 45 strong herd of Blesbok and a group of the rare Oribi on the top veldt. The serval cat is also often seen strolling around the farm.

Lemonwood Forest

Many of these can be spotted on your walk, run or hike, so get in touch with us and start planning your next Midlands getaway. We’d love to have you to stay.

Email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za.

How to spend a rainy day in the Midlands

The Midlands can be a beautifully mystical kingdom, as the mist settles in and the rain falls to the earth. Days like these are just beautiful for those who want to stay indoors and those more adventurous outdoors folk.


Don’t let the rain ruin your plans. There are plenty of places to visit even on a rainy day in the Midlands.

Start your day off with a warm, hearty breakfast at Piggly Wiggly. Their cappuccinos are great and they have a cosy inside area to sit and relax in.

Meander along and be sure to stop in at Groundcover for those wooly sheep skin slippers to keep your feet warm at night. Tea and scones next to the fire at Fordoun is a lovely way to spend a rainy day, or maybe you’d rather enjoy the misty view from Blueberry Cafe, while nibbling on a delectable piece of cheesecake.

If you are need of a good pamper session then check into Brookdale Health Hydro for a day of relaxation, massages and other therapies. You may even fall asleep to the peaceful rain falling outside.

End your day with a pub meal at Rawdons Pub or a pizza at Il Postino, before heading back to the warmth of your cottage at Lemonwood.

Cosy up in bed, or next to the fireplace, with a good book or a cup of tea to end the day.

Sound like a perfect day to me!

Seasons in the KZN Midlands

The KZN Midlands is stunning all year round. The seasons are absolutely spectacular and in Autumn or Spring you can experience all the seasons in one day.

Here is a quick outline of what to expect, by season, in the KZN Midlands. We hope it will make your planning a bit easier and when you’re ready email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za to stay in one of our cottages or the main house on our property.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 12.15.14 PM

Summer (November – March)

  • Summer in the Midlands is the perfect mix of hot days, cooling down as the sun lowers. You can spend the whole day in the pool and at night you can sit on your veranda with a chilled glass of wine refreshed and relaxed. Humidity is not a problem and the breeze through your windows at night will keep you sleeping peacefully. The countryside in Summer is lush green and lit up by sunshine.
  • What to pack: summer clothing, costumes, slops, walking shoes, and a pair of jeans and cardigan should you wish to go out for a meal.

Autumn (April – May)

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 12.15.45 PM

  • It’s hard to beat this season in the KZN Midlands. Autumn is spectacular! The trees turn from green to yellow to orange, then red and brown. It is one of the most beautiful sights when spending a day along the meander. Autumn days are warm and the evenings cool down to light jersey weather. The changing sky colour in the early evening along with the colour of the trees is absolutely picturesque.
  • What to pack: shorts, shirts, dresses, long pants, jerseys, waking shoes.

Winter (June-August)

  • Winters in the Midlands are on the chilly side. Each of our cottages are fitted with a fireplace so after a day out you can cosy up on the couch with a blazing fire keeping you warm. The days can be rainy and misty which adds to the magic of the Midlands, and there are so many divine stops on the Midlands for warm cocoa or a good cup of coffee. The past few years there has been snow all over the mountains which makes your drive into the KZN Midlands most enjoyable.
  • What to pack: warm clothes, closed shoes, scarves, winter pjs.

Spring (September – October)

  • If you love the outdoors then come stay in the Midlands during this season. The trees are bursting with colour, flowers are opening, birds are everywhere and the forest is a crisp cool in the mornings. Spring is still cool so no humidity problems and there are a number of open gardens you can visit in the Midlands or just enjoy being in our space, surrounded by lush forest.
  • What to pack: still warm clothes, but if the days are sunny a summer top is a good idea.

We hope this helps give you a better idea of the seasons in the KZN Midlands. Like we said, drop us a mail to book some time out. All you need to know about our accommodation can be found on our website here.

We hope to see you very soon.


Things to do at Lemonwood Cottages

On our website we’ve told you what you can do and what attractions to see around the Midlands Meander, now we want to share some inside info on things to do at Lemonwood Cottages.

Lemonwood farm

Our cottages are secluded, quiet and the perfect getaway for a weekend or week break. Here are some things we recommend you do while staying with us.

Put your feet up with a good book: the view from Serval Cottage, while lying on your bed, will leave you immediately relaxed.

Take a walk through the forest: pack your walking shoes and meander through the natural forest surrounding us. There are over 200 species of bird to spot and a large variety of indigenous plants and tree along the walk.

Relax by the pool: on a hot day the pool will be just where you want to be. Oribi Cottage is right above the pool so take a dip in the pool between meals and naps.

Walk your dogs around the farm: we are a pet friendly farm and love it when we see guests walking around with their animals.

Watch a feel good movie: the main house is stocked with DVDs for those rainy days on the couch. If you are staying in the cottage you can still request movies from the house at any time.

Challenge your kids to a game of pool: we just replaced our pool table outside the main house so come on over and have some fun with the family.

Braai with friends: late afternoons at Lemonwood are unwinding time. Light a braai, sit outside with friends and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

Right so it’s time to book your next visit? Email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za.

If you’ve stayed with us before tell us, in the comments below ,what your favourite thing to do at Lemonwood is.


Surviving the Christmas heat

Unlike the music and pop culture of today say, our Christmas time is HOT! There is no snow and eggnog, no sleigh rides or hot chocolate. We’re all about sunshine, SPF, and ice water.


So here are a few tip to surviving the Christmas heat.

  1. Keep a water bottle at your side : Water is so necessary to replenish our bodies. As we sweat (which we do a lot of in this heat) we need to replace that lost water to our bodies. This will prevent dehydration and even heat stroke.
  2. Leave the house with sunblock on and pack it in your bag : the sun is harsh at this time of year and when you’re visiting the Midlands and walking around you are in direct sunlight. Reapplying sunblock throughout the day will make sure you don’t burn.
  3. Stock the fridge with fresh fruit : watermelon, strawberries, and litchis are the best fruit for those hot summer days. They are packed with juice and you can even leave them in the freezer a bit for a little extra cold crunch.
  4. Pool, beach, shower : scrap the movie nights and indoor lunches. Take your party outside to the pool or beach… and if you don’t have either near you, jump in a cold shower to cool off!

We love Summer and the Midlands is such a great place to be at this time of year. Midmar Dam is full of activities, and the riversides are buzzing with fisherman and their kids.

Christmas time is all about community and we are so grateful for the community growing around us all the time.

Make a plan to visit our part of the world and stay in one of our cottages in the Dargle Valley. We’ll point you in the right direction of where to go and what to see during your visit.

Email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za.

Until next time, have a HAPPY HOLIDAY!

Markets on the Midlands Meander

The Midlands Meander is the best place to be. Ok yes we are bias but there is just SO much to do and see. Not only is the arts and cultural hub of KZN but there are plenty of amazing restaurants, country cottages (like ours) and craft markets too.

We have been to some amazing markets over the years and here are a few we recommend you visit. Make sure you check the dates they are happening because not all of them happen every weekend.

Midlands Country Market

midlands country market


Karkloof Farmers Market

Karkloof Market


Notties Country Craft Market

Notties Market

We hope your next visit to the Midlands Meander is full of adventure and if you’re looking for accommodation drop us an email on booking@lemonwood.co.za.

We hope to see you soon!


Coffee at Blueberry Hill

We visited Blueberrry Hill recently and aside from their absolutely delicious food, and cheesecake to die for, they have a new barista on the scene. Josh is sourcing only the best coffee beans from Africa, South and Central America.

Roasting on site there is a great choice of coffee to make the perfect cappuccino, latte, espresso, or mochacinno.

What’s your usual coffee order?

You won’t be disappointed when visiting Blueberry Hill for coffee. Sip on your coffee while overlooking the Nottingham Road farmlands, and enjoy some quality time out.

There is also an AMAZING shop next door so make a morning of it while you meander through the Midlands.

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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.