• 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.


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.

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.

Take a moment to give thanks

We don’t celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in South Africa, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a thankful nation. It all starts with you. As I sit out on the deck, overlooking the beauty of the Dargle Valley, it is really difficult to not start listing the things I am grateful for.

Sometimes all we have to do is list them. It is scientifically proven that your brain responds more healthily to language that is happy, life-giving, grateful. So I felt like I had to share this challenge with you reading this today.

What are you thankful for today? Instead of thinking about what is stressing you out, or annoying you, rather take a moment to give thanks. Whatever it is for let’s be thankful people today.

Maybe you want to start a journal of thanksgiving. Remind yourself daily of the many thinks that bring you joy in your everyday life. Isn’t it just amazing when you start listing them.

Here’s are some of the things I’m grateful for today…

  • The beautiful scenery around my home.
  • The people I get to meet every week.
  • The ability to breathe in fresh air.
  • Waking up to the sounds of birds.
  • Being able to hear those birds chirping.
  • Good food & good wine.
  • Chocolate.
  • Book club laughs.
  • Friendships that have been built over many years.

Today I will give thanks… and tomorrow… and the next day.

Have a wonderful day friends!


Every day time management skills

The beginning of the year is the best time to get your time management skills in check. We have new deadlines, new opportunities and new business habits to form. One of these habits should include every day time management skills.


Here are a few time management tips from our friend Pippa Rowney.

Tip 1: Write it all down in your diary

Every Monday I start my work day of with my diary. I put every appointment (day or night) into the diary. This way I get a hold on the week and feel far more relaxed about how much is going on.

Tip 2: Schedule

I’ve learnt this skill from the line of work I’m in (social media marketing) and it really does make the world of difference. What I mean by scheduling is that I have assigned different days to different tasks. On a Monday and Tuesday I do all my online scheduling and planning. Wednesdays are research days and Thursdays I blog away all day. This way I know that I probably shouldn’t accept or plan any morning meetings on a Monday/Tuesday and I can manage my weeks much better. To do lists overwhelm me so that is why I find spreading your agenda across your diary makes the week seem WAY more manageable.

Tip 3: Allow for spontaneity

I sought therapy after my dad passed away and during our sessions my psychologist focused on this ‘oh so important’ element of spontaneity. She encouraged me to allow space for spontaneity and I have adopted that idea into my business. I don’t fill up my diary, I leave space for life to happen. Even when my diary does get a bit full, I carve out time for spontaneous coffee shop trips, or 30 minutes of focused meditation. I have found that this space gives me greater clarity and actually I become way more productive. The more I try to control everything the less in control I feel. The irony!

Tip 4: Rest

Be real with yourself about what’s important and what’s not. Allow yourself moments and days of rest. A tea break can clear your thoughts and give you inspiration. It’s true! If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop, breathe, rest for a moment and allow peace to fill you before you continue. Rest is necessary to avoid burnout. In this day and age the idea is that the busier you are the better, but there is a big difference between being busy and being hurried. Being busy when you’re managing your time is healthy, being busy when you haven’t managed your time well leads to hurry. Hurry is not a good place to be in, as most of the time you are so busy rushing to the next thing you actually don’t pay enough attention to the present task at hand.

We hope that these tips help you in your every day life. May you manage your time well in 2016 and may this year be one of great productivity and many happy memories.

Need to take a weekend out to rest? Email us to book some time in our cottages. You can contact us on booking@lemonwood.co.za or take a look at our website here.

Happy New Year

HAPPY 2016

Can you believe we are almost through the first week of January! You did it! For many people December has actually been the busiest time of year and we know just what you need right about now.


Are we right? The in-laws have gone home, kids are back to school next week, and before your body goes into shock why not give yourself a break and head to our tranquil part of the world for a bit of downtime.

R – recuperate next to the pool

E – enjoy quiet morning walks through the forest

S – sleep in

T – take time to gather your thoughts and prepare for the year ahead.

Sound like something you need to do?

Take a look at our website for info on our 4 cottages in the Dargle Valley, and email us on booking@lemonwood.co.za with dates you’re interested in.

We so look forward to meeting a whole bunch of new guests this year, as well as having all our old friends back.

Here’s to an amazing 2016 ahead!

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!

The snow has been falling

The Drakensberg mountains have had their full of snow over the past week which means we have been feeling the chill. You can see the snow as you drive from Hilton towards the Midlands. The last few days have been so clear that the views around us have been absolutely spectacular.

Snow Report SA

Image courtesy Snow Report SA Facebook Page

We are avid followers of Snow Report SA and the pictures that people have been submitting have been AWESOME! Check out their Facebook Page.

Here are just a few of our winter warmer tips for those visiting us soon.

Tip 1 : Pack a hot water bottle. This way wherever you are you will have that extra bit of heating.

Tip 2 : Light a fire. Our cottages are stocked daily with free wood so your fireplace can be roaring before sun goes down.

Tip 3 : Pack wool socks. They say if your head and feet are warm then your whole body will be warm.

Our cottages are warm and cosy with loads of blankets and fireplaces.
We hope to see you with us soon.

Midlands Country Market

This Sunday sees a new market in our neck of the woods, the Midlands Country Market.

All the details are in the poster below and there is still space for vendors to take up a stall. Display your locally made goods for the Midlands to see. If you are a Midlands local or just visiting, make sure you stop by this lovely new market.

Sunday 19 April : 8am – 11.30am
Peter’s Gate Herb Farm

Midlands Country Market

Lemonwood Flora

We have shared so much about the animals creeping and crawling around our beautiful cottages. Now for the natural decor that adorns our lawns and gardens. The flora found around Lemonwood Cottages is definitely to be admired. In the Autumn the trees turn the most gorgeous shades of orange, red and brown, and then come Spring the garden is blossoming with white, purple, orange, red and more floral beauties.

Here are some pictures we’ve captured in our garden and the area that surrounds our cottages. Enjoy & we do hope to see you visiting soon!

Flowers around Lemonwood Flowers around Lemonwood Flowers around Lemonwood Flowers around Lemonwood Flowers around Lemonwood Flowers around Lemonwood

  • Follow Lemonwood on Social Media

  • 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.