• 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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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.

Coming Home to the Dargle

Images from lemonwood farm


About a year and a half ago, on visiting a retirement village in the Midlands, I met a couple who had lived many happy years on a farm in the Dargle. Apart from being memorable, wonderful people, they told me a story I have carried with me ever since.


High up on a hill bordering their neighbour’s farm, they noticed a nest of crowned eagles in one of the trees. They had come there to build a nest and lay their eggs and he watched as the next generation of these majestic birds was brought into the world and as they flew away once they were old enough to venture out on their own. They thought of it as a privilege to have seen this on their farm – a memory they would cherish.


However, on walking the boundary the following year, they noticed that the crowned eagles had returned to the same tree to nest and lay their eggs. And this became a tradition that persisted as long as they were on the farm.


Now tucked away in the retirement village, they are fairly certain that this annual return carries on to this day – one of the special memories they have carried from their home in the Dargle. (They have turned their garden into a bird haven and continue to appreciate the bird life of the Midlands from their cosy cottage).


If you are a bird-lover, the Dargle is paradise for an array of species who are comfortable enough to make this stretch of landscape home. At Lemonwood, these colourful birds revel in the different plant life and you are sure to spot plenty in the Yellowwood forest. Please feel free to request a copy of our bird checklist so you can tick them off as you see them. Who knows – maybe you will come back every year to visit like the special crowned eagles.



How to Beat the Back to School Blues



It’s hard not to be down in the mouth about the end of the school holidays. In KZN, it means early cold mornings and the daily commute to school. But never fear! Here are our five top tips on how to beat the back to school blues:

1. Treat every week as the last week of the school term. It might be a form of denial, but we are pretty sure it will keep your spirits high.

2. For those who need to keep in touch with reality, treat every day as a challenge that is easily overcome, a day lived to the full, a good day.

3. Savour your family time. During the evenings and over the weekends, use your time to do all of the things you miss about the holidays, whether that is fun-packed activities or total relaxation. The important thing is to do it with people you love.

4. Have a weekend away every now and then. Pack up the family (and the much-loved family dog) and go away for the weekend. It doesn’t necessarily need to be costly or far away, but a change of scenery will do everyone a bit of good.

5. Use the school term to plan your holidays. Get everyone involved and sort through every little detail. It will give everyone something to look forward to, will be the end point everyone works towards, and can be looked at as a reward for all the hard work you will do in the coming months.

Winter in the Midlands


The winter holidays have started. Long, blissful days stretch out before us – all we need to do is fill them.

Winter in the Midlands is something special – we can’t say it enough! The sun filters down on the changed scenery, enhancing the colours of the season and kissing the skin of the people basking in it. The dogs run down dusty paths towards ochre, mustard, and reddened (or even white) hillsides. And, at night, darkness descends early. Clear winter night skies are best enjoyed wrapped up warm with someone you love – your family around a fire.

For some, the idea of trawling the malls presents the ideal winter schedule. For others, there is the need to escape – to feel a sense of freedom that is hard won within the boundaries of cities. The Midlands has the power of taking people back to the days of old, where shopping can be done at a country stall and memories can be made in places invoking nostalgia and simple living, yet retaining all of the modern comforts that make us feel at home no matter where we go.

Lemonwood boasts a country farmhouse and charming self-catering cottages in the Dargle Valley where even the family pets are welcome. It is close enough to the local amenities to make a holiday hassle free, yet far enough off the main road to instill a real sense of peace.


A Carb-Loading Recipe and Good Wishes for the Comrades



If you are running this year’s Comrades Marathon that means you have worked towards a training programme and are probably itching for the big run! There’s not a lot left to do but feed your body for the race – drinking and eating foods rich in carbs.


If you are stuck for a recipe, here is how to make our Alfredo, so you can fuel your body with the energy it needs for the marathon without breaking a sweat in the kitchen:


You will need:


–          A knob of butter;

–          Olive oil;

–          A pack of streaky bacon;

–          2 eggs;

–          Pasta;

–          250ml of cream;

–          Fresh parsley;

–          A selection of different mushrooms – finely chopped;

–          Garlic;

–          Salt and black pepper;

–          Some grated cheese.


Bring a pot of water, a teaspoon of salt, and a slug of oil to the boil and add your pasta. Cook until soft.


At the same time, cook your bacon in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Beat your eggs. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from the heat and let it sit in its juices for five minutes. In the same pan, add your eggs, cream, mushrooms, and garlic and cook over a low heat. Try not to let the cream boil and the low heat will stop the eggs from scrambling, but you will see that the sauce starts to have a stiffer consistency.


Serve over your cooked pasta, seasoned with salt and pepper, and garnished with plenty of grated cheese and parsley.


Lemonwood wishes you the best of luck this weekend. The Comrades Marathon is a race that promises glory and heartbreak, pain and victory, but it is always a great show of humanity – a race that people from all over the country and the world run as friends. It is an enormous achievement.


If you are looking for a place to stay on the Midlands Meander that will help you to unwind after the race, we would love to have you. The Meander is always hugely atmospheric and abuzz with life over Comrades weekend, yet gives guests a true sense of relaxation in the country after pounding the tarmac in the race.


All the best, runners, as you run the race of dreams!

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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.