• 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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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.


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)

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  • 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.


3 ways to fight that winter weight

We all know that winter can be a time where we comfort eat when we’re cold. Often what happens is because we can throw on a baggy hoodie and long pants we aren’t even aware of the weight we may be putting on. Never mind the extra glasses of wine we sip on during the chilly months.

Spring is upon us and as we start to lose the layers of clothing here are some ways to get your body back into shape.
Lemon water freshness

Drink water
We are told it over and over again. Drink water if you want to lose weight. Well we’re saying it again. Water cleanses the body of toxins that inhibit weight loss and drinking 2 litres a day can have a great impact on losing those unwanted calories. It will also give you that feeling of being full and prevent you fro over eating when unnecessary. Add a slice of lemon for a bit of flavour if that will make it easier to drink. Hot water and lemon is also a great morning drink to kick start your metabolism.

Self love
Us humans can be way too hard on ourselves. Give yourself a break. You will lose the weight, there is no need to put pressure on yourself. You can do this! The way you think about yourself has a direct impact on how you look after yourself. Your thoughts can be the driving factor of weight loss. So be kind to yourself, think loving and patient thoughts of yourself, and you will notice a difference in your health and well being.

daily exercising

Daily movement
It doesn’t take a lot to get your blood pumping and a walk around the garden can do wonders for your body. Feeling uncomfortable in your clothes after winter? Try walking to start, maybe even add in some housework, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel in a few months. If you live to far from a gym or don’t want to pay the fees there is a great app called 7 Minute Workout that motivates you to do 7 minutes of exercise a day. Start there and build on that momentum.

So before the Spring dresses come out, these are some things to think about should you be feeling the toll of winter. If not, hey, these are great ways to keep healthy and happy anyway.

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.

Winter in the Midlands

Winter Midlands

The Midlands is really just a beautiful place to be all year round. Throughout the year we have tourists visiting and enjoying the location in proximity to the Drakensberg and the beach in Durban. Some might feel that winter isn’t a great time to go on holiday but let us put your mind at rest as we list a bunch of fun winter activities in the Midlands. Country Pubs

Candle Dipping

Coffee Shops

Spa treatments

Whether you just want to spend some tranquil time out in the country or you want to keep active there are so many things to do in the Midlands. For a more extensive look at what’s on the Midlands Meander route click HERE.

Winter in the Dargle Valley

Snow reports have come out that the snow has started around the Drakensberg and parts of the KZN Midlands, yes and the Dargle Valley.

We absolutely LOVE winter in the Dargle Valley. It is the time we get to light up our fireplaces, drink lots of hot chocolate and cuddle up under blankets with a good book. Winter in the Dargle Valley is just a magical season as the colours fade and the cold sets in. But yes we do agree that precautions are necessary when it comes to the cold so here are a few winter warmer tips for you.

Winter Warmer Tips

  1. Eat warm food: porridge is a great way to start off a cold day. The carbohydrates will keep your body warm as the food digests.
  2. Layer up your clothes: wearing layers of clothes traps the heat in and keeps your body warmer.
  3. Drink herbal/decaffeinated drinks: although it may seem that coffee keeps you warm it is really just the caffeine increasing blood flow to your skin. This warmth decreases quickly so try stick to rooibos, herbal tea or hot chocolate which will keep you warmer for longer.
  4. Exercise: yes I know, this is the last thing we feel like doing in the cold but the flow of blood in our bodies increases our body temperature and keeps us warmer longer.
  5. Use blankets not heaters: if you are trying to save on electricity this winter then rather get out all the thick, cosy blankets to keep you warm at night. A hot water bottle will also do the trick. Or if you have a fireplace like we do, then get that ablaze just before the sun sets to warm up your home.

These are just a few ideas to keep you going through the cold winter months. We hope to see you in the Dargle Valley soon.

Contact booking@lemonwood.co.za to book one of our cosy cottages.

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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.