Francine’s Farmhouse & Venue, Hoedspruit.

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Whether you are looking for an intimate venue for your destination wedding, want to relax in comfortable accommodation, or wish to experience a farm stay on a citrus farm, Francine’s Farmhouse & Venue, near Hoedspruit, is perfectly positioned to provide exactly what you want. (from their official website)

 

 

 

On a recent trip to the Lowveld, I needed accommodation while I attended meetings in the town.

I was hosted at this property for the duration of my stay and it was one of the most relaxing and peaceful few days I have enjoyed for a long time.

Not quite ‘nestled’ in amongst a citrus orchard, but adjacent to one that allowed me walks without having to be concerned about resident wildlife.

In the distance, the Northern Drakensberg Mountains, that were to loom large during my stay.

The property is about 15 minutes from the centre of Hoedspruit. Close enough to pick up supplies if you need snacks or meat for a braai. But far enough away to not be bothered by traffic noise.

 

 

 

Leaving my car in the parking area, this was the first glimpse that I got of the farmhouse. The building is typical of the style found in farms of this nature and owners Emma and Luan have turned it into a haven of peace and tranquillity.

 

 

 

The outdoor dining area is where guests can enjoy meals or just sit and listen to the sounds of the many bird species that frequent the property.

 

 

 

Part of a plethora of orchids that I noticed as I parked my car.

This is a Doritaenopsis, which, according to Wikipedia, is a genus of artificial hybrids first described in 1935.

 

 

 

On the same tree. These stunning flowers were a beacon of colour in a landscape that was predominantly green.

This is an Oncidium saccatum, which Wikipedia informs me comes from Mexico.

In Sri Lanka, it is known as the Kandyan orchid, due to its resemblance to a Kandyan dancer.

 

 

 

Lots of succulents make for interesting displays while being water-wise and easily maintained.

A Mexican native, Echeveria laui is popular here in South Africa as a decorative plant.

 

 

 

I found this trio outside my door. I am uncertain if they have any significant meaning, but I liked their quirkiness. They made me smile each time I walked past them.

 

 

 

This became my ‘office’ for the duration of my time here. I rearranged the chairs to get the best view of the garden and the mountain.

 

 

 

Room 8, which was my accommodation, had a comfortable bed, excellent linen and an air-con to keep the heat at bay.

The room was self-catering (although meals can be arranged with prior notice) and, aside from the tea and coffee station, included both a fridge and a microwave.

 

 

 

This was a first! And I have taken the owner’s request to heart and this ‘piece’ of Spekboom is now planted in our garden at home.

Did you know Spekboom has many medicinal uses?

Sucking on a leaf helps to quench thirst, treat exhaustion, dehydration and heatstroke. Using crushed leaves can provide relief for blisters. Chewing leaves can treat a sore throat and mouth infections. Juiced leaves are used as an antiseptic and to soothe skin ailments such as pimples, rashes, insect stings and sunburn.

The spekboom is not only hardy – it is also a perennial and can live for up to 200 years! Some spekboom trees can reach heights of 5 metres. But be careful, they propagate easily and need only have a branch fall to the ground for a second tree to sprout.

 

 

 

The basin is situated opposite the shower off to one side of the main room. Although not separated from the sleeping area, it is not intrusive and the layout is practical.

 

 

 

EVERY toilet should have a bookcase!

 

 

 

The room was called Rose, hence this example of fine china. Needless to say, I used a mug rather than attempt a ‘pinkie-lifting’ cuppa in this.

 

 

 

When last did you las lie on your back in a garden and look at the clouds? I had the opportunity to do this while I was here and the effect was so relaxing that I found myself drifting off to sleep.

What shapes can YOU see in these clouds?

 

 

 

Chairs that looked like vanilla milkshakes. The bar is part of a larger space that doubles as an indoor dining room.

 

 

 

From the inside out.

This is the view from the reception area out towards the garden, orchards and, of course, the Drakensberg Mountains.

 

 

 

Who can grow weary of a view like this?

Certainly not me!

 

 

 

To discover more about the venue and what it offers, click on the image above.

 

 

 

Check out the archived and current interviews… click on the image above.

 

 

 

 

 

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