We visited a few spots worth mentioning in Hilton, from beauty to bread, hotels, and railway stops! A unique few gems guaranteed to fulfil your needs – whether you are hungry or need a haircut!

 

Welcome to Hilton, although it’s not a very big place, nestled between Pietermaritzburg and Howick, it still offers a large selection of things to do, see and eat! Follow us as we take you on a small tour, highlighting seven unique businesses.

Hello Cupping is a Hilton-based business, which was conceptualised by Belinda Skea, a local Entrepreneur, Holistic Practitioner and Aesthetician. Cupping is an ancient technique from the East, which has been modernised with silicone cups and merged with basic massage techniques. The cup is squeezed onto the skin and dragged gently over the area of concern and then released after the correction has been performed.

To mention a few common concerns which cupping can assist with effectively are, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, dull skin tone, puffy eyes, face area, and jowls. It also assists with tightening and firming of all skin, face, breasts,and thighs. It contributes to the reduction of cellulite on arms, legs, stomach, and buttocks. In addition to all of these benefits, cupping also alleviates any form of discomfort and pain associated with headaches, sinus, flu, congestion, TMJ, swollen glands, neck, shoulder, back, hips, knees, abdomen discomfort, constipation, menstrual disorders or bloatedness.

Cupping has also been beneficial in lessening sleeping disorders, due to causing the body to become more relaxed, flooding the body with nutrient-enriched blood, aiding in lymphatic drainage and toxin removal, relaxing muscles, and fascia. Encouraging the right, feel-good hormones to be released throughout the body.

 

Not too far from Belinda is the Break Room, at 37, Hilton Avenue. This is a small health bar founded in 2020, specialising in gluten-free and plant-based meals. They have created a space where people can enjoy a meal, grab a snack or drink to go or use Wi-Fi to catch up on some work.

From coffees to Matcha, breakfasts and smoothie bowls, wraps, salads and poke bowls, the famous “Sushidogg”, and plant-powered vegan burgers, there is something for everyone! Their goal is to keep food as interesting and unique as possible and hope to show folks that healthy food can be exciting too. If you leave with a full tummy and a full heart, then they have succeeded!

If you are in need of something for the home, pick up a sourdough bread from Silo Bread Co., right next door to the Break Room. Three years ago, Ryan’s bread was born after Ryan himself couldn’t find decent sourdough bread in the area. He began baking for the first time and made the decision to begin selling the bread.

After much tinkering in the kitchen, a perfect loaf was handed to the first customer. One thing led to another, and a few months later Ryan was supplying dozens of kitchens and shops around Hilton, Howick, and the Midlands. After three years of baking from home, Ryan’s bread found its first home in Hilton. Silo Bread Co. opened in August. The shop serves coffee and other treats, alongside the bread we’ve come to love. Ryan still supplies many shops and restaurants throughout the Midlands. You can find freshly made bread at Silo, and many outlets throughout the area.

 

Apart from food and drinks, if you drive just a few kilometres further you will find Craik Speirs Haircompany, which started in 1987 with Craik’s interest in hairdressing at an early age. From the outset of his career, Craik’s vision was to create a brand and not just a business. To create a culture with which he could share his ideas and beliefs with his people.

The Craik Speirs Haircompany and its five-star service work in a very unique way which has turned the hair business into an extraordinary experience for the customer. This company currently has three stores all in the Pietermaritzburg and Hilton area. The flagship store located in Hilton can be found on the vibey corner of Cowan Road and Hilton Avenue next to The Ground Coffee house.

After recently completing the extensive master colour expert program, Craik has trained the entire company not only to offer the greatest colour techniques to the Hilton market but many other hair-related services with an experience that would wow anybody. “At Craik Speirs we are inspired by people, training and education. We promise to listen and take the time to share the inspiration with you, giving you a true experience in finding your best look. We promise to do this every time. At Craik Speirs you will always #experiencelookinggood”.

 

If you are visiting Hilton, there are a few hotels to choose from too, we selected Harrington House and The Hilton Bush Lodge as essentials. Each place offers its own unique experience that will make you feel rested and recuperated. Harrington House is more than a physical structure; it bears a family name and, as such, offers a space to make memories, a code to live by, and a place to call home for the duration of your special journey. “We know each couple has a unique vision, so we do not offer a “one size fits all” approach; but rather a ‘let’s make magical memories together’ opportunity”.

The Chestnut Room – an upmarket venue seating up to 120 guests. This space has as a central feature, 23 hand-blown lights, beautifully curated in black, white, and gold, and dresses up magnificently, making any occasion memorable. The wrap-around, elevated veranda, offers incredible views of the grounds. The lighting alone is phenomenal for every moment you want to capture. It is well known that Hilton offers four seasons in a day and they have prepared for everyone with a large wood fireplace which creates an ambience like no other and large industrial air conditioners which cool the scorching heat.

A magnificent and majestic Chestnut tree. Ceremonies or small weddings for the whimsical and romantic at heart – this 50-year-old tree has to be seen to be believed; and can comfortably seat up to 150 guests for a ceremony. Whatever the season, she will charm all those seated beneath her generous, ever-changing canopy. The Stretch Tent, which is perfect for wedding ceremonies or small receptions – the tent offers a ceremony plan B for rainy days; a shaded area for summertime canapés in the garden or on the marquee site; or covered garden space for smaller receptions.

A manicured marquee site equipped with 16 electrical points, water, and utilities. This beautiful space can host anything between 100 and 500 guests. The palette can be yours to choose – fill with candles; festoon with fairy lights; fully drape or choose glass’ walls – each choice will be unique to your day and your taste. It is truly a space where one can feel classy in a relaxed country setting, boasting a beautiful view of a small forest, a dam nearby, and the hills and mountains in the distance.

The gorgeous bridal suite forms part of the wedding packages and is the perfect spot for the bride to feel at ease on her special day and for the couple to put their feet up after a day of extraordinary memory-making. It truly is “Bliss, Class, and Country” all wrapped into a beautiful upmarket space.

 

With wide-open spaces, paper barks, and views across the Umngeni and Rietspruit valleys, the sound of falling water, fish eagles, and sunsets to rival the most magical, The Hilton Bush Lodge is the perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway, families hoping to see relatives in the area, parents popping in to visit their children at school or the discerning business traveller looking to recharge their batteries before another busy day on the road.

Luxury and comfort are two words that are heard time and time again from guests. With their timeless elegance the rooms are just that – luxurious and comfortable (underfloor heating in winter is a win). All have their own verandas making the most of the indoor-outdoor living that South Africans are known for and the luxury suites have a private boma area where you can relax with friends, under the stars you just don’t get to see in the city.

Conferencing at The Hilton Bush Lodge is far from ordinary and although many companies choose to use the boardroom with all the latest technology many would rather meet in the outside venue, or simply set up on the veranda (with a sneaky pair of binoculars). The functions venue can also double up as a conference venue for larger groups or even smaller groups looking to spread out. Light, healthy meals along with homemade lemonade and treats add to the feel of a luxurious country setting.

Although the last couple of years have seen all celebrations take a back seat to look after each other’s well being, by following the guidelines and strictly adhering to all COVID-19 regulations this venue has had some fabulous weddings and celebrations in their indoor and outdoor venues and are so looking forward to continuing to celebrate everything that life has to offer. Every event is personalised and each menu is tweaked to your needs. The function venue is just waiting for you to add your personal flavour and turn your event into one that will be remembered after the champagne is finished and the music has floated down the valley.

Next up is the quaint, The Station Stop which was delighted to celebrate its second birthday at the beginning of December, 2021. When Dave and Caryl Ballance walked onto the property in February 2019, they immediately saw the “golden nugget potential” hidden amongst the graffiti-filled walls of the Hilton Station.  With the help of the amazing Cindi Meumann, they were able to restore the station building back to its original 19th Century charm, and it’s been filled with many sweet moments of memories relived for so many Hiltonians and others who used the Hilton Siding as their mode of transport.

Of course, with Dave’s years of experience in coffee, the Station was taken to a whole new level of “old world charm”.  The coffee shop is now well known for its excellent coffee offering as well as its sourdough toasted sandwiches and coffee shop delectable treats.

Dave Ballance explains, “It has been very important to us to ensure that the Hilton Station remains the community hub.  We have locals who provide their excellent wares. For example, our amazing sourdough bagels, bread and scones are served fresh daily from Wild Bread Company. Our renowned Carrot Cake and Lemon Meringue is provided by two local and beloved patrons. We sell jams, mustards and rusks for other locals who need an outlet to keep food on their tables. When we suggested to Paul Spence that he should consider a pantomime at the Station, he ran with that and now Station Stop has hosted a number of theatrical productions and just recently, open air movie nights. Then, as the community supported us in our upliftment of the area, other businesses began to join us and now there are an array of small businesses that have truly made The Station a destination event!”

Dave really cannot thank the Hilton Community enough for their incredible support.  “We really feel like Station Stop Coffee Shop is the place ‘where everybody knows your name’. There are so many customers who we now know as dear friends”. And after two years, what does the future look like at the Hilton Station? “There are some very exciting developments – besides the new Hilton Siding Shopping Centre – in the pipeline (or should we say ‘train line’). There could even be the sound of a steam train whistle harkening the start of a train trip?”  Keep your eyes and ears peeled!

 

Last, but definitely not least, is Hilton Quarry Superspar, celebrating 20 years of serving the community. Most Hilton locals will recognise the unmistakable cheery whistle of Rodney Downs when doing their grocery shopping at Hilton Quarry Superspar; a whistle that has been making Hiltonians smile, at a supermarket that has been proudly serving the Hilton community for the past twenty years.

For Rodney and Di, it has always been about “family spirit” which includes their entire team and loyal customers; placing the local community at the heart of what they do. Having taken over ownership of the store in 2001, in partnership with Di’s father, Albert Emslie, it is their son, Greg, who is set to carry on that legacy by continuing to serve the local community.

Through various revamps and upgrades, Hilton Quarry Superspar has continually adapted to the changing times, embracing the challenges along the way and never forsaking the community that they have called home for over 20 years. For Rodney, it has been his “greatest blessing” to pour his heart and soul into growing Hilton Quarry Superspar with a focus on affordable quality and excellent customer service. “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” he exclaims, “It feels like yesterday that we were handed the keys to Hilton Quarry Spar – as it was known then, and we have never looked back.”

“We can’t thank the people of Hilton enough for supporting us over the years and helping us grow with the community. Your loyalty has allowed us to help various local charities, churches, schools, and organisations over the years and we are incredibly proud to be part of such a caring, close-knit community.”

Behind the scenes, Di and her team run a tight ship, making sure the books balance and the business side of things are taken care of. She credits the entire staff component – some 140 employees – for helping her and Rodney steer the course of Hilton Quarry Superspar for the past 20 years. “It’s been an unbelievable journey,” says Di. “We have so many happy memories from the last couple of decades. Yes, it’s been hard work but without the dedicated, hard-working team we are fortunate to have, we wouldn’t be standing tall and proud today.”

With strong business role models for parents, Greg has huge respect and admiration for the formidable team of his mom and dad and has learnt from their experience over the 12 years he has been at Hilton Quarry Superspar. “It is an honour and privilege for me to work alongside my parents and be trusted to look after what they have worked so tirelessly to accomplish,” says Greg. “I look forward to continuing to serve the Hilton Community, with my wife at my side, as they have done for many more years to come.”