Nottingham Road is the heart of the Midlands, a place worth stopping by for locals on a weekend excursion or for those who need a countryside breakaway. Below we pin a few gems for you to seek out and visit.
Set within fertile farmlands, this old dairy farm, complete with milking sheds, a grain silo, and a plethora of old stone buildings, was transformed to become the renowned Fordoun Hotel & Spa, an oasis of pampering for mind, body, and soul.
Located near Nottingham Road in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, it ensures spectacular views across rolling hills and pastured valleys towards the distant Drakensberg Mountains.
Imaginatively converted from an 1860s farmyard, dairy, and homestead, each bedroom and suite is individually styled, highlighting the historical past while focusing on luxury and comfort. Serene pastoral countryside, dams, and meandering trails beckon walkers, cyclists, and fly-fishing enthusiasts.
Heightened appetites are satisfied by fine gourmet cuisine prepared with seasonal farm produce and the freshest local ingredients in the fine dining restaurant, Skye Bistro.
Fordoun’s renowned and award-winning wellness spa features an indoor heated pool, outdoor pool, floatation tank, rasul, and much more. Spa lovers revel in the many relaxing treatments, combining international ranges and uniquely African products made from Zulu traditional healing plants grown in the indigenous garden.
The charming Farm Village welcomes families with modern self-contained cottages around an idyllic village green, perfect for picnics or perhaps an impromptu game of cricket. Each cottage is well equipped with a fully fitted kitchen, fireplace, DSTV, DVD player, barbecue and is serviced daily. The wedding/conference venue can accommodate up to 180 guests.
Earth Route Market
With glorious local farm-to-table delights in mind, a team of local Notties residents came together and created the Earth Route Market.
Every Saturday morning in the Nottingham Road Farmers Hall, you will find a buzz of local farmers, artisans, and crafters sharing the work of their hands at the Earth Route Market.
This is no ordinary farmers’ market – the dream is to bring the community together and to inspire both residents and visitors to move towards conscious living by building awareness of how our actions impact our environment. “We’ve imagined and created a space where we can match our values to our purchase behaviours, reduce our waste footprint and be the change for a better environment.”
The team has gone to great efforts to pull off an inviting, well-organised market with excellent offerings from coffee and cheeses to fresh produce, chicken and meat, ice cream, baked goods, and more.
The market is fast becoming a weekend highlight for many families. Head out there early (it opens around 07h30), grab coffee and pancakes and do a whole weekly shop in the Farmers Hall. Your shopping could look like: Linga Lapa’s fresh country loaf, a loaf of Wild Bread Sourdough, a couple of packs of stir fry mix from Dunroamin, fresh farm eggs from Bramleigh Farm, chicken flatties and caramel ice-cream from Hillview, cheeses, dry wors, and smoked trout and Boerenkaas, Audrey’s Goats Cheese, and veggies from Vincent.
Plenty of breakfast options are available, too: Jabu’s Bacon & Eggs Rolls, the scrumptious Breakfast Bowls (a got-to-have), Croissants, and so much more.
There are a number of lifestyle and craft stalls at the market, too – you will find those outside in the sunshine where the live musician generally plays too.
Stall owners have to meet at least three of the Earth Route Markets criteria:
Products have to be grown or created using environmentally friendly practices, products use biodegradable/recyclable/eco-friendly packaging, products must be homegrown or handmade, products must contain ingredients or materials that are 100% traceable, and finally, you have to be local, living within 70km of Nottingham Road.
This brilliant community initiative epitomises the farm-to-table movement and has great ambitions to become the locals’ preferred supplier for fresh produce. If you care about buying local, ethically produced, earth-friendly, quality goods – in plastic-free packaging –support Earth Route Market.
A Country Escape
Netherwood Farm seeks to give everyone visiting an opportunity to soak up everything that the Midlands Meander is so proud to be a part of.
A quick drive from the city of Durban or a pitstop from Joburg, one is able to experience a variety of passionately brewed craft beers at Happy Days Brewery, a free-range, mouthwatering Angus Steak at the Fork n Cleaver, a cup of coffee with the famous blueberry cheesecake at Blueberry Cafe or if you are lucky, all three! All this whilst having open gardens to peruse and boasting the views of its very fortunate position facing the rolling hills that lead to the Drakensberg Mountain range (even if it may be from our “loos with a view” with a visit from our cattle friends).
Not only are visitors able to enjoy Netherwood Farm for a short period, one can appreciate the farm-style accommodation available for all those wanting to extend their trip. With the relaxing stand-alone, self-catering cottages, guests can indulge the working farm that Netherwood prides itself on. From dams to fish to walking and biking trails to explore, Netherwood Farm is truly something to experience especially being so near to other respective outlets on the Midlands Meander.
For those lovers seeking to make their wedding day a unique yet beautiful getaway, Netherwood offers a hilltop chapel with expansive views of the midlands hills with a mountainous backdrop that offers the perfect intimate setting for an unforgettable ceremony. Afterwards, guests can join the newlyweds at the contemporary indoor/outdoor venue that can accommodate up to 250 people overlooking three dams.
Lidgetts Grant Lodge at Netherwood Farm sleeps up to 20 people in nine bedrooms to accommodate wedding parties, large family getaways, friends get-togethers, or even work retreats that can utilise the boardroom that is available.
With so much to offer for day visitors, weekend getaways, work events to the memorable celebrations with family and friends, Netherwood Farm welcomes you to enjoy the countryside like never before.
“The best-kept secret in the Midlands” as described by one ardent fan, and “A little slice of heaven” by another. For us, it’s “our space in the sunshine!”
Join us in the quad for a delicious coffee, a fresh-pressed juice, a frappe, or a creamy milkshake. We would love to share our secrets with you.
You’ll know you have a quality coffee and excellent service when you discover that Crème café is an offshoot of the renowned “Village café on Nottingham Road” where excellent service is the standard, and customer care is of vital importance.
The Village Café
This popular and much-loved café now boasts an indoor, as well as an outdoor space, and most recently, a workspace counter that can take your remote working experience to a new level. It boasts plug points for convenient charging, full Wi-Fi coverage, and a workspace that will make your day sail along.
Need a gift? Looking for something “simply beautiful” for your home? Look no further! We have a stunning range of homeware, locally roasted coffee as well as coffee and tea accessories available for sale. DeTiAmo “made in the Midlands” has partnered with us in our retail section to bring you exquisitely crafted homeware items that are worthy of any home locally or internationally.
The midlands meander experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of these wonderful gems!
Affectionately known as The ’Fassl, which has been operating under the leadership of Sean Wakeford and his team for 22 years, catering to locals and tourists alike, and is still the home of the famous crispy Eisbein, amongst other tasty dishes within an Austrian/German theme, using fresh local ingredients.
The revamped pub boasts 14 draught taps, offering the famous Nottingham Road Brewery craft beers, as well as imported beers, ciders, and G&T. Gin tasting is lots of fun, with 30 different gins and a variety of topics to choose from, as well as some tasty new cocktails.
An exciting addition this year is the partnership with Top Gear Entertainment who are offering superb kid’s entertainment under personal supervision on weekends and holidays, with water slides, jumping castle, paintball target shooting, jeep rides, rocket, mechanical round-about swing, sand-art, candle dipping and soft-serve ice cream as some of the offerings. Adult team-building activities and games are also on offer, either on-site or off-site, adding value to conference groups and other gatherings in the area.
There will be regular, intimate live music gigs this festive season, with the new boma area offering a relaxed, festive atmosphere for sun-downers on summer evenings or cosy log fires in the cooler weather. Even pets are welcome on the lawned outdoor area with its stunning view.
Wednesday evenings is local’s night, offering a burger and beer special in addition to the regular menu. Bingo, great fun for all ages, takes place on the first and last Wednesday evening of the month. There is live music playing on the other Wednesday evenings.
The Delicatessen offers a variety of local Midlands products like cheeses, cold meats, salami’s, pâtés, German sausages, mustards, and sauces, as well as imported goodies. The perfect place to shop for a picnic, home treat, or gift.
Bierfassl is open seven days a week from 09h00, and the kitchen takes last orders at 21h00, so pop in anytime for a drink, a bite to eat, or a cup of coffee and cake; you will be most welcome!