One of the highlights of the year was a visit to the Valley Lodge and Spa for a winter chef’s table dinner and a short break away from the bustle of Johannesburg.
The Valley Lodge and Spa is situated in the Magaliesburg, a little way outside Johannesburg, just far away enough to be able to resist the temptation to pop into the office to quickly do something, but not so far that one spends a disproportionate amount of time travelling.
I am pleasantly surprised to find other friends from Johannesburg there at the same time. There is something very satisfying about friends fortuitously being in the same place at the same time.
The staff are very attentive, and more than that, proactive. Noting that I am mobility impaired they switched our room from the outskirts of the Valley Lodge to the heart of it, close to the dining room, reception and spa. It was also a unit completely suited to wheelchair use, so the bathroom was big enough for a party.
The rooms are pleasant and roomy, and underfloor heating ensured that there was no winter chill. The dining room and lounge areas have several fireplaces and we sat up talking round the fire with brandies and whiskies after dinner till late at night. That is what the good company of friends offered us.
The chef’s table was lovely, each course perfect in presentation and taste and accompanied by a wine which worked. Themed food and wine pairings are now a regular feature of the Valley Lodge, so ask about them. They are a great attraction and foodies will be enchanted.
The gardens are lovely, even in winter, and I am told that the spa is wonderful (my plus one for the outing has been to the spa and raves about it). Breakfast is a sumptious buffet and one can read the paper in peace if one is not fortunate enough to have a crowd of friends join you.
All in all the Valley Lodge and Spa is one of those places one should put on one’s wish list for a lovely and relaxed breakaway from the rat race. Spoil yourself, your loved one or a friend, or offer a weekend here as an incentive prize at work. It is sure to be appreciated.