Porcupine Hills Guest Farm and Conservancy epitomises all things country – old painted biscuit tins stacked high on a kitchen shelf, tongue-in-groove ceilings, wooden furniture, gingham and floral fabrics and double cottage pane doors opening out from every room onto wide verandahs and pergola patios. This is big sky country, where outdoor living is a natural part of life.
There is a choice of accommodation, and we stay in the Farmhouse, a classic two bedroom cottage with a long verandah and an attic bedroom upstairs. The lounge has a sprawling couch and fireplace, and there are additional seating areas outside. The kitchen is pretty, with butler sink, wooden table and white painted cupboards. Soft sage bedrooms have white linen and floral curtains and cushions, and white painted cottage pane doors open out from both rooms onto private patios. The bathrooms are surprisingly glamorous and each has a box skylight through which one can see stars at night.
Outside the cottage there is a braai area with benches and reclining loungers. There is a natural style, curved swimming pool with views to forever. Set in the Diepklowe private nature reserve, we are surrounded by high rock cliffs, where Black Eagles soar.
In true country weekend style, we wake early to the sound of birdsong, but fall back asleep and lie in ‘til late. We emerge from our bedrooms at different times during the day, tousled and well rested. Finally we are brought together by the smell of warm flapjacks from the kitchen.
This is the real country magic – a space to rest and become the most natural version of oneself, from which vantage point one can connect with family and friends. In a recent survey, I asked young people “When is your family most peaceful?” The majority of the replies were about holidays, weekends and times when everyone is together. The replies show how stressed and disconnected we are much of the time, and that the recipe for harmony is so simple and achievable. Our stay at Porcupine Hills was precious respite and a lovely memory of family connectedness which we will draw on for many years to come.