Flintstones go luxury
You will find no annoying leafblowers here – this is a real industrial working farm, not a faux country boutique. Set just outside Kokstad amongst green hills and lakes aplenty, you will experience a warm welcome and open heartedness at Stoneybrook Farm.
I drive past enormous earthmoving equipment and a traditional homestead, down to the Dam Cottage, a spacious 4 bedroom house sprawled out overlooking a lush dam where ducks move in formation with their ducklings through the reeds. One looks out through solid glass windows from almost every aspect of the house, down to the dam, Matatiele road and hills beyond. Natural stone walls add character to every room and bathroom, and the ochre stone has been creatively used to create circular shower enclosures and shelves. It’s like the Flintstones went luxury without losing their sense of who they are.
Every one of the four bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom, two with fabulous baths overlooking the dam. The rustic feel has been well balanced with modern, light curtains and linen. African-inspired décor matches well with the chunky all wooden furniture and natural screed floor. A full kitchen and 12-seater dining table opens onto a bright scarlet set of antique velvet couches which face onto the fireplace and wide verandah.
There is nothing cold or unwelcoming about a lakeside stone cottage set on a working farm and I need this earthy warmth tonight. I have just left an unwell partner and ageing ill dog for a week’s work in the Eastern Cape. I break my journey in Kokstad, feeling homesick and a circling despair about the week’s work ahead in rural Eastern Cape and busy Mthatha. I am very glad to have chosen a farm stay and as I enter this homely place my spirits lift instantly. I explore every room, silently “oohing” and “aahing” at each surprising discovery. I choose the best bathroom for the later evening’s entertainment and take my sorry little takeaways out onto the verandah to enjoy with the setting sun. The “it is what it is” acceptance turns into a grateful appreciation of this place and my life, thanks to the warmth and groundedness of this lovely characterful stay.