A hearty welcome at Hartford House

Our Sunday started a bit slow and lazily, only for us to realize we had no plans for the day. Strange feeling to have NO plan of action so Ash suggested we take a drive out to the Midlands Meander. Within a few minutes we were in the car and a quick 45 minutes later we arrived in Mooi River.

We made a stop at Mooi Loft (small little linen store which also has some decor and warm jackets that Ash loves) and within twenty minutes we couldn’t decide where to go to.

I googled and found that Hartford House has a restaurant. It was rather nearby so we figured why not head over and have some coffee and something to eat before continuing our meandering.

Arriving at Hartford House is stunning. This was the first indication that we had arrived

We followed the road and reached a security gate, where we were asked if we have a reservation. To which we were honest and said no but we just want to have some coffee at the restaurant. The security guard was excited when explaining how wonderful the restaurant is that for a second the though cropped into my head that we should totally get lunch here if they have space for us.

We drove through the gates only to find these stunning stables just to the right of the entrance.

We followed the path until we reached the hotel parking. Instantly we started to regret not having a reservation but it was too far gone.

We walked in and could not find any staff around. So me being the way that I am started to saunter around walking closer and closer to what I assume was the kitchen (my nose can smell food a mile away) when just as we where nearing, out popped a gentleman who asked if we can be helped.

We explained that we were driving along and thought we should pop by for some coffee. He informed us that the Tea House only opens at eleven and we would have had to have made a reservation. I figured ah well that’s that. But after a short pause, he says well maybe you can sit somewhere and have some coffee till they open.

Ash and I settled into a nice cosy spot and were served our cappuccinos by the friendliest waiter ever. If anything he made us feel so comfortable and had to have been the most forgiving soul (about us not having made a reservation that is).

He even told us we should stay till 11 which is when the Tea House will be opening and we can have something to eat there. After being accomodated so warmly we decided that that sounded just lovely and asked him to inform them that we will be staying.

Shortly thereafter, who we assume to be the manager, popped over to introduce himself and welcome us. He even asked if we would be joining for lunch, but we declined as we were not hungry, just feeling a bit nibbly.

Anyways, that settles it, we will have to spend a weekend here, I mean with the warmth we received from just pitching up can you even imagine what we would be met with for a weekend stay!

Just after 11 we made our way to the Tea House which is at the other side of a pond with the sweetest pathways.

The Tea House itself has a warm feel to it. We went through the menu (which is hung on the wall and decided on the cultured platter (Local cheeses, preserves etc) as we where not really hungry just wanted to have a snack before heading of. Whilst the portion looks small, we could not finish our serving! The freshly baked bread was absolutely amazing.

Worth a mention is the African red tea which was unlike any tea I have ever tasted!

We needed to get moving and went to pay the bill at the main reception area, which in itself is absolutely beautiful and also cosy (a feeling which has followed me throughout the time we have been here).

This entire experience had us feeling like we had arrived to a friendly home.

As we drove away we couldn’t help but feel like we were walking away from a cosy fireplace.

Check out Hartford House and be amazed by this gem in the Midlands

Our next visit will definitely be one with a reservation for lunch and hopefully an overnight stay too!


39 thoughts on “A hearty welcome at Hartford House

  1. Hartford House is such a charming place! It’s so nice that they asked you to wait with coffee for the Tea house to open…I would have also grabbed the offer 🙂 The place as well as the food looks great…

    Liked by 1 person

    • my husband was not impressed with me for happily accepting the offer to stay! it was funny… i sort of took it as it came, he felt we were breaking all rules by not making a res! oh well we balance each other out i suppose


  2. What a lovely welcome even though you didn’t have a reservation – Hartford House sounds wonderful! I love those spur of the moment travel experiences – always makes for a memorable time. I haven’t tried African red tea before – will have to see if I can find some!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW! this is litrally in my back yard and i have never heard of it before, looks so tranquil and beautiful i will have to make a stop here next time i am doing the meander, thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thats a different kind of place to explore in, love reading your experience about the house and love that they are welcoming you with great gesture and a coffee, love being welcome with coffee, and they were so kind to let you stay for a while until the tea house will be open, that’s a PLUS service.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s just wonderful customer service not quickly dismissing you for not having a reservation. Apart from the place being charming, the warm hospitality certainly adds to the overall experience. I’m glad you wrote about this place, the wonderful write up is well deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Midlands Meander, Mooi River, Mooi Loft, Hartford House… all of these places sound like somewhere out of Harry Potter! How lovely of the waiter and manager at Hartford House to allow you to hang around and have a coffee before they open! It looks like a wonderful place to enjoy tea and a yummy bite to eat. So cool you can stay there too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hartford House seems like a homely and cosy place to spend some time and grab some coffee or food. I loved the fact that the place is so vast and open and set amidst nature. A wonderful place for a quite afternoon tea,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like it ended up being a really great Sunday, especially for starting out with no plans! Looks like an adorable and cosy place. I love how nice and accommodating they were and the coffee and snacks looked delicious! A weekend visit definitely sounds necessary!


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