De Hoek Country Hotel gets the blend of traditional country and contemporary luxury just right, and fine dining and a magnificent setting complete the package.
A romantic escape to the countryside
Only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria, the five-star De Hoek is the perfect romantic weekend escape – and won’t disappoint in any area.
We were guests of this sumptuous country hotel last weekend and were given superior suites in the hotel’s new quarter. (I say suites in the plural, as my 13-year-old daughter had her own separate accommodation and loved it!)
The rooms are a perfect blend of country and contemporary – soothing grey walls and Carol Boyes black-and-white plates, chrome chandeliers, sleek metallic aircon units, plasma screen tvs and glass-framed rain showers – mixed with exposed white ceiling beams, sliding barn doors and plantation shutters; the result is modern luxury with a country twist.
The view from our patio across the hotel grounds was spectacular – green pastures, a stone pillared bridge and willow trees create a tranquil country scene, and magazines and a Nespresso coffee machine added the finishing touches to a relaxing afternoon.
Pre-dinner drinks at the pool, nibbling on biltong and roasted nuts as the resident ducks meandered past, was a perfect way to start the evening.
This was followed by De Hoek’s signature five-course dinner – food so exquisitely presented that our food-blogger-in-training teenage daughter photographed every course before we were allowed to taste it.
Canapés to delight the taste buds, followed by a chilled soup (and salmon risotto for me). Then sorbet to cleanse the palate before a main course of sea bass for me, rib-eye steak for my husband and a creamy tagliatelle for the vegetarian.
Dessert was a selection of crème brûlées or a platter of chocolate bliss – individual treats drizzled in a raspberry compote.
These lovingly prepared courses are presented by a team of passionate professionals headed by chef Michael Holenstein. The wine selection is magnificent and waiters will take you to make your personal choice. It’s a dining experience to savour and linger over – and worth a visit to De Hoek just to taste their culinary creations.
Breakfast in the garden is a relaxed but stylish affair
Swiss-style muesli, salmon and cheeses, fruit and croissants from the buffet are followed by a hot selection that includes a vegetarian option, your own choice of omelette or the traditional bacon, eggs and sausage. Discreet and efficient service ensures that your juice or coffee is always topped up and the menu even offers champagne to accompany your meal. Newspapers are on offer too.
The hotel is the perfect setting for a romantic couples retreat – children must be over the age of 12 to be guests at De Hoek and the sounds of water features and bird life are the only ones you’ll hear.
Lounges with comfortable couches offer quiet reading areas and the pool area is also a relaxing place to spend a peaceful morning.