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An Extraordinary Experience!

What an exceptional weekend that showcased all that BrahmanHills has to offer, a time filled with thrilling adventures, amazing experiences, great people, and fine wines.

Day 1 – The Beginning of an Exceptional Weekend

Warm Welcomes and Exciting Discoveries

We started the weekend with warm greetings, followed by delicious welcome snacks in the Skyfall Bar and Lounge while our guests checked into their cottages and rooms.

The afternoon kicked off with guided garden walks led by our landscaper and garden designer, Tim Steyn. Guests walked through the veggie gardens, leading to the incredible circular bee kraal surrounded by water. This area houses 16 beehives shaped like Zulu huts, with a middle fountain that leads to a downhill stream of water towards the lake.

Tim explained the importance of our Brahman bees in pollinating our award-winning garden and producing over 220 litres of delicious organic raw honey for use in our kitchen. The Zulu huts, handcrafted by clay and bead artists, are a work of art.

We continued with a walk to the mound surrounded by water, overlooking the glorious property and rolling hills of the Midlands. A stroll past the cherry blossom trees brought us back to the main garden to exploreCarol's garden filled with wild grasses. Strolling through winding pathways, arches, and water features with blooms of purple and pink, we reminisced about how the gardens were built by staff during the lockdown. It became clear why the garden was awarded RHS Partner Garden of the Year 2023 in the overseas regional category!

The art walks with Tyron Selmon-Butler from Art Eye Gallery through the picturesque gardens allowed our guests to discover captivating art pieces from 12 of South Africa’s up-and-coming artists. During the curated walk, Tyron explained the stories of artist concepts from inception to final execution, showcasing the harmony between nature and art in the garden.

As helicopter blades thundered in the background, 15-minute heli-flights gave guests a bird’s eye view of the gardens and surrounding Midlands areas, continuing until sunset as guests prepared for an evening of fine food, wine, and great company!

Wine and Dine with Great People!

Friday night revealed an exceptional dinner crafted by the renowned celebrity Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, complemented by a selection of the finest Bruce Jack wines like Berrio Sauvignon Blanc and Lifestyle Blush Bruce.Engaging conversations with fellow guests and revered rugby icons Tendai Mtawarira (Beast), Stefan Terblanche, Duane Vermeulen, and Hanyani Shimange added to the ambiance.

Chef Pete introduced his menu of handheld delights, starting with Caramelised Cauliflower & Pumpkin Seed Risotto, Tandoori Chicken, Naan Bread served with a Pickled Cucumber & Coriander Masala Dressing, a delicious Confit of Duck & Mushroom Pie, rich Beer Braised Beef Shin Croquettes with a Roasted Garlic & Mustard Sauce, Smoked Fillet of Beef, and Tomato & Cumin paired with the Ghost in the Machine and Reserve Pinotage Bruce Jack wines. Talented saxophonist and keyboard artist Rene filled the room while sweet sensations of Caramelised Fig & Goats’ Cheese Pizzetta, Tarte Tatin, Vanilla Ice Cream, Baked Guava Custard, and Macadamia Nut Praline were served.

A Surprise Mystery!

The night took an enchanting turn with a surprise art walk after dessert, following a trail of lanterns to the mysterious candlelit Grotto to introduce the mesmerising new Medusa sculpture. Filled with excitement, groups entered the grotto to reveal the never-before-seen bronze and wood sculpture by artist Sandro Trapani, followed by a snakebite shot to calm the nerves!

The legendary story of Medusa begins with the tragedies she endured in her life, yet her tale is one of rising above pain and finding strength! The ancient legend says that looking her in the eye would turn one to stone! For the remainder of the evening, music and conversations set the tone for what Saturday had in store. Anticipation mounted for what Saturday would reveal!

Day 2 – A Day of Tranquillity, Adventure, and Culinary Perfection

Morning Glory to Adrenaline

As the sun greeted us over the hills, we kicked off our day with yoga amidst scenic sunrise views in the Valley View Chapel with Yoga specialist Blossom with Nina, transitioning from relaxation to adrenaline with a 5km Park Run through the reserve with the rugby icons.

Explorations and Lunch with Views

Guided garden and art walks, thrilling helicopter rides, and spa treatments at the Healing Earth Spa filled our day, culminating in a delicious harvest table lunch with Anthonij Rupert Wyne on the lawn overlooking the rolling hills, accompanied by the melodic sounds of the marimba band from the talented Thembelihle school.

More art pieces never seen before were also available for guests to discover. The 4.5 meter tall Hanneke Sculpture by Sandro Trapani stood proudly overlooking the dam with hands stretched out, wearing roots as a crown as a sign of preservation for our environment, with water falling from her hands back to the dam. Further down towards the second dam, the 2 meter tall Stargazer by Louis van den Heever could be seen reaching out to the sky, representing the dreamer in all of us, the petite head portraying a state of naïve and innocent joy, his immense hand pointing to the sky marvelling at the beauty of the stars.

The latest addition from Joyce Carreira, Leda and the Signet by the lake house fountain, tells the story of Greek mythology and Leda’s encounter with a swan, resulting in twins, one a human and the other a swan.The magnificent bronze sculpture shows Leda holding the young swan without stretched arms to teach him to fly, symbolising the excitement and anticipation of a journey into the unknown. Another powerful sculpture towards the hill from the lake is the Strike a Woman by Ben Tuge, a powerful arching bronze sculpture forming a gate to enter or exit towards the hill, paying homage to the strength of women in Africa.

Drinks at the Dragon’s Eye

The afternoon was spent indulging in Inveroche Gin and craft beer with wonderful company at the hidden tranquil space of the Dragon’s Eye, setting the stage for Saturday night’s exclusive dinner. The Dragon’s Eye is the perfect secluded spot to immerse oneself in nature, a serene enclosed space with a wooden deck and views of a pond and small waterfall that invites relaxation and transportation to another world.

A Night of Culinary Perfection

The incredible dinner with the live band Calamity on Saturday night was expertly curated by Chef Pete Goffe-Wood. Boasting six exquisite courses, the dinner was perfectly paired with award-winning Mullineux wines, leaving us all in awe. Chris and Andrea from Mullineux wines joined us to share their captivating wine story and expertly paired each wine with its accompanying dish.

The culinary journey began with a delightful Kloof Chenin Blanc, setting the stage for the evening’s delights. The Old Vine White was expertly paired with a Carpaccio of Beef, Pickled Carrots, Crisp Capers & Horseradish Cream, followed by a dish of Golden Beets, Goats’ Cheese, HazelnutCrumb, and Beet Butter.

Next up was the Hickory Smoked Duck Breast, Lentils & Quince, a perfect match for the velvety Mullineux Syrah. The Dark Beer Braised Beef Brisket, Red Cabbage & Parsnip Purée proved to be another culinary triumph, perfectly complemented by the rich flavours of the Syrah. And to cap off the evening, the rare Mullineux Straw Wine was paired with a decadent Buttermilk Pannacotta, Crisp Pistachio Phyllo & Caramelised Oranges.

Truly a feast for our senses and a grand finale for an extraordinary weekend in the Midlands!

So much to say about this incredible weekend—the people, the magnificent art, the experiences, the food, and the wine—but one word sums it all up... EXTRAORDINARY!

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The Brahman Hills Team
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