My fiance, Paul, and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on Friday. He surprised me with a weekend getaway to one of my favorite places, Clarens, in the Free State. I love this little town and the amazing mountain scenery that surrounds it. It is honestly a perfect holiday destination.
Our road trip started on Friday morning, with me not knowing where we were going. We stopped at a few places along the Midlands Meandor (namely Florentines Belgian Chocolate Shop) before heading off again. The scenery is absolutely amazing there!
The Sterkfontein dam made for an awesome photo opportunity.
As we got closer to our surprise destination, I started to get really excited. I realized that my lovely fiance had booked a weekend away in Clarens. We entered the Golden Gate National Park and I could hardly contain my excitement. The mountain views in this park are breathtaking and, in my opinion, some of the best views in South Africa.
The rock formations in the Golden Gate National Park are stunning. We drove through at about 4:30pm and the lighting was perfect for these photos. We also saw some Wildebeest, buck and surprisingly, a jackal!
We were almost at the entrance to the town of Clarens, when my face lit up with a huge smile. Paul, being as loving as he is, saw this and promptly drove past the turn off! Needless to say, the mood in the car change dramatically, as he told me that we still had “150km to go” to our final destination. I quietly voiced my disappointment, to which Paul replied “Okay, we’ll turn around” and then he burst out laughing. He had deliberately driven past Clarens just to get a reaction out of me, which apparently was incredibly funny to him! Anyway, after some profanity from me, we made it to our B&B (the same one we had stayed at when we first went to Clarens, quite a few years ago).
After unpacking and chatting to the B&B owners, we headed to my favorite restaurant, Clementines. The food here is amazing!
Obviously, we ended up eating there on Friday & Saturday night. The first night I did remember to take a photo of my dinner (unfortunately, half way through it, because I couldn’t wait to eat it!).
On Friday night I had the 300g beef fillet (which was cooked to perfection). It came with butternut, potato wedges and broccoli. Paul said he enjoyed his chicken pot pie. Saturday night, I gave the chicken schnitzel a try, which was lovely. Paul had the chicken tikka marsala, which he said was very tasty. They also have the most delicious creme brulee that I have ever had, so I ate that on both nights!. We also decided to try some craft beer from the Clarens Brewery. Their Clarens Red was really, really good (and I’m not a big beer drinker at all)! We had an unexpected dinner guest on both evenings, the live-in restaurant cat! It decided to spend Friday night on Paul’s lap and Saturday night on mine. I ended up eating my dinner over this friendly cat!
If you’re ever in the area, you also have to visit The Purple Onion Deli, they have some awesome chocolates and other local treats.
We thoroughly enjoyed our little getaway and will hopefully be doing it more often in future!