I have always believed that one of the most valuable gifts you can give another person is simply
In our modern-day, fast-food world, it is easy to pop into a store, select a gift or card and give it to the person. But giving of your time takes an extra-special effort. It is something that I value immensely and has always been top of my birthday wish-list. Yesterday, I got my wish.
After dropping by the office to ensure everything was in order, 'The Boss' arrived back at home to spend the rest of the day with me. What a lovely gesture. To celebrate the day, I suggested that we take a short car-trip out to the tranquil mountains of the Magaliesberg (about 45 minutes from Johannesburg) and find a place where we could stop for lunch. It was a perfect South African winter's day - clear blue skies, comfortable temperatures and companionable company. I took along my camera too.
The countryside is etched in Autumn colours. The dryness of winter can't distract from the beauty - a million types of grasses in hues of gold and orange decorated the roadside. The mountains too have a glow about them. I love the little roads in the Magaliesberg.
Finally we came to a place called 'The Black Horse' - a small country restaurant with a private brewery. We parked our car under the trees and made our way up to the picturesque main buildings.
Tall Pecan-nut trees towered above our heads.
I could feel myself relax immediately amidst the open country atmosphere. In the distance a horse grazed happily.
To add to my delight, we were greeted by three very laid-back resident dogs.
We were formally welcomed by a host and offered a table - either outside, under the trees, or inside at the bar. We chose to enjoy the fresh air outside.
"The Black horse" is home to a small private brewery - beer - so the boss had to sample the wares:
I ordered a pot of tea for myself and then went check out the place:
(Above: the bar area with the brewery in the background. The manager said that we were welcome to take a closer look)
It would have been nice to have had a pamphlet to read about what these people do, but unfortunately none was available. Although they don't offer bottles/tins of beer for purchase, one can order a glass or two to drink on the premises. On the menu is: "Red Irish Ale", "Black Horse golden lager" and "Home-made Ginger Beer". Their "American Dark Lager" was sold out.
(BTW, I'm not a beer drinker - preferring my tea - but the brewery did add to the ambience and I imagine that this is a good stop-over point for bikers on their Sunday excursions)
(Below: The bar area, although deserted - it was the middle of the week - looked very hospitable)
I had a good laugh at the sign below: "Never trust a skinny cook".
The 'attic' section of the venue is very tastefully decorated:
I then went back to our table to enjoy my tea and order lunch. The meal menu is simple but generous - more than sufficient for an outing such as ours. "The Boss" ordered a rump steak and I ordered a pizza.
Being the middle of the week there was only one other couple present. Despite the lack of customers, it was obviously 'business-as-usual'. The setting was comfortable and tranquil and there was pleasant music emanating from the bar area. The country aromas (from the nearby horse-stable) just added to the ambience. It's the perfect setting for a mid-week, country outing. The Boss and I really enjoyed the opportunity to relax and chat. I particularly enjoyed the presence of our constant canine companion. I think she knew that I was a 'dog-person'. Don't you just love her expressive eyes?
After lunch, we took a stroll through their garden. I admired this little room, covered in pretty ivy.
If you want a similar outing, I would recommend it. It's a really nice break from the hustle-bustle of the city. Be prepared, however, because your meal may take a while. Rather sit back, relax and enjoy the fresh air and country ambience.
Thank you again to my hubby for a wonderful birthday - especially for taking a whole day off to simply be with me. You are the best!