Cooking with Heart

Good Taste Magazine

Extract from Good Taste - what is life without it? by Malu Lambert

"How food brings people together!"

I met Malu Lambert years back at an EAT OUT award ceremony and since then we have been in contact. It just happens... I recently had the pleasure of staying at VONDELING wine estate, in the Paardeberg, and meeting the fantastic wine maker: Matthew Copeland who just happens to be her, as she says: “almost brother in law :) and uncle to her son. Once again the world proves how small it is.

I was super excited to hear that Malu, James and little Elliot were in the KZN-Midlands and that they could fit in a visit to Hartford House. Lunch at Hartford is open to the public, as is breakfast and dinner. Read about Malu’s experience and we hope to welcome you, one day soon for either breakfast, lunch and/or dinner :

The dense scenery of Mooi River zips past the windows of our rented car. The terrain is hilly and tropical, saturated with green, and spiked with gold grain. We’ve been travelling through the Midlands for a few days now, winding our way from farm to pub to restaurant; soaking up the strangeness of this mysterious place.

The valley unfolds, rural and quiet. The first thing to greet us as we arrive at Hartford House is a horse, its tail lazily flicking in the air. Not much can prepare us for the entrance to the estate though; as we drive through the wrought iron gates, I feel like Orphan Annie arriving at the Warbucks Mansion; it’s so positively sweeping and grand.  

In the centre of this sprawling thoroughbred stud farm, is the multi-award winning five-star boutique hotel and restaurant, Hartford House (as its name suggests it evolved out of the property’s stately home). We pause at the top of the steps to the patio, and take in the manicured gardens, the towering willow trees, the sea of green lawn, the burbling fountain. (I’m told later by the general manager that the cupid statue overlooking the pond is actually one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs, and that only three like it were made from the mould before it was destroyed.)