In 1898 Sir Thomas Cullinan dug up a three carat diamond alongside his farm fence – years later it would be known as the world’s largest gem-quality rough diamond, and the resulting small mining town as a recreational road trip destination.
Located 96km outside of Johannesburg and 46km outside of Pretoria, just getting to Cullinan is an adventure. It’s worth it, though, proving the perfect spot for a spontaneous lazy lunch.
Arguably serving the best Greek food in Gauteng, this iconic establishment is a must when visiting the area, even if it’s just to nab some takeaway calamari for later. Stavros and his extended family of good-looking waiters will treat you to portions as generous as the flavours themselves. Bookings are essential on weekends, but the table is yours for the day so make a time of it. Get Krone by the glass for R40 with one of their platters, which consist of salad, garlic bread, pitas, dips and their famous potato wedges. Also included is your choice of a myriad of meze, such as artichokes in lemon yoghurt or creamy dreamy chicken bourekia for R175 per person.
This little aquamarine bakery bistro has everything you could ever wish for: a tea room, hand-made chocolate, bags of biscuits reminiscent of your childhood and éclairs of every shape and size you could want – including horse-shoe shaped ones.
Every true roadtripping Gautenger knows these thick luscious pancakes. Owned by Harrie and his partner Willem, the only thing they love as much as pancakes is supporting local artists. Every month each of their establishments is covered in work by a talented soul. Enjoy their own creativity in the form of pancakes, with your choice of a sweet or savoury filling, or something completely different, like a delectable tuna salad. Or go for the four-egg scramble Dullstroom breakfast, with dullstroom trout and chives on toast for R115.
If you like beer, burgers, rugby and live music, then this is the place to be. This spot makes its own beer and is popular with Pretoria locals, who favour the good tunes and vibe. Covered in a bevy of pinup blondes, with fun names to match, The Cockpit Brewhouse is delicious and fun. You should definitely give their Spitfire English Ale a try.
Situated in the old station house, Oppistasie runs along the railway tracks, where the occasional steam train still rolls in. Oppiestasie is an old favourite, featuring a well-worn bar and classic grub. The restaurant pays homage to its past in fun ways, such as with an old-fashioned station pie that you can grab for R75, and it’ll come in spades – literally, your food is served on a serving dish made from a spade.
Directing someone to this little Italian spot is akin to giving children a treasure hunt to complete – and it’s just as worth it. Piacere has the best playground in town and a menu filled with delicious pizzas to match.
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