Lady Caroline Bruce and her siblings have extended their passion for sustainability, health, food, entertainment and style into Oaklands Country Manor, situated seven kilometres from the N3 highway at Van Reenen. They grow their own food in a permaculture garden and source local, organic and sustainable produce from farmers.
The vegetable phô soup with sweet-potato noodles starter captures meticulous attention to complementary hints of ginger with patiently stewed vegetable broth and spices. Locally sourced seared loin of blesbok with a beautiful red wine jus, tempura onion, bacon and rosemary garnish will tickle every sensation in your body. It won’t be long before your company begins passing around plates so everyone can share in everything. From homemade Thai chicken curry and naan to Dargle valley pork, the assortment appeals to all.
The chef marries contrasts of texture, taste and colour in dishes with desserts such as a molten chocolate pot or steamed sticky orange pudding with berry ice cream. This is simple food that’s healthy, well-presented and entrenches your veins with satisfaction.
The hosts recommends drinks to complement your dish or the day’s weather. Interesting assortments of a rock shandy with star anise or quality gin and soda mixed with the house-made kombucha berry shrub cordial is something to be experienced.
Excellent, personalised and passionate.
The hotel is stylishly and eclectically decorated, merging a traditional country manor with pops of colour of modern African fabrics. The veranda overlooks polo horses cantering across the green field tucked into a valley of Eastern Free State mountain views. The crowd ranges from local patrons to weekend visitors. The hosts have a good understanding of preference – if you’re social and ready to meet others, they might introduce you to an adjoining table. If you prefer a private meal with a dear friend or love, they grant you your privacy. Children relish in the open-space play areas and the music gives you a positive beat to couple your culinary journey.
An extended culinary experience with friends and family.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
We go to Oaklands often as we love the place, whether it is for a weekend of R&R and good food, or if we are travelling down to the coast. We always return for the warm welcome, friendly hospitality and.... the food!!
The restaurant is very special with its beautiful view during lunch, and the cosy ambience in the evenings. The delicious meals are prepared with love and passion - you can taste it!!
Starting and ending your evening in the warm atmosphere of the pub and meeting up with Caroline, Kathy, Annie, Simon and fellow guests is an absolute must!
Service is top notch from the wonderful staff!
We are regular visitors to Oaklands and have always been highly impressed with the quality and taste of the food. Of course it helps that most of the fresh ingredients are grown organically in the hotel's own gardens. The meat and poultry is traceable to source and it definitely translates into the outstanding menu that Chef Kathy can offer. If you love delicious food and a fabulous family stay with really personal service you will never be disappointed at Oaklands.
Oaklands is our home away from home. A beautiful property; welcoming owners and staff and the food is out of this world. We can think of no place we’d rather be on a mini break or just visit for a fantastic meal - The children have a blast; and the adults can relax and enjoy the delicious meals, stunning walks, out rides, polo or simply curling up with a good book. Simply put; if you have not been, you must.
Paul and I went to Oaklands for the first time in January 2015 and since then it has become our home away from home. The very first thing that we loved was how warm and welcoming the hosts are, then the food was just incredible. We told absolutely anyone and everyone that if you have not been to stay or dine at Oakland's, then you are missing out, and over the years we've taken several family members and friends to stay. We tend to overeat when we are there because everything is just so delicious but it's okay because when the dogs take us for a walk after breakfast, it builds up our appetite for lunch! Oaklands is known for their excellent curries and even if they don't have my favourite on the menu, they'll make it especially for me when I visit. That is not the kind of service you will receive just anywhere in the world. This place is a gem, my little piece of heaven and by far my favourite place in the world!! The food, the people, the accommodation, the landscape, the animals - everything and everyone at Oaklands makes it a special and memorable place to visit.
Hendre van Zyl
Our last visit to Oaklands, over Easter, was consistent with all previous visits: breathtaking and peaceful surroundings, beautiful interiors, excellent personal service, and the best local cuisine one can imagine. We enjoy each next plate of food as much as the previous, and the children cannot get enough of the horseriding, while the Tully family makes all visitors feel completely at home, almost part of the family. The biggest challenge is to plan our next visit, as it could never be soon enough.
Just had my 50th birthday at Oaklands, everyone went out of their way to make the weekend extra special. It is my 3rd trip to Oaklands and it never disappoints. From AMAZING food, staff, views and relaxation to the Festive Pub every evening. I highly recommend Oaklands for a great weekend away from the daily stress life throws at us.
ANDREW LE FEUVRE
Such phenomenal food, and brilliant ambience, an absolute must!
Beautiful venue, lovely staff and scrumptious food. A must visit!
Just has the most amazing weekend with the wonderful Tully family.
Our kids had a blast, the food was amazing and we enjoyed every minute
we love healthy fun and it ticks all the boxes
we will be back again soon
Oaklands is a firm family favourite for us and a compelling reason is the FOOD!
Farm fresh ingredients that just taste like real food should combined with the expert touch of Cathy & Johnson mean that meals are a daily highlight - three times a day. Throw in the hospitality of the team and I cant think of another experience anywhere in the world I have been that can beat that combination.
The most spectacular setting, service, ambience and food. Perfect for horse-riding kids and for a much needed family get away.
The kids loved every aspect from the horses to the food to the rooms. You feel at home at Oaklands, this is more than a country hotel, it is the most relaxing and enjoyable venue we have been to, largely thanks to the Tully family who make you and your kids feel special the moment you arrive.
That was out tenth visit - and there will be many more.
Kathy is simply the best chef in South Africa as far as I am concerned.
We are regular guests at Oaklands. We love the place and everything about it.
The food is however simply exceptional. So much thought goes into the entire cuisine process. From organically growing their own vegetables and herbs to sourcing the best possible local products, to researching the best ways to bring it all to the table. The team at Oaklands have an absolutely unique formula that is so hard to replicate. Go and check it out for yourselves. It worth the three hour drive from Jo'burg just for lunch!
It's always hard to choose whether I love the setting or the food more! Oaklands truly has it all and is ALWAYS worth a visit. Come hungry!
Wanda du Toit
We recently as a family spent three wonderful nights at Oaklands Country Manor. We loved starting every morning with home brewed Kombucha and then a scrumptious breakfast, amazing cappuccino too! If you haven't had their famous burgers for lunch, you're missing out! Dinners were an absolute treat every night with so many different offerings. You can enjoy organic chicken, lamb or beef and fresh fish and seafood. Chef Kathy and her team go the extra mile to find the best quality and grow all their own vegetables & herbs. We tried Shrub for the first time and how refreshing that drink was! Best time as a family we have had as we love quality organic food and we have found where we can go to have the best! We will be back soon! Wanda
Wonderful menu with old favourites and new dishes lovingly prepared by Chef Kathy Romer-Lee and her team. All ingredients are either sourced from their own garden or from farms in the region - you can taste the difference! This family run establishment is definitely worth the 3 hour trip from Johannesburg. Ideal for a relaxing weekend away!