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The menu includes a Ladybird, Royal, Blondie and Popeye breakfasts, but one could of course also join the hotel guests and have a buffet breakfast between 7.15am and 9.45am. While visiting the Mpumalanga Highlands, one would do well to sample some of the local produce, so try the trout pâté with home-made bread, or hot smoked trout fillets with sides. The ‘English’ fish and chips is superb, served with an array of sauces and condiments. But there is also oxtail, smoked gammon (Kassler steak), a steak and kidney pie, burgers, a Ploughman’s platter, a kiddies menu and of course blueberry or pecan nut pies and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
This is no place for ‘craft’ anything; the beers on tap are the everyday variety. But if you must have something slightly out of the ordinary, you could opt for a Guinness Kilkenny or a Bushmills Black Bush whisky. Two pages of cocktails and shooters precede the wine list, which kicks off with a Graham Beck Brut Rosé, a Boplaas Pinot Noir Brut and a Boschendal Brut NV as bubblies. Even though not large, there should be something for everyone on the wine list.
The same familiar gentleman has been running the pub for a number of years now, creating a sense of arriving at your friendly neighbourhood joint even if you visit only periodically. The service is brisk but friendly and helpful. When you ask if the fish and chips is good, expect to be reassured with a no-nonsense “It is superb”.
The pub and restaurant form part of the hotel and both look as if they might be part of a movie set. The pub is accessed through the main entrance of the hotel, but one can sneak in from the side via the stoep.
This is a favourite spot for serious bikers on weekend jaunts stopping for a brief respite. Expect to come across rugby or cricket fans enjoying a tipple and watching the game on the large screen overhead, as well as locals having a quick pint in front of the roaring fire.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.