We need to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life to realign ourselves, awaken our senses, and get back in touch with Mother Nature. Embarking on a journey to get closer to yourself and nature does not have to be a long one – FARMHOUSE at 58 is just a short drive from Johannesburg. You will return to the place where life began, right in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind near Krugersdorp.
I had the opportunity to spend a night on the property through a hosted trip with Curiocity Africa, an initiative that aims to share authentic experiences with visitors. The initiative is part of a larger project, which includes the Nirox Sculpture Park.
Much of it is still in development and not yet ready for the public. But from what I have heard, this will be quite something when finally done. Think Japanese tea ceremonies, meditation sessions, and a wellness centre, meeting rooms, villas, wellness workshops – basically anything to enrich our lives and help us reconnect with nature.
FARMHOUSE is a place of serenity, comfort and contemplation. I found that everywhere – in all their spaces and their activities. The property aims to bring you as close to nature as possible. It is a place that allows you to become aware. Several large ponds on the property attract choirs of frogs as darkness falls. But as if by magic, they became quieter later that evening when it was time for us to go to bed.
Staying at FARMHOUSE
The rooms follow a simple design philosophy. There are hints of incompleteness, roughness, and simplicity. This Japanese style called Wabi-Sabi reiterates that nothing is permanent. The furniture is repurposed instead of sourcing new items, true to this style.
There are six premium rooms, seven deluxe rooms, and eight standard rooms. Some rooms look out over newly planted orchards. All the rooms bring nature to your doorstep.
Apart from the outdoor spots created with relaxation in mind, several indoor spaces encourage this too. There is a small library above the reception area. You can get creative next to the reception and try your hand at art or even a game of chess. In fact, art is an integral part of the experience.
Hiking at FARMHOUSE
After snacking on some of the best olives I have had in a while, decadent dark truffles and nuts, we went on a sunset hike with Lesego Mapeka from Epic Hikes. I did not check, but it was probably 4-5km. This guided hiking experience was rather unusual, something new for me.
Thought-provoking questions opened up a dialogue between us and led to deeper discussions. It allowed us to contemplate. We appreciated the sunset with a cup of coffee in hand from the top of the koppie. It is here where you will find a giant wall with a hole in it.
This seemingly alien structure is an art piece titled Sun(W)hole by Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi. Exposure to the elements allows daily changes. It slowly weathers away, allowing it to become part of nature. It shows that nothing is permanent. We discussed the notions of this concept and a borderless Africa and becoming part of nature.
As we walked back, we passed through the ruins of an ancient civilization, quite suitable in the Cradle of Humankind.
Tantalising your taste buds
The food at FARMHOUSE is delicious and ever-changing. Most of the ingredients come from the area. The menu, therefore, changes according to seasons and what is available. We dined next to a cosy fire that night to ward off the chilly spring air. We were able to choose between a few options for starters, mains and dessert, spoiling us for choice.
I had a carrot and tahini soup for starters, beef stew with creamy polenta for mains and apple crumble for dessert. Breakfast was spicy Mexican beans with guacamole, salsa, and cheese, topped with an egg. There was plenty of sourdough bread with creamy butter to go around too.
Ideal spot for realignment
After breakfast, we joined Simon Kehagias from Breathwork Africa for a breathing session next to the waterfall. I have no experience with meditation and have never practised it, but I felt so refreshed after the session. Simply taking a step back and giving in to the sound of nature and breathing can relax you completely. We are so far removed from Mother Nature in our everyday lives. It is crucial to take that step back now and again.
A visit to FARMHOUSE is a different experience, and I would definitely be keen to visit again in the future to see the progress. If you plan a visit, don’t expect your standard commercial holiday experience. A visit to FARMHOUSE focuses on relaxation, healing, contemplation, and getting closer to nature and self.
We would love to hear from you in the comments. Have you visited FARMHOUSE or any other similar experiences in South Africa?