Cathedral Peak Hotel - Family Friendly Getaways in the Drakensburg

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A little while ago I was offered a 2 night stay at the beautiful Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Berg. The offer couldn’t have come at a better time, as Farmboy had been hard at work, farming, and we were in desperate need of a family getaway.

We have spent time at Champagne Sports Resort as well as the Drakensburg Sun, but I have only been into the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve when I was little, and that was to do one of the many beautiful overnight hikes. Although we didn’t get to do much hiking on this trip (having a one year and being 5 months pregnant does tend to slow you down just a bit) the Cathedral Peak Hotel was the perfect place for a family to spend the weekend.

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Not only did we stuff ourselves silly at the buffet (seriously, their food was some of the best hotel food I’ve ever eaten!) but their kiddies play area was so well equipped too. Even I enjoyed a good number of jumps on the trampoline (before I realised that jumping on a trampoline while pregnant is probably not the smartest idea...#scrambledeggs haha).

From the moment we stepped into the reception, we were greeted by such warm and welcoming staff who were so helpful during our stay. Nothing was too much trouble, and by the end of our stay Everly has charmed all the staff and genuinely seemed to be sad to say goodbye. If you’re looking for a good family friendly place to spend the weekend, I would definitely recommend adding Cathedral Peak Hotel to the top of your list!

Although this was a sponsored trip, all thoughts and views are my own, and we will definitely be heading back out of our own pocket….Perhaps after our next little one has arrived and we can all enjoy the gorgeous hiking trails (and rock pools!) on offer.

Cathedral Peak Hotel is about a 3 hour drive from Durban, and only about 4.5 hours from Joburg. It’s definitely an easy enough place to get to from either city for the weekend. It took us about 3 hours from the farm, but granted, we live out in the middle of nowhere and everywhere is far for us. You set your GPS for the small but delightful town of Winterton, and then from there the Hotel’s website has really great step by step directions.

Whenever people post reviews of places they’ve stayed before, I’m always far more interested in the photos than I am in their descriptions, so I’m going to let my images speak for me. But the one thing I have to harp on about was the food! Gosh, everything was freshly prepared every day, and we were still able to keep Everly on her Banting/No Sugar or processed carb eating during our stay. In fact, she loved the food so much, I’ve had to replicate some of the meals at home to keep her happy! Luckily the friendly chef was happy to share his ‘secret’ recipes with me after I explained that Everly was thoroughly enjoying his food!

Here are some snaps of the facilities on offer at Cathedral Pea Hotel…

The Rooms

While I didn’t manage to get a photograph of the bed before Everly and hubby made themselves right at home in anticipation of a long nap, I have to talk about how comfy it was! It was also HUGE and meant all three of us could lie in it without disturbing each other. Although, Everly has never been one to sleep in bed with us (she is just too noisy and wriggles about so much that none of us end up getting any sleep), the bed would be big enough for a family of 4 to sleep in comfortably.

We brought our own camp cot as I wasn’t sure if the Hotel would provide one, but sure enough, they had set up the sweetest wooden cot, complete with its own baby pillow and duvet!

The bathroom was big and spacious, with a the most amazing shower. Our little shower at home has the most pathetic pressure, and we only have about 5 little holes int he shower head to wash with. This shower was a whole new level of comfort and I really struggled to tear myself away from it when it was time to climb out and get dressed.

The Hotel even provides separate pool towels to bath towels, so you really don’t need to pack your own. They also had a lovely selection of toiletries to use.

What I loved the most about the rooms was how big they were. We were in a Standard room, and we had more than enough space for 2 camp cots (we did ask them to remove their one to make more space but it’s nice to know that two fit well so that when we come back with the new baba we will all have enough space!), our big pram, all of our stuff (especially Everly’s baby paraphernalia) and I didn’t ever feel like I was tripping over things. And the curtains make the rooms super dark, which meant we were ALL able to really maximise our morning and afternoon naps while the sun shone all day.

Restaurants & the Infamous Buffet

Kiddies Play Area

Swimming Pool Area

It was a bit windy over the weekend that we were there so while we didn’t actually get into the pools, we were able to enjoy getting our feet wet.

Two of the pools are heated (yay!) and there were lots of older kiddies happily swimming and splashing about. So definitely make sure to pack swimming costumes as the water looked so inviting!

Fishing & walks nearby

Although I wasn’t up to any serious hiking, we did head out on a lovely morning stroll to find the trout fishing dams. Farmboy is an AVID fisherman, and so he made it his mission that weekend to find the dams. While he didn’t actually get a moment to fish (he was catching up on all his missed sleep while being on farm duty the previous 2 weeks) we did find the dam and now we know for next time.

The stroll to the trout farm was beautiful, with fantastic views of the Peaks themselves. It only took us about 15 minutes to get to the little dam, but it did take a whole lot longer to walk back as their is a HUGE hill to the hotel (again, this is especially good for burning off all the waffles you’re going to eat at breakfast).

For the more adventurous, here is a little blurb on the actual hikes on offer from the Hotel:

“There are 19 walks/hikes that leave and return to the Hotel, for all levels of fitness, skill and ability. There is a guided walk/hike that leaves the hotel every morning (see reception for details of which hike on which day). There are also maps that can be purchased at reception for those walkers who would like to venture out on their own” Cathedral Peak Hotel

The only ‘downside’ to the hotel itself, and I’m hesitant to say downside as it was easy enough for us to work around, was all the stairs. It wasn’t that easy to push a pram on all the paths as a lot of the paths suddenly ended with a number of steps and we did have to go onto the grass a few times to be able to get to and from our room. While I didn’t mind the steps (it wasn’t easy going though for a pregnant lady!) they certainly helped me walk off all the food I put away during our stay.

We had such a wonderful stay and left feeling refreshed and relaxed, and with very full tummies. If you’re looking for something different to the usual beach holiday, a stay at Cathedral Peak Hotel has something for every member of the family.

Thanks so much for having us Cathedral Peak Hotel…we will definitely be back!

Escape to the Country - Self catering Farmstyle Accommodation in Creighton, KZN

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A few months ago, our family wrapped up renovations on one of the beautiful, original sandstone houses here on our farm. The farmhouse is called Bedford, as Farmboy and I got married on the property, making use of the beautiful old sandstone building opposite it for our ceremony, and the calf  shed for our reception (click here if you'd like to have a look at photos from our Vintage Farm-style Wedding).

With the renovations complete (for now!), I went about setting up the house on AirBnb and we welcomed our first set of guests over the Aloe Festival weekend. Since then we have had a number of guests stay at Bedford, and I thought it was about time I shared the space with my readers and followers here on the blog...

We have set up the house to be self-catering (we have provided anything and everything you could possibly need to make, serve and enjoy all your meals). The house has 5 bedrooms, and sleeps 10. There are 3 double rooms with queen sized beds, and two double rooms with twin beds. There are 2 bathrooms, one full bathroom inside with a shower, bath and toilet, and an outside loo for the more adventurous. Part of our plan in the future is to build on two more bathrooms inside.

There are also two wonderful fire places for those chilly afternoons and evenings...one in the main bedrooms, and the other in the cosy lounge. There is also a large dining room area for eating meals (or playing board games!) and a wonderful verandah with lots of comfortable seating overlooking our dam and the garden.

Bedford is also pet friendly, and we have already welcomed a number of guests and their pups:

"What a wonderful experience, wonderful for dogs and humans alike. A nice relaxing weekend with all the joys of country lounging and warmth. Worth a visit even if you don't have hounds!" CJ from Durban

The verandah and outside area

The Lounge & Dining Area

The Bedrooms

The Kitchen

The Inside Bathroom

Creighton is only 170km from Durbs (about a 2 hour drive) and the perfect spot to spend the weekend. We also have lots of outdoor activities, from fishing in our dams, to trail runs and mountain bike trails. We also have an extensive list of birds for those who enjoy bird watching, and then for those that prefer something a bit more leisurely, the lounge and outside verandah are the perfect spots to enjoy a good book with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Take a leisurely stroll along the river, and jump in to cool off (we can even arrange tubes and paddling for the more adventurous) or pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.

Our rates are R350 per person per night, with a minimum charge of R1050. Kids and babies are welcome too, and we can also organise a tractor ride for the little ones if they aren't too busy saying hello to the lambs and cows.

If you'd like to find out more or make a booking, head on over to our AirBnb listing by clicking here, or alternatively you can contact me directly via email by clicking here.

We are also on Facebook, and would love for you to pop by there and show our page some love:

We look forward to hosting you and your family & friends sometime soon!

Lemon Tree Cafe in Underberg...1 year later on and still the best hot chocolate in the land!

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This time last year, there was an epic snowfall in the Drakensberg. Farmboy and I, along with a lovely group of friends, went off in search of a patch or two of fluffy whiteness. While we didn't qiote get close enough to it to be able to build a snowman (unlike the CRAZY blizzards & snowfalls we experienced while living in South Korea) we still had a wonderful day enjoying a delicious hot chocolate (the best I've ever had! And I've drunken a LOT of hot chocolate in my time) and a really good meal at the Lemon Tree in Underberg.

After stuffing our faces silly, we took a drive up Sani Pass (well, as close to the top of Sani as we could get without our passports) and had coffee in blue tin mugs, with a view of the snow.

It was wonderful!

Oh, and I had a huge tummy at the time! It's always fun looking back at my bump now that my little girl is here with us. I can't believe a year has come and gone already. Here's to the next year!

Camera Cafe 꿈꾸는사진기 - Dreamy Camera Cafe just outside Seoul, South Korea

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I am rather late to writing this blog post and sharing these pictures (in the time since I visited Dreamy Camera Cafe, Farmboy and I...and our pup Shadow, moved back home to South Africa, settled on the family dairy farm and I had a baby! Whew...An awful lot considering these photos were only taken a year and a half ago!).

A quick recap if you're reading this post and wondering what on earth we were doing in South Korea...

Farmboy and I moved to South Korea for our second stint of teaching English (the first was for a year in 2010 when we had just started dating, and ended up living in Daejeon...our second round we returned as a married couple and were placed in the teeny tiny rural town of Buan...which you can read more about by scrolling through the posts here:

One of our absolute favourite things about Korea has got to be their plethora of themed cafes.

Koreans sure do love their coffee, and what they love more than good coffee, is a cute place to enjoy it in.

I'm linking below, some of the other cafes we visited (there's a racoon cafe, dog cafe, cat cafe, flower cafe, teapot cafe...the list goes on!):

And now back to Dreamy Camera Cafe...

The cafe is situated outside of Seoul, and isn't that easy to get to. We had in a car while living in Korea and so were able to get drive there ourselves. But, the owners are so friendly, and before we had a car I had been in touch with them and they had given me really good directions for using public transport. I'll put those details at the end of this post.

We took our pup, Shadow (he went everywhere with us) and he had a ball meeting the two local pups who live with their owners (the camera cafe owners) in a sweet little house next to the cafe. You'll find them in one of the polaroid pictures below.

The cafe itself is set inside a model of an actual classic Rolleiflex twin-lens camera. The cafe is a double storey building, with seating upstairs as well as downstairs. Every square inch of the cafe is filled with cameras and camera paraphanalia. It's a photographers dream!

It ended up taking us a good hour and a half driving through the peak holiday traffic in Seoul, and so we spent the morning at the cafe, drinking coffee, eating cheesecake and being served delicious homemade pink lemonade! The owners, Park Sung-hwan and his wife Kwak Myung-hee began construction on their dream in 2012, and first opened their doors a year later. 

Both Sung-hwan & Myung-hee built the cafe in the hopes that people would visit for longer than the time it takes them to snap a photo in front of the iconic building and gulp down a cup of coffee. They encourage their customers to spend time dreaming and leave inspired to bring their dreams to life.

They even take photos of their customers with a polaroid camera, encourage them to write down their dreams and hopes for the future. Here is our Bucket List...and I often look back at it with fond memories of our visit to the cafe:

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They even take photos of their customers with a polaroid camera, encourage them to write down their dreams and hopes for the future. Here is our Bucket List...and I often look back at it with fond memories of our visit to the cafe:

Farmboy and I fit right in with our collection of cameras (I had my Nikon d750...used for the photos here in this post, and my polaroid, and Farmboy came armed with his GoPro).

If you're looking for a fun daytrip from Seoul, I highly recommend heading out to Dreamy Camera Cafe. Take a book, your journal or even your knitting, and spend a few hours in the peaceful surroundings. The cafe is also just as magical in each of the 4 seasons. Head on over to their Instagram account (click here) to see more photos of the cafe in the snow, the blossoms and the Autumn leaves.

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Address:  

341-13 Jungwon-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Phone:

 +82 31-771-3264

Opening Hours: 

Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed on Mondays, Sundays & Public Holidays

Directions: 

If you come from seoul, there are two ways.
1. Use the Subway:
Jungang line station (youngsan, oksu, wangsimni, Cheongnyangni station...etc). 
Transfer to the Jungang line and go Yongmun station(용문역). 
Get out from yongmun station(용문역) Exit 1

* 2hrs need from Chungnyangni station to Yongmun station

2. Use Mugunghwa Train (usually once every two hrs)
You can only start your journey at Cheongnyangni station.
Cheongnyangni station (use the subway) and take the Mugunghwan Train to Yongmun station.
It takes 40minutes from Cheongnyangni station to Yongmun station.
At Youngmun station, take exit 1.
Take a taxi (it's 7km to the cafe). Tell/Show the taxi driver  "중원리 꿈꾸는 사진기"
+-10,000won need (about US$ 9~10)

Find the camera cafe online:


More posts on life in South Korea:

Blueberry Cafe in the Midlands - Great food in the Midlands

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Blueberry Cafe is a special place. It's nestled just outside Nottingham Road in the Natal Midlands, and from the moment you start up the winding driveway, you just know your in for a treat.

This is our second visit, and even though we have yet to have sunshine on our visits, the weather never takes away from our experience.

Both of our visits have been over breakfast time, and this visit we had their Harvest Table which consisted of a blueberry pancake, muesli, yoghurt, fresh fruit and honey for starters with a 'cocktail' of fresh fruit juices that you mix yourself.

This is then followed by your choice of eggs, a side of bacon....yum! 

Blueberry cafe is most famous for it's bluebweey cheescake, but we were so full from breakfast, we didn't have any room for dessert. We did have a great cappuccino though!

One of the highlights of this cafe is a trip to the bathroom...I won't spoil the suprise entirely, but here's some photos to give you a little hint.

Pull the Wool

The cafe also has an amazing room filed with locally produced gifts and artwork. If it wasn't the middle of summer, I would have bought ALL the woollen items from cape town based Pull The Wool.

Instead, I had to make do with my camera in capturing the gorgeous colours and  textures.

You can find Pull The Wool online here >>> https://pull-the-wool.com/

Leigh Woodgate Paintings

I have long since been a fan of Leigh Woodgate's beautiful artwork, and have seen her paintings for sale all over KZN. My mom in law has a number of gorgeous roses in her home here on the farm, and I know that her work adorns a lot of the local ladies here in my town.

I'm hoping own one of them someday soon!

You can connect with Leigh Woodgate and her artwork on Facebook >>> Leigh Woodgate Art

Moth Home

And now on to my favourite things...these bags from Moth Home! How gorgeous are they?! These duffel bags make me want to jet off to a magical island right now.

Our visit to Blueberry Cafe was during our first family weekend away in the Berg. We spent one night at the gorgeous Forty Winks Guesthouse in Rosetta (blog post to come soon) and then another two nights with family in the Berg.

And finally, here are some shots of my little girl, who had just started smiling and cooing, and only had eyes for Dad...

Have you been to Blueberry Cafe? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

In the mean time, here are some more posts on places to visit in SA:

Creighton Steam Train Ride through the Aloes

The little village of Creighton, the place I now call home, is home to so much more than dairy cows and wide open spaces. It's got two wonderful attractions that bring thousands of visitors every July.

June and July mark the start of Aloe season, and with that, our town hosts the Creighton Aloe Festival, a weekend of activities for the whole family; from hot air balloon rides to market stalls, pony rides and great food.

And, throughout the month of July, the Creighton Steam Train is up and running and visitors hop aboard for a journey through the valley of Aloes.

The train leaves the Creighton Railway Station and makes the 3 hour round trip from Creighton to Riverside, along the Ngogwaan River.

Farmboy and I, along with some friends (all armed with a delicious picnic lunch) boarded the train at 10am after stuffing our faces with bacon & egg rolls and cups of hot chocolate on the station platform. The train starts its journey by making its way through the neighboring farms (the best part was catching a glimpse of our own farm from the carriage window) before it winds its way down to the river.

Depending on the train schedule, there are either 1 or 2 stops along the way. Our train just stopped once, and we all piled off in search of the perfect picnic spot.

Farmboy also had his drone with him and will be putting together an awesome video of our trip. 

Here is the video he made last year documenting the route the train takes.

This year we were able to actually go on the train so keep a look out for that video soon.

We stopped for just over an hour, long enough to soak up the sunshine and enjoy our picnic amongst the aloes.

It was a really enjoyable morning, and I hope we are able to go again next year.

How to book:

Contact glynnis@toocee.co.za or rayna1@telkomsa.net to make your booking.

Price per person:

Children age 3 to 12 apply. Children under 3yrs are free.

Coaches:  Adults // Children

  • Sisonke Coach:  R280  // R230
  • Casual Lounge coach:  // R230 // R200
  • Sitter & Family Coach:   // R200  // R170
  • Vintage coach:  R180 // R150
  • Caboose Coach:  R180 // R150

Italy Through Photographs - Highlights of our three week Babymoon through Milan, Lake Como, Bologna, Rome, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Pisa, Amalfi, Naples & Bergamo

In June this year, Farmboy and I headed to Italy for 21 days of {backpacking} adventure to celebrate our baby-moon (or rather, the celebrate our last few moments of life as we know we it before our little girl joins us in September). 

I will be writing travel guides for all of the places we visited, but it's going to take me a while. Along with our trip to India last year (eeeek I still have yet to finish the travel guides for that!) this was one of the most extensively planned trips we have ever done. This was all due to the fact that we had to have ALL our bookings (trains, planes, accommodation, buses etc) booked ahead of time in order to secure Farmboys Schengen Visa. I am lucky enough to hold dual citizenship and so have a British Passport, which makes traveling a breeze for me, but which unfortunately gives poor Farmboy no special treatment.

We stayed in AirBnb's for 90% of the trip, only staying in Hotels on the Amalfi coast when we couldn't find an AirBnb within our budget. We were backpacking (or rather, Farmboy was...I carried the camera bag and of course our little baby) and managed to survive 3 weeks living out of a 13kg bag.

I will be sharing more on what we packed (including what toiletries I packed) in another post. I also will write more on what traveling while being 6 months pregnant is like soon.

All in all, it was FAR easier than I had thought. Bonus...being able to skip all the queues at the airports!

Here is a breakdown of our 20 day trip:

Johannesburg > Istanbul, Turkey > Milan

Milan (1 night)

Milan > Bellagio, Lake Como (2 nights)

Bellagio > Milan > Venice (2 nights)

Venice > Bologna (1 night)

Bologna > Florence (1 night)

Florence > Todi, Tuscany/Umbira (3 nights)

Todi > Rome (3 nights)

Rome > Amalfi Coast (1 night in Ravello & 3 nights in Conca dei Marini)

Amalfi Coast > Naples (1 night)

Naples > Bergamo (1 night)

Bergamo > Milan > Istanbul, Turkey > Johannesburg

It's going to take some time before the travel guides are up, so in the mean time, here are a few of the photographic highlights of our trip.

We bought a second hand Fujifilm x100T especially for the trip, and had planned to only take that camera along but I ended up taking my Nikon D750 at the last minute. I'm so glad I did as it took me a while to figure out how the Fujifilm worked and to get used to it. So here are my photographs from both cameras.

Farmboy is working on a travel video too, which I'll link up here in this post when it's done.

Enjoy!

x

 

Here are some of my other Travel Guides for you to browse through in the mean time while I create the guides for Italy.

Enjoy!

Joburg to Cape Town roadtrip via Poffadder, Springbok, Kaamieskroon, Bitterfontein & Yzerfontein with our dog to see the Namaqualand flowers!

Joburg to Cape Town roadtrip via Poffadder, Springbok, Kaamieskroon, Bitterfontein & Yzerfontein with our dog to see the Namaqualand flowers!

A few weeks after arriving back in South Africa from living in South Korea (click here to ready more about our 4 years spent teaching English in Korea), Farmboy and I headed off on a 6 week road trip around South Africa. We started our trip in Johannesburg (where my family are) and ended on the farm in Kwazulu Natal (where Farmboy's family are). 

During those 6 weeks we visited about 15 towns and cities, some of which I had never heard of before, and had wonderful adventures seeing more of South Africa than either of us had seen before. This is a very image heavy post, so you might want to go and make yourself a cup of tea while you wait for these images to load :)

Farmboy also vlogged our trip, which you can watch by heading over to his youtube channel (click here). There are lots of fun behind the scenes videos of our trip, which I think you'll really enjoy.  I've linked them below so you can watch them right here in this post.

The aim of this trip was to see the famous Namaquland Daisies, as well as to explore more of Cape Town. When we got home from Korea, we wanted to spend time in the major cities in South Africa to see if we would like to settle and make home in any of them. This trip was the perfect opportunity to explore Cape Town and see if we could imagine ourselves making it our new home. 

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Things to do in Cape Town - visit Babylonstoren for the day

Things to do in Cape Town - visit Babylonstoren for the day

Farmboy and I just got back from a whirlwind road trip around South Africa, starting in Johannesburg and making our way up close to the Botswana border, right down to Cape Town and finally ending up on the farm in Natal. We drove over 7 500 km (that's about 4500 miles for my American friends).  We visited 15 towns/cities and stayed in 10 of them during our 6 week trip.

One of the highlights of this trip was our visit the Babylonstoren, a place I had seen mentioned by my favourite bloggers since it opened its doors in 2012. 

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Creighton Aloe Festival Steam Train

Creighton Aloe Festival Steam Train

We have officially been back in South Africa for 3 weeks! In case you're new around here, my husband (Farmboy) and I were living in South Korea for the past 3 years where we were teaching English. It was a wonderful 3 years, but we are very happy to be back home.  My husbands parents are dairy farmers in a small town called Creighton, about 2 hours inland from Pietermaritzburg and we have been here visiting them for the past week. It's been wonderful seeing family after such a long time of being away, and we plan to spend the rest of the year between the farm and my family in Joburg, until we decide where we want to settle.

Hopefully we will have figured that out by January!

Creighton Aloe Festival

We just missed the Creighton Aloe Festival which takes place once year here in Creighton. The aloes are absolutely beautiful, and this year there were four hot air balloons offering views of the gorgeous countryside.

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Innisfree Cafe Seoul, South Korea

Innisfree Cafe Seoul, South Korea

If you've been following this blog for any time at all, I'm sure you'll know have come across a post or two sharing my love for the Innisfree brand.

Innisfree is known as the first, original South Korean all-natural brand, and is one of the few Korean brands that use organic ingredients certified by France's ECOCERT organisation. All of it's packaging is recyclable, and the ingredients in it's products are natural and not filled with a million and one chemicals.

What I love most about Innisfree is the fact that their products are reasonably priced, and they WORK! There are so many amazing Korean skincare and makeup brands, but a lot of them look a lot better than they work. Korean packaging is incredibly cute and will have you buying all sorts of products just because they will look pretty on your dresser. 

You can imagine my delight when I found out that Innisfree has it's own cafe! There are two locations, one on Jeju Island (the home of Innisfree) and on in Seoul.

During the last weekend we spent in Korea (in case you're new around here, my husband and I spent 3 years living in South Korea and have only just returned home to South Africa) I was able to pop into the cafe and experience the beauty of Innisfreein it's 'cafe' form.

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The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

After a second visit to this delightful burger place in Gwangju, I am 100% convinced that this will be one of the best you'll eat while in Korea. I'm talking real, homemade, grilled patties with plenty of extra toppings that will leave you with a very full stomach and a happy heart.

Burger Bridge is a small restaurant located on the other end of downtown Gwangju, near Mudeung Mountain 무등산. It's in the Chosun University area, a place filed with the trendiest cafes, bars and restaurants. It's quite nearby to Florida Cafe and Hertz Guesthouse (one of our favorite dog-friendly places to stay).

The best part about this place (apart from how good their burgers are and what good value for money they are) is their opening times! Most restaurants open closer to midday in Gwangju, which is a real pain if you wake up early like us. Burger Bridge is open from 10 am! The restaurant itself is small, but oh-so-charming, and the guys who run it are super friendly. You can tell they are proud of their burger joint!

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Teapot Cafe in Jangseong (Jeongeup Countryside), South Korea - En Rogel Teapot Café

Teapot Cafe in Jangseong (Jeongeup Countryside), South Korea -  En Rogel Teapot Café

I have been wanting to visit the Enrogel Teapot Cafe ever since reading about it on Seoul State of Mind. When my friend Sam from There She Goes Again (you might recognise Sam as the stylist behind a lot of my styled photo shoots) recently took a trip there and I saw her photographs, I knew I had to make a plan to get there. Most of the weird and wonderful places to see in Korea are in Seoul. As I live way down south in a tiny little town called Buan, getting to Seoul is only really possible on the weekends.

I was delighted to find out that the teapot cafe is a mere 40 minute drive from Buan, and so I was able to go visit it one afternoon afternoon after school.

The cafe itself is actually just outside Jeongeup, which makes getting there quite easy as you can catch a train to Jeongeup and then from there a local bus. I am not sure of the exact route to take via public transport as I have a car (having a car in Korea is a real game changer especially if you have a dog here like we do).

The cafe is located in just outside Jangseon village , which is between Jeongeup & Gwangju and is actually quite near the famous Baekyangsa Temple in Naejangsan National Park. Naejangsan is particularly famous for its display of Autumn leaves, and Baekyangsa temple is a very special place to visit during Autumn.

We visited the teapot cafe at the end of Spring, and must have just missed the cherry blossoms. We were able to catch a glimpse of the end of the blossoms, but from the little we could still see of the blossoms, it must have been magnificent during full bloom. The drive itself from Buan to Jangseon is beautiful, and well worth an afternoon drive if you have a car.

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BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Kota Kinabalu

BORNEO MALAYSIA TRAVEL GUIDE: Kota Kinabalu

Welcome to Part 3 of my Borneo Travel Guide. My husband and I spent two weeks exploring Malaysian Borneo in July 2015. We had a great time, and would definitely recommend it. We had a few ups and downs, mainly due to the environmental damage we saw pretty much everywhere, it was terribly sad to see so much deforestation. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I was traveling with anyone else, but Farmboy was an environmental consultant is his former life and so was more aware than me (I thought there was a lot of green but what I thought was natural vegetation was 9 times out of 10 palm oil plantations). We also knew very little about Borneo (apart from the fact that it is one of the last places where you can see Orangutan in their natural habitat), and actually ended up deciding to go there because it had the cheapest flights and seemed like a very unique holiday destination. 

You may be thinking of heading to Borneo soon (or sometime in the future) so to help you plan your trip, I have put together this travel guide, as well as some tips from our stay. Please keep in mind that my husband and I may travel very differently to you, and have different likes and preferences for things. I prefer the more luxurious path, while Farmboy would stay in a hammock for the entire trip if it was up to him. So we plan accordingly, and of course, try to stick to the budget.

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Art In Island - Dog Friendly Wooden Cabin in Gangwon-Do, South Korea

Art In Island - Dog Friendly Wooden Cabin in Gangwon-Do, South Korea

It only took us 3 years, but we finally found the perfect little wooden cabin in the mountains here in Korea. And the best part, they are dog friendly (not just in the cabin, but in the surrounding campsite too!). I am always looking for get away places here in Korea, and even before having a dog and needing to worry about places that would allow him, I hadn't found much in terms of 'western style' cabins that didn't cost the earth. Stumbling upon Art In Island was one of the highlights of our stay here in Korea, and the place itself exceeded all of our expectations.

Art In Island is a delightful little corner of the Korean countryside, surrounded by mountains and a river (great for fishing!) and great for hiking and exploring too. As you can see from the photos below, we headed to the cabin in winter (the snow made everything magical) but I can tell that this place would be just as wonderful in all seasons.

The cabin owned by the most friendly man, Hao, who was great to communicate with before and during our stay. He replied instantly to all my messages and both him and the local manager went out of their way to make sure we had a comfortable stay. Hao speaks perfect English and really was wonderful to communicate with, even though he lives in Seoul, he often visits the cabin and is a great guy to hang out with and get to know. And the fact that he was so friendly to our dog, Shadow, made us like him even more!

If you own a dog here in Korea, you'll know just how hard it is to find dog friendly accommodation, especially if you own a 'large' breed dog. This cabin was everything we hoped it would be and will definitely be going back before we leave Korea.

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Camping in Spring in Korea - Hadong Riverbed camping, a dog friendly camping location

Camping in Spring in Korea - Hadong Riverbed camping, a dog friendly camping location

This camping trip was a rather fun adventure as we met up with old & new friends alike. Stephanie & Ryan (the bloggers and youtubers behind the delightful travel blog The Hedgers Abroad) joined us from Yeosu. You might recognise Stephanie from some of my styled photo-shoots I've featured here on the blog...she has been my muse for a little while now (click here to see those styled shoots).  

I was also excited to meet up with Megan & Scott from the awesome travel blog; Bobo & Chichi. Megan and I started up an online friendship a few months ago and it was wonderful to meet up in person. Scott creates the most amazing hyper-lapse videos of their adventures all over Korea, you should definitely head on over and take a look

I also got to meet up with another fellow South African whom I have been connecting with via Facebook and it was great to share stories and laughs with her and her boyfriend around the fire. Even though it got terribly windy, this great group of people made the camping trip a real adventure. And of course my pup, Shadow, had a wonderful time being surrounded by dog-loving people (something he doesn't find too often here in Korea being a 'big, scary dog').

If you have a dog, this 'style' of camping is perfect for you. We do make sure to keep a long rope and clips in the car just in case we do come across issues with having him off lead, but this has yet to be a problem. I wouldn't advise letting your pup have free reign of an open space if they haven't had much experience being off lead before. As we live in a small town here in Korea and have a car, Shadow is off lead pretty much all the time. His recall is pretty good (not always!) and he generally stays near us. If you're looking for more posts on owning a dog here in Korea then click here, I've written some posts I think you might like. 

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India through photographs - Highlights from our 2 week trip through Goa, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Pushkar & Jaisalmar

India through photographs - Highlights from our 2 week trip through Goa, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Pushkar & Jaisalmar

In January this year, Farmboy and I headed to India & Nepal with two friends for 18 days of backpacking adventures. We spent 15 days in India, and the last 3 days in Kathmandu, Nepal.

I will be writing travel guides for all of the places we visited, but it's going to take me a while as this was one of the most extensively planned trips we have ever done. Here is a breakdown of our 15 days:

Korea > Goa for 5 nights

Fly from Goa > Delhi 1 night

Delhi > Agra for an afternoon, then drive > Jaipur for 2 nights

Jaipur > Pushkar for 2 nights

Pushkar > Jodhpur for 2 nights

Jodhpur > Jaisalmar by overnight train for 3 nights (including a dessert safari stay)

Finally fly from Jaisalmar > Jodhpur > Delhi

It's going to take some time before the travel guides are up, so in the mean time, here are a few of the highlights of our trip. Make sure to scroll down to the end to watch the video too!

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Racoon Cafe in Seoul, South Korea - Blind Alley Cafe

Racoon Cafe in Seoul, South Korea - Blind Alley Cafe

If you're from the US, chances are you're not a big fan of these furry creatures. You probably have visions of your rubbish being riffled through and your pets being harassed. But to us South Africans, this funny little creature is a complete novelty. 

We don't have racoons in South Africa, the only thing we can compare to the US 'racoon' in terms of how much havoc they wreck around your house is the vermit monkey. Most South Africans (at least those from Kwazulu-Natal) have at least 1 story of a monkey (or even a troop of monkeys)  breaking into their house, causing complete chaos with the dogs and cats and stealing any food they can get their hands on. 

I'm not a big fan of monkeys, so I can understand some of my American friends and their aversion to these so-called 'pests' but I was quite taken with these two racoons that we spent time with at Blind Alley Cafe near Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul. Obviously, these racoons are pets and so tame, I wouldn't advise anyone running up to a wild racoon and try and give it an affectionate scratch (ouch...you'll be in for a nasty surprise). 

These two racoons were very entertaining (especially the white one who was the braver of the pair).

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Island Camping in Korea...Wido Island

Island Camping in Korea...Wido Island

This was our second camping trip to Wido Island, a small island on the west coast of Korea, accessible only by ferry from Gyeokpo.

Even though right now it's technically Winter here in Korea, I saw buds on the trees while working to work yesterday. So thought this post would be a good one to write now so that you can get planning your first Spring camping trip of the year. 

Having a dog here in Korea (click here to read more about our rescue pooch #ShadowTheJindo & owning a dog in Korea) makes it hard to travel. We do have a car, which makes our lives 100 times easier, but the accommodation is always a problem. You see many Koreans are terrifies of 'big' dogs (even though our pup would only be considered a medium sized dog in most countries). Here in Korea, he is a great big, scary wolf. and so booking accommodation is always a problem. Even the places which allow dogs usually turn us away when they catch a glimpse of him. This is why we go camping so much. This post is all about Wido Island, and one of our favourite (usually deserted!) places to camp in Korea.

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Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Batang Ai Lake & the Hilton Longhouse Resort

Borneo Malaysia Travel Guide: Batang Ai Lake & the Hilton Longhouse Resort

Welcome to Part 2 of my Borneo Travel Guide. My husband and I spent two weeks exploring Malaysian Borneo. 

We spent the first part of our holiday in Kuching (2 days), moving onto Bantang Ai lake (3 days), then Kota Kinabalu (2 days) and then onto Semporna (1 day) & Mabul Island (4 days). As there is so much to say about our trip I am breaking up these posts into different parts. In this part I will be talking about Bantang Ai Lake; Part 3 I will be talking about Kota Kinabalu and finally in Part 4 I will write about Semporna & the scuba diving we did on Mabul Island.

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