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he com­ments from the guest­book say it all.

Twenty-five years ago, own­ers Wendy and Tony Somers-Cox, who’ve al­ways been light years ahead of the global health spa ex­plo­sion, dis­cov­ered the per­fect spot in the KwaZulu-Na­tal Mid­lands in which to re­alise their dream of a health hy­dro that would pro­vide a home-to-home en­vi­ron­ment, and give guid­ance on a way of liv­ing that of­fered good health, peace of mind and a sense of per­sonal ful­fil­ment.

So they cre­ated Brook­dale Health Hy­dro, a sanc­tu­ary in the town of Not­ting­ham Road where a holis­tic health and well­ness pro­gramme nur­tures mind, soul and body. You come here to rest, re­lax, be­come fit­ter, learn how to throw off your bad eat­ing habits and un­healthy way of life, and get your mojo back.

This re­newal, revitalisation and re­cov­ery all take place in a lovely, leafy en­vi­ron­ment deep in the rolling hills and green val­leys of KwaZulu-Na­tal.

You spend your time here at your own pace. En­joy a morn­ing guided walk (brisk or flat, de­pend­ing on your fit­ness) in the pine forests or across wild, flow­er­filled mead­ows where cows hardly pause from their munch­ing to eye you as you go by, fol­lowed by any of the tempt­ing treat­ments, from a mas­sage or back rub to a spa bath or fa­cial.

What about a swim in the in­door or out­door pool, join­ing an aquacise or Pi­lates class, strolling down to the bab­bling brook (yes, there re­ally is one), do­ing some yoga or par­tic­i­pat­ing in a guided med­i­ta­tion ses­sion?

You choose the tune and the tempo of your stay.

Juliet Stephen­son, the ex­pe­ri­enced chef (re­fresh­ingly buxom and bonny) is proud that she sources as much of her food as pos­si­ble from neigh­bour­ing farms and dairies.

“I use all lo­cally grown pro­duce, from toma­toes and as­para­gus to chicken and cheese. You’ll find no preser­va­tives in our food. Ev­ery­thing is gen­uinely or­ganic and stays that way.”

So what about a baked co­conut-an­dlime cheese­cake or some beef bour­guignon? Crum­pets and cream? Or an aro­matic fish curry?

It’s a kind of spe­cial Brook­dale magic

FINE KET­TLE OF FISH

The aro­matic fish curry, one of many hearty dishes on a menu that will still al­low you to man­age your weight

PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED

TEST THE WA­TER

The sanc­tu­ary boasts an in­door pool

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