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that, al­though you eat so well, you some­how also lose weight.

I ask owner Wendy what’s changed over the past two decades.

“More men are com­ing now and more peo­ple from very di­verse back­grounds, but they all have one thing in com­mon: they want to be healthy. “It’s re­ally like home here. It’s not at all in­tim­i­dat­ing, and ev­ery­one feels to­tally ac­cepted and at ease. For ex­am­ple, women feel very com­fort­able com­ing here on their own – and men too.”

Cer­tainly, any­thing goes. At meal­times, guests are of­ten in their gowns, hav­ing just come from a treat­ment. Oth­ers may be in swim­suits and sarongs. Zee is still in his golf clothes. No­mo­bela is in a kaftan, and hus­band and wife Rob and Kather­ine are in their street clothes be­cause they’ve been do­ing some shop­ping on the Mid­lands Me­an­der.

The iconic Me­an­der turns 30 this year and is still one of South Africa’s most en­joy­able shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ences.

Three decades ago, a group of artists, pot­ters and crafters of all kinds banded to­gether to form the route that takes you through the green heart of the KwaZu­luNatal Mid­lands to au­then­tic shops, stalls and gal­leries, where you can buy hand­made shoes and bags, stained glass lamp­shades, hand­wo­ven rugs and car­pets, chimes, chairs and cheeses, cloth­ing and can­dles, fudge and fab­rics, books and beads, pic­tures and pot­tery – all home-made by lo­cals. (You’ll find it very hard to go back to the mall.) So why wait? As Dr Seuss puts it on one of the cards Brook­dale places on your bed each night:

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