His­toric Stays

Take a step back in time and ap­pre­ci­ate South Africa's rich his­tory at th­ese sig­nif­i­cant sports

South African Country Life - - Country Escapes - – Ca­rina Borralho 013 764 1177, info@pil­grims-rest.co.za, www.pil­grims-rest.co.za

1Mpumalanga

The Royal Ho­tel Pil­grim's Rest

The lit­tle min­ing town of Pil­grim’s Rest was de­clared a Na­tional Mon­u­ment in 1986 as a re­minder of the early gold rush in the late 1800s. The Vic­to­rian-style Royal Ho­tel on

Main Street sits on the Lowveld's scenic Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, about 45 kilo­me­tres from the Blyde River Canyon. Built in 1894, this unas­sum­ing ho­tel sleeps 109 guests in six suites and 44 dou­ble en suite bed­rooms in the main ho­tel and ad­ja­cent cot­tages. Our bed­room was truly a step back in time, fur­nished with an an­tique brass bed, flo­ral decor and a ball and claw bath. The ho­tel of­fers an in­for­mal themed restau­rant known as Dig­gers Den, where we en­joyed Ger­manin­spired chicken sch­nitzel and lo­cal beer. If you’re feel­ing more colo­nial, you can take your tea in an arm­chair in front of a fire­place in the charm­ing lounge area, or visit the his­tor­i­cal Church Bar for a se­lec­tion of beer and the chance to chat to friendly lo­cals. Once a school chapel in Cape Town, the bar was dis­man­tled and then trans­ported by ox wagon to Pil­grim's Rest – a jour­ney that took six weeks. A must-do is a visit to the House Mu­seum and a tour through the old gold-dig­ging site.

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