4 Mpumalanga Tor­burn­lea


South African Country Life - - Country Escapes - – Sue Adams 082 221 4177, www.tor­burn­lea.co.za

This ‘grand old lady’, as owner An­drew Hall likes to call her, has been in his fam­ily since 1890. Built by his great grand­par­ents Hugh and Grace Hall as their farm home­stead, it sits on the out­skirts of Nel­spruit in the Lowveld in the old vil­lage of Mataf­fin. The house has been lov­ingly re­stored to its orig­i­nal glory, but has all the comforts of a five-star B&B. Each of the four bed­rooms now has a bath­room en suite and is cosy and welcoming. Il­lus­tri­ous guests have in­cluded Percy Fitz­patrick (of Jock of the Bushveld fame) and Prime Min­is­ter Jan Smuts. I loved hear­ing sto­ries from long ago and An­drew is a tour op­er­a­tor and his­tory buff. The ve­randa has a stun­ning view over the farm and down to Nel­spruit, and the li­brary is a cosy place to curl up in front of a fire with the friendly cat, and lis­ten to An­drew’s sto­ries. Grace Hall named the house Tor­burn­lea to re­mind her of her beloved Scot­tish hills, streams and val­leys, and de­scribed it as a place of rest for weary trav­ellers. Some­thing which is still true to­day.

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