Last Sunday was dreadfully cold with the icy PE wind chilling your bones. This did not deter us; we were still up for an adventure! We joined two marvellous friends for a buffet Sunday lunch at Zuurberg Mountain Village. It was our first visit there and it definitely will not be our last!
The Village and gardens
We drove up with Del and Sean heading through Addo town, towards the Addo Elephant National Park main gate but before reaching it we took the signposted Zuurberg Mountain Village dirt road to the left. The serpentine road winds up the mountain with some tight turns. We were in a VW Polo and managed on the road quite fine; although, it was bumpy in places and more cautious driving was needed when the road was wet. The Village is ~1h30 from central PE (map). Along the way, we spotted warthog and ostriches, with some antelope bones scattered near one of the fence lines. Zuurberg is surrounded by the Addo Elephant Park so keep a look out for animals while driving past.
Once at the top of the mountain we explored the grounds and facilities of the Manor and Village. The grounds were well-kept with panoramic views and small gardens to walk through. There were monkeys and they did chase us, probably hoping for some food – so watch out for the little buggers! There is a swimming pool, two tennis courts, a pool table and hikes in the mountains (the hikes are on our bucket list!). Guests can also join game drives to Addo Elephant Park.
The Village accommodation looked lovely and inviting. The different coloured houses and little verandahs overlooked the valley rolling below (we were ready to check in there and then). There are also rooms available within the Manor to stay at. The Manor is 150 years old and you can see and feel the history of the place. There are seating areas spread through the Manor. There were many tourists checking in and out and some guests were chatting while warming themselves by the wonderful large fireplaces. Some people were enjoying warm drinks while others treated themselves to drinks from the bar. We sat down and enjoyed a warm cup of tea and snacked on rusks and scones, all freely available at the self-service station in the dining room. There were also two Manor cats stretching out in front of the fire, without much care for the world around them.
The lunch buffet commenced 13:00 and we suggest booking a table to avoid disappointment. The starter was a delectable butternut soup and a fresh bread roll. This is the only course served to your table. In the middle of the dining hall was the table for the warm fish (linefish: Dorado) and salads (lettuce, tomatoes, pepperdews, peppers, feta, pasta, cucumber, couscous and more!).
The main course was roasts (gammon, more well-done beef roast, more rare beef roast), potatoes, vegetables (green beans, butternut, gem squash, mixed veg), couscous and gravy. You could have one, two or all of the roast options. The roasts were scrumptious and the portions were huge. The salad table, main dishes and desserts are ‘eat as much as you like’ and are self-service, with a server cutting a piece of your requested roasts. After the soup, fish and salad, and then the roasts and veggies we were already stuffed. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing with a bit of space around the belly and take your time eating! I was well prepared, wearing elasticated leggings – winning!
There was a wide selection of desserts to choose from, including peppermint crisp, chocolate or strawberry mousse, lemon meringue, fruit salad, malva puddle and more! The lemon meringue was divine and the fruit salad was perfect. Del chose the chocolate mousse – delicious. There are many quotes explaining that there is a separate dessert stomach and some saying that dessert is for the heart. Sean’s heart was happy for sure. We cannot remember all the desserts he ate but there wasn’t one he advised us against! Besides, what is life without dessert?! Just ask Tongue in the comic below.
Flavoursome food, a bottle of red wine, animated conversation and a stunning setting made for a memorable day. If you are looking for a Sunday outing in the greater PE and Addo area then add this to your list! The lunch was worth the drive and the money (R155 per person). We will take future visitors there without a doubt! Addo Elephant Park is close enough for you to spend the morning seeing the wildlife and enjoying a hearty lunch after.
The food described was based on our visit and may change. The cost presented was at the time of visit (July 2017).
Contact number to book a lunch table or accommodation: 042 233 8300
The room costs from 1 Oct 2017 to 30 April 2018 are just over R1000.00 per person sharing for the Manor and Village rooms. This link provides directions from different areas and gives room descriptions.
A happy recommendation from us!