I stay at hotels a lot. It’s quite likely that I’ve spent more nights in hotels and other accomodation establishments this year than I’ve spent in my own bed! If this blogging thing doesn’t work out, I might have to seek an alternate career as a hotel assessor 🙂
Be that as it may, I don’t often get to stay at hotels in Johannesburg, mainly because I live here. Recently I was invited to spend a night at Morrells Boutique Estate in Northcliff.
Funny enough, Morrells is on the same road I live on – less than a kilometer away. Even though I’d seen their signage before, I had no idea what I’d been missing out on. On a cold winters day, in between one of my many trips, I was whisked away to a French-Provençal fairytale right in my back yard.
Romance with a capital ‘R’
Walking into Morrells was like taking a time machine to a bygone era. I was transported to France, to the period novels I enjoyed in my teens… to manicured rose gardens and courtyards perfect for insolent trysts… (*ok, back to reality now*)
Morrels drips with Romance – that’s romance with a capital ‘R’ – not your average high-school romance. This is a place where you want to want to get proposed to, or get married, or at the very least get taken on a romantic night out. It’s all about old school luxury – French champagne, manicured gardens, real silverware, antique Persian carpets and vintage furniture.
An antique cash register and chandelier at Morrells bistro
Everything has been hand picked by the owner, Bernice Morrell, who transformed the property from a derilict farmhouse to a boutique estate. It has been a labour of love for Bernice. She is a hands-on owner and an impeccable host. Bernice has imposed her unique style on the property by investing in the details – antiques from France, Hungary and Cape Town give the property an understated elegance.
Morrells French style bistro
Shortly after arriving at the venue, we were treated to an al fresco lunch at Morrells French style bistro. Chef Tyron Geduld has based his menu on rustic, French-country cuisine which, with a personal twist. Lunch was delicious! I loved the French onion soup, and the lamb shank that followed was the melt in your mouth kind – perfect winter nosh with a touch of sophistication.
French onion soup… mmm
After lunch I was treated to a massage at the spa. The Luxe Spa is an intimate affair, with a French boudoir like feel. I don’t know if it was the wine at lunch or my therapist’s magic touch, but I was soon fast asleep on the spa bed!
On our way to dinner that evening we were spoilt with a little jaunt around the hood in some very classy vintage Mercedes Benz’s. I’ve never been one for weddings but give me a vintage Benz any day. This is how romance is meant to be done!
How I wished I could have driven her home!
Since it was a media event, we were treated to a full on wedding feast for dinner. Maybe I’m revealing my pleb side here but I honestly don’t think I’ve been to a real wedding where the food was this good.
Until recently, the property was only used as a wedding venue, but now it’s open to the public to enjoy it’s old world splendour. Locals can pop in for a lunch or a special dinner. It really is perfect for a girl’s brunch, high tea or date night. I like that it feels exclusive and is conveniently located. You really don’t feel like you’re in Johannesburg. It’s also unique enough for special events.
Dusty pastel flowers and gorgeous antiques. Loveliness.
The Manor House
The Morrells estate has two boutique hotels – The Manor House, a Cape Dutch building with seven rooms and The Farmhouse, with six rooms. I was allocated the Hydrangea room in The Manor House. The room was bright and airy with wooden floors and a vintage writing desk that I was tempted to take home. Set at the end of the house my room was secluded even had it’s own private courtyard.
The bathroom was masssive with a twin shower and a large bath, complete with pillows! After dinner, there was a knock on my door. I answered and was surprised to see a butler with jug of hot milk and a real dark chocolate lollipop – the makings of hot chocolate. Yum!
It’s all in the details
What impressed me most about Morrells was the real attention to detail. From the impeccable gardens and vintage decor to plush cotton bedding and stunning fresh flower arrangements, there really was little to fault. The cherry on the top was a bottle of Moët with my name on it! Morrells sure know how to make a girl feel special.
I could get used to this.
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Note: I was a guest of Morrells Boutique Estate. All views expressed here are my own!