Little, Little Paris
My fiancé and I arrived in Harties on a Saturday morning and decided to get started with the touristy part of our weekend right away. It was a scorcher of a day, perfect for capturing the beauty of the town, not so perfect for smelling like roses. Nonetheless, we braved the African sun outside Little Paris for our turn at picture-taking. The wait was about 40 minutes or so. Ordinarily we would have killed the time with a glass of Chardonnay chilled to perfection (beer for him!) at the cute little restaurant called French Toast Koffie Kaffee. Alas, Covid-19 made this a distant dream.
As you enter Little Paris you’re greeted on your right by a gigantic photo wall of the Eiffel Tower in (real) Paris which is a great backdrop for beautiful historic-looking photos. We decided to do the romantic thing and buy a padlock for R120, engraved with our names and a message of love. We locked it onto the tower as a symbol of our eternal love or some such thing. The tower itself is smaller than it looks in pictures but lovely nonetheless, especially as you walk to the edge and see its image glistening on water. A picture perfect setting!
We stayed at the Seasons Leisure Golf Spa for one night. The room was adequate enough but the views of wildlife roaming the grounds were just stunning. The most memorable part of our stay was the spa treatment and leisurely late lunch / early dinner at the poolside. As with most of our trips, the poolside proved a festive place to make new friends, which we did, and proceeded to spend hours getting to know one another from a comfortable 1.5-meter distance, of course. I’d definitely recommend including this in your itinerary especially if you prefer seclusion to the crowded main pool.
On our departure day a friend of mine recommended Silver Orange for Sunday lunch but it was fully booked. I took it for granted that with Harties being small this wouldn’t be an issue. Don’t be like me! So we ended up at Almost Orange for a tapas-style lunch and copious amounts of passionfruit lemonade. The final part of our itinerary was driving across the river to go up the cable car for a 180-degree view of the dam, which was a perfect way to end our romantic weekend away. Go on, get in the car and give Harties a try. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
36 Hours in harties
Sights, leisure, new friends & everything in between
Hartbeespoort, affectionately known as Harties, is a quaint oasis situated about a 60-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of Joburg, the city I’ve called home for over 2 years now. The historic, European-inspired town is set on a dam of the same name which attracts water sports enthusiasts and wealthy boat-owners like bees to honey. While I fall in neither of these two categories, I was excited about the prospect of enjoying some time out in a place that feels light years away from the City of Gold.