Bloemfontein Castelo Sutil alternative accommodation

Bloemfontein – Christmas and Castles

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castelo cottage 1
self-catering cottage

Bloemfontein, was probably not my first choice for a place to spend Christmas, but due to family commitments, that’s where I found myself. And it was fun!

Known as the City of Roses, I’m sure it’s very beautiful at the time of year when they flower, but of course summer brings days hitting the mid 30’s with everywhere looking like it needs a drink – badly.

castle detail
door detail

Our favourite guesthouse Liedjiebos was closed over the festive period and so, it seemed, were a lot of other places. We eventually managed to find a self-catering cottage in the grounds of a castle just outside the City.

Naval Hill
giraffe on Naval Hill
Castles in the sky(line)

It’s one of those wtf builds – this man’s home was definitely his castle. The cottage, also be-turretted and armour plated, was set away from the main house, ensuring its privacy, with lovely views over a game reserve. We even saw rhino through the binoculars!

At least it wasn’t ordinary…. and certainly made a talking point. I would certainly recommend the cottage – if different and quirky is what you seek, this fits the bill – Castelo Sutil.

Watering Holes

Bored with playing knights and damsels in distress, we took a scenic drive through Bloemfontein and up Naval Hill with promises of wild animals. Previously I’d been unlucky in spotting any game and was beginning to think people were making it up. However, this time, we were in luck and as we rounded the bend giraffe, zebra and buck appeared – so much for Ms cynical! The statue of Nelson Mandela and the views from the top are also pretty special.

Mystic Boer
inside Die Mystic Boer

After the wildlife viewing a cold beer seemed appropriate and where better to head than Die Mystic Boer. A fabulous bar with eclectic decor and a great vibe – it’s well worth a visit.

Restaurants are a bit thin on the ground and frankly the Loch Logan Waterfront was disappointing, but I suppose one needs a Woolies somewhere. However, we did eat at a lovely Italian restaurant in town called Avanti although I suspect the pasta isn’t homemade, but the atmosphere is good and the staff friendly, with a reasonable wine list.

We’ll be back!

As cities go, Bloemfontein is far from being at the bottom of the list and infact showed us a good time, which at the end of the day is all you can ask for!

We will be heading back from time to time and in future will look forward to it and to discovering its further delights.


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