Mount Grace: Indulge in the art of being 'sleg'

2014-04-30 10:18
There is something a bit disconcerting for me about doing as little as possible during a holiday or break. Guilt sets in after a few days of overindulgence, where the most frenetic activities I usually participate in are lifting a G&T or glass of red wine to my lips.

I blame it on my Calvinistic upbringing.

After a day at the Mount Grace Country House and Spa, a sanctuary located in the Magaliesburg region, just over an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, my husband told me to get over myself.

"Just enjoy being sleg," he said.

This Afrikaans term loosely refers to a person being lazy, spoiled and decadent - and sometimes being sleg for a few days is just what you need to be productive again.

Sloth, per se is not encouraged directly at the Mount Grace, although you can easily go into cocoon-mode in one of the properties sumptuously decorated suites. There are several hiking routes for guests to explore on the foothills of the Magalies-mountains, but nothing too strenuous. I was feeling a bit ambitions after a big breakfast, washed down with several mimosas and was looking to ease my conscience by taking advantage of the complimentary mountain bikes.

(Carla Lewis-Balden)

Never mind the fact that I last rode a bicycle in primary school.

After mounting the bike and struggling to get out of the driveway, we gave up on being wholesome and productive. Instead, we succumbed to G&T’s on the sprawling lawns of the Mount Grace. So what if it isn’t noon yet?

With the petrol price nudging close to R15, the property is a hop, skip and a jump from most of Gauteng’s major hubs. Even with the usual Friday peak hour traffic it took us just over an hour from OR Tambo to drive to Mount Grace. However, if you can twist your supervisor’s arm, the best would be to leave at 16:00 and arrive just in time for sundowners. A breakaway at Mount Grace does not have to eat into your valuable two weeks of annual leave.

Surprisingly, being sleg at Mount Grace involves quite a busy schedule of eating, drinking and being pampered. After arriving from Johannesburg, we were tempted to order room service after seeing our beautiful villa, complete with plunge pool. We had to drag ourselves away, but my one friend who’s a qualified chef and events manager insisted that we should not miss The Rambling Vine restaurant.

(Carla Lewis-Balden)

The restaurant was voted one of the best fine dining restaurants in South Africa by Eat Out-magazine in 2012. Something that irks me about fine dining restaurants is the small, but beautiful portions that tempt your tastebuds, but never seem to satisfy your hunger. Rambling Vine’s portions, although not gargantuan, was enough to appease the appetite of my hungry, healthy boerseun husband from the Freestate. He proclaimed the venison fillet on par with his mother’s cooking.

The highlight for me was the Malva pudding that got a Middle Eastern twist, by adding cardamon to the sticky syrup and serving it with nougat-flavoured ice cream. Don’t tell our mothers, but it was better than the secret family recipe.

Except for fine dining, the biggest draw card to the property is the award-winning spa. After several tight deadlines I arrived, my muscles knotted and sinewy, but re-emerged several hours later, as soft and tender as the Rambling Vine’s springbok fillet.

When you book a spa treatment, you also have access to the Spa Gardens, which consists of several heated jacuzzis, a pool, hydrotherapy facilities and steam room.

(Carla Lewis-Balden)

Don't miss the mineral infused flotation pool. You close your eyes, relax all your muscles and float, while music from under the warm water lulls you into an extreme state of relaxation. The experience is almost primordial, I guess this is what babies in the womb experience.

After a full body massage and pedicure I was whisked away on a golf cart to our pool villa, overlooking the hills of the Magalies and a small pond.  The sun was setting over the mountains and a gaggle of bulbul-birds was frolicking in the reeds.

I poured myself a glass of red wine, went out to the deck and raised it to being sleg.

Need to know information:

The property is located on Rustenburg Road, Magaliesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.

There are five types of accommodation; Garden Rooms, Superior, Luxury, Luxury with pool and the Villa. We stayed in the Villa, which is the most expensive accommodation on the property.  If you are splurging for a special occasion like the first night of your honeymoon or anniversary, it is worth it.

The property operates on an almost 100% occupancy over weekends. Book early to avoid disappointment.

The spa can get quite busy over weekends, especially with day visitors. If you want a deck chair in the shade, next to the jacuzzi, you better arrive early.

Management recommends that you book early at The Rambling Vine over weekends, even if you are a guest staying at the hotel.
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  lifestyle  |  travel and leisure  |  luxury

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