Accommodation in Cullinan

Taryn Cohn

About an hour and a half from Joahnnesburg on the R 513 lies the town of Cullinan. A small village trapped in time, Cullinan has the distinction of being the location of the discovery of the world’s largest diamond - a ‘mere’ 3106 carats!  While the town has suffered the effects of the move away from mining in the area, and the Cullinan Diamond sits in several pieces in the crown Jewels in the UK, Cullinan and its surrounds still boast some lesser known jewels for Jo’burgers seeking a respite from the pace of the big smoke.

A balmy Friday afternoon saw my sister and I hop in our little VW golf and head for a weekend of soul restoration, mental relaxation and some sibling bonding. Our first stop and base for the weekend’s explorations was A Bloom Bush Lodge and Spa Retreat.

A few turns off the main road between on a dusty dirt road heading, well, nowhere.

Wondering if we should have traded our city zip around for an off-road special, we dodged guinea fowl and the odd cow and arrived at our destination already feeling light headed from all the fresh air.

Upon opening the door of our chalet (one of only four) we found a beautifully decorated room in understated African chic boasted a bed that qualified for its own zip code, all decked out in beckoning white linen. The deck (our own private one) was complete with hammock and a heated plunge pool which was there for our post spa debrief, and set up in the sun where the two massage beds that would be the location of an afternoon’s activities- a full schedule of spa delights while gazing at the ‘great outdoors’.

Owned by husband and wife team Lowie Geenevasenand Carmen Tecklenburg from Holland, the venue is so much more than a few chalets in the bush. Carmen, a Reiki master has designed a series of retreats for groups ranging from 2-4 people where meditation, Reiki and even writing are explored in the serene environments. Lowie who was responsible for building the well appointed chalets is somewhat of a gourmet guru. Plans are underway for the building of the main lodge and kitchen out of which Lowie’s culinary creations will be served. Weekends away in future will also include cooking course for those with a taste for the good life.

Such was the understated luxury of the chalets with the outdoor showers and viewing decks, and sunken baths, that it was almost a pity that we had to spend the rest of the weekend exploring what Dinokeng has to offer. Nonetheless, intrepid travellers we are so Saturday saw us head into Cullinan.

In spite of an illustrious history, today Cullinan is a sleepy place whose oak trees and “broekie lace” cottages whisper of more active times when Premier Mines was still a major player.

Many of these houses situated along the main road, have been converted into a unique range of shops and café’s where a unique form of shabby chic sees retailers managing to sell everything from homemade jam to rusted tin mugs for a piece of the past. Rust in White sells items whose appeal it seems increases in relation to their rust coverage. A selection of luxury cosmetics is on sale alongside handmade linens and kitchen ware. Cullinan Sweets and Crafts sells twisted liquorice and the kind of sweets that you probably last heard your gran talking about.

A place that is not to be missed is Jan Harmse Gat se Agterplaas. An original spirit, Jan Harm has created a venue that is truly a gem worth the visit. Selling an array of old furniture and “goedjies” from the front of his streetside cottage, Jan Harmse Agterplaas houses a barnyard theatre that hosts everything from weekend Shakespeare to well known rock performers surrounded by décor that is constructed from anything that Jan can get his hands on.

Sunday saw us feeling a little more spiritual so we headed further East toward Bronkhortspruit to Nan Hua. An afternoon at the temple includes a free guided tour of the complex’s, the main shrine, and Repentance room. Afterwards a meal of homemade Asian food is available from the café on the complex. Free from entrance fees, the temple survives on donations from its community both locally and internationally.

Sadly, the afternoon sun marked the end of our sneaky weekend away and time to head once again to the buzz of Jozi for another go on the weekly roundabout- but this time with a clear head and the blessing of the Bhudda.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Sneaky Weekender articles on this website, do not necessarily reflect the views of Finding Africa.

Easybreaks-Pool and deck at Abloom
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