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Lord’s, McGregor – Scottish highlands in the South African winelands

The Trossachs Manor House – location for the restaurant, reception and a few of the rooms.

I spent this past weekend attending a wedding at Lord’s Guest Lodge. They are situated on one of the roads between Robertson and McGregor, perched on a hilltop, overlooking the vineyards. Although not an authentic historical place for accommodation, which is what the Greendoor Collection is all about, Lord’s is worth a mention given it’s medieval theme.

Made up of numerous genuine stone buildings, each building is fitted with Oregon pine doors, window frames and other fittings – such as staircases. All crafted in a medieval style and ordered from Scotland (where craftmanship for castles is still available). The authenticity is then finished off with antique furniture and memorabilia.

The lodge is run by an efficient four star staff and is open, not only for weddings, but for standard accommodation bookings. Each room is air-conditioned and comfortably equipped.

Our first night was the night before the wedding, for a family and friends gathering. They have both a small bar and restaurant facilites, so when the weather become unsuitable for an outdoor event, we were all moved to the restaurant easily and effortlessly. And our vegetarian needs were catered for, even at short notice. This is usually an afterthought meal, but we were served with a very well prepared basil pesto pasta, while the others were treated to meat and salads (which I’m told was good).

The wedding took place at a stained glass chapel at the top of the hill. This was somewhat of a climb and elderly people were driven up from the reception area at the bottom. The chapel invoked images of the times of Robin Hood, with women wearing flowing gowns and people arriving in chariots. Although this was not the scene of our 21st century wedding, it was quite romantic. With coloured light filtered through the stained glass, and husband and wife to-be backdropped by stone and Oregan pine; and then having the backdrop of the farmlands and surrounding buildings below us.

As the event progressed it became clear that the service at Lord’s was of an incredibly high standard, with them pandering to our every need. The pre-dinner snacks and the food for dinner were all excellent. Also worth a mention here is the fact that they have their own range of “Lord’s” wines from their own wine farm. I found the Shiraz (A Michaelangelo award winner) to be of exceptional quality.

To get back to the establishment, the accommodation is scattered on the hill, but not up the hill – so there are no strenuous walks to your car or to the restaurant. The area nearest to the restaurant and reception area is graced with a beautifully manicured garden with all manner of roses and indigenous flowers. There is a shaded area with chairs for reading, a water feature and a small pool for cooling off in the hot summer. Our pre-dinner drinks were held near the pool, which is right next to a perfectly located lookout point. Here we sat, enjoyed the sun setting over the vineyard-covered hills, whilst watching cyclists go by on the gravel road far below us. One is quickly swept into a romantic mood.

Almost as a final test of the true muster of the Lord’s staff, we arrived with the entire family the following morning unannounced. They were expecting about ten guests, and we ended up being thirty. although flustered, the breakfasts arrived fresh and in good time. Again, sitting outside by the garden and overlooking the farmlands made it all the more enjoyable.

To conclude, Lord’s is located in a slightly dryer part of the Robertson/McGregor area. It can get quite warm and is not like the lush environment of the Robertson winelands. However, Lord’s have created an oasis. With air-conditioned rooms to retire to, a restful garden and exceptional food all lead to an enjoyable experience. The willing staff simply enhance the experience, by attending to any need you may have. I was told that Nicholas Cage hired out the entire location as his home during the filming of “Lord of War”, so I guess we should take our cues from a Hollywood millionaire!

Lord’s Website
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