On Sunday and Monday The Earl and I went for a mini-break to The Lab Lifestyle in Robertson just an hour and a half drive from our home in Struisbaai. This was to allow our friend Willie to paint a sealer on our tiles. It would make it so much easier if we were not there so the varnish could dry without fear of us walking all over it.
It was also close to our 32nd Wedding Anniversary so a lovely way to treat ourselves to a pampering celebration – Any excuse!
Willie rang our doorbell at 8:00 am – we were still in bed – and we hastily got up, made coffee, showered and packed while he got started on the moving of the furniture and mopping of the tiles. “Don’t come back for two days!” he warned.
Our breakfast stop was supposed to be Stormsvlei Farm Stall we pop in there whenever we go to Robertson to buy wine. But it was Sunday. Now remember it’s in the middle of nowhere and although the setting is stunning it has a very limited clientele.
The waiter appears – “Vandag het ons nie a spyskart nie. Geen ontbyt – net ligte middagetes of die buffet wat teen 12 uur oop is!” Today we don’t have a menu, no breakfasts, only light lunches and the buffet which opens at midday.
“Okay – so what light meals are on offer?” we ask.
“Quiche, chicken pie and schnitzel,” comes the reply. It’s 10:30 am. We’re hungry so we order chicken pie for him and quiche for me! Wait 10 minutes and then waiter returns – “Sorry the kitchen can’t do it – only buffet at 12!”
So we leave and arrive at Bonnievale at 11:30 and find the Filly and Vine which turns out to be lovely but also doesn’t serve breakfast on Sundays. Well – it was almost lunch time so we ordered calamari salad with goat’s cheese and nuts. Delicious! The setting was awesome.
We were not disappointed with The Lab Spa, Robertson. The weather was stunning and we enjoyed all the facilities on offer. On Sunday afternoon we had a couples deep tissue massage and enjoyed it so much that we booked one for the follow afternoon too.
We’ve been to the Spa in Robertson before – it used to be called Rosendal but it is now under new management. It’s named for the owner’s deceased Labrador who was named Einstein and their logo of a Labrador dog is etched on everything.
There have been some changes! There is now a lovely outdoor bar and deck and the infinity pool was sparkling. We spent many hours at the pool deck and enjoyed some refreshing swims.
The decks overlooks the dam and here is a cormorant catching some rays
Our room has been upgraded and has Alexa! Now let’s bear in mind that we’re in the countryside – the internet is often intermittent and Alexa is pretty new technology. So we had some fun and entertainment trying to get her to comply with our wishes. She is supposed to be able to open and close the blinds, switch the lights on and off, tune into the TV, control the air-con and even make coffee. BUT if you don’t speak to her correctly she tends to get it wrong and you have to resort to the remote control. Imagine our surprise on the first night when we asked her to switch off the lights but instead she made coffee!
But Alexa tried her best and in the end responded well to my “Teacher Voice” and started obeying all my commands!
We enjoyed our meals at the restaurant too. The outdoor tables are communal and we had some interesting chats with some of the foreign visitors. We also made friends with a charming young woman who was spending a few days of R&R and working on a paper for some medical research she was doing. One of the things we really enjoy about travelling is meeting interesting people! And it’s a small world that we live in – it turned out that she works with the cardiologist that the Earl was with before moving to Struisbaai!
Since we were in the area we popped over to our favourite wine estate, Springfield, to stock up on some Life from Stone. While enjoying a drink and snack of their delicious olives we spotted two Giant Kingfishers and a few other interesting birds including an amethyst sunbird but he refused to pose for his portrait. The white-throated swallow was more obliging.
If ever you feel like some pampering, good food and a relaxing break, I can highly recommend The Lab. Food is good and the staff are friendly – it’s the perfect place to unwind and recharge your batteries.