In Philippolis in the southern Free State you can switch off completely and forget about rush-hour traffic and deadlines.
The tree-lined dirt roads, simple Karoo-style cottages and pomegranate and quince trees heavy with fruit take you back to childhood pleasures, grandma`s roast lamb and thick soup served in enamel bowls.
Former school principal Jens Friis and wife Naómi, a domestic science teacher, taught at the local school for years.
They owned a few properties on the edge of town which stood empty for years. But after retiring they called in the help of their sons Jens and Nico and renovated the cottages, converting them into guest-houses.
"We wanted to retain the stripped, bare look that`s in keeping with the simplicity of the Karoo and took great care not to introduce Victorian influences for instance," Jens says. "The look works well with old-fashioned as well as modern pieces."
The wooden ceilings and floors exude a cosy warmth and in her home restaurant Naómi lovingly prepares authentic, old-fashioned farm food.
Nestled on the edge of the town, it reminds one often of a farm. On surrounding even are the springbokkies of Mr. George de Vos, the horses of Mr. Johan Lamprechts, the succulent garden of the Funcks, and Café Khooa – where one can take a horse-and-carriage tour. Diverse bird life with owls in the cypress-trees.
This is all besides some peacocks, the cows of Tiekie Pienaar and a footpath that leads to an old ammunitions storage house.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast or take a picnic and explore local scenic spots. Return for sun downers on the stoep. Delicious dinners served by arrangement.
- Private entrances
- Self-catering facilities
- Restaurant nearby (licensed)
- Pets allowed by arrangement
- Children welcome
- Enjoy a game of tennis at nearby courts
Facilities & Services:
- Children under 12 years
- Honeymoon Couples
- Self-Braai / Barbecue
- Parking (off-street - open)
* We cater for 20 guests in 10 en suite rooms equiped with fans, electric blankets, heaters, coffee/tea tray.
* Own entrance.
* Self catering possible.
* Dutch, Afrikaans, English spoken.
Groenhuis Gastehuis Activities:
* Transgariep Museum - exhibits of Emily * Hobhouse’s weaving school and the Griqua period.
* Rides through Philippolis on Café Khooa’s horse-drawn cart
* Birdwatching – more than 200 species
* Walkabout through Philippolis’ historic streets
* The old Kruithuis (ammunition depot)
* The annual Horse Show held in November
* The April Witblits Festival
* Dutch Reformed Church Conference Centre
* Safaris and Hunting packages
* Outstanding fishing spots
* Near to the Gariep and Vanderkloof dams
* Enjoy delicious Karoo cuisine with a bottle of wine (may be local Free State wine?) at our house restaurant.
* We can accommodate up to 20 guests in our cottages - an ideal venue for family reunions, weekend breakaways, small weddings ...
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Health & Climate:
* Temperatures for midsummer are on the average (December) minimum 14 degrees Celsius and maximum 30 degrees Celsius and for the midwinter (June) 1 degree Celsius and 16 degrees Celsius respectively.
* Die Groenhuis is situated in the heart of South Africa, in a malaria free and safe area.
Groenhuis Gastehuis Guest Reviews
Average Guest Rating:
out of 5
based on 4
The reception by the owner could not have been friendlier. The rooms were large enough and very clean with lots of equipment for self-catering, some of it valuable memorabilia. The guesthouse can best be described as 'quaint', and the experience as if one had staid on a hospitable farm many years ago. Very quiet indeed! Good value for money.
Rating: Reviewed by Wolf Weidemann over a year ago
The guest house was immaculately clean and there was hot water. Tranquil atmosphere and friendly reception. Pity that no breakfast is served, but an early rise will get you to Colesberg and a Wimpy in quick time. A very pleasant experience at Die Groenhuis. Highly recommended.
Rating: Reviewed by Cobus Bester over a year ago
Clean, safe enjoyable stay.
Rating: Reviewed by Yolande Jordaan over a year ago
Very clean and neat. We loved the location and farm atmosphere. Also, very gay friendly with a wide variety of magazines available. Highly recommended.
Rating: Reviewed by Gustav Schoeman over a year ago