Pula House is a classic, century old, Victorian style home, with lofty ceilings and spacious rooms, recently beautifully restored and strikingly decorated, it has won the plaudits of visitors from home and abroad, for the sheer comfort of its accommodation, the quality of its cuisine and the overall ambience of this much loved home.
Equi-distant between Johannesburg and the beautiful resorts of the Eastern Cape, it provides easy and comfortable access to the coastline, from east of East London, down to George, Knysna and the Garden Route, as well as to the dramatic countryside of the hinterland. It is also the perfect stopover between the Cape Town area and Durban, and other parts of KwaZulu Natal, on the famed route which traverses the Golden Gate area, described by many as the most spectacular scenic route in South Africa.
Popular with travellers through Smithfield, Pula Victorian Guesthouse is also attracting attention as a base from which to explore some fascinating countryside. The vast horizons and spectacular sunsets and night skies of the south-eastern Free State imprint indelibly on the memories of visitors. The complete lack of pollution accounts for the extraordinary clarity of the air, and makes walking, hiking, riding and birding an absolute delight.
Trails are laid out in the surrounding hills where, as well as in nearby reserves, one walks among antelope and other game. Many visitors make use of the highly regarded Aliwal North warm water spa, only 30 minutes away, before going on to the superb mountains of the Southern Drakensberg, where it is possible to drive the car up to a height of about 7 000 ft. (2 100 m). Within these mountains is Tiffendell, the only commercial ski resort in South Africa. Pula Guesthouse is a halfway stop for skiers travelling down from Johannesburg, or on their return from the slopes.
The owners, John and Barbara von Ahlefeldt, have built an impressive reputation for quality cuisine and accommodation achieved at their ancient hostelries in Devon, England.
Whether in the main house or The Kestrels Suite, they offer delightful, artistically decorated and furnished en-suite double bedrooms, complemented by delicious meals, prepared by themselves. All ingredients, wherever possible, are freshly grown in their own garden. They also rely on farmers for the supply of dairy products, meat, poultry and game. Dinner is by prior arrangement only.