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Reviewed December 6, 2017 via mobile

Ok, it’s not a secret anymore. This was my third stay at Thistledown, tucked into the Karkloof mountain and within easy reach of Howick and on the Midlands Meander. It’s practically next door to the Karkloof Canopy Adventure but so private, so quiet, so wooded, you imagine that you are in your own private sanctuary.
Thistledown has been running for twenty years as a lodge and as a venue for weddings and other family functions but these days it has whitened down and takes guests on a bed and breakfast or dinner bed and breakfast basis. It’s incredibly good value given that you are unlikely to eat better anywhere else in KwaZulu Natal. Norma trained as a chef in culinary heaven. No, I made that up, but she’s my idea of a kitchen wizard and. Go there not only for the peace that restores my soul but also because I know that when I start eating I’m going to moan a little out of sheer pleasure. Dinner there is a special treat. Norman offers you a warm hand towel and lights the fire if it’s chilly which it mostly is. Then comes the first course, a soup which when I was there was a dreamy tomato and basil oil concoction which I could cheerfully have made my entire meal. The fish, which arrived next, was sublime, tender and resting on a bed of delicately sliced vegetables. And dessert, which I really didn’t need was pannacotta and homemade ice cream. I don’t eat grains but Norman makes his own bread if you want it. Breakfast is similarly outstanding. If you have dietary preferences you are asked for them in advance.
The rooms are simply furnished as befits this old Victorian lodge but perfectly comfortable with excellent linen and super comfy mattress. I slept in pitch darkness. That is a rare experience in our light filled city nights.
The gardens are exquisite and filled with birds of every description fed by Norman who thoughtfully makes them mealie meal porridge every morning, a treat they seem to especially appreciate.
Yes, this is my secret-no-longer retreat.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled solo
Thank Foregone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 17, 2017

What a special place that is completely tucked away in the Karkloof area. Nestled in the forest you find this quaint B&B. The breakfast is absolutely amazing and delicious. It really was worth every penny! We got to enjoy the fire place and heater as the temps dropped to 2.

Room Tip: The outside room is private and lovely.
  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank BronwynCraul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 8, 2017

My family and I have been staying at Thistledown Country House for at least 10 years, and each time it is a special occasion. The food prepared by Norma is incredible. Think home cooked food with a twist - e.g. beautifully prepared streak with a miso sauce. Beds were warm, comfortable and the rooms were clean. Recommended to anyone staying in the area.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank stefanv824
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 29, 2017 via mobile

Thistledown is such a special spot tucked away in the Karkloof . Our hosts , Norman and Norma are an exceptional team . We celebrated my father in laws 80th birthday celebration at Thistledown with great success ! The food was incredible, the dining room perfectly suited for intimate celebrations, with a view out onto rolling green lawns and the constant chatter of well fed weavers popping in to say hi .
I can only recommend that you try this beautiful establishment , perfectly situated if you are visiting folks staying in Howick .

We finished off our weekend celebrations with a magnificent breakfast the perfect spot to return to again and again .

Thank you Norma and Norman

Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
Thank 600tanjab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 13, 2017

Great hosts, beautiful surroundings, charming old house. Breakfasts were delicious! They prepare dinner on request ... We will definitely recommend ! Howick will see us again ...because of Thistledown Country House.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very comfortable.
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank TharinaS7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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