Anyone who has followed my blogging career will know that I've test driven a lot of cars but nothing quite prepared me for the experience I had with Jaguar. And this is not a sponsored blog bafethu, I'm sharing!
A few weeks ago, Jaguar SA asked me to go on the ultimate Jaguar XF test drive and to put to the test, their claim that the car can go 1,400 KM with just one tank of fuel! Giving me a luxury car with a full tank to drive to a memorable destination during Tourism Month? There was no way I was gonna turn that offer down so off I went to Hartford House in the Natal Midlands.
At first my son and I were worried about the 450km drive as the furthest I've ever driven is between Welkom to JHB (not a fan of driving), plus I have a policy of not driving anywhere I can fly. The XF R-Sport however, was such a pleasant drive. Stylish, red seats, a sexy interior and oh so powerful on the road, I felt like royalty driving it. What annoyed me where the zig zag bends on the N3, like bathong couldn't we just get a straight road? Yhu...
And I must say, I kinda enjoyed the attention I received from fellow drivers on the road, the car guards and petrol attendants - I didn't know people reacted this positively to Jaguar. To be honest, I had never even considered it till this test drive because I've always thought it was an expensive car meant for rich people so was surprised to discover that its entry level, the XE is around R560k.
I wonder though if it would have my favorite features like how the XF automatically shuts its door if you don't close it properly, the way you lock it with just your fingers, and of course the in-car wifi... it's a beauty man, and these are probably basic features, but they sure got me!
Anyway, on to our destination!
Hartford House is a country side 5 star hotel in a beautiful Mooi River farm, surrounded by horses. If you're looking for peace, quiet and tranquility, you will enjoy it. They have the most amazing food too.. The restaurant doesn't have a set menu, every day the Chef Constantijn Hahndiek and his team come up with ideas for their 5 course dinner, so each evening is a major treat and surprise.
There's also this tijnhuis where guests can enjoy high tea surrounded by that beauty.
We stayed at one of their lakeside suites, which is built like a traditional rondavel and has its own pool. I had initial reservations with its open design, it takes some getting used to.
We didn't spend all our time indoors, we also went on a horse ride around the farm. Horse riding has definitely become one of my favorite things to do. The feeling of being on a horse nje, and the relationship you sort of form with it during that time - I love, love it and look forward to riding some more.
We also drove around to take in the scenic Natal Midlands routes and went to visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Horwick.
There is no entrance fee to to the Capture Site but they do accept donations from those willing. You can read more about the capture site HERE. In short, it is where Madiba was caught by the apartheid police after being on the run for months. I blogged about this location before after my first visit 2 years ago. This time I went so my son could also see it, am trying to get him interested in travel, it's quite the mission.
...and after a long day, the bathtub was the perfect place to take it all in and just breathe. Talk about Queening!
The XF is a gorgeous car and I am besotted. Thank you to Jaguar for a great introduction to their luxurious art of performance, they certainly have a new fan in me.
You can see more of my journey via #xfjourneys on my Instagram & Twitter @MsLeloB
** All pictures captured with the Huawei P10 Plus