I had lunch at Forum Homini many years ago and have been threatening to return for a weekend for an age. When my mama told me she was flying up to Johannesburg for her birthday and to escape the Pennington rain for a bit, I decided to book a weekend break for us at Forum Homini and surprise her. Just an hour outside of Johannesburg in the Cradle of Mankind, Forum Homini very quickly helps you forget the bustle of the city and unwind in what feels like the middle of nowhere.
Forum Homini is unique in that the design and architecture has truly embraced nature and its surroundings; it’s camouflaged extremely well. The bungalows are built into a hillside, complete with turf roofs and overgrown edges. My mom was convinced we were in the wrong place when we pulled up because all she could see was the carport; beautifully disguised. While it’s grassy and overgrown, it’s far from Hobbitsville. Cantilevered concrete edges, sculpture and precise stone-work balance with the natural touches and create harmony. It really is something to behold.
The rooms are standalone bungalows, spacious and romantic. Don’t forget your cozzie because there’s a private jacuzzi that leads straight into the double shower. My two top features of our bungalow were the fireplace in the centre of the room and the bath opposite it. I woke up early on Sunday morning and lit the fire for us so we could doze in its warmth, a beautiful glow flickering through the room. Taking a bubble-bath beside the fire with a cappuccino in hand is basically my idea of heaven. The room is big, comfortable and has everything you need; it opens up onto a big deck on the edge of the bushveld facing west.
We checked in at 2PM and had a lazy afternoon ahead of our much anticipated 6 course supper at 7PM. The courses are small, almost too beautiful to eat and packed with flavour. Don’t be alarmed by the white space on the plate; we could barely finish our meal towards the end. The dining room was full, warm and overflowing with atmosphere. We were seated next to one of the cozy, crackling fireplaces. The service was outstanding and every effort was made to cater to my mom’s pescatarian needs. Dinner is a long, lazy affair, so settle in and make a night of this special occasion.
Just to make sure we’d been adequately fed during our stay, we were treated to a 6 course breakfast the following morning. Again, lots of little but super tasty courses that take something simple like Tastee Wheat and transform it into a masterpiece. We sat out on the deck for breakfast with the warm morning sun hitting our backs. Bliss.
I booked our stay through AccommoDirect.com which I discovered recently; they have over 20 000 listings across South Africa. Booking was easy and I loved that I had the opportunity to make some special requests through the platform. Here I listed that my mom is a pescatarian, and also that it was her birthday. Both of these were noted and they made her stay extra special with a bottle of Champagne and a special birthday treat for dessert at dinner. When I started looking at options for places to stay I hadn’t considered Forum Homini, but Accommodation Direct served as the inspiration.
I’m keen to explore other weekend breaks not too far from Johannesburg, so please comment and let me know what’s worth booking.