Hilton IS BEST KNOWN FOR its small village atmosphere and misty days!
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT in the gardens at the Church of the Ascension – it’s very pretty, especially if it’s a misty day! The massive hydrangea bushes are beautiful and add something special to the gardens.
THE BEST pictures can be taken at St. Anne’s School – the red brick school buildings really stand out in the village!
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT can be taken at the very impressive grounds of Hilton College. The Cape Dutch styled buildings are worth seeing.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO walk with my walking group (The Walkie Talkies!) or bird watch. We are lucky here – birds can be found in local gardens or I take a trip to the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens and the Doreen Clark Nature Reserve.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO take a trip down the hill to the Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg and watch a movie.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS May because the weather is settled; the heat of summer has gone and the crisp autumn air is refreshing. We don’t have much rain in the winter but it starts getting chilly in the autumn so we can light a fire.
MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS Bustles in the local shopping centre ‘The Quarry’. They do a wonderful breakfast and a perfect cup of coffee. We normally stop after our walk!
FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST La Popote. Situated at Summerhouse at Folly Hill (a small holding just outside Hilton) this is country retreat with the most beautiful gardens. The restaurant, La Popote is housed in the old calf pens (the Summerhouse building is in the old milking parlour!) and has become so popular that booking is essential. Lazy breakfasts and lunches are served under the trees during the summer months and during the winter bowls of soup are served in front of a log fire!
MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS La Popote for their lamb casserole.
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM the garage – my sons tell me that they make the best pies!
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN then the only place it go is Crossways. This is also the best place to meet locals. The beer is always cold, the pub grub is good and there is normally always live music.
Hilton’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS the beautiful gardens and perfect weather. Even if Pietermaritzburg is sweltering hot Hilton manages to rustle up a bit of a breeze to cool things down. We have been known to have hot weather too though.
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS going on the Midlands Meander in the Natal Midlands. There are so many beautiful shops and quaint places to stop for coffee and cake.
FOR SOME CULTURE, I LIKE TO GO TO Art in the Park in Pietermaritzburg – the work of such talented people is on display. The setting is so pretty and they also sell the best curry in town!
TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO take a drive out to Midmar Dam. The scenic surroundings are just what I need.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY the Capital Climb run. Starting in town and heading all the way to World’s View it’s a steep climb.
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS to World’s View – the view of Maritzburg is stunning.
MY FAVOURITE browsing SHOP IS Exclusive Books and Cape Union Mart in the Midlands Mall.
MY FAVOURITE bird WATCHING SPOT IS Doreen Clark Nature Reserve, just outside of Hilton. This is a small, seven hectare reserve which was donated to the Parks Board by the Clark family. There are a number of picnic spots and hiking trails.
IF YOU’RE HERE IN September, JOIN IN THE FUN AT the Hilton Arts Festival. Different shows are on to keep you entertained and its great fun!
MY FAVOURITE GALLERY IS Cannon’s. CHECK OUT THE art and antiques. Cannon and Cannon’s have been trading in Pietermartizburg since 1943 and they are now recognised country-wide as specialists in collectables, antiques, fine art and international and South African works of art.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS St Anne’s School, FOR ITS red brick buildings.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS to the Piggly Wiggly in the Midlands. There is loads of space for kids to run around, a small playground to keep them entertained and of course the adults can indulge in a pot of tea and a plate of scones.
BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS Yellowwoods.
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO go to Granny Mouse Country House. Their food is sensational, the setting perfect and the service outstanding. They also have a great spa if you want to indulge.
THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS that it’s always green because of high rainfall and mist.
MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS the Drakenberg – the scenery is magnificent and there are lots of hikes and bird watching to be done.
WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I pick up the litter.
I Love Hilton Because of its English village feel, the temperate climate, the green trees and its wonderful people.
Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens: +27 (0)33 344-3585
La Popote – +27 (0)33 343-1448