Exploring the other side of my Joburg border this week as My Saturday Find takes me to the small bushveld town of Hoedspruit. Just over 5 hours (450 km) from Joburg is a little piece of paradise where life carries on at its own pace. It’s a great space to take a few days out and reconnect with self and take in the bush. This was not my first trip to Hoedspruit, but I always enjoy time away in this quirky town.
Load Shedding, in South Africa, unfortunately knows no boundaries and was in full swing in the town of just over 2 500 inhabitants. Why one wonders?
Nonetheless, a bout of load shedding found my friend Marlene and I in urgent need of a respite from the all-encumbering heat, with the car showing temperatures of 37 degrees Celcius. That is quite something, even by Joburg standards, although temperatures soar to 45 degrees at the height of the summer heat in this town.
After a brief imbizo, Marlene and I decided to head off to Sleepers Railway Station Restaurant, to tackle the heat/lack of electricity situation. Sleepers is located in the old railway station building in Hoedspruit, which still functions as a railway station, with Rovos Rail making select stops from time to time.
Sleepers has a great vibe and is jam packed with railway station memorabilia. In fact, I spent quite some time walking around taking in all the interesting pieces adorning the walls. Being in the middle of a load shedding imposed heatwave, we decided to sit outside under the large oak tree, happy for the shade it offered. That, and the 2M beer I found on the menu. I first discovered 2M many years ago on a trip to Mozambique and it always brings a smile to my face when I find it out and about.
Fortunately, Sleepers has load shedding-proofed themselves so the food service continues and the beers remain ice cold. Winner, I say!
Pizza was the order of the day and Sleepers didn’t disappoint. The sweet chilli chicken hit the spot and paired with a bottle or two of 2M, facilitated a temporary load shedding escape, which was most welcome.
Load Shedding Survival Kit
I was so taken by the discovery of 2M at Sleepers, that it inspired a little load shedding survival kit idea, see my advice in the video below. Either that or the heat was really messing with my mind. I’m sticking to the former though.
Sleepers Railway Station Restaurant is open seven days a week. Find them at 1 Python Street, Hoedspruit. Alternatively hit this Waze link to take you straight there now!
Check out more about Sleepers on Eat Out and jump onto their app to rate your experience.
Also, find Sleepers Railway Station Restaurant on Facebook.
That One Thing
The one thing you have to know when you go to Sleepers? Be sure to hit the small pub located on the property, for one last drink after your meal. It takes a full 8 people at the bar counter, but it’s an experience of note. Don’t be concerned, Hoedspruit is small, so you can literally walk home after your festivities, no need to complicate things by arranging your nominated driver!
Sleepers is now a regular on my itinerary when in Hoedspruit and I know it will be on yours too when you find yourself in the neighbourhood.
Have a good one!