On most mornings of the week, Alan Hobson of the Angler & Antelope Guesthouse is out early with his guests on a fly-fishing mission into the Karoo Heartland.
On a series of river pools on farms somewhere between Cradock and Somerset East, or on stillwater settings in the area, they’re casting for rainbow trout, yellowfish, mullet, moggel and mudfish in special places known only to Alan.
In the evenings, the Hobsons and their guests get together at Nigel’s Bar, which stands in a renovated and deconsecrated former Roman Catholic church.
Alan puts on his barman’s hat and serves the guests all manner of wonderful Scotch whisky, from the peaty tastes of the Hebrides to the wheaty nuances of the Highlands.
Dinner is also in the Old Church, with Annabelle bringing through roast chicken, curries, lamb shanks and pan-fried trout.
Choose your wine from the Nigel’s Bar and you’re set for the evening, celebrating top class Karoo hospitality and the magic of fly-fishing.
The accommodations at the Angler & Antelope (one of only two 4-star-graded establishments in Somerset East) consist of seven en-suite bedrooms.
The guesthouse itself is a lovely old 1893 house, beautifully restored with most of the old features like wooden floors, high ceilings and sash windows intact.
The bathrooms are something of a special feature themselves. Expect slipper baths and elegant basin stands, under-floor heating and massive rose showerheads.
Combine that with fine bed linen, mohair blankets and free Wi-Fi connections in both the guesthouse and self-catering units, and you have the perfect stop-over for holiday makers, fly-fishers and business people.