I recently honoured an invitation to the annual ‘Nubijara’ braai at Swinburne guest-house and backpackers facility in Lobatse, and took the familiar drive to get a much-needed break from the city’s bustle.
It was a sweltering afternoon but thankfully, Lobatse was much cooler than Gabs. The owner, Mmasemela Swinburne, who has a way of making every single person feel special and important, welcomed me.
I was shown to my room by one of the friendly staff, Wendy, and after freshening up I joined the other guests on the veranda for pre-drinks.
The generous meal was served later in the afternoon, and by then appetites were clearly revved up.
The menu consisted of braai steak and boerwors, chicken stew, pork and goat. There were also enticing servings of homemade roti and pap, as well as cabbage relish and chakalaka. Everyone ate until the last morsel.
After a while, dessert was served: yummy cinnamon spiced apple and scrumptious pine tart served with warm custard. All plans of a diet flew out of the window as I tucked in to appease my sweet tooth. It sure was a delicious serving and I had to hold myself back from licking the bowl.
The guests then eased into the night with their favourite beverages, chatting and taking selfies. The mood was relaxed with easy Jazz sounds but it was turned a notch higher with African Jazz sounds. The sparkling wine, whisky and gin gelled with the bewitching sounds of Budhaza and had a few people jiving happily.
I had a restful sleep in the huge bed and the next morning I felt like staying a bit longer. The rooms are much like one’s own home. They are spacious and boast everything you would need – iron and board, microwave, bar fridge, flat screen television with Dstv, stove and curtlery. There is also free Wi Fi for the guests.
Before checking out, I took time out for a short walk around the facility and introspected as I sipped on my morning beverage. I regretted not bringing along my swim wear because I would have had a splash and taken a few laps. I did think of jumping in with my knickers or birthday suit but thankfully, I did not!
Swinburne is a paradise in the heart of the old town. The hands-on approach by the owners, who also live on the property, gives it a homely feel. I came across some of the other guests when we were back in the city and they all raved about the place and the wonderful time they had.