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Toad Tree Cottage
Toad Tree Cottage is a charming three-bedroom residence set in a large indigenous garden overlooking rolling sugarcane fields outside Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.
The cottage takes its inspiration from the colonial farmhouses of yesteryear and has been lovingly restored after years of hunting demolition yards, auction houses and junk shops for authentic building materials from the past. It boasts all the modern conveniences but has features taken from old railway stations, gentlemen's clubs and churches which have long been demolished.
The open-plan kitchen is fully stocked for self-catering but a Bed and Breakfast option is also available.
The cottage can accommodate six people comfortably (two double beds, two singles) and there are overhead fans in all the rooms. There are two full bathrooms and the lounge has a television, DVD player and radio/cassette. There is a small library of books of local interest.
French doors open onto a verandah and private entertainment area with a swimming pool, alfresco dining and barbeque facilities.
Guests are requested to bring their own beach towels. The cottage is cleaned daily and a laundry service is available.
A delightful feature of the bedrooms is the decorative themes that celebrate the three distinct cultures of the region.
The African Room has the textures and earthy colours of the Continent and is simply furnished with local works of art and crafts.
The English Room is done in the style of the British Arts and Crafts Movement and is furnished with family antiques.
The Indian Room is romantically inspired by the intricate and richly decorated Mughal palaces of the East.
The beautiful 5-acre garden consists almost entirely of indigenous trees and plants and makes up an impressive private botanical collection.
It has been landscaped for year-round interest and features an extensive aloe garden, which brings welcome warm colours in winter - as well as attracting a large variety of sunbirds. The white garden beside the swimming pool creates a relaxing area for escaping the summer heat.
There is a small indigenous tree and plant nursery on the property.
The cottage is six kilometres from the Raphia Palm natural monument and the Eshowe - with its extremely popular forest aerial boardwalk and interesting historical museum and Zulu craft gallery - is only 40kms away.
The seaside village of Mtunzini caters for most of visitors' needs. There is a supermarket, several restaurants, bottle stores, a country club with 9-hole golf course, three tennis courts and a squash court, as well as a very active bowling club. There is also a doctor's surgery and two chemists. More urban pursuits are only an hour away.
The world renowned Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park are also close enough for a day trip.