It’s no secret, I love Bloem, ask anyone who knows me, it’s one of my favourite places in the country. Granted, it’s not very pretty and it’s not flashy, but Bloem manages to do so much right in my books, it’s clean, it’s relatively safe, it’s small enough to be personal, but big enough to be fun. Take my last trip through the city as an example, where I decided to stay over a night while on a road-trip.
Lunch by the lake
We made it in time for lunch and first stop was at the upmarket Loch Logan Mall, set around a man-made lake, this mall has everything the city-dweller could need, including a Vida – the standard by which all cities should be measured. Along the waterfront, you’ll find many well-known restaurant chains, but my number one is definitely Avanti, good service, a view and food of a standard one would not expect in this isolated city. I had a rump and haloumi wrap which is unparalleled by any I’ve ever had in Cape Town!
We checked into a brand new hotel in Bloemfontein for the night, The Urban. Now, I’ve had rather mediocre experiences with Bloem accommodation in the past – so this hotel was something unique. A stones-throw from the malls and the rest of the major hotels in Bloem, The Urban offers something different, it’s a hotel for those on the go who like a little bit of style in their accommodation. You won’t find rooms full of gadgets and don’t expect room-service, but what you can expect is clean, secure and affordable accommodation. The decor is very stylish, ultra-modern and clean, everything with red, black and white hues – who says you need to pay big bucks to stay somewhere stylish?
A dinner to die for
To end off the day in Bloemfontein, I stopped by my favourite restaurants in the city, 7 on Kellner. It’s venue is an old Victorian mansion with pressed ceilings inside, though I prefer to sit outside in summer, where they’ve got an inviting patio with a homely feel. The beautifully presented menu rarely changes but is jam-packed with outstanding cuisine like “Pork belly with honey, ginger, soya & chilli glaze with stir fried noodles” or the oustanding “Indian curry with cumin, ginger, coriander & coconut milk with jasmine rice & naan” – everything is to die for. Oh and if you get the urge, try one of their excellent cocktails, the watermelon margerita is unlike anything I’ve experienced before!
There you have it, some pretty good reasons to visit the city of roses!