Rustic elegance and vintage country charm at Crystal Barn Country Estate

Crystal Barn Country Estate, Fort Nottingham, in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands (2)

Crystal Barn Country Estate, Fort Nottingham, in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands

The Crystal Barn Country Estate, just outside Fort Nottingham, in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, is not for anyone seeking the ordinary. Surrounded by hectares of pristine farmland and rows of ancient trees, which overlook a large dam and the hills beyond, it’s for anyone, who appreciates vintage-style mixed with country glamour and old-world charm.

It’s not just the promise of amazing surroundings and vintage country allure that keeps families, friends and romantic couples coming back, Crystal Barn Country Estate also offers outstanding service, superb cuisine and an array of outdoor activities.

While it’s a great place to unwind and relax – book in hand as the Fish Eagle cries overhead, or for taking in the fresh country air as the sun sets, Fort Nottingham also abounds with things to do. During your visit to the estate, take time to enjoy casual walks on the property; play tennis farm-style; mountain biking; bass fishing and paddling at the dam; try clay pigeon shooting and birding.

Without a doubt, the accommodation at Crystal Barn is something to talk about.

Accommodation at Crystal Barn Country Estate

Crystal Barn Country Estate can accommodate 30 guests in 14 stunning eclectic rooms. The accommodation comprises of 8 en-suite rooms overlooking the Rowe; a family room which sleeps four; a twin loft room; a luxurious couples’ suite and their main house, which has three double rooms – and can sleep six people.

Capturing a Hindi atmosphere – furnishings and colour, the first eight suites are called Bahaana. Seven bedrooms are set on a long veranda overlooking the rolling lawns and dam. The eighth bedroom is set off to the side with its own private veranda and entrance. The rooms are en-suite and include comfy large beds among other amenities.

Aptly named, the La Familia is a family suite and can sleep four guests. This room is en-suite with both a shower and a bath. It has two single beds, carpeting, a bar fridge, tea and coffee facilities and a private veranda. It is close to the restaurant with views over the estate’s gardens.

Meanwhile, the Kasbah captures an Arab-Indian-French theme. It is Crystal Barn’s luxurious couples’ suite with eclectic décor and a touch of French rustique. This suite has the best views of the farm and overlooks the dam from a private patio.

The Kasbah comprises an en-suite loft room with bath and shower and an open plan lounge that leads onto the patio. Amenities include tea and coffee facilities, bar fridge, TV, heaters and under-floor heating as well as his and her robes. It’s the perfect setting to rekindle the romance.

Note: Weekend bookings are for a minimum of two nights (we still believe that is not enough time to fully enjoy this place); camp cots are available upon request; all rates include breakfast. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed.

Weddings at Crystal Barn

Looking for a wedding venue that can enhance the story of your big day? Consider the Crystal Barn wedding venue. This wedding venue stands impressively on the edge of a beautiful dam with palatial Indian doors, ancient carved columns and windows.

It is adorned with 22 vintage crystal chandeliers all of different colour and design, which gives it character and easily transforms any wedding into a fairy tale affair.

A stunning covered wooden deck with lacy old iron balustrade and carved columns overlooks the dam, where you can watch the sunset, or just enjoy the view. It’s a spectacular backdrop for wedding celebrations and photographs.

Unlike at other wedding venues, there are a number of options for your ceremony including a gorgeous little chapel, an award winning forest location and our beautiful lawns for a garden ceremony

Best of all, there is no need for draping, fairy lights or additional decor other than on the long raw wooden banquet style tables, which are made from old recycled wood. They look fabulous with or without cloths, either simply or decadently decorated with flowers, fruit, candles and crystal. The venue seats 200 guests on stunning Paris metal chairs.

Corporate and private functions at Crystal Barn Country Estate

Companies or individuals needing a new location for their end-of-year functions, teambuilding outings, family get-togethers and other corporate/private events have not been forgotten. Crystal Barn Country Estate is perfect for large or small functions.

There are a number of spots suitable for functions from their cosy restaurant, their French-style open-air courtyard to their stunning veranda overlooking the dam.

In addition to the wedding venue above, the chapel also lends itself well to intimate functions with a change of the benches to space cinema-style seating.

Corporate team building is also available at Crystal Barn Country Estate. Their goal is to help you bring out-of-the-box ideas to life for your delegates or guests.

The restaurant at Crystal Barn

Now, you are probably wondering is there a place to tame your hunger after an eventful day in the area. The estate has a beautiful restaurant that is a celebration of colour, collections and quirky décor.

Here, scrumptious food – breakfasts, lunches and dinners, is prepared to satisfy and delight the senses and stomach. They also have an amazing kids’ menu on request.

While the kids enjoy their surrounds, you can also sample an amazing offering of drinks at their bar – ‘The Legless’. It forms part of the restaurant in a separate bar style room, where weekend sport can be enjoyed over snacks and locally-produced craft beers.

Still, for those wanting a more sheltered, French vibe, their outdoor courtyard is the place. With café style seating in a peaceful garden setting and the sound of a lovely water feature, it is the perfect spot to enjoy your meal and relax with a glass of wine. The most popular spot to sit on the farm is their covered veranda area with outstanding views over the vast dam, rolling lawns and garden. It’s a preferred seating area for those with busy kids, leading onto the lawn and a natural play area.

What others had to say about Crystal Barn Country Estate

Don’t take my word for it about Crystal Barn. Here is what their previous guests wrote on TripAdvisor:

“We had the most wonderful 2 night stay at Crystal Barn Country Estate. Thank you Gaby, Sebu, Lindo and all the other excellent staff to make this a most memorable getaway. Highly recommend their breakfast and special dinners. It was awesome – thank you!” wrote Caren S 

“I was mesmerized over the property and didn’t realize at the time that I would have found my possible wedding venue one day. The staff and everyone involved was so helpful and attentive, they really went above and beyond to make us comfortable. I will definitely be going again without a doubt!” said Joanne W

“Everything about Crystal Barn was excellent – the accommodation, the food, the scenery and the service. Amazing staff, so willing to help. Cannot recommend this place highly enough. Will definitely be going back there,” wrote Navigator21762448586 

Top reasons for visiting Crystal Barn Country Estate:

  1. The area is amazing making Crystal Barn Country Estate a great place to unwind.
  2. The staff deliver a prompt and friendly service.
  3. The accommodation is a unique experience.
  4. Amazing chef with years of international experience.
  5. A great location for corporate functions and those wanting to tie the knot.

You can contact Crystal Barn Country Estate on 071 364 0173 or email or visit Alternatively, find them at 1314 New Convent Road, Lions Bush, Fort Nottingham. See their Facebook Page or find them on Google Maps.

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About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


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