Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, nestled in the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range about an hour’s drive from Pretoria, lies a make-believe restaurant, fairy shop and fantasy guest lodge from a land far away.
The three venues, collectively called Goblin’s Cove, are the brainchild of sculptor Charles Gotthard – a renowned South African artist and sculptor whose work appears in the Arena Studio of the National State Theatre, the Rustenburg Civic Centre and the Krugersdorp City Hall.
Goblin’s Cove restaurant is the first of the three fantasylands. It offers visitors a unique dining experience based on extraordinary tastes served in an out-of-the-ordinary setting. Diners can enjoy the restaurant’s signature dishes – the chocolate chilli fillet, for example – while overlooking the fairy forest that surrounds the restaurant enclave. Goblins and quirky sculptures pop out of the trees, while exotic birds flit around in the aviary.
Murals, sculptures and fairies poke out of every nook and cranny, making this venue a magical place to explore between servings. The restaurant is in a cove shape, and each of its rooms boasts a unique magical quality and atmosphere. The Golden Pixie and Blue Bell are intimate two-seater rooms, while Merlin’s Loft can accommodate up to 40 people.
For those who wish to spend the night, a vintage train coach – the Goblin’s Express – has three cosy en-suite cabins that are available for overnight bookings. Set away from the rest of the cove and surrounded by forest, it is a tranquil and romantic place to stay.
During the week Goblin’s Cove is closed for private and corporate functions, although the Goblin’s Express accommodation is available seven days a week.
Open Friday noon to 10pm; Saturday 8am to 10pm; Sunday 8am to 8pm.
From the N1, take Beyers Naude/Northcliff off-ramp, and at robot turn right. Travel past Ferreiras on your left toward Garden World. Turn left onto the Peter Road towards Hendrik Potgieter. Turn right onto Hendrik Potgieter travelling towards Krugerdorp. At the four-way stop go straight over onto the M47. When reaching the T-junction turn right onto the R563 (Hekpoort Road). Keep following the right hand fork for 19km, passing Greensleeves restaurant and Sterkfontein Caves The road leads into a mountainous area. You pass the first left turn that says R24 Magaliesburg/Maropeng, and carry on going till you get the second turn to your left that says R24 Magaliesburg/Hekpoort. Turn left approximately 600m down the road you’ll see Goblins on your right.
Take N14 (Krugersdorp/Pretoria) Highway. Travel towards Krugersdorp. At the end of the highway you will get to a four-way stop. Turn right onto the M47. Refer to the directions above.