Last weekend I was fortunate to go for a casual lunch at The Herb Farm in Blue Hills, Johannesburg. This is a spectacular setting, both from the view over Johannesburg’s skyline, and the magnificent gardens. It has changed hugely since my first visit in October 2018, at which point they had just re-opened. At that time it was a bit rustic and the service wasn’t so great, so it was encouraging to see so much has been accomplished in a relatively short space of time.
This is a working herb farm and very beautiful, with plants in abundance everywhere you look or choose to wander. On arrival, you are guided through the spacious retail plant shed and garden to get to the bistro, or to any of the other venues… and it’s a great place to stop off on the way out to stock up on whatever you require or has inspired you during your visit.
Once inside, there is a beautifully conceived children’s garden, complete with awesome little playhouses interspersed among the planting, as well as some amazing play spaces and a tea garden for the long-suffering parents and grandparents. There were a number of children’s parties in progress when I was there, but with enough space for some level of privacy and far enough away from the bistro, gardens and retail space that noise is no issue.
However, this wasn’t my destination. Oh no, I was off to the bistro to have a leisurely lunch and a glass or two with some girlfriends!
The bistro is found in a quiet corner of the property, after a walk through the gardens and their masses of trees, plants and mature shrubs. It’s an outdoor deck venue, undercover and raised above the surrounding gardens to make the most of the amazing view and the wonderful herby scents that assail the nostrils.
While the menu is quite small, it’s enough for the average lunch requirements and the service has improved to a degree. However, the real reason you’ll want to return time after time is the amazing setting, as well as the peace and tranquility of the rural gardens so close to the urban sprawl. We were left undisturbed to enjoy our lunch and chat in pleasant surroundings, which is also a big plus these days!
You’ll find The Herb Farm at 264 Summit Road, Blue Hills, Midrand and it’s easily accessed from the R55 if you’re coming from the Kyalami area, or from the R511 if you hail from the Fourways area.
Tel: 010 447 3517