Hatfield, Pretoria

The lovely, sedate neighbourhood of Hatfield has become known as the embassy suburb because of the inclination of embassies to move into the large homes that grace the area, which does, in turn, give one an indication of their size. Hatfield lies in the heart of Pretoria, just outside the city centre between Arcadia and Lynnwood.

Hatfield is close to the University and to Loftus Versfeld stadium, which underwent a multi-million rand facelift to prepare it for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Hatfield has its own burgeoning business area, and the Hatfield Plaza with its shops and entertainment, as well as a number of restaurants, are all located in the suburb. The centre of Pretoria is only about 5 kilometres from Hatfield and provides a good day’s outing if you take in the monuments, museums, old buildings and green spaces.

Stop for tea at the Stables at Melrose House, just across from Burger’s Park. The park may no longer constantly be the site of midday picnics, but morning or afternoon tea is still high on the agenda, and guided tours through the house a must.

In the other direction entirely, the National Botanical Gardens in Cussonia Avenue just beyond the CSIR beckon any visitor to Pretoria, and from Hatfield it is an easy trip to make. The beautiful garden is divided in two by a 50 metre high quartzite outcrop, and paved nature trails make navigating the fascinating natural vegetation a pleasure. Take along a picnic and you’re set for a day of enjoyment.

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