The cool climate, excellent schools and genteel country lifestyle of Hilton make it a popular choice for families.
Jackie Cameron lives, works, and plays in Hilton in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. She’s been overseas more than 30 times, and says nothing beats the feeling of coming home to Hilton. “It’s been my home-hood since 1994, and it o¬ffers a sense of tranquillity, an almost untouched beauty and a lovely warm country feel – it’s where my heart is.”
Hilton, known as the gateway to the Midlands Meander, is about 12km away from Pietermaritzburg. Its superb cooler climate, very English history and winding lanes have given it its hedgerows and manicured gardens. The area is also renowned for its excellent private schools.
Jackie says her home is more than just a house,
It’s my school, my home, my parents’ home and that of the staff¬ and students. My parents built it in 1994, and when it was completed, my dad swore he’d never lay another brick. Well, that was then, and we’ve been uplifting, changing and improving ever since!
Jackie is full of praise for her hugely supportive parents. She lived relatively close to them for many years, but long working hours meant she missed out on a lot of family time. “Now it’s pretty special to be able to enjoy dinner with my folks most evenings. My mom’s still the best home cook out there!”
It’s no surprise that in Jackie’s home-cum-school, the kitchen is the hero. “I have every appliance possible, a walk-in fridge and freezer, and an entire double-garage storeroom of dry goods,” she says. “When the day comes to move out of my school, I know one thing for sure, I will have a state-of-the-art kitchen and maybe even a walk-in fridge.”
Jackie loves her proximity to work. “I couldn’t be more hands-on than I am now. I love the fact that work and home are so close,” she says. As for go-to spots for eating out, she says: “I don’t get out much. I’ve always had co¬ffee in my school, with my Simonelli machine and Terbodore co¬ffee. Such a treat. I do eat at Taste of Thai for SA’s most authentic Thai food – I get cravings for the Tom Yum, Pad Thai and Massaman Curry. I also enjoy Artisan for the Pulled Pork Burger – a recent discovery – and the pizzas and Chicken Livers.”
Jackie works most Sundays, but tries to make time for lunch. “My fiancé usually cooks something truly delicious on the Weber. We try to chill with friends and family, and soak in the stunning views we’re so fortunate to have. I can’t wait to open my restaurant space and share this with everyone!”
- Hilton College
- St Anne’s Diocesan School for Girls
- Grace College High School
Cowan House Co-educational Prep School
Things to do:
Gateway to the Midlands Meander
- Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve (day visitors only) – Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife headquarters
- Howick Falls
- Doreen Clark Nature Reserve, Winterskloof
- Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve – Howick
- Albert Falls Dam and Game Reserve – about 20 km from Pietermaritzburg
- Mountain bike trails – Karkloof
Best in food
- Artisan for delicious pizzas
- La Popote: for a pretty country setting and tasty cakes
- The Cherry Tree for great coffee
- Taste of Thai for authentic Thai cuisine
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.