Travel & Outdoors
Experience small town magic in Smithfield
Yes, we’re raving about a restaurant and bar in the quaint little Free State town of Smithfield. Once you’ve visited Buckley’s or stayed over at its guesthouse, you’ll never drive through again without stopping to say hi!
Martin Booyens, the owner of Buckley’s, is the advocate for positive experiences in town. His favourite saying is: “We are having so much fun in doing what we do – come and be part of it!” Buckley’s has been in town for almost six years. It opened as a coffee shop on the N6 and the planned business hours were from 07:30 till 17:00. Martin moved to from Johannesburg to Smithfild as part of an early retirement plan, but the plan lasted exactly three weeks. Then everything changed – hours, menu, stock in the bar and staffing. The original logo changed after three months to accommodate all the changes, a new bar area was added to the property providing more outside entertainment space as to accommodate more than one group or party at the same time.
The main building of Buckley’s, which is almost a century old, was the original Boarding House of Smithfield and Martin is currently converting the building into a guesthouse with six en-suite bedrooms. In his research of the boarding house, he found a local couple who got engaged in the boarding house. “Oom Pierre and Tannie Annatjie are celebrating their 50th anniversary in December this year and will be the first patrons to sleep in the room,” he says.
Smithfield’s own arts festival, the Platteland Preview, takes place annually in June. (Get more info online at smithfield.co.za).
Smithfield’s history and its significance during the Anglo Boer War runs deep and makes for great tales around the campfire.
Stop next time and experience true small town magic! For more info, call Buckley’s at 051 683 0021.