While we know the loyal followers of Studio 90 got glimpse of the team’s life at their base camp during the World Cup – the Stu Holden tour comes to mind – but there were many things we couldn’t show you for security reasons. In fact, taking photos or shooting video on the premises was strictly prohibited except for team delegation members.
Since we had the chance to get back to the Irene Country Lodge yesterday after the ceremony at Irene Middle School, we snapped off some shots of the grounds to give you a little bigger taste of what life was like for the guys this past summer in South Africa.
The player’s wing of the hotel from the lake side. Each room had a balcony overlooking the water. The closest room on the bottom floor contained the set for Studio 90.
The area with the benches has a fire pit in the middle for barbecues, which the South Africans call a “braii”. During the tournament, a few braiis were held at night, and the roaring fire made for a great setting. Behind is the where the team meal and meeting rooms were located.
The outdoor patio. The weather was surprisingly warm during the days, so many team lunches got moved outside. Also the site of the Friends & Family happy hour.
The entrance to the Irene Country Lodge. During the World Cup, there was a heavy security presence and no vehicle or person could enter without prior authorization. If you turned around from this spot, you would see the back gate to the Dairy Farm where the players walked each day for press conferences and interviews.
The hot tub and pool. A very popular destination after training for regeneration and recuperation. Also a nice spot for a quiet coffee at night. And it’s where Carlos famously did his interview with Ryan Seacrest from the hot tub!