Blissful Cape Dutch charm
On a bright summer’s day there’s few places more idyllic than Boschendal Farm, one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa’s famous Stellenbosch region. From the glorious mountain backdrop to the perfectly pristine rows of vines and a smattering of traditional whitewashed buildings, the entire 2,200 hectare estate is a knockout and bursting with tradition. Recently, the vineyards and fruit trees have been joined by a herd of free range Angus cattle, a chicken coup, two fabulous restaurants and a deli and a handful of pretty renovated guest cottages meaning the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down…
At the lodge
Guests staying on the farm have access to every corner of the sweeping grounds and boy are they magnificent. Get stuck into the relaxed farm lifestyle and pick plums from the orchards, explore the vineyards or simply lie in the lush grass listening to the puttering of the tractor. Food-wise, there’s the Rhone Homestead restaurant where traditional South African fare is served up on grand tables, the smart Werf Restaurant or for a laid-back bite, pick up a picnic basket or something from the deli.
The old farm labourer’s cottages on the estate have been elegantly restored into breezy, stylish retreats with a touch of the old Cape Dutch charm. There’s something to suit everyone too - families might like the Orchard cottages with the large shared swimming pool and pretty gardens whilst couples can hide away in the pretty Werf cottages and enjoy the ravishing views of the mountains. Two-bedroomed Clarence Cottage is another good option for families with its large living area and private garden but the piece de resistance is Rhodes Cottage, the original bolthole of Cecil John Rhodes, and now a stunning ‘country-house cottage’ with all mod-cons.
Overnight guests have exclusive use of the estate’s hiking trails so make the most of the solitude and explore the magical surroundings. If you’re feeling particularly energetic there’s jeep tracks and winding forest roads for mountain biking, trail running and even horse rides. On the estate, tantalise your taste buds with wine and food pairings, delve into the heritage with a cellar tour or chill out totally in the Farm Spa. And if you’re still not tired, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch with their eclectic shops and restaurants are only a short drive away.