Chris Wain, Director of Africa Travel, reviews Boschendal in the Cape Winelands.
South Africa’s wine region is renowned not only for its wonderful wine estates and superb eateries but for also being home to some of the country’s finest accommodation offerings. Amongst these are luxury country houses, historic coaching inns and boutique retreats, but the current trend is towards private cottages and villas. A new addition to the scene, Boschendal, recently opened its doors, and Africa Travel were one of the first to experience it.
A historic wine estate dating back to 1685, Boschendal is located almost equidistant from the wine region’s big hitting towns – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl – and has long had a great reputation for its wines, restaurant and the terrific picnics which are served in the tree-lined and majestic grounds. To this they can now add accommodation – specifically the Werf Cottages, located close to the main estate buildings and restaurants, and the Orchard Cottages, which have a more rural setting and are a short drive from the central area.
The seven 1-bedroom Werf Cottages plus the 2-bedroom Clarence Cottage are beautifully restored farm cottages, designed in a modern yet subtle way, and boasting a fire place, fully-equipped kitchen and large lounge. They look out over a small lake and are a very short stroll from the estate’s restaurant and farm shop/deli, where an alfresco breakfast can be enjoyed amongst the chickens, ducks and squirrels. Breakfast, lunch and dinner baskets can also be arranged for those who do not want to leave the bosom of their cottage. The aforementioned and famous picnic should also be enjoyed, particularly as it is served just seconds from your doorstep. Nice touches are the soaps and toiletries, which are handmade on the estate, the chilled and complimentary bottle of Boschendal wine awaiting your arrival, and the lemons in the front garden which can be picked and added to create the freshest G&T. A communal swimming pool with loungers is also provided.
Across the main road and 2kms up a dirt track lie the 13 Orchard Cottages, restored labourers cottages which offer between 1, 2, 3, 4, and in the case of the historic Rhodes Cottage, 5 bedrooms. Lower priced and more ‘country-cottage’ and rustic than the Werf Cottages, they are more suited to groups of friends and families, and to those wishing to be away from it all. They also have full kitchens and lounge areas, but in addition they have large verandas, stunning views down over the valley, outdoor seating areas and an outside fireplace, perfect for long summer evenings under the stars. There is also a swimming pool, with a spa planned for this development, but for dining guests have the option of either self-catering, or of popping into the car for the 5 minute drive down to the farm shop and deli.
Both types of cottage will undoubtedly have their fans, and they are a welcome and excellent addition to the wine region. Highly recommended.
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