Our Africa Travel director Chris Wain visited the fabulous Grand Dedale Country House in South Africa. This farm has been in existence since the beginning of the 17th century and was renovated to showcase it's traditional Cape Dutch architecture in 2009.
Discover the reasons why this property has made it to the list of our recommended places to stay in South Africa:
Whilst the town of Wellington may be slightly off the beaten track as far as the wine region goes, it’s shining star, the Grand Dedale Country House, most certainly is. It is situated at the end of a peaceful valley, towering over it is the historic Bainskloof Pass, within the Doolhof Wine Estate. The location is one of its biggest assets – the surroundings are scenic and rural, with views of the Groenberg, Limietberge and Hawekwa mountains. You are still under 50 minutes drive from Cape Town. The property and the area could be your only stop in the wine region, (as the ‘honeypot destinations’ of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek are both less than 25 miles away), or it could be a secondary stop in its own right.
The six rooms at Grand Dedale are located in the main building either upstairs under the thatch, or downstairs on the ground floor. There is also the romantic cottage, which stands privately alone in the grounds, housing another room built with a European architecture. Nice complimentary touches here are the help-yourself fridges with soft drinks, beers, wine & cider, and the afternoon tea, which is served on the verandah. The estate also has a swimming pool outdoor, spa room and a wine tasting centre. They have loft rooms which are accessible via a spiral staircase, which is not wheelchair accessible. Remote telephones are available, as well as wifi for you to access the world outside when you need to!
The house overlooks a valley which is home to rows of vines, a river, and a couple of very nice walks, with wine-tasting from the Doolhof Wine Estate available right next door. Lesser-known attractions in the area include the quirky village of Riebeek Kasteel, with its Victoriana farm-building restaurants & shops, the historic town of Tulbagh, the fruit-growing centre of Ceres, and the Baineskloof Pass, a dramatic road which snakes its way up the mountains behind Grand Dedale. You can also go for more sportier activities like mountain hikes, horse riding, cycling, clay pigeon shooting, river rafting and for walks through the untouched countryside of the Cape Province.
It will not suit everyone – it is not really feasible to go for dinner outside the property, (although the daily 3-course menu offered is excellent), the phone signal is not great, and claustrophobes or the very tall may wish to steer clear of the loft rooms, - but for those wanting to use it either as a base from which to explore well-trodden or hidden parts of the wine region, or as a place at which to just relax, spend time by the pool and enjoy picturesque rambles, it is a winning option.
If you would like the Grand Dedale Country House to be part of your itinerary in South Africa, speak to one of our travel experts on 020 7843 3500 or submit your enquiry here.
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