Located in the beautiful Drakenstein Valley flanked either side by the dramatic Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains, a farmstay at Boschendal will offer a relaxed, natural and functional experience in the Western Cape.
Boschendal, already internationally renowned for its fine wines and a rich history dating back over 300 years to Hugenot origins, is officially launching a new farm stay experience to South Africa’s Winelands region from 15th December.
In line with its vision to restore, share and safeguard its legacy, elegantly renovated Cape Dutch labourer cottages invite guests to enjoy all this magnificent estate has to offer: an award winning wine and bio-friendly food experience; a spectacular natural and soulful landscape; fun, informative and engaging activities whilst also providing an opportunity for some down time in tranquil surroundings to recharge and reinvigorate. Bringing life into the working farm, their experience will be about connecting with the land, its produce and its heritage.
Within easy reach of Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, Boschendal as it is known today was established with the amalgamation of 19 farms assembled by Cecil John Rhodes to form part of his then commercial fruit business, Rhodes Fruit Farm. Spanning 5,500 acres / 2200 hectares it continues to be rooted in tradition with its heritage, size and sense of space creating an exceptional setting. A working agricultural farm first and foremost, the plans include the planting of 200 hectares of fruit (in total 50,000 tonnes of fruit will be grown on the farm, 95% of which will be exported) and 100 hectares of verges (primarily hydrangeas and agapanthus).
With emphasis on stylish simplicity guest cottages are authentic, rural yet contemporary in character. Ideal for families and groups of friends as well as couples they range from the exclusive and historic 5 bedroom Rhodes Cottage, a National Heritage Site built by renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker for Cecil John Rhodes, to the Orchard Cottages, a series of one and two bedroom cottages with an outdoor dining area for braais, a large swimming pool and a magnificent setting among the plum trees. Situated adjacent to the historic Werf (farm yard) of Boschendal and each named after former labourers the 7 one-bedroom Werf Cottages are in walking distance to the Boschendal restaurant and Deli.
Also being restored is Boschendal’s Cape Dutch Werf which incorporates the original Manor House. Located in the original waenhuis or wagon house, a Farmshop & Deli will offer delicious breakfasts, light and seasonal lunches and afternoon teas. Natural and rural in design, it will stock wholesome farm produce and delicatessen products that include Boschendal Extra virgin Olive oil, their prized 100% pasture fed, naturally aged and hormone free Black Angus Beef along with farm made bread, jams and preserves. Picnic baskets brimming with freshly made, locally grown produce will be made up here to take away for lunch whilst in the 200 year old Cape Dutch Cellar the newly refurbished restaurant will offer great tasting, naturally grown produce straight from the Boschendal’s bio-friendly farms to pair with its finest wines. At lunchtime the restaurant’s help-yourself harvest table will see chefs led by Executive Chef Christian Campbel (previously of Delaire Graff who is pioneering the ethical and organic food experiences) preparing the final touches to guests’ meals at interactive food counters.
With privileged access to Boschendal 2200 hectare farm, guests staying in the cottages will be able to savour the best of farm living. They may choose to join farm and history tours (and in time, on tractor trailers), explore the farm on foot following trails taking them through orchards, stopping off to pick pears, plums and citrus fruits depending on the season. There are mountain biking trails, wine tasting (currently novel pairings include Wine & Chocolate) and cellar tours, trout fishing and swimming in the dams – and plenty of opportunity to sit and read, relax and generally take in the goodness of life.