- Ivy Apartments: Self-Catering Perfection in the Heart of Franschhoek
- Winter Hideaways at Dolce Vita
- Monkey’s Weddings at Orange Grove Farm
- Family Breaks at Wildekrans’ Endless Vineyards
- Pet Friendly Convenience at the Ivy Apartments in Franschhoek
It’s dark and I can’t sleep anymore. Work anxiety is manifesting in insomnia and even though the sheets feel good and this bed is comfy, I can’t lie in the dark anymore. Dean told me to bring my new workout clothes – may as well use them! I heard him go out for his 5km in the dark of the morning, it’s time to for me to meet the dawn too.
Turning on my mobile flashlight, I rely on the white light to get dressed. Exiting, it’s a struggle to open the door handle. Why are oval-shaped door handles so hard to open?! My weak morning hands are likely not helping.
Gingerly stepping into the lounge, the pre-dawn light skirts the top of the Wildekrans vineyards as the glow filters through the double-framed wooden doors into the living room.
I step out into the morning air; it’s cool, but dry – the hot summer’s day tell. Our wine bottles are still scattered on the porch’s large wooden table; braai tongs upright, on the ground, surrounded by crusty ash from last night’s fire. The stars have moved on. Replaced by soft, pink dawn skies the memories of beautiful summer nights with close friends is still fresh in existence.
Walking up the steep entrance hill, I watch the colours develop over the Botrivier mountains. Rows and rows of vineyards rise from the saddle up the hills. While setting up a timelapse, I hear gospel music approaching from the distance. A taxi of staff arrives for their Sunday morning duties before the sun has risen above the distant hills.
Sneaking into the vineyards, around the bend and up the hill reveals the snoozy cluster of cottages peppering the farm’s foreground. The fire pits have been left empty as COVID plays its role in weekend getaways.
Pet Friendly Weekends Away
We’re staying in a two bedroomed cottage on the farm. One bedroom has a double bed and the second, two singles. The lounge is narrow, however, the open doors increase the living size and we rely on this during the hot afternoons. Cool wine in hand, fire starting to crackle, it’s a great way to while away the day.
Connected side by side, the cottages are pet friendly. It makes for a great choice for small families (no en suite bathrooms), a large family or friends wanting to occupy the cottages. The estate has a on-site tasting room, restaurant for breakfast (included) and a large swimming pool. Dean & Tracey made use of on Friday and Saturday afternoon. They love a dip and a lounge and if I can’t find them, the pool is usually my go to.
While they lounged in the sun, we quickly launched our new project – Drum & Bass for Africa. Thanks to the wifi which worked perfectly well, allowing us to go live while watching the funeral of Prince Phillip on the TV.
Breakfast is Served
The Breakfast is served at the main restaurants a hop, skip and jump down the road. Starting with yoghurt, granola and the most exquisite sweet honey, the breakfasts are generous. Followed by pastries, fresh juice and a cooked breakfast – guests are well set up for a day of wine tasting and lounging.
The menu is limited, but well-executed. We opted for eggs benedict and enjoyed the “twist” of pancetta instead of bacon. The eggs were cooked to perfection and the service was professional and efficient. There were not, however, any gluten-free bread options which I always appreciate. Sweeteners were available.
Wine tasting and shopping are on offer at the larger, wine tasting room down the garden path with ample lawn allows for kids to play.
Dog Friendly Weekends at Wildekrans
The two-bedroomed houses are best for small families due to the communal lavatory, however, the large bath and wide shower provided ample hot water for 4 adults. The cottages are also very clean as there’s a daily cleaning team who comes in to maintain the cottages. We actually cancelled the service on Saturday morning as we hadn’t cooked on Friday night. Wood is provided, making settling in much easier. Food in the fridge, cracked open cold one, feet up, the weekend is here!
We had a very pleasant stay at Wildekrans and would happily return with the pets, kids and family for another mini-break.