I’m ruining these slippers. I’ve underestimated how they’ll cope in the morning dew, but I’m not taking them off. I left mine at home and found these in the Werf Garden Suite cupboard; turns out they’re the best pair of disposable slippers I’ve ever worn.
From smug to panic, I’m concerned about the inhabitants of nearby cottages peeking out to see my slipper fest, but I’m also – not moving. I get so little time for these beautiful morning moments; soft light rising, the colour of the mountains shifting, tweets of the early bird punctuating the quiet surroundings; stealing these moments at Boschendal is what being alive is all about.
After a good 20 minutes, I enter the cottage. “Oh well. The neighbours will just have to assume I’m American, fetching a paper in my gown and slippers.” I think to myself.
The cottage is divided by soft yellow light pushing against the cottage blinds and dark shadows of the kitchen still in the slump of night. A simple posey stands tall while crumbs and rinds leave whispers of last night’s feast. A braai pack was delivered to our cottage containing the single best ribeye we’ve ever had. Yes, ever.
The accompanying farm rub, local olive oil, salt and pepper were used to seal and cook the steak on the cottage’s Weber. Fresh garden salad, ciabatta bread and a crisp glass of Boschendal wine, all sourced from the Boschendal estate, rounded off the meal with perfection. What an introduction to one of South Africa oldest and most respected estates.
How Farm Fresh Is Your Breakfast?
There’s a bowl of dark, cricket ball sized plums sitting for those who can’t wait for breakfast. It’s not me. We have breakfast at one of Boschendal’s many food offerings, which shares a name with our cottage and I can’t wait. If last night’s produce was any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a weekend of wholesome, farm-fresh food.
AJ walks up ahead as I lag behind taking in all the cyclists arriving for their morning coffee. The coffee stall and bakery are open, with de Werf servicing breakfast only to those who occupy the many accommodation offerings. A touch of MCC and orange juice to celebrate our 5 years of marriage weekend? Naturally.
Gardeners saunter between the rows of vegetables and herbs, maintaining and plucking produce for today’s feasts across the 2 and a half kilometre wide farm. As I watch the morning’s chores unfold, I’ve ordered an eggs benedict with gluten-free toast. Restaurants consider their produce farm-fresh, but this, this is farm fresh.
Boschendal Farm Tour
After our delicious breakfast (with excellent service), we’re taken on a tour of the gardens. For just over an hour our guide, David, shares the history of the farm (which dates back to 1685), how it impacts the local area (Boschendal employs hundreds of people), their organic farming practices (seen throughout the farm) and how they upcycle waste and repurpose water. It’s a fascinating exploration of responsibility and practical execution.
Lunch, Picnics or Market?
Arriving back at the gift shop, just before the sun caught the best of me, the table of dripping wine bottles ready for the afternoon’s wine tasters looks more delicious than ever after the warm morning walk, but there’s not time to stop now – we have a picnic to attend!
Drive across the farm to the old manor house on the opposite side of Boschendal, this estate is large enough to be two or three farms in one – and they’ve made certain to offer something special in each corner.
Relax under the shade of the old oak trees with salads and cold meats, desserts and wines while the clouds pass overhead and the afternoon breeze cause the roses to bop their heads in summer joy.
Country Cottage Joy
Returning to our sweet country cottage, we are full to the brim with treats and joy. Boschendal is a spoiling of the senses, from sweet farm air, vibrant vegetation, quiet sounds and delectable food – and we haven’t even touched on the fitness options like e-biking and horse riding! There is literally something for everyone and every type of family here.
Final Act: The Boschendal Night Market
Lounging in front of TV on their large bay window seat, sparkling water in hand, the peace and quiet lulls us until dark. Dragging ourselves up, we pull on our boots and head to the night market. It’s truly unbelievable how busy this estate is, yet how much privacy and quiet the suites offer. Tempted by a glass of wine, I decide to take a leaf out of Boschendal’s sustainable book, we return “home” and finish the wine we opened yesterday.
After a lovely soak in the bath, there’s nothing left to do, but listen to the crackle of the indoor fireplace and allow the stars to take the lead. What an exceptional property.
It’s exceptionally difficult to write this blog post in under 1000 words! Time is money these days and trying to convey everything there is to do at Boschendal is very tricky. I didn’t even include our 5 year anniversary lunch – which will be up soon on my older blog, Boring Cape Town Chick, soon.
Boschendal is known across the world, but I don’t think many locals have had the opportunity to visit due to different ownership styles over the years. We highly recommend visiting, whether just for a Friday evening night market, Saturday morning ride and coffee, lunch at The Werf or afternoon picnic – Boschendal is actually an all in one-holiday destination, a 5 star wine estate resort – if you will.
Thank you very much to all the staff were patiently looked after us during our visits, from tours, lunch service and reception work, it was our pleasure to visit this beautiful estate and we are looking forward to returning in the near future.