Cape Town is all fun and games but living and working from home in the inner city can be quite a sensory overload.

From blaring police sirens, blasting motorcycle exhausts, howling wind and the never-ending sound of car hooters that are held down until part of your hearing is gone forever, sometimes you just need a break from the madness.

The Western Cape has a plethora of places to seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. It can be a daunting task to settle on a spot that doesn’t take hours to get to or is good value for money.

The Boutique Villa Guest House, a family-run business in Somerset West, embodies everything a burnt-out Capetonian needs to relax, rest and recharge.

The property is huge and there’s a giant pool to match. The perfect spot to wade away balmy summer days in.

The Helderberg Mountains peek out in the background. Picture: Imogen Searra

We were greeted by Nelly the Magnificent, who showed us around the enormous guesthouse, filling us in on the property’s past. The 30-odd-year-old property was much smaller back in the day and was originally a home.

The establishment was purchased by Trish Cook and her husband who renovated it into the marvel that it is today. After a run-through of the remarkable rooms, we were shown to ours: Room 3.

Inside the en-suite was a bed fit for five people, high ceilings, a breathtaking view of vineyards and the ocean, and the sound of birds chirping pouring through the windows. Instant relaxation mode.

A change in scenery and sounds was just what we needed. Picture: Imogen Searra

There is an undeniably comfortable atmosphere that you pick up as soon as you walk through the entrance doors. This is made even more apparent by Nelly, who is kind, informative and on the ball. She encourages you to unwind, kick back and relax and affirms the “mi casa es su casa” feel.

Elegance and comfort are plentiful in the downstairs lounge area. Picture: Imogen Searra

Among the rooms, there is a lounge area where you could spend cold, winter evenings reading a book, playing a board game or enjoying a delicious bottle of wine from the nearby farms, with a roaring fire to warm up next to.

The open-plan dining room and patio give guests a choice in where they would like to eat their delicious continental breakfast. After the incredible night’s sleep, you’re bound to have in the King-size extra-length bed, your tummy will be grumbling for the delicious breakfast that Nelly will prepare at your request.

In line with COVID-19 protocols, social distancing has been set up and guests can only sit at certain tables. There is no buffet but you can order a hot breakfast. Picture: Supplied

The Boutique Villa Guest House is the ultimate break for those needing an escape from the city, a change of scenery or somewhere to take the whole family.

The guest house boasts a warm and caring environment for couples and families alike. The four-star establishment is both homey and sophisticated and it’s almost impossible to say goodbye to.

If you need an undisturbed break from reality, to lie by the pool, lazily bird watch or to explore the winelands without having to trek all the way back to Cape Town, the Boutique Villa Guest House is your place.

Close-by things to do in the area: 

Visit the Lourensford Twilight market on a Friday night for a quick dinner and bottle of wine with friends. There are fairy lights in all the trees, the vibe is really relaxed and the food is great. The craft and food market is also open on a Sunday – or else the Root 44 market at Audacia Wine Farm or the Blauuwklippen Family Market are also lovely to visit on a weekend.

The Vergelegen Wine Estate is 5km from the guesthouse. It has the most spectacular gardens and historic houses to explore. There are two restaurants to choose from: Stables – with a great kiddies play area and Camphors Restaurant which is a bit fancier. Guests can also book one of their amazing picnics under the towering Camphor trees. There is also the annual RMB Starlight Classics which always sells out fast and the Roundtable Christmas Noddy Party for kids.

For the outdoorsy type, hiking and trail running in the Helderberg Nature Reserve is a must. It is very close to the guesthouse and there is an option to choose between easy, moderate or hard routes. For the cyclists, it also forms part of the Cape Epic cycling route.

There are a number of cycling routes between Somerset West and Stellenbosch on wine farm single track and jeep track routes. Check out Wannabees Cycling Routes to see all available routes.

There are many amazing restaurants in the area including Rust en Vrede (no booking required), Pink Valley Wine Estate, Longridge Wine Estate, Eikendaal Wine Estate and Stellenbosch is just down the road.

Summer special: Pool, picnic, croquet and sleepover for R1500 per couple.

Book a fun pool, picnic and croquet day with your loved one or friends! Included is a cheese, bread and cold meat picnic basket plus a bottle of wine for two. Access to the pool and pool loungers from 10am. Play a round or two of croquet.

Plus you get a night’s stay for two which includes a continental breakfast the next day.

Call or email [email protected] or 0824220742

Overnight Special (From November 16 2020 to end January 16 2021) 

For any local South African wishing to experience the peace and quiet of Somerset West and the wine lands, Boutique Villa Guesthouse are offering a R950 special which includes one-night accommodation for two people bed, plus breakfast and a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival.

Please book directly with: [email protected] / 0824220742 and use the code: CapeEtc to get this special offer.

Small Intimate Meeting room / Conference venue for up to 25 people (available anytime) 

If you book accommodation, you get the use of the conference venue for free. Use of the conference venue for a full day or half-day is also an option, which includes free Wi-fi.

Picture: Imogen Searra

Article written by

Imogen Searra