The Cape Winelands is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in South Africa. Not surprising given its undeniable natural beauty and palatable, award-winning beverages. However, the region is also rich in culture and steeped in history, which is exemplified in its magnificent Cape Dutch architecture. Make your stay in the Winelands even more memorable by booking in at one of these authentic Cape Dutch homesteads.
1 Mountain Shadows Guest House
A stone’s throw from Paarl, at the base of the Drakenstein Mountain range, lies Mountain Shadows Guest House. Forming part of an operational wine and olive farm, the house dates back to 1823 and has been classified as a National Monument. When you’re not lazing around in your antiquated bedroom, go for a walk along the bank of the river at the edge of the estate or admire the wealth of birdlife. All the staff are fluent in the native English and Afrikaans as well as German, French, Finnish and Swedish so foreign visitors will feel right at home too.
Accessible on request, the premium Owner’s House at Babylonstoren was built in 1777. Maintaining its vintage flair, with the addition of modern elements, each of its five bedrooms contains a king bed for your most luxurious rest ever. The Owner’s House serves a scrumptious breakfast daily but you can also put your cooking skills to the test in the quaint farm kitchen that sports a roaring antiquated wood-burning stove. Once you’ve devoured your fare, snuggle up in front of the ancient fireplace with a book from the house’s extensive literary collection or roam through the garden at your leisure.
3 The Lanzerac Hotel & Spa
Located on the 325-year old Lanzerac Wine Estate, this hotel is one of the most elite in South Africa and prides itself on being a distinctive example of Cape Dutch architecture. All of its 48 opulent suites have their own porch, leading to pristine gardens with unmatched vistas of the mountains and vineyards. Underfloor heating and heated towel rails are but a smidgen of the luxe offerings available. Feeling peckish? Spoil yourself with a mouthwatering feast in the hotel’s restaurant, showcasing the crème de la crème of the country’s culinary talent, then end off your day by unwinding at their first-class spa.
4 Vrede en Lust Estate
The very first owner of this world-renowned wine estate, Jacques de Savoye, constructed the property’s Manor House in 1688. The building sadly endured fire damage in the late 19th-century but was refurbished by Norman Berold in the 1920s. Today, the Manor House is wildly popular with guests regularly returning to luxuriate in its splendour. On the ground floor of the house, you’ll find a home theatre, a formal dining room and a sizeable reception room, making it the perfect spot for lavish entertaining. Venture outdoors into the pool house, which boasts a bar, dining area and bathroom.
5 Allée Bleue Estate
Creatives Emile and Gundel Sogor are the brains behind the unique ornamentation of this estate’s Manor House. An all-white interior, which acts as a backdrop for the pair’s trademark paint effects and Emile’s eye-catching masterpieces, is fitting for the assortment of antique furniture found within its walls. What allows the house to stand out from the rest is not only its exquisite decor but its lush outdoor amenities too. The patio has a walled garden with lawns bordered by iceberg roses and lavender, and overlooks a charming citrus orchard and herb garden.
Photography Courtesy images