Escape to the Country – Grand Dédale
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DENYING THAT ESCAPING TO THE COUNTRYSIDE HAS MAJOR MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND EVEN SPIRITUAL HEALTH BENEFITS. IT IS MEDICINE FOR THE SOUL. THE SLOW PACE OF LIFE AND SENSE OF APPRECIATION ONE GETS FROM BEING AWAY FROM THE CITY ALSO INVOKES A SENSE OF QUIET MINDFULNESS. THE SOUNDS OF BIRDSONG AND TRICKLING STREAMS, COUPLED WITH THE AROMA OF FLOWERS AND FRESHLY CUT GRASS GENTLY URGE ONE TO STOP, TAKE NOTICE AND LIVE IN THE MOMENT. SOUNDS IDEAL, DOESN’T IT? NOW COMBINE FIVE-STAR LUXURY, DISCREET SERVICE, WORLD-CLASS DINING AND VIEWS TO DIE FOR AND SET IT ALL ON AN AWARD-WINNING WINE FARM. WELCOME TO GRAND DÉDALE.
Just 50 minutes from Cape Town lies the charming Boland town of Wellington. The region, renowned for its incredible scenery, abundance of indigenous flora and crystal streams and rivers, is a nature lover’s paradise. A secluded dirt road just outside town leads to the end of a tranquil valley just below the Bainskloof Pass. It is here that the elegant Grand Dédale stands proud amongst lush vineyards, rows of white roses, manicured horse paddocks and beautiful mountain scenery.
Formerly the private residence of the owners of Doolhof Wine Estate, Grand Dédale is an exclusive and elegantly restored Cape Dutch manor house that was lovingly refurbished by husband and wife, Angelo and Tina, in 2009, though the estate itself dates all the way back to 1709. Doolhof is the Afrikaans word for “labyrinth”, so named because of the many hills and valleys that surround it.
Grand Dédale boasts six luxury rooms and suites in the main manor house, all distinctively and stylishly decorated, combining Cape Dutch elegance with modern-day comforts and five-star amenities. Spacious and light, the three rooms on the ground floor all have a private patio and dining area, while the three rooms upstairs are romantically situated under the thatched roof.
All rooms come with king-sized or twin beds, air-conditioning, excellent Wi-Fi, satellite TVs, underfloor heating in the bathrooms, luxurious velour bathrobes, and 300-thread-count percale cotton linen. Special touches like chocolate-coated strawberries, rose petal turndowns, chilled sparkling wine on arrival and complimentary mini-bars for all guests add to the opulence.
A dreamy freestanding thatched stone cottage is the ideal place to stay for honeymoon couples or guests that just want that added sense of exclusivity.The cottage, which dates back to 1707, stands a short distance away from the manor house and overlooks paddocks and lush forests, making it ultra-romantic. There is a large, open-plan lounge downstairs and two bathrooms – one with a shower and one with a jet bath.
Up the wooden staircase is the main bedroom with a kingsized bed and all the luxury amenities that the rooms in the main house offer.The cottage can also be booked out as a chapel for weddings or as a private function venue.
Any visitors to the Cape Winelands expect not only good wine, but dining of the highest quality. At Grand Dédale, dining is taken to new heights as the resident chef and his team strive to exceed expectations.
Begin the day with a scrumptious and opulent “Cap Classique” breakfast, offering a host of delicious homemade baked breads, muffins, croissants, muesli and more. There is also a mouthwatering selection of freshly squeezed juices, fruit and yoghurts to choose from, as well as delicious cooked dishes that can be made to order. Lunch is a light affair, and snacks are served throughout the day in the lounge area.
In the afternoon, guests can laze on the spacious veranda and sip on a sundowner aperitif before they tuck into an imaginative three-course d’hôte menu.The dinner menu changes daily and is presented to guests each morning at breakfast, so that if they have any special dietary requirements, the chef can adjust their dish accordingly.
Dinner is a romantic, dreamy affair and the dishes simply superb. Think wholesome, Cape-style dishes with the emphasis on game and seafood. An example of a three-course dinner menu starts off with a sparkling Pierre Jourdan Cuvée Brut and a selection of canapés, followed by a starter of butternut and Wellington buffalo feta ravioli in roasted garlic cream. A main course of grilled gemsbok fillet with sweet potato fondant, pepper compote, sautéed vegetables and port jus is then finished off with dessert, which is chocolate fondant with vanilla pod panna cotta served with an orange salad. Delicious!
SPOILT FOR CHOICE
While there are a variety of activities available to guests – including hiking and mountainbike trails, wine-tasting, horse-riding, clay-pigeon shooting, river rafting and golf – there are also a number of things to do without ever having to leave the estate at all.The large outdoor swimming pool is glorious in the summer months and the onsite, world-class spa provides a selection of treatments fit for royalty. Guests can also order a picnic basket and explore the many beautiful picnic spots around the estate – just add a good book and your lazy day in the countryside is complete. The five scenic mountain passes nearby also connect many of the Cape’s wine, brandy and fruit routes and make for a great adventurous day out.
Escaping to the country has never been more tempting. Grand Dédale provides the absolute best combination of scenery and fresh mountain air, with five-star luxury, service, wine and dining. It is no wonder Grand Dédale has been awarded Africa’s Best Classic Hotel by the Boutique Hotel Awards for three years running. In a league of its own, this country escape is nothing short of extraordinary.
For more information, visit www.granddedale.com.