Es­cape to the Coun­try – Grand Dédale

In Flight Magazine - - IN THIS ISSUE - { TEXT: JULIE GRAHAM | IM­AGES © 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.

EX­EM­PLARY AC­COM­MO­DA­TION

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.

DIN­ING DE­LIGHTS

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.

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