A Hid­den Gem

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents -

A bou­tique ho­tel in the Cape is not only dish­ing up a unique well­ness-in­spired des­ti­na­tion, but is also show­cas­ing just what makes the of­ten over­looked re­gion of the Helder­berg so spe­cial.

Perched on the slopes of the Helder­berg moun­tain, pretty gar­dens filled with flow­ers and trees frame a mag­nif­i­cent view of Strand in the dis­tance, mak­ing Sil­ver For­est Bou­tique Lodge & Spa in Som­er­set West as pretty out­side as it is in­side, where the for­est theme con­tin­ues. All of the com­mon ar­eas, as well as each of the eight suites, boast strik­ing wall­pa­per de­pict­ing for­est scenes. It in­stantly adds a sense of calm to ev­ery space, par­tic­u­larly in the rooms, which com­bine this sense of qui­etude with cosy fur­nish­ings, and pos­si­bly the most com­fort­able bed I have ever slept on. Night cap sur­prises ev­ery evening make turn­ing in ex­tra spe­cial – but not be­fore a drink at the bar and a de­li­cious din­ner, where ded­i­cated but­lers en­sure ev­ery need is met.

The own­ers of Sil­ver For­est pride them­selves on that per­sonal touch – some­thing that is of­ten miss­ing in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try – and go out of their way to tai­lor spe­cific break­aways for their guests, whether they are look­ing for a re­lax­ing re­treat, an in­dul­gent gourmet Winelands break, a co­cooned spa break, a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, or a golf trip.

They are par­tic­u­larly keen on com­bin­ing tra­di­tional sight­see­ing and hol­i­day fun with a bal­ance of well­ness so that when their guests reach the end of their va­ca­tion they have a wealth of travel mem­o­ries and feel re­ju­ve­nated at the same time.

Spa Your Wor­ries Away

With this in mind, Sil­ver For­est’s Spa is the jewel in its crown, and guests are en­cour­aged to lan­guish in the sauna and sip bub­bly in the Jacuzzi. As one would ex­pect, there are a range of de­li­cious pam­per­ing treat­ments to choose from, and best of all, the soft spa robes are deemed ac­cept­able at­tire any­where in the ho­tel, so guests can pro­long that de­li­cious cosy feel­ing for as long as they like.

Sil­ver For­est has also part­nered with Afri­well­ness and Lourens­ford Wine Es­tate to cre­ate per­son­alised re­treats which in­clude el­e­ments of mind­ful­ness, move­ment,

med­i­ta­tion, and re­lax­ation. Guests have ac­cess to a com­bi­na­tion of amaz­ing ther­a­pists, doc­tors, yoga in­struc­tors, diet ad­vi­sors, and more, as well as the beau­ti­ful es­tate at Lourens­ford, where a mind­ful walk in the vine­yards is a high­light.

The Hid­den Helder­berg

As well as Lourens­ford, there are a wealth of fan­tas­tic at­trac­tions, top restau­rants, and wine es­tates right on Sil­ver For­est’s doorstep, which the own­ers re­fer to as the “Hid­den Helder­berg” be­cause de­spite its many at­trac­tions, Stel­len­bosch and Fran­schhoek are still of­ten top of mind when peo­ple talk about the Cape’s best wine re­gions. This is some­thing Sil­ver For­est is keen to rec­tify, and they of­ten cre­ate lovely itin­er­ar­ies for guests to ex­pe­ri­ence the area’s many lovely spots.

The Helder­berg Heavy­weights

Vergele­gen Es­tate has been mak­ing its mark on the coun­try’s his­tory and wine her­itage since it was founded in 1700.

The wines here are renowned, as is its fine-din­ing restau­rant, Cam­phors. But the es­tate’s at­trac­tions ex­tend far be­yond the viti­cul­tural and culi­nary, and you would be re­miss not to ded­i­cate at least half a day to ex­plor­ing the es­tate’s 18 beau­ti­ful gar­dens. When in bloom, the camel­lia gar­den, the only In­ter­na­tional Camel­lia Gar­den of Ex­cel­lence in Africa, is spec­tac­u­lar, and year round the ven­er­a­ble 300-year-old cam­phor trees are mind-bog­gling. There are also a num­ber of his­tor­i­cal build­ings and mu­se­ums to ex­plore, in­clud­ing the 201-year-old wine cel­lar which houses a li­brary of rare books that will have any bi­b­lio­phile’s heart rac­ing.

A hop, skip, and a jump from Vergele­gen is the afore­men­tioned Lourens­ford Wine Es­tate. Like Vergele­gen, Lourens­ford de­serves a at least a few hours of your day, as there is much to ex­plore, in­clud­ing a cof­fee roast­ery, two art gal­leries – one ded­i­cated to the work of Frans Groe­newald and the other to the work of South African Old Masters – a deli, and the Mill­house Kitchen for one of their fa­mous rus­tic dishes. Guided hikes are on of­fer through the pic­turesque es­tate, and for those with a slower day in mind, there is the op­tion of grab­bing a craft beer at the on­site ABRU tap­room. Save some space for a wine tast­ing though – the es­tate’s Wine and Choco­late Pair­ing is de­li­cious.

What is equally de­li­cious is head­ing home to Sil­ver For­est after a day of ex­plor­ing, to find the fire lit in your room and a wel­com­ing glass of sherry next to your bed. While the Helder­berg may well be “hid­den”, it is doubt­ful as spe­cial a place as Sil­ver For­est will re­main so for long.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.sil­ver­for­est.co.za.

Drive & Dine

Golf en­thu­si­asts are lit­er­ally spoilt for choice when stay­ing at Sil­ver For­est, with a range of top class golf cour­ses within easy driv­ing dis­tance to choose from, in­clud­ing Erin­vale Golf Es­tate, De Zalze, Stel­len­bosch, Som­er­set West, Strand, Her­manus, Clovelly, and Pearl Val­ley. Fine din­ing fundi’s also have no less than three Top 10 restau­rants right on their doorstep – Cam­phors, Over­tures, and Waterk­loof – so it is best to work up a size­able ap­petite out on the course.

Text: Nicky Fur­niss Im­ages © Sil­ver For­est Bou­tique Lodge & Spa, Vergele­gen Es­tate, Lourens­ford Es­tate, Nicky Fur­niss



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