A Com­plete Des­ti­na­tion

SLOW Magazine - - Contents - Text: Julie Gra­ham Images © Steen­berg

Si­t­u­ated in the heart of Cape Town’s gor­geous Con­stan­tia Val­ley, Steen­berg Farm was orig­i­nally called “Swaaneweide” (The Feed­ing Place of Swans) by the orig­i­nal land owner, Catha­rina Ust­ings Ras. Hail­ing from Lubeck, Ger­many, Ras set­tled in the Cape not long af­ter Jan van Riebeeck him­self landed on the fer­tile shores of this won­der­ful re­gion.

The year 1682 was not a time when women’s rights were con­sid­ered, and Ras was no ex­cep­tion. A lone widow of only 22, she quickly snatched up a new hus­band in the for­eign land and took it upon her­self to face the fierce, wild new space with ev­ery­thing she had. Af­ter years of tak­ing on nu­mer­ous chal­lenges and out­liv­ing a se­ries of hus­bands, Ras even­tu­ally be­came known as the Widow Ras among fel­low land own­ers. How­ever, her fierce at­ti­tude en­sured that no one dare mess with the in­de­pen­dent woman who could be seen “rid­ing bare-back like an In­dian, and her chil­dren re­sem­bling Brazil­ian can­ni­bals”.

A mere 20-minute drive from Cape Town’s city cen­tre, the truly idyl­lic set­ting of Ras’ home, Steen­berg, feels like another world. With ex­cep­tional five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions, two award-win­ning restau­rants, a lux­ury spa, an 18-hole cham­pi­onship golf course, and ster­ling vine­yards pro­duc­ing some of the coun­try’s finest wines, Steen­berg Farm has made a name for it­self as one of South Africa’s most es­teemed prop­er­ties. Ac­com­mo­da­tion The ho­tel at Steen­berg fea­tures 21 en suite lux­ury rooms and suites, as well as

three ex­clu­sive Her­itage Suites which have been lov­ingly re­fur­bished and dec­o­rated with el­e­gant an­tiques of a by­gone era. The orig­i­nal Manor House, de­clared a Pro­vin­cial Her­itage Site, is full of his­tor­i­cal charm and anec­dotes of glory days when the farm was oc­cu­pied by Ras. All rooms fea­ture a beau­ti­ful mix of con­tem­po­rary and an­tique dé­cor with big, open-plan spa­ces and ter­races where views of the sprawl­ing vine­yards and lush golf course can be en­joyed. Stay­ing true to its five-star rep­u­ta­tion, the rooms are fully equipped with all the nec­es­sary ameni­ties to en­sure guests’ com­fort through­out their stay. This, as well as in­cred­i­ble per­son­alised ser­vice from warm and at­ten­tive staff en­able guests at Steen­berg to re­ally im­merse them­selves in the ex­pe­ri­ence and es­cape the pres­sures of ev­ery­day life. Din­ing Tak­ing a leaf from the ad­ven­tur­ous book of Ras, Catha­rina’s Restau­rant was born with an eye on cre­at­ing what the team at the restau­rant refers to as “con­tem­po­rary her­itage” – em­brac­ing the past, but evolv­ing with the cur­rent to main­tain a fresh and in­no­va­tive at­ti­tude. Eat­ing at Catha­rina’s is an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the abun­dance of fresh pro­duce, cooked sim­ply and pre­sented exquisitely, is best show­cased in the tast­ing menu, com­piled by Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Archie Maclean. In­spired by Catha­rina’s story, as well as the abun­dance of de­li­cious and some­times un­usual South African in­gre­di­ents, Chef Archie has de­vised a menu that takes din­ers on a nos­tal­gic, ex­cit­ing culi­nary jour­ney. His ad­vice – to “be open and trust your taste buds, you will not be dis­ap­pointed” – is spot on, as some of the dishes may sur­prise even the most ex­pe­ri­enced food­ies.

Bistro Six­teen82, its name pay­ing homage to the farm’s his­tor­i­cal be­gin­nings, has been recog­nised as one of the World’s 20 Best Win­ery Restau­rants, and for very good rea­son. A slightly more con­tem­po­rary of­fer­ing than Catha­rina’s, Bistro Six­teen82 of­fers ta­pas and bistro-style din­ing and is a truly in­ter­ac­tive wine and food des­ti­na­tion, with the fa­mous Steen­berg Tast­ing Room just ad­ja­cent to the bistro. Ex­ec­tu­tive Chef Kerry Ki­plin loves to cre­ate food that is fresh, flavour­ful, and sea­sonal, and her pas­sion for what she does shines through on each plate with each de­lec­ta­ble mouth­ful. Spa Soul­ful deca­dence is what the Steen­berg Spa is all about. Of­fer­ing guests the op­por­tu­nity to re­lax and re­ju­ve­nate in a peace­ful, beau­ti­ful en­vi­ron­ment, the spa ac­knowl­edges the stresses of guests’ fast-paced lives and pro­vides the per­fect es­cape. Highly-skilled pro­fes­sional ther­a­pists and world-class prod­ucts are on hand to en­sure only the best in holis­tic treat­ments, en­cap­su­lat­ing the very essence of per­sonal well­be­ing and re­lax­ation.

The Mind, Body and Soul Treat­ment, a sig­na­ture treat­ment of­fered at the Steen­berg Spa, in­cludes a body scrub and wrap, in­ner peace mas­sage, clas­sic be­spoke fa­cial, lux­ury man­i­cure and pedi­cure, as well as a health plat­ter, lunch, and re­fresh­ments. An ab­so­lute must for those seek­ing the ut­most in seren­ity and spoils. Golf Course Named one of the best-con­di­tioned golf cour­ses in the coun­try by Golf Di­gest South Africa, Steen­berg Golf Es­tate and pri­vate Golf Club is sur­rounded by vine­yards, pine forests, and gen­tle wa­ter­ways – all of which are put to full use in the course. At 76 m in length, the 14th hole fea­tures the largest green in Africa, with beau­ti­ful in­dige­nous flora guard­ing it and the mound shaped to re­sem­ble the stag­ger­ing moun­tain ranges in the back­ground. At­tract­ing golfers from around the world, Steen­berg Golf Es­tate is renowned for pro­vid­ing a to­tal golf­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and one that should not be missed. Wine Steen­berg’s cool, sea-fac­ing slopes and gi­ant gran­ite ridges pro­vide the per­fect set­ting to pro­duce some of the coun­try’s finest award-win­ning wines. Of the 63 hectares un­der vine, 60% con­sists of Sau­vi­gnon Blanc – Steen­berg’s spe­cial­ity wine and con­sid­ered to be some of the finest in South Africa – while the rest make up Semil­lon and red cul­ti­vars such as Mer­lot, Shi­raz, and the Ital­ian cul­ti­var Neb­bi­olo. Al­ways push­ing bound­aries, es­teemed wine­maker JD Pre­to­rius has en­sured that the qual­ity of Steen­berg wines is al­ways world-class. Re­lax at the Tast­ing Bar, Tast­ing Lounge, or Out­door Ter­race with in­fin­ity pools and stun­ning wa­ter fea­tures as well as some of the most in­cred­i­ble scenery in the Cape, and in­dulge in a tast­ing of it for your­self.

Steen­berg is truly an all-round five-star ex­pe­ri­ence. Im­merse your­self in his­tory, re­mark­able scenery, and out­stand­ing din­ing at this one-of-a-kind his­tor­i­cal land­mark.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.steen­berg­farm.com.

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