In Flight Magazine - - IN THIS ISSUE - { TEXT: PAULA RABELING |

Si­t­u­ated in the Fran­schhoek wine val­ley and sur­rounded by pic­turesque moun­tain ranges, Boschendal has en­joyed suc­cess with its range of wines, its restau­rants, and its se­lec­tion of cot­tages which al­low guests the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence wine es­tate life and en­joy the beauty of the es­tate’s sur­round­ings first hand.To add to its ac­com­mo­da­tion of­fer­ings, the Boschendal team has re­cently in­tro­duced the Or­chard Cot­tages, si­t­u­ated amongst or­chards about 2km from the main Werf area on a sep­a­rate small­hold­ing op­po­site the main farm.

I had the won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity of be­ing able to stay in one of th­ese self-cater­ing cot­tages for a week­end. I set off for Fran­schhoek on the first day of spring and when I ar­rived at the es­tate, I drove down the long, tree-lined drive­way to the cot­tages. Look­ing out at the sur­round­ings, I made a men­tal note to go on a walk the fol­low­ing morn­ing to ex­plore them bet­ter.

Our cot­tage had a large ve­randa with a braai over­look­ing a well­man­i­cured, tree-filled gar­den. Upon step­ping through the white wooden French doors into the liv­ing area and kitchen, cheer­ful yel­low walls greeted me. A large, white­washed wooden din­ing ta­ble matched the white kitchen cab­i­nets, and yel­low Le Creuset cook­ware was on the gas stove.The cheer­ful­ness of the liv­ing area

ex­tended into my en suite bed­room (one of three), where there were also French doors to open to let the spring sun­shine in.The well-ap­pointed bath­rooms are com­plete with toi­letries such as shower gel, hand cream, sham­poo, and con­di­tioner – all made at Boschendal us­ing plants grown on the farm.

Out­side, the ver­dant lawn gave way to a round pool with sun loungers sur­round­ing it, as well as a “campfire” area where guests can gather and share sto­ries and toast marsh­mal­lows un­der the stars in the evenings.

While the kitchen in my Or­chard Cot­tage was fully-equipped to pre­pare meals, I couldn’t re­sist driv­ing five min­utes to the main Boschendal hos­pi­tal­ity area to have din­ner at The Werf Restau­rant.

Af­ter be­ing seated at my ta­ble at the restau­rant, I could im­me­di­ately see The Werf’s farm-to-ta­ble phi­los­o­phy come to life when I looked out of the win­dow at the ex­pan­sive gar­dens. Ev­ery­thing that can be grown on the es­tate for use in the kitchen, is grown there.There are rows upon rows of green­ery. Car­men, my ex­cep­tion­ally friendly wait­ron, in­formed me that ev­ery day the Boschendal kitchen team goes out into the gar­dens to pick the pro­duce for the lunch and din­ner menus.

I was priv­i­leged enough to get to sam­ple most of the din­ner op­tions.The amuse-bouche was pas­sion fruit gel with rose­mary – the fra­grance of the fresh rose­mary and the tart­ness of the pas­sion fruit were the per­fect start to this un­for­get­table meal.The starters in­cluded but­ter-poached chicken with a poached egg and mush­rooms – the creamy sauce brought all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether beau­ti­fully, along with the soft egg yolk when I poked it with my fork.The hanger steak had an al­most minced con­sis­tency, and was pre­pared with onion and a sub­tle lemon flavour. Car­men then brought out a range of sides to com­ple­ment the mains, in­clud­ing the fresh Werf Food Gar­den salad salad, per­fectly roasted pota­toes, and car­rots with hon­ey­comb. Flaky hake in a sub­tle cheese sauce with pop­corn was a de­light­fully unique main, along with braised beef short ribs with a sweet crust.The per­fect end to the meal was a white-choco­late ice-cream sand­wich, as well as dark choco­late ice-cream on gooey whirls of marsh­mal­low with dried pear.

All of the dishes were per­fectly paired with a range of Boschendal wines. Th­ese in­cluded the Sau­vi­gnon Blanc and Chardon­nay with the starters, Shi­raz and Pinot Noir with the mains, and MCC with the desserts.

Back at my Or­chard Cot­tage and in the cosy bed with its elec­tric blan­ket, I set­tled in for a bliss­ful night’s sleep.

The next morn­ing, wak­ing re­freshed, I was out of the bed and onto the es­tate’s trails. Walk­ing along, moun­tain bikers greeted me as I made my way to the large dam. Fur­ther along the trail, the a we in­spir­ing moun­tain views made of the ideal Ins tag ram pics, be­fore I ended up vis­it­ing the cows who were hav­ing their break­fast.

It seemed like a good idea, so I headed for a bite to eat at The Farmshop and Deli. Sur­rounded by break­fast­ing fam­i­lies, cou­ples, and moun­tain-bik­ing squads, I soon re­alised why this spot is so pop­u­lar. An al­mond milk cap­puc­cino ac­com­pa­nied by a sug­ary madeleine bis­cuit and a Full Car­riage break­fast of freshly poached eggs, sour­dough toast with home­made but­ter, ba­con, mush­rooms, and av­o­cado put a smile on my face. I made another men­tal note to be sure to come back to Boschendal again soon and ex­pe­ri­ence another re­lax­ing farm stay.

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