BETWEEN ORCHARDS AND MOUNTAINS
BOSCHENDAL, THE RENOWNED WINE ESTATE NEAR FRANSCHHOEK, HAS EXTENDED ITS REPERTOIRE TO OFFER GUESTS SELF-CATERING ACCOMMODATION EXCELLENCE WITH ITS NEW ORCHARD COTTAGES.
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.
For more information, visit www.boschendal.com.