Getaway to the Countryside
You have waited in suspense the whole week with excitement building up. You are leaving the office early on Friday. Your bags are already packed, your friends are on their way to pick you up, and the only thing left to do is to swing by the shopping centre to grab the necessary groceries you will need for your weekend breakaway.
There is a specific feeling that comes with moments like these – from the morning to the moment you leave the office to start your getaway. It can be described as bursting eagerness, enthusiasm, or perhaps sheer excitement. And it is something everyone should be able to feel once in a while.
This is exactly the feeling I had when myself and a few of my close friends opted for a weekend-long stay at one of the charming Orchard Cottages situated on Boschendal Estate – one of the oldest and most beautiful wine farms in the Western Cape.
To beat traffic on a Friday afternoon, we took the road less travelled, which was also the more scenic route over Helshoogte Pass towards the winelands where Boschendal is situated on Pniel Main Road.
Opposite the main entrance of the estate, just a few metres further, we found the entrance to the Orchard Cottages. Driving down a straight road, decorated with trees and orchards on either side and the picturesque mountains making for a photo-worthy background, the sun was beginning to set as we arrived at our selfcatering cottage.
Decorated in a simplistic style with contemporary flair, the cottages exude tranquillity among the picture-perfect natural setting of the Franschhoek Mountains and countryside beauty. The twilight set the right atmosphere, as the porch overlooks the century-old trees and the communal pool for friends and family to relax around during Summer.
Boasting three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, lounge with a TV and DSTV, fireplace, dining area, and covered outside braai area, we quickly found that this was the perfect-size cottage for six people to enjoy a nature-filled weekend away.
Instead of staying in and making use of the self-catering amenities the first evening, we decided to pay the main property a visit and opt for a wine tasting followed by dinner at The Werf Restaurant, situated in the beautifully revamped original cellar of the Manor House, and offering contemporary farmto-table dining using the best of available local, seasonal, and ethically-sourced ingredients. The meals can also be paired with the wines of the estate for an optimal gastronomic experience. The well-trained and extremely affable staff adds to the guest experience, making this restaurant a must-visit for all.
The cottages are set on the perfect spot for every type of visitor – those that just want to relax, as well as the adventure-seekers. We were up early on the Saturday morning for a long walk on the property along one of the trails before enjoying breakfast. However, visitors can also opt for mountain biking, picnics on the farm, or venturing toward the surrounding areas to further explore what the winelands has to offer.
Sundays are, as some would say, for sleeping in, and, that was done with ease by all of us in the comfortable beds in the cottage. After everyone awoke, with a cup of coffee in hand, we enjoyed the sun and natural surroundings. This was certainly a weekend well spent.
For more information, please visit www.boschendal.com.