Boschendal, a quintessential wine estate and working farm in the heart of South Africa wine country, is an award-winning property that will steal your heart from the moment you drive on site. A stunning and sprawling plot of land that offers stunning cottages, restaurants, organic gardens, vineyards and more – Boschendal exudes magic and charm without even trying. With a gust of wind through their well-manicured orchards or the sound of carrots being picked from one of the on-site gardens, there isn’t many other places that offer a genuine sense of peace like here. As a recent guest and someone who was lucky enough to take-in the property for three nights, I can attest to its effortlessness and beauty – a place I’d return to again and again.
I arrived Boschendal, a mere hour drive from Cape Town, and was met warmly by the check-in staff. With smiles and a speedy check-in, I was off to my cottage – the private Cottage 1685. This cottage is beyond special due to its history as one of the first structures on property built by Sir Herbert Baker in prime Cape Dutch architecture. Much of it has been preserved and some modernized for an unforgettable stay. The cottage sleeps 10 guests in dreamy canopy beds that give way to common areas perfectly appointed with delicious furnishings, fireplaces, a dining room, gardens, annex and private pool.
Each room of this cottage is exquisitely decorated yet comfortable, many of the pieces being of historical nature. There is even a kitchen that is set-up for private dinners, a chef, or anything else one can imagine. The cottage comes with a butler who is there to coordinate breakfast, lunch and dinner, assist with cocktail hour or fires when evening temperatures dip down. Maxwell is his name and he is a true gem – a kind and positive spirit who made my stay here really something to remember.
What I love about Boschendal is that you can make it what you wish. The property is large and there is an array of accommodation options to choose from. You can stay at the impressive Mountain Villa, which can sleep 12 guests, or opt for a cozier orchard cottage or trout cottage. You feel like you have the entire place to yourself.
Boschendal spares no expense when it comes to guest comfort. Full-size bathroom amenities, towels refreshed morning and night and a lovely turn-down service is offered. You can have your meals in the restaurants, such as breakfast at The Werf, or in the comfort of your own cottage.
Boschendal can arrange garden tours, horseback riding, wine tastings, and more. Not only do they offer their own wine, which is delicious in its many varieties, but can send you out to visit the countless nearby vineyards. During the day, if you choose to lounge around the property, they will even pack picnics that are served in the most elegant way – wooden garden boxes stuffed with farm-to-table dishes, salads, pasta, sandwiches, cheese, vegetables, and anything else local in-season.
I spent my days exploring the grounds and the area but was sure to spend at least one day by the pool with several G&Ts – which was pure heaven.
Boschendal offers an impressive array of dining options – and they believe in sustainable eating. Most of what you eat here is grown right on the property. You can eat at The Deli for something light, have a stunning breakfast or lunch at The Werf, indulge at The Cellar Door, or grab items for your cottage at The Farm Shop and Butchery. You can literally watch a harvest happening in real-time and see it brought to the kitchen for preparation.
Each restaurant offers something different.
The Werf is a beautiful spot with indoor and outdoor options, facing the stunning gardens. You can literally dine on food sourced right outside these doors and watch gardeners planting and picking that night’s dinner. This is really an incredible thing.
Boschendal’s food offerings are a big part of the experience here. It’s not just food, it’s the soul of this place and quite literally the land on which you’re staying. Their meat, seafood, and more are all top-grade and sustainable.
I had many dishes with filets of South African Kingklip, my favorite white fish, caught in the waters just an hour away.
Over three days at Boschendal I found myself becoming more and more tranquil. This wasn’t a set intention when I arrived, it just happened. I began to sink into the place, listen to the nature around me, and reflect on the red sun that always seems to dance perfectly on the mountain faces as it sets below the horizon each night. I have stayed at many hotels in the area, but this one was different. I truly felt at home and was genuinely sad to leave. It’s a place that, once experienced, can’t be shaken from your head or heart. I can’t wait to return.