As we used to live in beautiful South Africa, one of the most vibrant country's in the world, we feel very strongly about promoting this magnificent country's best side. We love nothing more than to share with our clients our favourites especially places you wouldn't ordinarily know about. The special gems we incorporate into our tailor-made holidays to South Africa go a long way towards helping to create the magical experience our clients are looking for from their holidays.
GEMS FROM STELLENBOSCH & FRANSCHHOEK IN THE CAPE WINELANDS
South Africa's world-famous wines are produced mostly in the Cape Winelands – a region of great beauty, fertile soil and historic towns surrounded by impressive mountains. One of the country’s most visited destinations, the Cape Winelands is close to Cape Town, Cape Point and the international airport.
One of our favourite towns in the Cape Winelands area is a little gem called Franschhoek. The historic town of Franschhoek lies in an impressive valley between the Franschhoek Mountains and is arguably one of the country’s best-loved towns. It has a proud tradition as the wine and gourmet capital of the region. The town was founded 300 years ago when French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France were granted land in the area. They brought their traditions – and their expertise in the production of wine – and the town still boasts a strong French character today, as well as many of the country’s top restaurants. Today, Franschhoek area has 42 wine farms!
Franschhoek means ‘French Corner’ in Dutch and the town is like no other in South Africa when it comes to its Francophile tendencies. And although French is no longer spoken by the townsfolk, the street names still bear the names of the first settlers and other French towns and authors. The town has a number of festivals every year including a Literary Festival, a Food & Wine Festival as well as Bastille Day.
"BABYLONSTOREN" IS ONE OF THE WINELANDS MOST STUNNING PROPERTIES
Babylonstoren’s Farm Hotel has rapidly become one of the go to properties in the Cape Winelands. Situated only 10 minutes drive from the winelands gem of Francshhoek, one of the most beathtaking towns in the whole of Africa, Babylonstoren benefits from not only a stunning location but is surrounded by vineyards and mountains.
The hotel is characterised by thick whitewashed walls, elegant gables and hearty fireplaces that emulate an authentic farmstay experience. As part of a working 200ha organic farm and set adjacent to eight acres of cultivated fruit and vegetable gardens where all the hotel's seasonal fresh ingredients are produced, guests are invited to wander through the grounds and savour the beauty on site at Babylonstoren. Explore the market garden, working farm, enjoy the Spa or swimming pool with views of the mountains, get cosy by a roaring fireplace and sample the wine with some of the finest local cuisine around. Babylonstoren is a firm favourite in the region.
With the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains as backdrop, the gardens of Babylonstoren are majestic. Dating back to 1692, the fortunes of this historic fruit and wine farm took a turn ten years ago when it fell under the gaze of former magazine editor Karen Roos. Her passion for historic Cape Dutch style led to an authentic yet contemporary restoration that projects the farm into the future.
Some of the farm’s earliest structures from that time remain on the farm today, with Babylonstoren’s Cape Dutch werf (farm yard) typical of the architectural style popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. As such it is considered to be one of the best preserved werfs in the Cape today.
The Farm Hotel now has six one-bedroom suites, as well as three one-bedroom cottages and four two- bedroomed cottages that have a contemporary glass cube added to house a kitchen area for each. New accommodation options on the farm are The Farmhouse suites, which include nine new one-bedroom suites. All the Farmhouse suites have access to an outdoor swimming pool and a hot spa area that includes a salt room, sauna and hot pool as well as a lounge area.
Activities include: Exploring the working farm and market garden, Wine tasting & Tours, Cycling, Spa Treatments, Gym, Swimming, Workshops: Salad Summers and Wooden Garden Structures, Garden Tours, Babel Restaurant, Greenhouse Restaurant and Bird-watching.
BOSCHENDAL FARM - A WORLD CLASS WORKING WINE ESTATE
One of the oldest farms in South Africa, founded 1685, the farm has grown with the passing centuries into a cherished source of wholesome produce, great wines and happy memories. Agriculture and a simple farm lifestyle is at the heart of Boschendal.
Set in the Drakenstein Valley surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes, lush gardens and vines, the original farmstead complex is now a national monument with a rich and intriguing history of more than 300 years.
Luxurious cottage accommodation ranges from the exclusive and historic Rhodes Cottage built by Sir Herbert Baker and elegant Werf Cottages to the beautifully restored and contemporary Clarence Cottage and Orchard Cottages.
Guests enjoy access to the entire farm where they can walk and cycle on trails through mountain fynbos, have dinner under the stars, picnics and sundowners in exclusive areas, fly-fish in the dams and swim in the refreshing mountain water.
Why visit Boschendal Farm? Agriculture and a simple farm lifestyle is at the heart of Boschendal. This historic farm in the heart of the winelands, centred on farm to table good food and wine, is a playground for guests. We recommend you stay in one of the newly renovated cottages and discover the farm delights: from picnics, Farmshop & Deli, Boschendal Restaurant and wine tasting to mountain biking, trail running, hiking, swimming and spa treatments. Quite simply, Boschendal welcomes guests to celebrate natural beauty and elegant simplicity.
THE WORLD FAMOUS "DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE"
Delaire Graff is situated on the highest crest along the magnificent Helshoogte Mountain Pass linking the Cape's two leading wine districts, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
Exceptional accommodation, views, art, architecture, interior design, food and wine in one of South Africa's most extraordinary natural settings. There is also on-site, an excellent spa comprising of four treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room and a state of the art Techno gym. We invite you to let Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions arrange your stay in one of the world's more sought after luxury hotels. ThIs award winning, Relaix & Chateaux property in South Africa's stunning wine making town of Stellenbosch is a must for those who enjoy refined luxury.
Delaire Graff is a flagship modern art experience by the world-renowned Graff Diamonds company. The estate is located on the crest of the dramatic Helshoogte Mountain Pass in the Stellenbosch countryside, just 45 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre, Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa combines understated elegance with state-of-the-art design; a sense of provenance with modern sustainability and abundant nature with all the creature comforts one would expect from a leading international luxury brand.
Call now on 01764 664 236 or alternatively email email@example.com.
Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions is a luxury travel company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specalise in tailormade holidays to Scotland, Scandinavia and Africa and bring a wealth of first-hand experience to each of the bespoke trips we carefully create for our clients.