We recently got back from a divine holiday in the Cape, and as always, Cape Town is just good for my soul. I love the Western Cape region, and every time we go down for a visit, I like to explore a new part of it and experience new things. We were graciously hosted by the Boschendal Wine Estate during our trip, where we stayed for two nights, and really lived our best lives. I absolutely loved our visit to what is the 2nd oldest wine farm in South Africa, and I highly recommend that you make a full day visit or book a weekend away at this magical place ! Trust me, you won’t regret it!
There is SO much to do and see on this beautiful estate, that we were kept busy for the full 2 days of our stay. Today Boschendal comprises of a few farms and historical homesteads set on an impressive 420 hectares of land, so you can just imagine how much there is to explore! Boschendal is also home to the oldest Heritage Rose Garden as well as a fully working farm, so you can spend hours just exploring the estate, and every corner of this farm is just more picturesque than the next- a bloggers dream! While you can visit the estate and hand-pick your experiences for just the day, staying on the farm was so lovely, and a whole experience on its own. Their accommodation is what farm escape dreams are made out of, and this is why you need to book a vacation at the Boschendal Wine Estate right now!
To have a total “Treat Your Self” moment with their luxurious accommodation options.
We stayed in one of the Werf Cottages, to savor the best of what that farm living vibe has to give. There are 7 one-bedroom cottages on the farm, and they are ideal for romantic getaways, we felt like we were on a little honeymoon while we were there! Each cottage has its own fireplace and a private patio that opens onto the magnificent mountain views. The cottage is also equipped with a kitchenette which is great if you feel like cooking and not always going out for meals. On the second night we wanted to stay in and enjoy our cottage and got a lovely Braai Hamper delivered to our cottage, for Steve to cook (there is a Webber at the cottage as well!) and we loved the relaxed and the “feels like home” atmosphere of it. You can shop at the farm shop for any breakfast, lunch or dinner needs and get fresh produce straight from the farm, into your cottage!
The farm, gardens and mountains are at your doorstep and ready to be explored, and there are 7 of the Werf Cottages available to book. Also there is a mini bar which gets re-filled every day with some soft drinks, ciders, beer, snacks and one bottle of wine per stay. You almost never want to leave your cottage anyway, but the estate is just so pretty that you have to!
Besides the Werf Cottages there are also 13 lovely Orchard Cottages available on the farm that are nestled at the foot of the Simonsberg mountain. The luxury farm cottages ranging from one to four bedrooms, all equipped with kitchenettes, outdoor dining areas for braais, a large communal swimming pool and a magnificent setting among the Boschendal fruit orchards. Perfect for a weekend away with friends! Other accommodation options include the historic 5 bedroom Rhodes Cottage(great for a little family reunion), a 3 bedroom Trout Cottage(perfect for a larger family) and Berthas Retreat(which is a secluded venue with a relaxed atmosphere and is ideal for families or groups of friends). Whatever your vibe and need is, you will find what works for you amongst the choices of the luxurious accommodation options at Boschendal.
To have a picnic in the Boschendal Rose Garden
Anyone that knows me, know that I LOVE a good picnic. I love the feeling of chilling outside in the warm sun, while having a glass of wine and nibbling on delicious foods. Boschendal offers delicious picnics that are set in the Rose Garden in the summer months (until end of April) and by the beautiful Werf Restaurant and gardens in the chiller months. The picnic baskets include food that is all made and produced on the farm including freshly baked bread, green salads, roast free-range chicken, Boschendal Butchery charcuterie, homemade preserves, and a yummy dessert.
I had the vegetarian picnic basket and it was so delicious! My favorites were the young potatoes with mustard and spring onion and the aubergine and mushroom salad. My vegan desert, which was a chocolate mousse, was so good that Steve ended up stealing it and eating it all! I loved the picnic experience, you can either have it at a set table overlooking the mountains, or on the lawns with some blankets which is what we did. Perfect and delicious activity to do for any occasion.
To shop fresh produce, straight of the Boschendal farm
Boschendal has an amazing Farm Shop and Butchery on the estate, and I was sad that my luggage only had so much space in it, because I would have brought so much more stuff back with me to Joburg(I could only fit 3 bottles of wine, 2 jars of pickles and 3 jars of jam to take back home with me). All the produce comes straight from the farm, and includes things like fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, preservatives, and even ready-to-cook meals! I especially enjoyed the bakery (that also has things like Lavender Short Bread,drool!) and couldn’t resist the freshly baked Pasteis De Natas on both mornings.
The Farm Shop also showcases an exclusive homeware range crafted by acclaimed local artisans and a fine selection of produce from local suppliers. The shop celebrates some of South Africa’s unique and budding designers, selected for their quality and attention to detail, and robust environmental values. Currently there is also an extra Homeware Pop shop that features things like crockery from Wonki Ware, stylish gadgets, wicker baskets and trays, sarongs, and floating candles and more! I couldn’t resist a “Gin and Tonic” candle, as Steve grabbed some of the Heirloom Seeds to plant in our garden for our new veggie patch. I couldn’t think of spending my Saturday better than by visiting the Boschendal bakery for freshly baked treats and shopping for homeware with a hot cup of coffee in hand!
To experience the delicious wine tasting and food pairing
I know that many of us don’t need convincing when it comes to wine, but seriously, you must try the Boschendal Wine and Food Pairing! You can also do just the Wine Tasting with a selection of delicious platters at the Cellar Door venue on Saturdays, but we really enjoyed the food and wine pairing at The Werf restaurant. The focus at The Werf Restaurant is on presenting contemporary soil-to-fork dining using the best available local, seasonal, and ethically sourced ingredients.
The sharing plate menu features produce from the farm, as well as vegetables and herbs from The Werf Food Garden, which can be viewed from the conservatory. We tried out a variety of dishes, of which are favorites were the Seared Angus Fillet, the Deep-Fried Marrow Fritters, and the Farm Plum Salad. Everything was simply delicious, all I wish for was that we had a little bit more time to enjoy the wine and the food!
To have a beautiful sunrise or sunset horse ride with exclusive views
Believe me, I am not a horse rider by any means, and I really enjoyed this fun activity, that many of us don’t’ often get to do! You get to experience exquisite views of the Franschhoek Valley as you explore the wine farm and all its wonders on horseback. You can choose between the 1-hour guided horse rides, available throughout the day, or the spectacular 2-hour sunrise or sunset outrides where you’ll get a glimpse of Boschendal’s beauty painted shades of gold.
Steve and I really enjoyed this activity, my horses name was Queen Victoria and Steve got Queen Elizabeth, and they were just precious! Even if you have never been on a horse before, give this a try because it’s a very leisurely walk with beautiful views.
To visit the awesome Friday Night Market and the Saturday Movie Drive-through!
While we were visiting there was a lovely Friday Night Market on the estate, featuring local vendors, live music, and delicious cocktails. It really sucks not having things like Friday Night Markets in Joburg, so I savored every moment of it in Boschendal, and it was a divine evening! While the night markets only happen in the warmer months(they finish in April), there are also morning Saturday and Sunday markets where you can enjoy a beautiful morning under the oak trees outside the Farm Shop, browsing through the selection of garden produce, local artisanal products and delicious treats prepared on the farm.
Something that Boschendal started doing recently is the Saturday Night Drive In Cinema! Gosh I love a drive-in cinema so much (because I can fully stretch out in my own car with my own snacks), so this is a definition of a fabulous Saturday night for me! You can check the movie schedule here and book your slot.
To spend a fun family day on the bike trails
While I am not personally an avid bike rider(nor a mountain adventurer), on our last morning at Boschendal, Steve talked me into renting some bikes and going for a nice ride on the estate(it is so big that you actually have to cross a whole main road to get to the other side of it!). It was a (difficult for me, easy for Steve) ride with gorgeous views that made it all worth it. I did the simplest trail there is, but if you’re looking for a fun farm adventure that the whole family will enjoy, there’s a variety of hiking, biking, and running trails that cater to all levels of experience.
You can expect some mean climbs and some single-track rides all the way down to the Mountain Bike trails, beautiful farm scenery along the running trails and exquisite views of the Franschhoek Valley. You can rent bikes from the Trail Center like we did, but if biking is not your vibe there are also running, walking, and hiking routes that you can do!
To enjoy a morning tour around the farm
I absolutely loved our tour of the farm, and it was one of the highlights for me of our stay. The guided walking tour offers a rare personal insight into the history of the farm, regenerative farming practices and sustainable gardening while experiencing and enjoying the beauty of the farm and its gardens. You get to harvest seasonal herbs right from the herb garden and we had so much fun visiting the chicken farm for some fresh farm eggs and to meet the ladies! This is complimentary for all staying guests, so make sure to set yourself aside some time to enjoy this lovely tour.
I know I already mentioned this- but the food! And the wine!
The dinning options at Boschendal are so great that you are actually SPOILT for choice! You can visit the Farm Shop& Butchery for your grocery shopping, have an easy breakfast at The Deli, enjoy an amazing picnic at the Rose Garden or at The Werf Restaurant, and finish off your evening with a night market. So much to eat and drink, you will be busy for days!
I hope this has inspired you to visit this beautiful estate. I for one, cannot wait to go back again! 😊