Travel South Africa: Escape to Val du Charron

Only thing better than sleeping?

Waking up to a spectacular view.

The Val du Charron Olive and Wine Estate is less than an hours drive from Cape Town, and is hidden 10 kilometers from a small town called Wellington. This town – no bigger than other well-known South African historical towns like King Williams Town and Grahamstown – lies in the Bovlei valley; with the Val du Charron guesthouse nestled just at the foot of the Groenberg mountain.

If you look far out, from the private patio of my luxury suite, you’ll see the picturesque Hawequa Mountain framing a majestic view.

“The original farm was proclaimed in 1699 and, as only the fifth family to hold title, the owners are conscious to maintain its historic integrity and re-establish the tradition of wine making on the farm itself. This can be evidenced in the rehabilitation of the historic buildings and the character of the architecture of the Estate.”

Image courtesy of VDCWines

Its surprising right? that a small town could offer up high-end hospitality, unless it’s located somewhere in Italy, France or Greece. However,  South Africa’s home to some incredible luxurious options in small towns, for wanderers and other such travelers. Val du Charron has the benefit of being an ideal option for wine enthusiasts, as the large property is situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

I arrived at the estate after badly navigating together with the GPS. The signage leading to the estate really could be better. However, when you begin to drive up the driveway, the only word that can accurately describe the visuals is “grandeur”. We’re not talking gilded gold gates and intimidating mansions grand, but demure splendor in the green and sunburnt orange lands that stretch for kilometers, and in the simple white buildings, and a rather kick-ass horse statue towering on the lawn.

I arrived to check-in, and experienced a moment of discontent. Myself and my photographer were seated first awaiting check-in, when a man and his male friend entered to stand and wait too. The waitress nearby – who had seen both our groups – chose to attend to the men alone, and ask whether they’d like refreshments, all while ensuring them repeatedly that someone would be checking them in soon. I didn’t want to bring race or anything into it, but it did not start my stay off well…but the manager Miles managed to turn things around.

After checking us in and ushering us to the Coach house, we were shown into a simple, but luxurious suite.

Remember, luxury doesn’t only manifest in thread-count, color coordinating furniture or anything of excess particularly. Luxury in hospitality, pertains to comfort and elegance, which the 5-Star luxury Coach House has in spades.

I was comfortable in where and how I washed, ate, swam, sight-saw; in where I played, and most importantly where I slept.

Also, they had Earl Grey tea in the beverage section, sooooo they were always gonna be good on my end with that one!

Architectural Style: 6/10

Val du Charron’s Coach house looks a little like a mix between a villa guesthouse, a classical Neo-Georgian country house coach house, and archetypal carriage houses. I generally like what most Western Cape guesthouses and hotels do, wherein they maintain the basic aesthetic of historical Dutch style houses, or carriage styles, and infusing contemporary interior and exterior design.

Decor & Character: 6/10

Mayhaps a little tame for some, but the Val du Charron Coach House keeps things simple with its decor, and infuses colorful character in subtle detailing – like the tiles chosen inside and out. Every color tone is chosen to exact feelings of relaxation to anyone that enters, or maybe boredom for those hoping for eccentric interior decor character.

If you choose to stay at the estate, you can choose either their 5-star Coach House, or the 4-star guesthouse; with every room offering up some form of idyllic views out.

Disability Accessibility & Comfort: Yes, 6/10

You’ll have bedroom and bathroom access if you choose the 5-star luxury suite, but without secure safety bars to use the facilities.

Family Friendly: Yes, 8/10

Children over the age of 5 are welcome within the guesthouse and restaurants.

Rooms: 7/10

Pretty roomy…the private pool makes everything about sleeping here, more cool!

Dining: 6/10

There are 2 places to eat at Val du Charron: The Local Grill & Piza e Vino.

The Local grill is the apparent motherland for meatlovers. One can enjoy:

“grain-fed and grass-fed beef, dry or wet aged…all aged between 22 and 55 days – plus there’s steak tartare, oxtail, brisket, marrow bones, biltong and beef burgers too. Venison, pork and chicken feature prominently along with salmon, prawns and calamari…and there are also vegetarian options on the menu.”

I, unfortunately, only managed to get breakfast at The Local Grill. They make a mean full house breakfast – the pork sausage giving me all kinds of life.

The restaurant has got country European elegance, and the food is as filling as the panoramic views of the olive orchards and vineyard.

Location: 8/10

Roadtrippy, but still convenient.

Save for the signage getting to the estate from the town, the actual location is rather lovely for its views.

Image courtesy of ‘Travel & Stay in SA’

Value for Money: 6/10

The coach house is worth its price, because a private pool (however cold the water is) as well as the privacy of secluded spaces, and the majesty of seeing the mountains from your own patio, is precious.

Val du Charron

+27 (0)21 8731256

Bovlei Rd, Wellington, 7654

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Gaynor says:

    I’ve only been to Val du Charron once back in 2013 and it seems they’ve made quite a few additions to the estate!

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