Travels’ return, as well as hospitality at large, has been a messy affair – riddled with:
- fluctuating restrictions
- limited disposable income for many
- transport systems not operating optimally
- Suppliers trepidation in stocking and distributing in their pre-pademic quanitites and timeframes
- as well as weary lockdownees and the burdens they bear.
The lure to be in a place other than your home – however briefly – has lured many, to staycations around the country. Blessedly (for the industry, economy, and consumers) travellers are now able to access, to a greater extent than ever before, the wonders South Africa has to offer, and it’s at some incredible special local rates too.
One of the destinations nearly booked solid weekly, is Boschendal Farm.
When it comes to luring people back into the fold of travel and hospitality, Cottagecore is a relatively refreshed pop culture-driven way for a tourism institution to start.
Captivating pastoral fantasy is the central motif that drives Cottagecore – mind you, without much of the work and hardship of the inspirations truth.
Put any of the suites or cottages at Boschendal against those Cottagecore revival rentals dotted around the world, and it passes muster on the weight of several attributes. The Werf cottages, for example, are an exceptional rendition of luxury Cottagecore blooming against a backdrop of breathtaking farm views.
The interiors are designed for functionality, as a near “mudroom” (complete with seating, wall hooks, and umbrella stand) exists when entering the cottage from the kitchen area.
Guests can drop off their boots, slip on cosy white hotel slippers, put on the kettle, easily move to the fireplace to begin fanning some flames, and then throw themselves into a reading nook that would make lesser bibliophile’s shiver.
With more space than expected, these cottages are tastefully decorated with only touches of botanical accents making their way into every space. Earth tones dominate in calming hues everywhere from the walls to the carpets.
Utensils, soft furnishings, and even tabletops and patio furniture invite guests to explore with touch – everything textured in interesting fabrics and materials that work with the ease of the farms’ walkways, ambiance, and vistas.
Boschendal is a place that truly doesn’t lack in vernacular charm.
It speaks to the lexicon of the Winelands; Shrouded in the anthology of a luxury Cape getaway with rural sensibilities and a penchant for stocking necessities every local wants and needs.
Additionally, Boschendal makes a number of accommodation options available to its visitors, including cottages at different levels of luxury (dependant on the travelers’ entourage and needs), as well as a sprawling mountain villa quite suitable for 12 guests to frolic in comfort within.
All the accommodation comes with the requisites that every cosmopolitan traveller may need, including:
- Daily Room Service
- Room Safe
- Wireless Internet
- Ceiling Fans
- Tea/Coffee Maker
- Cable/Satellite TV (I need my CNN & BBC News)
As a traveller prone to throwing themselves into their locale with fashionable abandon, I leaned into my accommodation’s cosy aesthetic and lush green surrounds, from the minute I arrived – my cottage nestled behind, and adjacent to, the historic Werf area of Boschendal Wine Farm.
Among the reasons that Boschendal is a draw to travellers, and why it should be on your radar, is because of one great compact feature:
You never really have to leave the farm to enjoy a multifaceted experience.
“Bring your mountain bike or walking shoes to explore the farm paths, mountainside trails or MTB single track…A short drive or cycle through the pastures and fruit orchards…”Boschendal (2021)
At this estate, one can enjoy a multiday stay, complete with uncomplicated logistics, outdoor diversions spanning miles, and probably upon request & payment, the distinctly 2021 resort amenity: on-site virus testing.
It’s not an all-inclusive resort, but it has package deals to seduce singles, couples, families, and even businesses, from the confines they’re comfortable in, to even more plush hospitality spaces.
Visit the Estate to Eat, People-Watch and Shop too!
Serving up a “soil to fork” methodology to their farm-fresh food, guests get to enjoy nourishing complimentary breakfasts with their stay, and it can be a feast of the senses, depending on what one orders.
I recommend the Eggs Benedict, complete with Angus Shaved Beef and a perfectly-made Hollandaise sauce.
It’s a fascinating oddity to see your chef picking ingredients fresh from their plants, for a meal about to go in you at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It could be greens for the cool Beef Tartare, or garnishes for a soup, or the Pork Belly dish that comes with a creamy herb Polenta.
However, this visible and sustainable way of ingredient storage and collection, is a refreshing welcome that brings true meaning to “freshness”.
The range of meals at both eateries on the property, lean more in the way of light, straightforward, and satisfying, rather than being too adventurous with vast numbers of exotic flavours, as well as big portions, in one plate. You get hearty on both establishments’ menus though, so don’t fret, as the chef and their team make culinary magic for carnivores and vegans alike.
So interesting is the dining at Boschendal, that it warrants its own, far more meticulous write-up.
Stay tuned for that!
You’ll come away with quality homeware by talented local artisans with a penchant for tasteful design, and a fair few other goodies – even meat!
Guests and visitors alike can score themselves some of the most scrumptious sweet treats at the Farm Shop too, and quality-assured produce straight from the farms’ lands.
Don’t feel like cooking?
Boschendal takes easy meals to the highest quality level, with Chef Allistaire Lawrence and his team preparing ready-made frozen meals to be bought from the store, and enjoyed in various portion sizes.
As a fan of the shortest cooking times, and having variety in dining, I gave several of the meals a try, and really recommend the Butternut & Tomato Soup.
The tartness of the tomatoes (very clearly fresh tomatoes and not canned) is not overwhelming, nor is the butternut lacking in dimension. The chef delivers a spoonful of winter comfort in their take of the soup, which sets the diner up to a satisfied sleep state when enjoyed with the Farm Shop’s fresh sourdough bread.
Boschendal doesn’t stop there with their on-premises offerings.
There are wine tastings to be had, with a selection of some of the finest yields of the last few years. Swimming areas are plentiful, as are picnic areas; and the freedom given to visitors to roam, is a unique gift best not squandered with such fresh air to savour, and fresh produce to learn more about…and eat!
Safety & Security
With the unpredictable tundra that is global tourism and pandemic news, the expansive Winelands of the Western Cape, have made sure their hygiene, safety, and security protocols are beyond reproach for those in a position to come, and do so safely.
From the guarded entry points to the farm, to the airy communal spaces, hand sanitisers abound, reduced capacities within restaurants, and their regularly cleaned surfaces, Boschendal at least, takes no chances with its guests.
Visiting this farm means getting:
- And value-for-money.
Living like a local, does not tend to have the same appeal as it once did, where your hotel was a home base but travellers roamed their surrounds. Now, places like Boschendal have an edge, now more than ever, with their estate-centric ethos bound to farm-freshness, endowing visitors with a wonder and knowledge of nature on their property, and serving guests with accessible luxury previously priced too high to even fathom as a yearly treat.
One of the other great things about this estate, is that you are likely to see the procedures that ensure your safety, at every avenue: from the security checks at the boomgates, to the fresh produce your meal is about to be comprised of.
Remember: food safety is also a priority criterion of travel!
From the minute a guest is ushered to the reception area, it’s rather gratifying to take the measure of Boschendal, and not be disappointed – not in their swift check-in procedures, or the elegant richness of their waiting area and lavatories.
More outdoor lounging areas for day visitors, would probably not go amiss as Summer draws near, though hotel guests are lucky to have everything from patio table setups, to cushy reading nooks to fold themselves into with a glass of the estates finest grape.
Blessed conveniences (in the way of amenities) are the kinds of things that make a difference in a stay, and made mine relaxing.
It was amazing to have access to such an equipped kitchenette, as well as the complimentary mini-bar with some quality brews I sipped while cooking.
Also, I am an irrevocable fan of bubble baths and surrounding myself with warmth; And the cottage having:
- a clean fireplace and all its fixings ready
- not to mention the bedrooms large bed coming with an electric blanket
- and the bathroom having heated floors and towel rails, was outstanding thoughtfulness for guests who don’t favor nighttime chills.
Guests to Boschendal’s accommodation also have extra towels for inside (and the outdoors) available too, as well as sturdy bright umbrellas standing in wait by the door.
Guests have recyclable carry bags and even boxes to lug their wares about in – though the Instagrammer in me really wanted to get my hands on a darling basket to roam with.
So, for those now approaching their trip planning with a little less of an adventurous nature because of the times, look up Boschendal for a practical but frankly beautiful self-contained trip.
Come here when you don’t want memories of your trip away, to revolve around Covid rules too obviously. The structures to adhere to, are there, but somehow the farm feels like freedom to be more than a pandemic survivor.
Listen, even I’m trying to go back as soon as possible – it’s just that simple!
Among the activities I really want to return for, besides more delicious and affordable wine tasting, is horseriding – which the weather hindered me from participating in.
Boschendal and its excellent team, are all about constant adjustment – taking weather, crowds, stock, farm care, and various visitors personalities, as they come.
Their flexibility, accommodating nature, and efficiency, means visitors get what they need in a timely way – whether its luggage carted to your cottage (I really love the golf cart life!), fresh herbs off the shrub, or someone to hold your camera while you take a picture in front of a quaint estate building steeped in historical significance.