Cape escape

We’re escaping to the winelands

We think we’ve found the ultimate wine lovers’ paradise at Boschendal, where you can taste world-class wines against the magnificent backdrop of the Groot Drakenstein mountains. Every time we gazed out of a window of our comfy Orchards cottage, we felt we were experiencing a fairy tale! The cottages are stylishly simplistic with a touch of rural yet contemporary character, but still luxurious! Think dark wooden beams, a cosy kitchenette, plush couches and a bedroom with a balconette for relaxed evenings swooning over the view.

Keen to explore, we laced up our walking shoes and took a leisurely 2km walk (driving is an option, but we preferred fresh air and exercise) through the fruit orchards and pastures to have a light lunch at the Boschendal Farmshop and Deli. Think tables spilling out under the shade of elderly oaks, with a view of the original manor house and farm buildings which frame this historic corner of the estate. The deli was not only a feast for our eyes, but all our senses (who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bread?), and we settled our grumbling tummies with fresh farm bread and artisanal jams – absolutely delish! As difficult as it was, we managed some self-control (there were so many jams to choose from, we simply had to take some home), because we were seriously looking forward to one of the famous wine tastings. We suggest the Vineyard Tour (R70pp), where we were taken on a guided trip through the extensive patchwork of varietals, with those gorgeous peaks always in sight, ending with a divine glass of wine watching the sunset at The Viewpoint (the highest point of the farm – we felt like royalty!). We knew this also meant dinner time was approaching and we decided to indulge ourselves at the award-winning The Werf Restaurant, a beautifully revamped wine cellar that serves country-style cuisine using the best seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. The eclectic décor frames the cooking spaces in the restaurant (yes that’s right, you can watch the delectable meals being made), where the aromas alone will make you want to sample everything on the menu. We’d heard a lot about the pasture-reared Angus beef … and we weren’t disappointed! Served with veggies grown on the farm, the steak practically melted in our mouths. The Werf also has a fab Food Garden, where you can buy just-picked veggies and fruits, ideal for making a luscious lunch in the comfort of your cottage. It was the perfect ending to a fab day – definitely a must-visit if you find yourself in the Cape. 1 – 4 bedroom Orchard Cottages available from R2700 a cottage a night. Details: www.boschendal.com, for accommodation 021-870-4210 or accommodation@boschendal.co.za, for wine tasting 021-870-4210/11 or cellardoor@boschendal.co.za

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Calling all stylish city-slickers

After you’ve experienced the winelands head off to the hottest address in the city … the luxurious Lawhill Luxury Apartments, which provide the ideal home base to explore Cape Town. The modern, neutral-toned design with steel finishes will make you feel like you’re in a home away from home with complete privacy and a swoon-worthy backdrop of the iconic Table Mountain and the Cape Town city skyline. You can choose between one, two or three  bedroom apartments (all self-catering) or the glamorous three bedroom penthouse (our top pick, of course!) – all very spacious and decked out with the most on-trend décor with concierge services and housekeeping included. Your breath will be taken away (ours was) when you step out onto the large exclusive balcony, which has a stunning plunge pool for those much-needed sundowners, and take a look at the gorgeous view of the One & Only Hotel (to which Lawhill guests have direct access, including the hotel’s facilities, spa and restaurants), marina and canals at the V & A Waterfront. The vibrancy of the Waterfront lured us in and we popped down to take a closer look. We were about to wander past Meloncino, but the glorious smell of a wood-fired pizza oven reminded us it was lunch time. Meat eaters and veggie lovers alike will adore the tasty pesto pizza (it also does gluten-free pizza bases on request) where the cream cheese, home-made basil pesto and roasted pine nuts did a little happy dance in our mouths! We’d been eyeing the Cape Wheel from our seat, but decided we’d rather browse through the Watershed market before we braved the ride. The market houses the best in local arts and crafts including jewellery, clothes, accessories and delightful home décor. Once we’d  dropped off our shopping, we gathered enough courage to take a ride on the Cape Wheel (we have a severe fear of heights – eek!), but our knees were buckling for no reason! We were treated to spectacular views of Table Mountain and Robben Island among others, but all the views of glistening water gave us a serious craving for some seafood … and we knew just the spot! A little birdy had told us about Mondiall’s signature fish tacos so we were very eager to try them. The crunchy tacos are served with chipotle mayo, pico de gallo and coriander – yummy! If fish tacos aren’t your thing, you could try the seafood plate, which includes fresh line fish, prawns and mussels served with fragrant rice, a side salad and peri-peri and lemon butter sauces (yum!). Full to the brim, we ventured back to Lawhill for some much needed relaxation before we attempted the trip home. The next day, we were ready for a large breakfast, and five-star Table Bay Hotel’s The Atlantic provided! Described as the best breakfast buffet around, this experience is a must-try with 230 dishes from which to choose. We seriously – and we mean seriously – suggest the fresh oysters, sushi and delectable custard-filled pastries. After our high-end, luxe weekend, we’ve decided this is the only way to experience the Mother City… Lawhill Luxury Apartments from R3830pn for the one bedroom to R15080pn for the three bedroom penthouse. Details: 021-418-2138 or www.lawhillluxuryapartments.com

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