Need to stay: De Langenhof, Riebeek Wes

A short drive from Riebeek Kasteel, past the picturesque Allesverloren wine estate, is the one-street wonder that is Riebeek Wes. In a quiet corner of the village is the luxurious four-star De Langenhof Guesthouse. After receiving a friendly welcome from the owner Gail, you’ll be transported to a world of leisure and relaxation. The guesthouse is surrounded by lush gardens and private patios (for garden rooms) overlooking the Koi pond and formal rose garden. Warm up beside the main house’s fireplace on cold winter days and the swimming pool on hot summer days.

The rooms are charmingly decorated and perfectly suited for couples, many featuring his and hers basins and even double showers. Rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with satellite TV and DVD players. Each room has its own private entrance, and secure off-street parking is provided. 

A lovely breakfast of homemade plain yoghurt, fruits, coffee and hot eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and toast is served on the veranda – the perfect place to sit on a crisp morning.

A must-stay spot for sure.

Details +27 22 461 2188

Mike and Gail Walters




Kloovenburg Pastorie Guesthouse, Riebeek Kasteel

It was a cold and stormy evening when I decided to venture out of Cape Town to visit the charming little town of Riebeek Kasteel – an hour and a bit from home. Known for its annual Olive festival, the town is home to some fantastic galleries, chocolatiers, an exclusive Swartland wine shop in The Wine Kollective and gastronomic delights at Bar Bar Black Sheep and Café Felix.

On entering the town, you find the ultra-luxe Kloovenburg Pastorie guesthouse – a stunningly restored home perched among the vineyards. Offering three air-conditioned, underfloor-heated, en-suite bedrooms, as well as a chicly decorated lounge and dining area with a cosy fireplace, this makes for the ideal winter escape. The complimentary bottle of wine on arrival, which we immediately tucked into, is a very nice touch, too.

Stay in under the comfy linen covers while watching a film on DSTV or indulge at the Kloovenburg Wine & Olive Estate tasting room on a Sunday, which is open from 11am to 2pm. This was one of the best stays I’ve had in a while.

Remembering 16 June 1976


Today is Youth Day. The day that we remember the events of 16 June 1976. The Soweto uprising – a series of protests by high school students, fighting for the abolishment of Afrikaans in their schools.

20000 students took to the streets in what ended in very violent protests. It was estimated that almost 700 people died on this day.




This day’s most famous photo. Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhuboafter being shot by South African police. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them. Pieterson was rushed to a local clinic and declared dead on arrival.


Bartholomeus Klip. Stay here, trust me

Located on a working farm and game reserve in the Riebeek Valley, but an hour’s drive from Cape Town, sits the long-standing establishment that is Bartholomeus Klip. The delightfully cosy main house guesthouse has few rooms and lots of charm – a true five-star stay at its best. Rooms with names like ‘Disa’, named after flowers provide ample rest with luxury everything. From the king-sized bed, slippers and robes and wooden furniture to the Victorian-style shower with unique toiletries scented with surrounding fynbos like wild rosemary. Families can also stay comfortably at the Wild Olive cottage.

Arrive late afternoon for high tea of scones, milktart, a variety of teas and other epicurean delights. Sit in the luxe lounge while the crackling from the fireplace warms your feet and hands. Proceed to hop onto a safari-style gaming vehicle at 4pm for a nature drive – the afternoon drive leaves at 4pm and the morning drive at 8h30 after coffee, rusks and fruit – as you sit in awe of the 10 000 acres of the vast nature reserve and towering mountains that surround the area. Expect to see herds of black wildebeest, Cape zebras, a rare plant or ten, wild flowers and herbs and perhaps even a strikingly patterned geometric tortoise crossing the road.

Arrive back at the farmhouse for sundowners around 6pm of MCC and roasted nuts as your prepare for the four-course dinner already wafting in the air.

The dining room looks like a greenhouse of sorts with its clear glass; and the food is lovingly prepared from local produce. The soft candlelight makes for a very romantic setting in this white-tableclothed room. Attentive staff serves you wine from the region – a spectacular wine list for sure, including A.A. Badenhorst and Diemersfontein wines. Patrons can also choose to enjoy their meal with a pairing of wine chosen by the sommelier.

The set menu changes with the seasons. For winter, start with Haddock risotto with celery, potato skins and microherbs, followed by a light roasted butternut, parmesan soup with rosemary crumbs. The main is elevated home-style cooking at its best: pork fillet, browned potato gnocchi, burnt leeks, Dijon mustard and lemon juice sauce and an unforgettable onion jam. Finish off the meal with an expected gastronomic delight in the Carpaccio of pineapple topped with mint sugar, which covers vanilla crème cheese. Phenomenal!

Wake up to a breakfast of fruits, cereals, cold meats, salmon, cheeses, and freshly baked pastries. A full English breakfast can be ordered, along with hot toast and muffins, and a selection of delicious home-made preserves.

One of the best country/farmland stays you’ll find in South Africa for sure.

For contact details go here:

Boutique stays in beautiful Paternoster

Paternoster, the oldest fishing village on the West Coast is dotted with white-washed houses and beach cottages – a mere 90-minute drive from Cape Town. This town has certainly stolen my heart ever since the first time I set foot here one lazy afternoon to have lunch with friends at the renowned Gaaitjie – a salt water restaurant on the beachfront. Over the last few years this quant Greek-style village has become an upmarket destination, catering to foodie tourists seeking lux hotels and guesthouses and something a bit more upscale than humble fish and chips. The area now features various exquisite eateries and boutique hotels. Here are two of the best:

Abalone House & Spa

Abalone House & Spa is a five star boutique hotel. Greeted with a glass of bubbly at the door, the attentive staff will cater to your every need.


The colourfully decorated reception area and luxe rooms all have a laid-back homey feel and the courtyard features a tranquil pool. Relax on the upstairs deck, sip more Krone pink bubbly and snack on feta and olives, while lounging in the hot tub overlooking white sandy beaches and the serene surrounds.

Dine at the hotel’s very own Reuben’s by acclaimed chef Reuben Riffel. Try the chilli squid to start, lamb with turmeric mash and curry jus for main and a rich chocolate pavé to end. They also have an extensive wine list, featuring some of SA’s best. Then onto delectable Eggs Benedict for breakfast with piping hot coffee, followed by a trip to the in-house Healing Earth spa – the African Shea Butter Massage is out-of-this-world amazing, intoxicating smells.


Phone: 0878205974

Paternoster Dunes Guest House

Do not miss a stay at the four star Paternoster Dunes Guest House. Small and very exclusive, its individually decorated luxury rooms open up a mere stone’s throw from the beach.

Enjoy an afternoon glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc on the terrace as you take in the sea air. Paternoster Dunes features an intimacy lounge and cocktail bar, a small but eclectic library and solar heated pools in the courtyard. After sleeping in one of the most comfortable beds, wake up rested and indulge in a scrumptious continental buffet and hot breakfast.

Be sure to stop by the Beauty Clinic for facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, tinting and deep tissue massages.

Phone: +27 (0)22 752 2217

Originally posted on Marie Claire

Villa weekend living at Villa Blu, Hermanus

From the moment you set your foot inside the grounds of the lovely, four star bed and breakfast, Villa Blu, expect to feel completely removed form the humdrum of daily life. A serene weekend getaway spot, it offers you a quiet and unique stay. The two-storey white villa, with pops of blue hues, features just six inviting and luxurious double bedrooms that add to its exclusivity. Rooms are spacious, beautifully decorated and fitted with all essential amenities.

Space is important at Villa Blu. There is a lawn filled with beautiful flowers and greenery, a relaxed inner courtyard, a whale watching deck and various lounges to kick back in, as well as a clear swimming pool that’s situated on the front grounds. Take a dip and unwind with drink in hand or enjoy a leisurely braai to make the most of the b&b’s home-away-from-home feel.

A few minutes’ walk to Grotto Beach and the main road, Villa Blu is the ideal spot to catch up on some R&R when you require a recharging weekend escape, without feeling isolated.

Indulge in an early morning breakfast of cold meats, cheeses, breads and croissants and more charcuterie delights, along with fruit, muesli and yoghurt. Then, choose from the small, hot-breakfast menu, which features must-try items including fried banana with cinnamon. Delicious!

 Call them on 0283141056 to book.

Find more details on their website here. 

Big tree, Wilderniss


On holiday this past December, we visited the magnificent and very magical ‘Big Tree’ in Wilderniss along the Southern Coast. The tree is yellowwood, estimated to be about 850-years old. The area of Hoekwil – where this famous attraction is situated – is also a lovely area in general.

After snapping a few pictures at the tree, head into the forest for a very relaxed hike (around 2km). Just be aware of the boomslange hanging from (some) of the trees…