Celebrate South African culture and history and make the most out of this annual holiday
Lakeside Lodge and Spa in Sedgefield
Wine and dine at this luxurious five‐star Garden Route hotel and wellness spot
Located just outside the picturesque “slow town” of Sedgefield – situated approximately five hours from Cape Town – sits the aesthetically pleasing and idyllically positioned Lakeside Lodge and Spa. Sitting flush against the banks of the Swartvlei Lagoon, the luxurious five‐star establishment is tucked neatly away from the outside world nestled between thick woodlands and unspoilt foliage – a little piece of paradise, indeed.
Arriving at the Garden Route hotel, we’re met with friendly faces and warm smiles. Observant staff members offer to fetch our luggage from our vehicle as the lodge’s spa manager Dee Dee Darius welcomes us for the night. The white single‐storey building coupled with its green roof is alluring and as we walk through the property, Dee Dee generously sharing titbits about the lodge, my partner and I immediately feel at ease in our surroundings and are excited for our stay over.
The Lakeside Lodge and Spa – which officially opened its doors in late 2014 – falls under the same ownership of bespoke wine brand Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate. Acquired in late 2013 by Penny Streeter OBE and Nick Rea, Benguela Cove is a working wine and olive farm with residential opportunities situated in Hermanus. As a result, the Sedgefield lodge’s on‐site eatery, Benguela Brasserie and Restaurant, and the parent company’s Somerset West‐based fine dining spot, Benguela on Main, offers diners a variety of the estate’s finest reds and whites to accompany its exquisite fare.
We’re spending the evening in one of Lakeside’s superior rooms, called Seagull (each of the nine rooms are named after a local bird), which boasts spectacular views of the lagoon. In fact, all the lodgings (there are five luxury rooms, three superior options and one honeymoon suite) are strategically laid out in a semi‐crescent shape allowing for each room’s private patio to look out onto the lodge’s rolling green lawns and, of course, the sprawling Swartvlei Lagoon.
The superior room claims a contemporary and clean aesthetic with soft, neutral colours and pretty pastels. Its interior is impeccable, featuring everything one expects from a five‐star hotel. Open and spacious, the room comprises a living area (complete with a sleeper couch that, as Dee Dee explains, can sleep two children under the age of 10) as well as a large bathroom fully equipped with a spa bath, shower and twin basin set. Complimentary Dilmah tea and Nespresso coffee as well as unlimited Wi‐fi and DSTV are just a few of the many perks we are spoilt with in our room.
As previously mentioned, the lodge’s location is a major draw card. Luscious green lawns roll before the various rooms inviting visitors to relax on the garden chairs and patio furniture scattered throughout the outdoor space. Fitted with a boma fireplace, amphitheatre (ideal for live music events) and jungle gym for children – the lodge’s grass area is perfect for lounging around and enjoying the breathtaking and tranquil surroundings. What’s more, the grounds are often frequented by small game and the lagoon lodge is also home to a rich and varied bird life. (If guests are lucky, they might even be able to spot the three resident fish eagles that swoop in from time to time.)
Another winner is the lodge’s on‐site eatery, Benguela Brasserie and Restaurant (P.S.: we received a delightful taste of things to come from the restaurant after it delivered freshly baked goods to our stoep as an afternoon treat). And although Executive Chef Kelly‐Anne Pietersen is usually at the helm of this fine dining establishment, it is Executive Chef Annelie Badenhorst from Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate who takes the culinary reigns during our stay.
Similarly to its Somerset West sibling, Benguela Brasserie’s approach to fine dining is relaxed with an air of elegance. The restaurant’s modern interior fits seamlessly into the hotel’s contemporary yet easy setting subsequently creating the perfect balance between sophistication and relaxation. Diners can look forward to indulging in five‐star dining sans the pretentious atmosphere (and stiff attire).
For lunch, we’re treated to the eatery’s Thursday set curry menu. My partner and I sample exquisite Indian and Oriental cuisine in the form of a Thai green prawn (Dee Dee’s recommendation), Kaeng Hang Lay pork and/or a Rogan Josh beef curry all served with a selection of traditional sides – fragrant rice, homemade roti, poppadums and a selection of freshly prepared sambals.
Later on, for dinner, we indulge in the restaurant’s ever‐evolving two‐ or three‐course a la carte menu. Lavish starters comprising buttermilk fried calamari served with lemon aiolo and a fresh parsley salad and peri‐peri chicken livers served with smoked tomato risotto and origanum beure noisette, begin our evening’s spread. For mains, I opt for the pork belly with crushed pumpkin and pickled cabbage served with a cumin jus, while my partner goes for the braised lamb shank with creamery parmesan polenta and green beans. The haute cuisine is beautifully luxurious – delicate fine‐dining at its best – sporting seasonal produce and bright spots of colour.
After our evening meal, assistant general manager Karl Pietersen further treats my partner and I to the restaurant’s decadent chocolate and wine pairing. The combination sees five Benguela Cove wines paired with five hand‐craft artisan Belgium chocolates curated by master chocolatier Jane Stuart. Other tastings and pairings available at the lodge include Benguela Cove’s standard option of any five Benguela Cove wines as well as their delectable Millionaire shortbread and natural sweet wine combo.
Day Spa Treatments and Facilities
Taking the lodge’s still and secluded location into consideration, it is only apt that the five‐star luxury hotel boasts a beautiful lakeside day spa. Thanks to three superbly equipped treatment rooms, in‐house guests and visitors have a comprehensive selection of health and beauty therapies to choose from – some of which can even be enjoyed outside. Treatments include full‐body massages (hot stone, Swedish and deep tissue), facials, manicures and pedicures as well as various waxing and tinting treatments. What’s more, romantic treatments for couples are also available allowing loved ones to share the spa experience– ideal for those celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary.
While having breakfast the following morning, Karl asks how we enjoyed our night’s stay. Well rested and refreshed, our broad smiles and nodding heads answers his question with ease while we tuck into our morning feast. Once again the eatery has produced an immaculate mix of breakfast options. From fresh berry smoothies and creamy yoghurt and muesli bowls to eggs Benedict and omelettes – there is something for everyone’s palate.
As we finish up, staff members attentively carrying our bags to our vehicle again; reality begins to sink in as does the realisation that we’re leaving the majestic Lakeside Lodge and Spa. Taking one final look out onto the peaceful lagoon, Dee Dee – as if she reads my thoughts – quietly tells me that I have to come back and try the lodge’s Sunday Roast lunch. And I think so too.
NOTE: Lakeside Lodge and Spa is truly a little slice of heaven, especially for watersport fanatics. The five‐star lodge has its own jetty and shallow water launch and swing moorings are available for guests to park their dinghies and kayaks. The lodge also offers complimentary kayaks and canoes as well as fishing trips on the hotel’s Lady Giselle pontoon boat led by skipper (and general assistant manager) Karl Pietersen. For those who might not enjoy the lagoon, the lodge also has an exclusive pool area.
Tip: Every weekend guests and visitors can enjoy a scenic boat cruise and experience the beautiful Swartvlei Lake in the form of Wine Tasting on the Lake. The cruise on the lodge’s pontoon boat affords passengers the opportunity to taste five Benguela Cove wines or choose from their decadent chocolate and wine pairing or Millionaire tasting experience. For more information, email email@example.com or contact +27 (0) 44 343 1844.
Restaurant Opening Hours: Breakfast: Tuesday to Sunday: 8am – 11am | Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday: 12pm – 2:30pm | Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday: 6pm – 9pm
Wasting Tasting and Sales: Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm – 9pm | Sunday: 12pm – 4pm
Note: Monday: Open for hotel guests only
The Bill: For a detailed listing of rates for the different rooms available, spa treatments and to make a booking please visit www.lakesidelodge.co.za, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact +27 (0) 44 343 1844
Looking for more incredible (and affordable) accommodation hotspot in and around Cape Town? Try our overview of 10 Awesome and Unusual Places to Stay in Cape Town and Surrounds as well as our list of Romantic Getaways in the Western Cape. Or perhaps our article on Best Budget Getaways near Cape Town is right up your alley!
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