Bodyboard down the Olifants, sleep in a bedouin tent, hike a pristine trail
Hermanuspietersfontein’s charming farm cottages
Leave civilisation behind for only R500 per cottage per night!
Less a chance to “escape” and more an opportunity to truly get lost (quite literally if you try to negotiate the serpentine dirt roads after dark), a weekend away at the Hermanuspietersfontein Boedery is a genuine return to pastoral charm and simple pleasure.
Sans electricity, cell phone reception and noisy neighbours, the cluster of cottages on the award-winning winery’s vineyard property provides the perfect answer to the call for retreat, rest and relaxation.
Kleinboet, Bloos and Swartskaap – the names of the three self-catering cottages – are hidden away from the push and pull of city life in the bossom of farmland that unravels between the quaint Overberg town of Stanford and the agricultural community of Napier (about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Cape Town).
In essence, on the 20 kilometres of unpaved country road that winds its way to the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) champion estate, you’re more likely to brake for a troop of duiker or the odd stray sheep than another vehicle.
But as rustic as the journey to this Sunday’s Glen haven may be, the darling cottages are as well-appointed as they are removed from the commercial fray.
Cast-iron cooking pots, a bar fridge stocked with the complete range of the Hermanuspietersfontein vintages, sumptuous beds, warm showers and indoor and outdoor braai areas complete with a seemingly endless supply of wood are all accounted for amenities, and guests can even spend the weekend feeding themselves with a silver spoon - thanks to a collection of antique cutlery (just a small example of the added extras that make the cottages instantly endearing).
Not to mention, with all the moodiness of the Scottish Highlands (a byproduct of the elevation and the cool Atlantic Ocean breezes) and with the countless oil lamps and candlesticks, there’s a romanticism here that could drive even the coyest of couples to exchange more than the occasional shy glance.
At night, if the weather’s right, the sky twinkles with the lights of the Milky Way, and during the day, an opus of birdsong and the wild scent of the surrounding fynbos comes to settle.
For those malcontent to while away the morning in bed and the afternoon with pots of tea and a gander at the resident ducks, cows or black sheep – there’s four thanks to Ernst’s effort at mating an English Suffolk sheep and a South African ewe – mountain biking trails abound, there are two swimming dams, and the neighbour runs 4x4 excursions.
And of course, for interested parties, a wander through the regiments of grapes or a deeper look into the property’s sustainable farming practice is always a possibility.
The Hermanuspietersfontein team prides themselves on their commitment to the idea that “good earth makes better wine”, and as a result, corridors of unbridled fynbos have been left in tack between ranks of the vineyards, a flock of ducks – rather than pesticides - has been dutifully employed to control the pesky snail population, and earthworm-lead composting is the order of the day: all-natural approaches that go hand-in-hand with the winery’s quest to bottle the best, the purest and most honest product they can.
In short, and as more than one cottage visitor has aptly recorded in the Boos and Kleinboet guest registries, the farm and its self-catering accommodation is a little patch of ‘heaven on earth.’
The Hermanuspietersfontein Farm Cottages
• The annex cottage, ideally suited to children.
• Sleeps 2 guests
• This cottage needs to be shared with any of the above cottages as it does not have its own self catering facilities. Swartskaap has its own bathroom with a bath
Rate: R150 p/p
What to bring to the Hermanuspietersfontein Boedery
By Stephanie Katz
Hermanuspietersfontein also hosts a weekly Saturday food and wine market near Hermanus.