“Historic wine estate with luxury cottages, wonderful restaurants, deli picnics and more”
The 23 cottages are found in 2 distinct locations. The 1-bedroom Werf Cottages and 2-bedroom Clarence Cottage are closest to the action: a stroll away from the farmshop deli, restaurant, wine tasting and reception. Across the road and up a 2km dirt track towards the mountains you find the more remote Orchard Cottages, each with 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, and the gorgeous Rhodes Cottage, ideal for groups of up to 10.
Calm muted fabrics, simple well-equipped kitchens with dresser give the 7 Werf Cottages a homely feel. Beds are comfortable with crisp white linen, wardrobe space plentiful, deep clawfoot baths and handmade lavender products relaxing. All share a pool but have barbecues, terraces and fireplaces to keep you warm in winter. The four larger ones with separate living area have space for a couple of children on day beds. All have great mountain views.
The 13 Orchard Cottages have a quieter feel and are more contemporary in design. Converted labourers' dwellings, they range in size from 1 to 4 bedrooms, most with en suite bathrooms. We loved their fresh, colourful interiors. The 1-bedroom cottages don't have a view (they overlook other cottages) but a few steps outside will still reveal the stunning vista. The shared circular swimming pool where groups of friends and families can gather seemed especially enticing. You'll need a car to reach the cottages but once there, you're within easy reach of the mountain trails, trout-filled dams and spa treatment rooms.
Rhodes Cottage designed by Sir Herbert Baker, is the most historic. Sleeping up to 10 and with its own pool, garden and daily housekeeper-cook, it's an amazing place to stay for a larger group or family.
You have lots of options, from cooking yourself to gourmet dining. For a great start to your stay, we recommend pre-ordering a picnic hamper generously filled with fresh salads, pates, cold meats, cheese and a most delicious cheesecake. Cottage kitchens come with Le Creuset cookware and you can stock up at the Farmshop Deli for freshly baked bread, veg from its gardens, free-range eggs, homemade jams, dairy products and the most tempting cakes. There's even a smart butchery next door selling Black Angus steaks from the estate. Continental breakfast hampers and Braai/BBQ packs (or a comforting casserole), with salad and pud can also be delivered to your cottage.
Too lazy to cook on holiday, we headed over to the Deli Cafe which serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in the shade of oak trees. Start the day with a healthy green smoothie or a naughtier "I'm on holiday juice" (Tequila Sunrise!). We loved the "Boschendal Banters" - poached eggs with the sweetest tomatoes and basil from their garden and the super-light waffles with roasted bananas and local honey. Lunch offers a range of rustic specials like chicken pie and salads. Things get simpler for early suppers at the Deli with wood-fired pizza and burger nights.
The Werf Restaurant (open daily for lunch, and Wednesday - Saturday for dinner) is the more fomral dining option. Its terrace view overlooking gardens and mountains is a draw in itself. Most main courses are for sharing - our beef platter was formidable if not a little chewy. Salads are freshly picked from their spectacular kitchen gardens. Puddings were superb: how about roasted white chocolate ganache, hazelnut brown butter streusel, caramelised popcorn and dark chocolate ice lolly? It tasted even better than it sounds. And of course everything was washed down with Boschendal's award-winning wines.
The Rhone Homestead, is open at weekends for more traditional South African buffet lunches.
There's no shortage of fabulous restaurants to try locally but make sure you book ahead in high season.
Boschendal is great for families - the self-contained cottages with kitchenettes make them feel like a little home. There are large grounds to explore, a couple of swimming pools and an imaginative "splish splash" play area. Our 9 year old daughter was fascinated by the waddling ducklings and pecking chickens and delighted in running through the kitchen garden water sprinklers. Simple meals can be had at the Farmshop Deli and high chairs can be provided, but you might want to get a babysitter if you dine out at their more formal Werf Restaurant.
The 2-bedroom Clarence Cottage with its own garden is ideal for a family. Alternatively, the 1-bedroom Werf Family cottages each have 2 day beds in the sitting room suitable for children, plus space for a cot. If you prefer to have more space and don't mind being further away from the action, pick one of the Orchard Cottages with 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms. Larger family groups should try to book Rhodes Cottage which sleeps up to 10 and comes with a housekeeper-cook and private pool.
Babysitting is available on request
Hampers for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be ordered and delivered to your cottage, or head to the family-friendly cafe at the Farmshop Deli for simple early evening suppers of homemade pizza or burgers.
The swimming pools are unfenced and the Werf Cottages are located about 150m from a small unfenced lake