Hawksmoor House

near Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa Book from

Stylish, homely Cape Dutch country manor and wine farm close to Stellenbosch and Cape Town
So you've arrived in Cape Town but can't decide whether to head straight for the Winelands or enjoy the city. Hawksmoor lets you have your cake and eat it. This 300-year-old Cape Dutch homestead is on the edge of the Winelands, just 15 minutes' drive from Stellenbosch but close enough to Cape Town for you to nip back to the city. If you stay, you can relax in style: inside there are fine antiques, while outside on the veranda white muslin curtains waft in the breeze. Beautifully peaceful, we keep on returning here to start our South African stays.

There's a sense of living in a different era here but it's far from fusty: arriving through the farm-style kitchen with its Aga stove and shiny copper pots, you immediately feel at home. The 15 inviting rooms all have contemporary touches with silver-painted bedposts and old chairs covered with funky fabrics. It may be a working farm but think pretty flower gardens, dappled lawns shaded by oaks and jacarandas, a pool, in-room massages and lazy sundowners.


  • Wonderfully peaceful with a relaxed make-yourself-at-home ambiance made more enjoyable by the large comfortable rooms that successfully mix old and new
  • Good location for both the Winelands and Cape Town (a 40-minute drive)
  • Very helpful and knowledgeable managers, who make great efforts to train disadvantaged locals to a high standard
  • If you like dogs, their german pointers, Grace, Virginie and Jack, are never far away
  • The view from the veranda: a great place to watch some stunning sunsets with Table Mountain in the distance


  • If you want a change from the onsite restaurant you'll have to drive out, but there are plenty of good restaurants in the area and their recommendations are excellent
  • Be prepared to take breakfast with other guests at one long table, but for us this was enjoyable
  • In-room tech is limited to WiFi (no TVs or phones), but this can be a real joy for many

Best time to go

The Winelands are good to visit throughout the year. The busiest time is from December through to April when the majority of visitors from Europe pitch up. Prices drop during the South African winter (May-August) when, in spite of colder temperatures and the possibility of rain, the area still looks beautiful and you don’t have to fight to get a table at a restaurant.

Our top tips

Try to stay for 2-4 nights. This gives you the chance to check out a couple of local wineries, relax at the farm and have a couple of really good meals at some of the restaurants in the area. When dining out be sure to book a table well in advance.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 15
  • Breakfast (+ dinner by arrangement)
  • Ages 2-11 on request; other ages accepted
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Luxury Room - Edge House


The 15 bedrooms are spread between the main house and various converted outhouses. Each room is different but all are beautifully furnished with fine antiques, contemporary touches and comfy beds dressed with crisp linen. Expect slick basins and armchairs re-upholstered with fresh new fabrics; we particularly like the outhouse rooms with their clean lines, great views and fine finishes.

Our favourites were the bright and airy Superior and Family Rooms, with their spacious bathrooms and relaxing terraces. We also had a quick peek at one of the Luxury Rooms which was fresh and chic, with doors opening out to the gardens (others have garden views only).

Featuring a kitchen, living room and dining space, the Self-Catering Cottage has 2 ensuite bedrooms with large French windows, as well as access to a sunny courtyard.

All rooms have digital safes, WiFi, hairdryers and Charlotte Rhys toiletries. There are no TVs but you can request an iPod docking station.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Underfloor heating in bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Taken inside or on the pretty veranda, breakfast is served at a long wooden table overlooking the rose and lavender gardens. Expect a healthy array of juices, granolas, creamy yoghurts and fresh fruit, plus homemade jams and toast. Leave room for the cooked breakfast - our scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and roasted tomatoes were perfect.

Bear in mind that the Self-Catering Cottage has its own kitchen and is booked on an accommodation-only basis.

A 3-course set dinner menu is on offer daily from the Country Kitchen, just pre-book before 11am that day; expect simple, but tasty home-cooked food. There's a cosy sitting room with an honesty bar: help yourself to a glass of their crisp Chenin Blanc and watch the sunset from the veranda.

Although there’s no formal lunch service, there are delicious cheese and meat platters available, and staff will happily make you a pot of tea (ask for the fresh mint brew), served on a silver tray with locally baked biscuits.

For change of scene, you will have to venture out in the car. Make sure you book well in advance as it can be difficult to get into the best restaurants (Hawksmoor staff are very good at making suggestions and reservations). We like the award-winning Terroir (on the Kleine Zalze wine estate), 96 Winery Rd (rustic and famed for their steaks) and Tokara (innovative cuisine and amazing views).

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement


  • Stellenbosch (15 minutes' drive) is the second-oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town) and also one of the best preserved, with pretty buildings and a renowned university. It's the liveliest of the Cape Winelands towns with some good restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, and a great farmer's market on Saturdays.

  • Go wine-tasting: the wine routes of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are all within easy driving distance. Must-visit estates for sheer beauty include Zevenwacht, Vergelegen and Boschendal, where there's a lovely park for picnics. Other top vineyards include Thelema, Tokara (fabulous views) and L'Avenir (wine buffs should invest in a copy of Platter's annual guide to South African wines). Wine aside, the mountain scenery is beautiful and the drive over the pass between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek is stunning

  • Head to Cape Town: (40 minutes' drive). There are too many options to mention here, but one recommendation for Saturdays is to check out the weekly Woodstock farmer's market - it's housed in a restored Victorian warehouse in "Old Biscuit Mill". Local foodies flock here for the artisan breads, charcuterie and freshly shucked oysters

  • Staff are knowledgable and can help plan itineraries - from hot-air ballooning to hiking, and wine-tasting to the theatre. They can aslo arrange in-room massages and beauty treatments

  • Kick back by the pool with a book and look out across the countryside towards Table Mountain: their bookshelves have some useful reference books on South Africa and the Winelands

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Museums / galleries
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures
    • Well being
    • Wine tasting
  • Kids

    Children aged 2-11 can stay by special arrangement only, and this will depend on other guests staying at the time. Other ages are always welcome.

    Best for:

    Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Family Rooms have space for an extra bed; the Self-Catering Cottage sleeps up to 4 in two ensuite bedrooms, and has its own kitchen.


    Babysitting can be arranged

    Families Should Know:

    The long pond and pool could be a hazard for any unsupervised children


    • Airport: 35 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

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