Stellenbosch is a town in South Africa's western cape surrounded by vineyards and mountains. The pictures of Auberge Rozendal Guest Farm in Bookings.com got me spellbound. It was love at first sight - a dreamy farm set-up in Stellenbosch perfect enough to unwind. We reached Rozendal at night after a long drive from the 'Ostrich capital of the World', Oudtshoorn. Our sleepy heads tried to catch glimpses of the farm while we walked our way to our cottage. We couldn't wait for it to be morning.
From Capetown: It's a 45 minutes drive to Stellenbosch.
From Tsitsikamma - Tsitsikamma area of South Africa's garden route has the highest commercial bungee jumping site in the world. Check out the website Face Adrenalin for more details about the bungee jump. If you drive non-stop from there, it takes around 6 hours to reach Stellenbosch. However, here's the thing, the unparalleled and diverse beauty of the landscape is such that you will never be able to drive non-stop. An ideal option after the jump would be to head to Knysna, a beautiful seaside town along the same route to Stellenbosch and spend a day or two there. To get the best out of your road trip, start early to enjoy the scenic route. By evening it gets very windy and is not always safe to drive in the dark.
Alternatively, you could also take the flight from Plettenberg Bay to Capetown and then drive to Stellenbosch.
We drove throughout our South African trip. It is the best way to see this beautiful country. Book early to get the best deals for rent a car and do not wait until you get to the Capetown airport.
Room with a view
As we drew up the curtains the next day morning, the view outside our patio was nothing short of a dream setting - the sun's rays from beyond the mountains filled our room, a small herd of horses were grazing outside the green pastures under the trees, a friendly dog running around them; it was green all around as far as our eyes could see.
As i strolled through the green surrounds of the farm, i was quickly transported to a time where the world felt much calmer and quieter.
Breakfast at Rozendal
All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast - John Gunther
Breakfast is self-service at Rozendal. Breakfast is set by the verandah of the manor house and you can eat all you want - muesli, dried fruits, yoghurt, honey, fruit salad, ham and cheese, muffins and free range eggs to order the way you like it. On a side table was kept a large glass jar of vinegar. I downed a shot and for a second felt the acid firing down my digestive tract. There was a sticker on the jar that mentioned all the ingredients the vinegar was infused with - green tea, carob, lavender, kelp, chilli and bay leaf and i felt instantly good having that shot brimmimg with goodness.
A hearty breakfast with farm-grown organic ingredients is always a perfect win.
Things to do in and around Rozendal
'Sour Makes Happy'
By blending red wine and carefully selected botanical infusions, Rozendal produces invigorating balsamic style vinegars good enough to drink neat. We had a great vinegar tasting session indulging in a variety of herbs-infused vinegars and soulful stories about the farm and how Rozendal ventured into producing raw vinegar from wine.
If you are looking for a truly amazing wine tasting experience, then Babylonsteron farm is the place to be. It is a 30 minutes drive from Rozendal. With the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains as backdrop, Babylonstoren farm is the perfect place for wine tasting and fine food. A course of five wines for tasting together with a top-notch snack platter of cheese, pate, charcuterie, fresh fruits and vegetables made the whole experience one of a kind. In addition to their winery, Babylonsteron has a Farm hotel for a truly authentic farm-stay experience, a spa and restaurants.
A day tour to the boutique town, Franschhoek
A laid-back boutique town perfect for a late morning walk to laze around getting in and out of art cafes and window shop. Franschhoek has some great restaurants serving world-class cuisines and superb local wines. Make sure you book in advance for lunch and dinner as all the places get absolutely full during peak hours. One of my prettiest meals in South Africa was from the restaurant French Connection in Franschhoek.
When life gets monotonous, places like Rozendal is a perfect getaway to pamper yourself, relax and rejuvenate. Being an urban dweller all my life, the farm life at Rozendal was a completely new and refreshing experience which will be forever cherished.