Ah yes, the Cape winter is nearly here, and there?s only one thing for it. Back to Bartholomeus Klip we go.
A popular destination for most of the year, it is in the cosy Cape winters when the foreigners clear out and this quaint country guesthouse throws opens its doors to the locals.
Tucked away at the foot of the Elandskloof Mountains and surrounded by wheatfields and fynbos in the Cape?s Swartland, this beautiful old farmhouse has been luxuriously renovated in true Victorian style. Offering just five en-suite bedrooms and an expansive honeymoon suite, you can be sure of never sharing the large lounge with its roaring fireplace, intimate bar, cosy dining room and spacious verandas with more than a handful of people. Best of all, there?s peace and quiet aplenty.
You?d have to be brave, or European, to take a dip in the swimming pool at this time of year, but if you want to get on the water instead of in it you can take a lazy canoe across the farm dam or cast a line for rainbow trout or small-mouth bass. The boat-house has also recently been done up and makes a great spot for a quiet sundowner as you spot game grazing on the opposite bank.
If you?d prefer to get a bit closer to nature, the morning and evening game drives are an easy way to explore the private reserve, home to the largest tract of endangered rhenosterveld fynbos in the Cape, along with a healthy population of rare Geometric tortoises. You won?t see any of the Big Five, but with a good range of antelope there?s enough to keep you interested, and with no toothy predators about the more energetic guests can take a walk or cycle through the reserve.
Winter Gourmet Getaways
You?ll need to work up an appetite for the mouth-watering spread prepared by chef Louise Gillett. Brunch is a delight with a host of fresh pastries and healthy fruity options, while the high teas are a triumph. Served on the terrace or the cosy lounge, the spread of savouries and cakes piled high is hard to resist. Don?t forget to pack those walking shoes, as you?ll need to get set for dinner.
Prepared in the French tradition, but with a local flavour, dining at Bartholomeus Klip is an exceptional affair at any time of the year, but the Winter Gourmet Getaways offer yet another reason (as if you needed one!) to pay a visit to one of the Cape?s hidden gems.
This year the Getaways have a decidedly local flavour, with winemakers and foodies from the region paying a visit to showcase their delicious produce.
- 4 & 5 May: Join in the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival (5 & 6 May) just down the road by enjoying gourmet dinners and picnics on the farm.
- 18 & 19 May: Hold thumbs for a few tourists in town and enjoy a festive Boer & British themed weekend of ?civilised? Afrikaans and English themed breakfasts, Afternoon Teas and a Black Tie dinner on the 19th.
- 25 & 26 May: In the mood for some goat? This epicurean weekend hosted by the wine and cheese makers of Fairview estate near Paarl is sure to be of the highlights of the year.
- 15 &16 June: A weekend hosted by neighbouring Kloovenburg wine and olive estate. Winemaker Pieter du Toit will showcase his range of fine wines while Annalene du Toit will introduce the estate?s impressive selection of olive products.
- 22 & 23 June: A gourmet food and wine weekend hosted by winemaker Schalk Burger of Welbedacht estate.
- 17 & 18 August: As winter really sets in in the Cape, cosy up for a gourmet food and wine weekend hosted by Zakkie Bester of nearby Riebeek Cellars.
- 1 & 2 September: Wonder how the TV chefs make it all look so easy? Celebrate spring over a cooking weekend with Chef Louise where you?ll learn to make delicious breads and designer desserts for the upcoming summer months.
- 14 & 15 September: Hope that the early spring brings a few cloudless nights and enjoy a weekend of star gazing with astronomer Tony Farrell along with nature excursions and heavenly cuisine.
Winter rates are valid from 1 May 2007 ? 31 August 2007. Mid week prices are R1090 per person per night sharing and valid from Monday to Thursday inclusive. Weekend prices are R1290 per person per night sharing and valid from Friday to Sunday inclusive. Prices include accommodation, all meals (exclusive of beverages), Afternoon Tea and daily games drives.