Francois talks about their trip to SPIER

Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms dating back to 1692, this farm is rich in history and remains a special place to anyone who visits. Located about 40km from Cape Town, you’ll find this historic farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.

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Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What made you decide to stay at SPIER?

Francois: SPIER is ideal for us as we have kids (two boys aged 6 and 8). The large natural open spaces, great facilities and scenic surroundings.

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Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was your first impression of SPIER on arrival?

Francois: It’s actually very close to Cape Town! SPIER is located in the wine capital of South Africa and has a farm feel to it. On arrival we were greeted with warm friendly smiles from the staff which is always the best way to start a stay.

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was the service like?

Francois: The staff at SPIER were very friendly and attentive to all our needs. They are particularly good with children (e.g. entertaining the kids while the parents take a deserving break).

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, SPIER accommodates families with children of all ages, with a variety of activities and facilities to keep kids occupied. The food for the children was also good and I loved the fact that there was a grape juice tasting on offer when we as adults did the wine tasting. On the morning of our check out from the SPIER hotel, our youngest son immediately asked: “When can be come here again?”2015-06-20 15.01.49 2015-06-20 11.58.15-1
Klein Collection (‘K.C’): 
What activities are offered at SPIER?

Francois: Activities offered onsite at Spier are as follows:

  • Segway tours: Take a tour of the vineyard on your very own Segway PT – a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle.
  • Wine tasting and chocolate pairing (highly recommended)
  • Eagle encounter (very educational and was great for our kids)
  • Local art being on display throughout SPIER (insprirational)
  • A spa (beauty treatments and massages)
  • Food (wonderful selection of restaurants, deli and picnic baskets)

 

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was the food like?

Francois: Food quality at SPIER is top class and they make a conscious effort to cater for the children’s tastes as well. EIGHT Restaurant prides itself in the fact that most of the ingredients in the meals served, are locally produced on the SPIER farm.

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Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What was the highlight of your stay at SPIER?

Francois: The overall openness and spaces to walk and cycle, value for money and how our children enjoyed every bit of our stay.2015-06-19 16.42.37

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): What should potential visitors take note of

Francois: Be ready to want to make SPIER a regular place to visit (at least once a year for 2 nights).

Klein Collection (‘K.C’): Who is SPIER ideal for (i.e. The type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois: Anyone really – but SPIER is great for small or large groups and people with kids.

 

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

 

Should SPIER sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Life is beautiful at Babylonstoren hotel between Franschhoek and Paarl, South Africa

In this edition of “Review for You” we visit one of our favourite luxury escapes of all time, Babylonstoren Hotel. It is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms and only features 14 accommodation units and a fantastic restaurant called Babel. With its impressive fruit and vegetable gardens, unique accommodation and wholesome food, this establishment between Franschhoek and Paarl near Cape Town, South Africa, celebrates everything that is natural and beautiful in life.

Explore Hout Bay while staying here!

We recently visited Hout Bay Manor and thought that we’ll give you an insider’s perspective. Join Francois and Kim on their not-so-serious site inspection and see what you can expect to experience at this lovely establishment in Hout Bay, just 3 minutes’ drive away from the world-famous Chapman’s Peak Drive and only 20 minutes from Cape Town.

We hope to bring you other insightful glimpses of other establishments in due course, so watch this space if you want to get honest, truthful reviews.

The sound of the ocean at Tintswalo Atlantic

No words can describe the sound of the ocean at Tintswalo Atlantic. Hopefully the video will help to explain the mind massaging effect of the ocean. The fortunate few that have been there will know what I mean…

Buffelsdrift: All about the animals

Legend goes that Lion has not always been the king of the jungle. The Batswana remember a time when Ostrich ruled the animal kingdom. Until one night when Lion sneaked up to the sleeping sovereign and opened its beak, to discover that it has no teeth. (Lion did not know that Ostrich hid his teeth in his stomach.) So Lion overpowered Ostrich and became the new king.

The people of Oudtshoorn, however, have never forgotten the glory days of the ostrich and the wealth that its feathers brought the town around the turn of the previous century. They still proudly refer to their little Karoo town as the ostrich capital of the world, and restore and maintain the elegant sandstone feather palaces in and around town. For visitors wondering whether the ostrich is actually a bird or a reptile, there are a few ostrich show farms with very interesting tours. I recommend Safari where anyone weighing less than 80kg is allowed to ride an ostrich. (Do yourself a favour and have a look at the inspired result of Cape Town designer Tsai’s ostrich ride…)

During my Oudtshoorn visit I stayed in a free-standing luxury tent at the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, regular winner of the PMR Golden Award as best Game Lodge in the Karoo. Coming from the city, what a pleasure to find no door, lock or burglar bars on my lodgings. Only views onto the curvy Karoo koppies stretching out around you, hippos plunging into the pan and a variety of birds swooping over the water. My highlight was unzipping the tent’s bathroom to step into the private outside shower – gazing up to beautiful blue skies specked with playful swallows.
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Although Oudtshoorn is a hot and arid place, Buffelsdrift is located in the Cango Valley, the town’s green belt. In this valley, the gathering of water among the mountains has created a lush desert oasis, all along the riverside up to the world famous, never fully knowable Cango Caves. A must-see. Also on the same road as the Caves and Buffelsdrift, you will find the Cango Wildlife Ranch – a sanctuary for mesmerising big cats like tigers and jaguars, crocodiles and many smaller animals.

Buffelsdrift is well-known for its restaurant with authentic South African food in generous portions. The sunsets from the veranda are simply spectacular. However, should you feel like exploring the town’s eateries, I can highly recommend Kalinka and The Colony at the Queens for dinner, and Café Brulé for breakfast or lunch. They all source most of their food locally and try and use what is in season. Chocolate lovers will delight in the creations of the charming, Belgian-trained chocolatier at Rococo, located close to the edge of the town, as you are about to leave for George. Walking distance from her establishment is award-winning Tantinki, where the self-effacing cheese maker can tell you many entertaining stories about how her cheeses got their names.

The most memorable part of my Oudtshoorn visit was the elephant experience at Buffelsdrift. Malaika, Bulelo and Jabari are 8-year old elephant orphans who lost their mother to poachers. They are incredibly intelligent, understand about 30 English words (only by listening to one’s voice) and are learning more. They are also natural cuddlers, trunks constantly looking for a human body to hug. According to their trainer, they are not aware yet that they are not also human, having been in human care since being bottle-fed.
Buffelsdrift Elephant Experience

Buffelsdrift really lives up to their promise to deliver a unique bushveld experience in the heart of the Klein Karoo. I can recommend it to anyone wanting to kick off their shoes, re-connect with nature and experience something of our wild, African continent without leaving the Western Cape.

Review by: Lizelle Steyn, independent traveller

Old Mac Daddy: fresh and fun

I was still walking towards my car after check-out when the next-door guests sneaked over to my trailer to find out what the designer did with its unique theme. I prayed that they would not carry away the Victorian crystal, silver and hand-crocheted cotton napkins before management had a chance to check their inventory. But it is not that kind of trailer park. Die Antwoord would definitely not feel at home here.

Old Mac Daddy silver and crystal

Old Mac Daddy is the ingénue youngest sister of the suave, but playful Grand Daddy hotel on Long Street, Cape Town. The concept is the same: import several Airstream trailers and commission local artists and designers to each create an artwork in which guest will not only sleep, but which will surprise and delight them around every corner. Unlike its two sister hotels in Long Street, the Old Mac Daddy is nestled in the countryside, with a super spacious restaurant and bar area flowing onto a pool deck, and trailers overlooking Elgin’s apple orchards, water-lilied ponds and gigantic weeping willows.

Old Mac Daddy Life before colour

Since first stepping into Life before Colour during an open day, when the nearly completed trailers debuted to Capetonians before moving to their new home in Elgin, I knew that I wanted to stay in that specific Airstream. And so I booked their honeymoon suite by accident. To the credit of the Old Mac Daddy reception, they only asked once whether I was alone and appeared baffled at my answer for less than one second before carrying my luggage to this romantic boudoir in black, white, silver and light gold.

Old Mac Daddy trailers

Life before Colour is larger than the other trailers with themes like The Dirkie Sanchez suite, The Private Life of Plants and For Better or for Boerewors. But it does not have the lounge and bathroom glass-and-brick annex of the other trailers. Instead it hosts a large Victorian bath in the sleeping quarters (but a private W.C.)The attention to detail is something to explore for yourself and I will not spoil your fun.

I used the Saturday morning to taste wine at the two largest estates in the area, Oak Valley and Paul Cluver, before sampling the organic salads at Fresh, with most ingredients straight from the thriving fruit and vegetable garden surrounding this slow food restaurant. The nursery of Oak Valley, who is also the supplier of cut flowers to Woolworths, can be toured by prior arrangement.

A friend joined me during the run of the Saturday afternoon for a cabaret at the nearby Paul Cluver forest theatre. This is an experience in itself and I highly recommend planning your stay at the trailer park to coincide with one of the amphitheatre’s concerts. Just take care to drive back slowly, as you are bound to encounter a few frogs crossing the road on those perfect summer nights.

Old Mac Daddy pool area

Colleagues who had stayed at the Old Mac Daddy before warned me that there is not that much to do, but that they found it a great place to relax. I was not bored for one second. The Lebanon Mountain Bike trail runs right next to the trailer park and I explored parts of the route on foot. (There are mountain bikes to rent from the Old Mac Daddy or you can bring your own.) The colourful bee hives against a back-drop of tranquil farm dams below are picture perfect. And good news for the eco conscious: through the planting of 3,500 indigenous plants Old Mac Daddy is luring honey bees and birds back to the previously eroding pine slopes. There are plenty of places to swim, from the lodge’s own child-friendly pool to the large clay dam just down the road (reception will give you directions). The library is extensive, internet access free and the bar will serve you champagne late into the night.

The playfulness of this place really rejuvenates. I can especially recommend it to families with small children or someone who enjoys the quirky and unexpected.

Review by: Lizelle Steyn, independent traveller