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.

Holden Manz Wine Estate

Francois talks about their trip to Holden Manz

Holden Manz wine estate is located above the Franschhoek valley overlooked by magnificent mountains which stand guard over the beautiful valley below. Situated between the Franschhoek and Stony Brook rivers, this 22 hectares wine estate, with its fertile and dark loam soils, produces superb wines in a state-of-the-art cellar.

Klein Collection: How far is  HOLDEN MANZ from Cape Town?

Francois: About 60 km, located on a working wine farm in the scenic Franschhoek valley.

Klein Collection: What made you decide to stay at  HOLDEN MANZ?

Francois: I read about Holden Manz in a local newspaper and wanted to experience this new product.

Klein Collection: What was your first impression of  HOLDEN MANZ on arrival?

Francois: Beautiful surroundings, private country house and warm welcoming staff awaiting our arrival.

Klein Collection: What was the service like?

Francois: The service is very personalised and between Collette and Lamec on duty a ‘butler service’ comes to mind. Nothing was an issue for them.

Klein Collection: Is it child friendly?

Francois: Yes, the owners of Holden Manz have a child themselves and the homestead itself is child friendly.

Klein Collection: What activities are offered at  HOLDEN MANZ?

Francois: Other than relaxing at the villa, there also is a wine cellar open for wine tastings, a top-end restaurant with a leading South African chef (Cheyne Morrisby), open spaces and fresh air to enjoy.

Klein Collection: What was the food like?

Klein Collection: The afternoon tea after our check-in was a special touch. Breakfast was faultless and Lamec really can make any breakfast order. The restaurant’s food was impeccable and we had a private dinner in front of the large fireplace. (I can highly recommend the fillet!)

Klein Collection: What was the highlight of your stay at  HOLDEN MANZ?

Francois: Warm hospitality from our hosts (Collette and Lamec) and extraordinary art pieces throughout the country house. The food was also very good.

Klein Collection: What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois: You will be looked after – very personalised service.

Klein Collection: Who is  HOLDEN MANZ ideal for?

Francois: Discerning travellers enjoying personalised services. Holden Manz is also perfect for weddings.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  4
Décor  5
Attention to detail  4
Value for money  4

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

Grand Dédale Country House… is sophisticated farm living a myth?

I grew up on a fruit farm in Paarl and know that running a working farm is not necessarily a glamorous affair. Our breakaway to Grand Dédale was accordingly my opportunity to go back to my roots – but with added elegance and style as promised by the Grand Dedale brochure…

We were greeted with friendly smiles as we entered the grounds – Angelo & Tina Casu welcoming us with Cape Classique and canapés on the veranda.

Parisian influenced interior combined with true Cape Dutch architecture is Grand Dedale’s unique signature on this beautiful wine farm surrounded by the Wellington mountains.

The highlight though was yet to come: a five course dinner prepared by a private chef. It was truly a personalised culinary experience. For once, we weren’t in a rush to be anywhere. Indeed, we felt like royalty.

Being guests at Grand Dédale meant that we had access to the boutique wine cellar, and as a wine lover I must confess that the Doolhof wines are really top-end. We enjoyed the Shiraz with our dinner and I was very impressed with the character, maturity and smoothness.

We woke the next morning, went for a run around the estate, then swam in the lap pool and finally enjoyed breakfast. Yes, despite the delicious feast the night before, we managed to eat again.

Grand Dedale is the perfect place if you are looking for a private, secluded location, incredible service and attention to detail coupled with an unforgettable culinary experience.

Highly recommended for:

  • Honeymoon couples
  • Romantic weekend escapes
  • Husbands seeking to impress their wives (instantly gaining enough brownie points to last a year!)

Grand Dédale’s offering is what Klein Collection is about! So no, sophisticated farm living is clearly not a myth. And if it is, my wife and I will willingly pack our bags and move to the Land of Myths and Fables straight away!

– Review by Klein Collection co-founder, Francois Laurence

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If you’ve got any questions or would like to make an enquiry at Grand Dédale, please complete the form below:

South Hill – the perfect honeymoon escape in Elgin

South Hill Guest House, Elgin Valley

South Hill Guest House, Elgin Valley

Driving rain, icy cold and howling wind… not exactly ideal weather conditions when escaping to the countryside, right?

Wrong.

For my wife and I, we couldn’t ask for anything better. You see, we were heading off to South Hill Wine Estate in Elgin, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Yes, Elgin might be an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, but for us, the mere prospect of escaping into the country for a night away was good enough.

The pool at South Hill guest house

The pool at South Hill guest house

Although South Hill is rated only 3 stars, in many respects I think it deserves more. It features a guest house, restaurant and wedding venue, wine tasting facilities, art gallery and a honeymoon cottage. The whole guest house can be rented out by groups. Alternatively, guests can rent the rooms individually. It has four en-suite bedrooms downstairs (each with single basins as well as a separate bath and shower) and one extremely spacious en-suite attic room upstairs, which is probably better suited for children. The open-plan lounge and fully fitted kitchen downstairs is accessible to all guests. Guests can also make use of the wood-fired pizza oven on the outside entertainment area, as well as the large swimming pool.

However, we chose to spend the night at South Hill’s honeymoon cottage called the Pump House Suite… well, the two of us and our baby girl, who, I guess, was simply too young to be left with her grandparents.

Chané, Ester and Stephanus

Chané, Ester and Stephanus

The baby cot was already set up by the time we arrived. We immediately helped ourselves to tea and home-made ‘beskuit‘ (the Afrikaans word for rusks) with chunks of chocolate… simply delicious! The rain ceased momentarily, so we quickly ventured outside onto the wooden jetty. Here we listened to the sounds of wild geese as the sun cast long shadows over the farm dam. This was indeed a tranquil place.

Pump House interior

Pump House interior

Fortunately the miserable weather outside was more than compensated for by the cosy interior inside the cottage. The Pump House suite features one en-suite bedroom with a lounge and a small kitchenette, all being open-plan (except for the bathroom). The lounge features a cute antique fireplace, but unfortunately it’s the type where you can’t see the actual fire (you close the metal door and then the heat eventually heats up the room). Large cushions are piled up next to the couches – very useful if you want to sit outside on the wooden jetty, perched over the farm dam. It is obvious that they definitely paid attention to the small details at South Hill: they have small lanterns for romantics who venture outside at night; a mini Weber barbecue for the tong-master aiming to impress his lady; an iPod docking station for music lovers; a chandelier suspended over the bath containing bath salts and candles; they even have a private jacuzzi outside by the suite’s braai area.

The bathroom at The Pumphouse at South Hill

The bathroom at The Pumphouse at South Hill

On that note, I tried to convince my wife that we should try out the jacuzzi. However, it was probably around 10 degrees celsius outside (probably even less than that if you consider the wind chill factor). Furthermore, neither of us thought of packing our swimming trunks. Needless to say, we gave it a pass. Admittedly, maybe self-inflicted pneumonia wouldn’t have been such a great idea after all. We opted for a candle-lit bath instead – a luxury seldom enjoyed in our own home, thanks to our two (very) high octane 3- and 5-year old boys! And thanks to the iPod docking station in the room, were were able to listen to our favourite music whilst doing so.

South Hill's Restaurant

South Hill's Restaurant

The kitchenette has a coffee machine, microwave oven, electric hob, toaster, rusks, fresh milk in the minibar fridge, cutlery, crockery and a sink, dishwashing liquid and other necessities. The facilities are self-catering, but if guests prefer, they can request breakfasts, provided that they inform management in advance. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, so bear that in mind if you need to enjoy lunch.

My wife and I both fell in love with South Hill, and hopefully we will be back soon. I think summers must be equally enjoyable here. And who knows? If it’s not too hot, next time I might even be able to convince my wife to join me in the the jacuzzi. That’s if the honeymooners who will eventually discover this romantic hideaway didn’t book the cottage before I did…

Need more information? Visit South Hill on Klein Collection’s website to view more property details, images and rates.

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.