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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Bartholomeus Klip: Romantic farmhouse with the finest food

Situated on a Swartland working farm in the Riebeeck Valley, Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse knows all about the rhythms of life. Green wheat on the land waves us in along the dirt track to the graceful Victorian main house where the bleating sounds of the season’s first sheep shearing can still be heard. Vicky, Joyce and Emma are immediately at our sides to carry our luggage to a romantic en-suite room with wooden floors and stylish décor. For the rest of our stay all we have to do is slot into the tried and tested routine of this wonderful place and allow the staff of Bartholomeus Klip to spoil us into complete submission to the leisurely pace of a holiday here.

Perhaps a description of a typical day at the farmhouse will give you an idea why so many guests stay here for more than a week. Check-in is from 3pm, but instead of hanging around at a reception desk, you are invited to a high tea feast of scones, savoury tarts and canapés, and absolutely irresistible cakes in the elegant lounge area.

As soon as all guests are sufficiently fortified, it is time to hop onto the ranger’s truck for the afternoon game drive on the 10 000 acre conservation area, which is home to many different species of buck, buffaloes, wild ostriches, blue cranes and other interesting birds. The sweeping Swartland landscape is particularly atmospheric in the last light of day.

Upon your return, the old fireplace is lit, and you are greeted with sparkling wine and more snacks (believe it or not). And as you sneak back to your room to freshen up for dinner, a beautiful decanter with sherry awaits. The service is always genuinely caring and one gets the impression that the staff will have a sleepless night should even only one guest fail to have a perfect stay.

Bartholomeus Klip is part of the Good Cooks Association. So, it should be no surprise that the Farmhouse seizes the four-course dinner as the perfect opportunity to really show off the chef’s cooking flair. The style is predominantly French with mostly local produce and recommended local wines to match. The candle-lit dining room truly is the heart of Bartholomeus Klip.

From about 7:30 the next morning coffee, tea and muffins are waiting for you in the lounge area, if you want to quickly grab something before the morning game drive. But there is nothing rushed about the 10am brunch. Use this multi-course meal to ease into the day, while you watch the finches outside energetically compete to build the most spectacular nest to attract a mate.

Until the cycle starts again with afternoon tea, there is a lake-sized dam to walk around, kayak on, or fly-fish from (they provide all the equipment). You could ask the farm workers to show you how they shear the sheep or set off on your own, searching for the endangered geometric tortoises on the estate. The Farmhouse also provides mountain bikes for enthusiastic cyclists. But most of all they encourage you to just sit on the veranda and appreciate the sounds and shapes of the beautiful garden with its old olive trees. This is the place to completely unwind and leave from refreshed.

– Independent review by Klein Companion, Lizelle Steyn

Learn more about Bartholomeus Klip or watch our video review below.

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