CLOS MALVERNE Wine Estate in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch is offering a fabulous Lifestyle Package all the way through to September 22. It normally runs from April to September but as tourism gets on the road to recovery, this special deal should have you packing your bags as soon as possible.
For R4380 for two, you get two nights’ accommodation plus breakfast, lunch with wine, a one-hour Swedish massage each, and three bottles of Clos Malverne wine. The estate is about 8km from the centre of Stellenbosch, which is really buzzing right now with new restaurants like Post & Pepper, Meraki, The Wine Glass and Rykaart’s. I’ll be doing stories about all those in the next couple of weeks for Daily Maverick, and here. Plus there are loads of wine bars popping up in town if you don’t have time to drive out to the farms. With Clos Malverne’s wine and ice cream pairing, plus all the relaxation time, suddenly two nights seem like they might not be enough.
There are six rooms in the accommodation unit which is literally in the vineyards. On my first morning, the workers were moving swiftly through them, picking Shiraz on my doorstep. There’s a pool too. The main buildings are a short (slightly uphill) walk through more vineyards, which is very pleasant if it’s not too hot. Take a parasol.
It’s up there at the restaurant that you’ll have your breakfast – a choice of Continental, or full English. That plate of bacon, eggs, wors, tomatoes and mushrooms plus two thick slices of toast, juice and tea or coffee, will lay a good foundation for the day. The Swedish massage was heavenly, and Janine perfectly understood my preferred pressure, something which is so often a struggle to communicate. Some people I know love it when the therapist really gets in there with all her strength, but I prefer not to be in more pain afterwards than I was before.
We had limited time for lunch so I put the order in at breakfast time and it all went smoothly, with excellent service. My friend had the line fish (silver fish) with crushed baby potatoes, caper and parsley butter, sugar snaps and sauce vierge; mine was seared Norwegian salmon with miso-glazed fondant potatoes, broccoli, coriander cream, pickled ginger, radish and teriyaki. I do so love those Asian flavours.
For dessert I had chilled chocolate parfait with salted caramel, banana mousse and caramelised bananas which was marvellous, and my friend chose the summer berries with white chocolate crémeux, meringue shards and coconut ice cream. I observed it looked like an excellent breakfast, and she agreed as she scooped the last delicious mouthful.
After that, it was a strenuous afternoon spent at the pool, reading (A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles, quite possibly one of the loveliest books of which I’ve had the pleasure), drinking wine and passing the time until the next meal, which was a cheese and charcuterie platter from the restaurant (not included in the special), which was just right for snacking as the sun set in one of its riotous displays. It had rained earlier in the day; it was not cold (hence the pool) but those clouds provided splendid beauty until darkness fell and nature’s night symphony began under the soft light of the quarter moon.
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©