MANY wine estates and farms in the Western Cape have old manor houses. Some you can visit, usually with limited access, but at Weltevreden in Stellenbosch, you can spend a night or three in one which has been proclaimed a national monument.
The first title deed of the property is dated March, 1692. The cellar was built in 1804 and the homestead in 1812 by Deborah Retief, sister of the Voortrekker leader Piet Retief. The property was declared a national monument in 1975.
Weltevreden is unusual for Stellenbosch in that it does not produce wine. It does, however, have a tasting room in which you can sample fine wines from the region. It adjoins the restaurant, and between these two spaces you can marvel at owner Andre Bezuidenhout’s collection of memorabilia from the motorsport, boxing and rock ‘n’ roll worlds.
In the manor house, where the Bezuidenhouts live, is the executive suite on the ground floor, with further accommodations on the upper level. There is a glorious four-poster bed, a wall lined with books, and beautiful artworks. Christo Coetzee, Frances Bacon, Otto Landsberg and Zerk de Villiers feature prominently in the extensive collection, some of which can be seen in the manor house. Sculptures are dotted around the gardens and along the little stream that runs through the property, which you can discover as you take a leisurely stroll.
The en-suite bathroom of the executive suite is about the size of my lounge at home, and equally beautifully decorated. With no television or telephone in the room, it’s the perfect tranquil country getaway. After having a lovely lunch in the restaurant I was able to relax and unwind with my book and long naps. The next morning, a tray with a pot of tea was delivered to my door, before I checked out and headed into Stellenbosch – the town is about five minutes away – for breakfast at Meraki, which is owned by Corlandi Bezuidenhout, who also creates the most gorgeous cakes for her online shop called Blush Bakery. See more in the News Room.
For day visits, Weltevreden is child-friendly with a huge outdoor playground dedicated to their fun – set slightly away from the restaurant seating but close enough for parents to keep an eye on their offspring.
For more information call 021 889 6588 or go to weltevredenestate.com
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN