IT had been a long, hard day in Stellenbosch, eating oysters and drinking bubbly…all my problems are first world ones, which in itself is a first world problem.
The wretched hangover brought on by another impromptu night of recklessly opening brilliant bottles of wine with my neighbour made the struggle even more real, although I must say those oysters at De Warenmarkt definitely helped. So by the time I arrived at L’Avenir I was ridiculously excited to check into my room at the Country Lodge, put on my PJs and climb into bed with my book.
The lodge has two Icon rooms with splash pool, garden and mountain views, four Platinum rooms which face the pool and garden, and five Classic rooms facing the garden. Mine was one of those overlooking the pool, from which the view also includes two dams, a fire pit, and the rolling lawns surrounding the tasting room. It had its own private veranda from which I could survey my surroundings.
A short hop, skip and jump away (although I was in no state for those particular movements) there is a lounge with a fire place, and the dining area where guests may have light meals on request, and of course breakfast served between the civilised hours of 8am and 10am.
The room itself is not huge but it was full of thoughtful creature comforts, like a pile of crunchies in a tiny bell jar on the desk, along with welcome notes and tasting room vouchers. L’Avenir wines are artfully displayed on the wall, and an honesty bar is implemented (in the lounge and the rooms). I do recommend you try the single block Glenrosé, which is utterly divine. It has a wonderful story behind it, which you can learn in the tasting room. Ask for Ryan, and tell him I sent you. He’s a gem. L’Avenir is famous for its pinotage, so have some that too.
All the bits and bobs one needs are supplied, including real Terbodore coffee and a plunger, and fresh milk on request. These are the things that impress me. The only thing I couldn’t find was the Do Not Disturb sign, but no one bothered me. I’m sure all the staff had been alerted as to my fragile status and gave me a suitably wide berth.
As Dean Martin said: “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” And so it is with hangovers; I rolled out of bed feeling as good as new and ready to take on the world. Being a small establishment, hot breakfasts are cooked to order – I could literally hear the bacon sizzling in the pan, which was enormously comforting. And there aren’t many people who can make scrambled eggs to my exacting standards, but whoever it was in that kitchen got it right.
For guests with more time (and stamina), there are vineyard walks or boules to fill the time, but lounging by the pool and drinking wine are perfectly acceptable pastimes. It all depends on whether you have a hangover or are working on one.
For more information about the farm, wine, or to book, click here.