Never miss an opportunity to spend a few days in Stellenbosch


THERE is plenty of excellent advice I can dish out – I’m very good at it; not so much at taking it, mine or anyone else’s – but top of the list today this #travelTuesday is: never miss an opportunity to spend some time in Stellenbosch.

This is something I do actually follow as often as possible, and I always have a wonderful time, whether it’s revisiting favourite places (like Brampton Wine Studio for a glass of Old Vine Red and to draw badly with chalk on the tables) or discovering new ones, like The Green Goose Eatery.

The nice people at Stellenbosch Wine Routes put my itineraries together, and find me cool places to stay. This time it was Roosenwijn Guest House on the outskirts of the town centre. It’s a beautiful red brick building with white trim and broekie lace. It was built in 1904 but apparently a fire destroyed the archives and not much is known about its history. Poor Stellenbosch has had more than one devastating fire over the centuries, as well as floods, so you have to admire its residents of old for their tenacity and sticking it out instead of saying “screw this, we’re going back to Cape Town”. I learned this and other interesting historical facts, stories and trivia while on a walk/stroll with Johan Nepgen of Stellenbosch On Foot. He also does an art walk on the days when the galleries are open (we met on a Sunday which was also a public holiday).

Roosenwijn is super convenient if you want to explore the area without a car and the hassle of parking. It’s right next door to the Botanical Garden, and a free access card is included with your room key. I love this garden, which is small enough to see everything in one visit, but crammed with diverse plants – outdoors and in greenhouses. There’s a tea room as well, and a shop. All very pretty.

The guest house has a gracious olde worlde style; our room on the ground floor had high pressed ceilings, a four poster bed, great big heavy wooden furniture, creaky floors (while trying to tip toe to the loo in the middle of the night) and a bathroom with a deep claw-foot tub. The mod cons were taken care of with air con/heater, TV, tea and coffee vibes, heated towel rail, mini bar, Sweetie Pies on the pillows, and the extra thoughtful touch of a hot water bottle provided at bed time.

A lounge furnished with Art Deco chairs and couches, and a crackling fire first thing in the morning, adjoins the dining room where breakfast is served – the buffet as well as hot meals to order. You help yourself to the filter coffee, and paper cups are provided if you need a take-away. Maybe I even scuttled in there in my slippers to grab a mug to take back to bed…


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