You know when you head off for a weekend away and you arrive at night? It’s dark. The oh-so-important routine’s gone to pot, and exhaustion has turned your normally sweet, gorgeous munchkin into a living nightmare.
You don’t really think too much about where you are until you wake up the next day, and just before you open that curtain you’re like, ‘OK, is this going to be a good surprise or a bad surprise?’ Well, Wildekrans wasn’t a good surprise. It was a freakin’ awesome one!
Wildekrans is a boutique wine estate in the Bot River Valley about an hour and a bit out of Cape Town. Just far enough for an antsy toddler to manage if you time it right. We didn’t. Obviously.
It’s set on a blindingly beautiful 1000 hectares that makes you want to sell your belongings, pack in the city and grow the hair under your arms. OK, maybe not that far (it is a wine estate and not the caboots after all) but it does make you think that home schooling could actually be a possibility.
Their quaint cottages, originally farmworkers’ houses, offer two or three bedroom self-catering accommodation. We stayed in a three-bedroomed family-friendly cottage, which was simple, but left us wanting for very little. Its wooden-framed farm-style windows looked onto the winter-worn vines and the Heldeberg mountains beyond that.
The front door opened onto a ‘stoep’, which is shared by the neighbouring cottage. Ours had a fireplace on each side, but I did notice that some of the stoeps only had one, which I’m assuming guests have to share. If this is the case, I can image it could get awkward if you’re looking for a quiet night in and you’re paired with a bunch of rowdy wine-guzzlers like my family tend to be.
The ‘shared social space’ does, however, make it the perfect place for group getaways where you want to be close, but only when you want to be close if you know what I mean?
Interspersed between the cottages were bomas or fire pits. It’s a pity it rained during our stay, because if it hadn’t, inspired by the flickering flames and a bloody good Sav Blanc or three, the world’s problems would have been resolved and Angelina Jolie could finally retire out of the spotlight and give the rest of us a chance.
E hit the ground running, as he does, and fortunately there were heaps of places for his busy little legs to run to, from fields of bleating sheep, to a ’secret’ deck looking out over the flowing river.
The tasting room and restaurant (ironically called ‘Open,’ as it was closed) is framed by a large toddler-friendly grassy lawn, so you can enjoy the fruits of the farm, whilst your little people run wild. There is also a swimming pool, which kind of scares me.
Because if I come back in summer, I might actually never leave.
If I have one slight negative, the farm has a fair few dogs, which are fine individually. They’re not aggressive, but can be a bit boisterous when they’re all together. I found that to be quite stressful with a toddler on the loose. They also have the uncanny ability to appear when one is just about to sit down to a meal.
All in all, we had an amazing time. The staff were wonderful, the farm is exquisite and we were made to feel incredibly welcome. We’re already putting dates in the diary to go back with our mom group and little humans. So check it out. Before we move in and start a commune.
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Kate Royce is an advertising copywriter, co-founder of Mammas’ Meeting Place and adoring mother to little Ethan whom, she is convinced, is set to be the greatest adventurer and explorer the world has ever known. Her dad once described her as “having the ability to find beauty in the strangest places,” which she thinks is one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said about her.