Sometimes in life, you just need to find a retreat to escape to that gives you the time and serenity to put your modern-day, hectic lifestyle into perspective. I often find it refreshing to immerse myself in the beauty of mother-nature, reminding me of how small I actually am, and the Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse in Hermon on the Western Cape of South Africa offers you just that opportunity.
Just over an hour away from Cape Town, this Victorian farmhouse sits amidst a breathtaking and calming backdrop of mountains and farmland with the 11,000 acre Elandsberg nature reserve right on your doorstep as well as wheat and sheep farming quietly carrying on alongside. The farmhouse has been restored to the highest standards of comfort and decorated by the owners, working with a well-known interior designer from Cape Town. The farmhouse itself operates as a luxurious country-style, yet very elegant guest house with three sitting rooms (which have lovely, open crackling fires in the winter months) and a light and airy conservatory-style dining room. The accommodation comprises of four individually and beautifully decorated double guest rooms as well as the separate Orchid Suite with its own secluded verandah looking over the veld. All the fresh, light and airy guestrooms are decorated with sophisticated floral fabrics and antique furnishings and have their own Victorian-style bathrooms with bespoke-made toiletries. A large shady verandah wraps itself around the main house with views over extensive gardens filled with enchanting old oak trees and quiet corners for reading or relaxing and there’s also a large salt-water swimming pool and deck with wonderful views up to the mountains.
If you’d rather travel with friends or family you can rent Wild Olive House which features an open-plan sitting room, dining room and kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms or Wild Olive Cottage with its double bedroom, bathroom, private sitting room and terrace which looks out over the reserve and mountains. Both of these can be hired on a self-catering or full-board basis and altogether seven people can be accommodated (children are very welcome). Wild Olive House also has its own swimming pool and leafy verandah. In addition to the three properties there is another separate building down by the lake which can also be hired as a venue for scenic weddings and conferences.
Bartholomeus Klip is famous for its food, which is generous, imaginative and beautifully presented (be prepared to put on a few pounds!). The delicious creations are the work of resident head chef, Louise Gillett who has worked in some of the top restaurants in South Africa and the UK. Unless you choose to self-cater, all stays include: breakfast in the conservatory enjoying the morning sunshine, early morning tea and coffee, mid-morning brunch, high tea with a delicious array of sweet and savoury choices, four-course gourmet dinners with romantic candle lighting as well as snacks and drinks – what more could you ask for?
Activities at Bartholomeus Klip include complimentary game drives in the morning and evening through the natural fynbos veld, where antelope, sheep, buffalo and a variety of birdlife can be seen as well as the wonderful tortoise breeding project. Alternatively guests can go on walks and bike rides or try canoeing and fly-fishing on the lake. There are also plenty of nearby attractions to visit such as: Tulbagh, Riebeek Kasteel, Wellington, Franschhoek and the wineries of the Swartland, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Bartholomeus Klip is also very proud to look after the environment with over 850 plant species and a spectacular diversity of flowers and plants, many of which are endemic to the area and exist nowhere else in the world.
Whether you’re a couple, family, foodie, wine lover, nature-lover, fan of the outdoors, or simply interested in farming, the romantic and supremely comfortable Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse with its warm and friendly hospitality and idyllic location really has something for everyone.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.