Name: Bartholomeus Klip
Location: South Africa
Complete freedom, peace and tranquillity, beautiful surroundings… these requirements are usually at the top of everyone’s wish list when it comes to planning the perfect self-catering holiday. Set amid beautiful farmland with a stunning mountain backdrop, Bartholomeus Klip, located in Hermon on the Western Cape of South Africa, boasts all these attributes and more besides. And with the option to rent the charming Wild Olive House (located on the grounds) on a self-catering basis, groups of friends or families with children can enjoy everything this peaceful haven has to offer as well as luxury accommodation that’s all their own. Talk about the best of both worlds! British Airways offers direct flights from Heathrow to Cape Town. From there, it’s just over an hour’s easy drive to Bartholomeus Klip.
The perfect peaceful retreat, Bartholomeus Klip is a beautifully restored Victorian homestead within a private nature reserve and possesses a colourful history dating from the early 1700s through the Boer War to the present day. The area boasts a working farm and stunning landscapes as well as being ideally located for anyone wanting to explore the Cape Winelands and the picturesque Riebeek Valley. A place to relax and be at one with nature, this is nevertheless a luxurious guesthouse, with accommodation, service and cuisine all of a very high standard, having been honed to perfection over nearly twenty years of operation. In response to popular demand, Wild Olive House was opened in addition to the original farmhouse, to allow families and small groups the opportunity to enjoy self-catering holidays at Bartholomeus Klip.
Wild Olive House
Accommodation at Wild Olive House consists of two double bedrooms and one single – with bunk beds available upon request – and two bathrooms. There is also a spacious open plan sitting room and dining room and a fully fitted kitchen. Beautifully decorated in neutral tones with touches of blue, the house is light and airy throughout and has a feel of elegant simplicity about it. Outdoors, there is everything you could wish for on a relaxing family holiday, with your own garden, swimming pool, large shady veranda with outdoor dining furniture and comfortable seating, and facilities for “braaing” or barbecuing. The house also benefits from Wi-Fi, an iPod dock, a hairdryer, air-conditioning and fan, and underfloor heating and a fireplace should you choose to visit in the cooler months. It’s the perfect place for families with young children to enjoy a relaxing break, and equally a great choice for groups of friends travelling together.
One of the joys of self-catering is being able to suit yourself when it comes to mealtimes, but even so, it would be a shame to miss out on the highly acclaimed restaurant at the main farmhouse at Bartholomeus Klip when staying right on the doorstep! Run by experienced chef Louise Gillett, you can enjoy sunny brunches (served after the morning nature drive), candlelit dinners and impressive afternoon teas, which are something of a house speciality. Brunch offers just about everything you could wish for, including full English breakfasts, an array of fruit and cereals, cold meats, cheeses and freshly baked pastries with homemade preserves. Tea is served by the fire or on the veranda, depending on the season, and includes scones with jam and cream, mini quiches, sandwiches and wraps, pastries and show-stopping cakes. When it comes to dinner in the evening, think French cuisine with a local twist. Produce is sourced from as nearby as possible, and the wine is no exception, with a selection of the finest offerings from local vineyards to choose from.
Anyone could be forgiven for wanting to spend their days at Bartholomeus Klip lounging by the pool and taking in the magnificent scenery, but there’s plenty to get stuck into if you’re feeling a little more active, including walking or mountain biking through the nature reserve, trying your hand at archery, canoeing, kayaking, fishing or bird watching. Every morning and evening, rangers lead nature drives into the reserve, and these really are experiences not to be missed. You are sure to spot some fascinating wildlife, such as wildebeest, springbok or even a zebra, as well as some rare plants and stunning scenery. Riebeek Kasteel and Tulbagh are nearby and well worth a visit, as are the wineries of the Swartland, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
If you’re travelling as a family or with a group, Wild Olive House on the Batholomeus Klip estate is the ideal base from which to explore the Cape Winelands, get back to nature and simply relax in gorgeous surroundings.
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.