Boschendal- A Farm Stay for Wine Lovers & Their Kiddos
The terms kid-friendly and wine tasting may not exactly go hand-in-hand. Yet in the areas of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, namely The Winelands of South Africa, families will find farms and wineries where they can experience the best of both worlds. Yes, your can go wine tasting and bring the kids too!
Founded in 1685, Boschendal Estate is the quintessential example of farm life and fine wines in the Western Cape. Book a luxurious farm stay in one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa. At Boschendal, guests can explore the original Cape Dutch manor house, enjoy wine tasting venues and farm-to table restaurants and work up a sweat on the hiking and biking trails throughout the property, all while the little ones partake in an impressive educational outdoor farm program. It’s an adventure that checks all the right boxes for every member of the family.
Farm Chic Guestrooms
Nestled at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountain, approximately a 45-minute drive from Cape Town, Boschendal Estate offers a large selection of sumptuous accommodations. The idyllic farm chic guestrooms range from the Werf Suites situated by the historic Werf area, to the 1-4 bedroom Orchard Cottages set among the Boschendal fruit orchards, to the larger, more exclusive Cottage 1685 and Mountain Villa. Stylish, simple and outrageously comfortable, all of the accommodations have an air of authentic farm living with a contemporary feel and gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.
My family and I were fortunate enough to experience a 4-bedroom Orchard Cottage, and it was wonderful. Outfitted with en-suite bathrooms for each bedroom, a sitting area with a TV, a kitchenette, outdoor dining area and a wood burning outdoor oven, these cottages are ideal for families. The Orchard Cottages boast expansive lawns where children can run freely, a large communal swimming pool and outdoor fire pit.
You can try their hand at a traditional South African BBQ, termed a braii, by picking up your favorite cuts of award-winning meats at the onsite Farm Shop & Butchery. Boschendal is the first farm in the Cape Winelands to be awarded the world-renowned environmental and animal welfare certification from A Greener World (AGW) for all of the meats grown and harvested on the farm. The Farm Shop also sells the farm’s produce, prepared meals and a variety of homeware crafted by local artisans.
Rather not cook while traveling? Not to worry, Boschendal offers a variety of culinary experiences and dining venues.
Eat & Drink at Boschendal
Sustainable eating is what best defines the cuisine at Boschendal. Much of what guests will taste during their visit is grown right on property or sourced from local farms, and menus change seasonally to ensure the freshest of ingredients are used for every dish. For dining with a view, guests should head to The Werf Restaurant, in the restored cellar of the original Manor House. Although the culinary options can be a bit rich, the ingredients are as farm-to-table as they come. At The Werf Restaurant, seating on the patio allows you to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner overlooking the expansive Werf Food Garden, with a breathtaking mountain backdrop. The oatmeal here was a huge breakfast hit for the little ones, while my husband and I loved the avocado toast. The sharing plate menu for lunch and dinner features ethically sourced Black Angus beef and forest-reared Duroc pork raised right at Boschendal.
The Deli offers a more casual option either under the oak trees in the center of the Werf area, or inside near the wood-burning fire. They serve an all-day farmer’s breakfast, salads, burgers and pastas for lunch, and amazing wood-fired pizzas for dinner.
Try something deliciously simple by booking a family picnic. The baskets include foods made from ingredients grown right on property, freshly baked breads, salads, charcuterie from the Boschendal Butchery and a desert. Guests can kick-back and enjoy their picnic on the Pavilion lawn, where children will also have access to the playground and bike track.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Cellar Door Wine Tasting. The Cellar Door is open on weekends and serves a large variety of Boschendal’s finest wines for tasting, which can be paired with delicious charcuterie boards, homemade spreads and freshly baked breads.
Staying Active on the Farm
Boschendal and the surrounding areas can easily be explored on foot, mountain bike or horseback. It offers world-class mountain biking, running and hiking trails for all levels, with bikes available for rent at the MTB Centre. Guests can also take a guided hike into Simonsberg or Drakenstein mountain for breathtaking views of the surrounding valley, or they can explore the area and the farm on a 1-hr guided horseback tour.
One of our favorite offerings on property, however, is The Treehouse, with the adjacent playground and MTB pump track. The Treehouse is a hands-on eco edutainment center for children to experience authentic farm life. Together with professional guides, children ages 5-14 participate in activities such as feeding the pigs, collecting eggs from the hen house, picking herbs and vegetables from the garden, all the while learning about permaculture and sustainability. They also have the opportunity to cook their own lunch over an outdoor fire, learn survival skills, such as shelter building and plant-based cures, and try their hand at African drumming.
During their breaks or at any point under adult supervision, children can enjoy the expansive playground built into the surrounding trees. With elevated walkways and platforms, mushroom pods and a variety of slides, there’s enough to keep kids exploring for hours. The MTB pump track is yet another great way for the little ones to try out mountain biking and burn off some energy.
The South African Winelands and Boschendal Estate can easily be a dream destination for the entire family. The combination of laid-back, yet luxurious accommodations, locally grown and sourced cuisine, some of South Africa’s most famous wines, outdoor activities galore, and exceptional offerings for children is simply the stuff that family vacations are made of.
For more information, visit boschendal.com.