Bartholomeus Klip: Exceptional Hospitality at a Farmstead in the Riebeek Valley

Bartholomeus Klip: Exceptional Hospitality at a Farmstead in the Riebeek Valley

Fit for royalty, this farmhouse in the Elandsberg Nature Reserve is drenched in history.

Like a scene straight out of The Crown, Bartholomeus Klip (or BK as it is affectionately known) is a charming Victorian-era homestead situated on a working wheat and sheep farm amid the 10 000-hectare Elandsberg Nature Reserve. In addition to a vast farm dam, a boathouse chockful of watersports gear, a waterside restaurant and endless access to nature, each of the three accommodation offerings is home to a magnificent garden planted with rose bushes, bougainvillaea, clivia, hydrangea, plumbago, daffodils, heartsease, forget-me-nots, and more.

Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse Wellington

We visited during the pandemic and even though the restaurant was closed, and human contact was kept to a minimum, we were met by an overarching sense of warmth and largesse. General manager Lesley Gillett, who’s been with the property for 21 years, ensured that the house was stocked with all the basics, and more: good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, Bean There filter coffee, in addition to a tray of Nespresso pods and two varieties of home-baked melt-in-your-mouth rusks.

A highlight of our stay was returning to our cottage after a morning spent canoeing, swimming and SUPing to find a delectable afternoon tea spread of freshly baked scones and the hugest (and most delicious) lemon meringue pie we’ve ever encountered, courtesy of in-house chef Louise Gillett (Lesley’s twin sister).

About the farm

Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse Setting

The Parker family, who have owned Bartholomeus Klip for more than 85 years (they bought it from a friend in 1936), are passionate conservationists and environmentalists. As such, the property has a firm focus on responsible tourism, commitment to the environment and community care, with the owners (and Elandsberg Game Reserve as a whole) leading efforts towards all aspects of social and environmental upliftment.

Fans of the Netflix series The Crown may or may not know that episode 2 of the first season was filmed at Bartholomeus Klip – which offers some indication of what’s on offer at this magnificent property: wide-open spaces, beautifully appointed cottages and gardens worthy of Anne of Green Gables.

Bartholomeus Klip Wellington

On an early-morning run, we stumbled upon an epitaph to Reginald Park (grandfather of current owner, Duncan), which captures the spirit of Bartholomeus Klip: “Let the land speak,” it reads – a powerful commitment to preserving the environment.

The lodgings

There are three accommodation offerings: The Farmhouse (exuding old-world charm with its antique furniture, lofty proportions and plush furnishings and upholstery); Wild Olive House (a self-catering cottage, perfect for private getaways with family or friends); and Heron House (the latest addition, ideal for larger groups as it sleeps up to 12 adults).

The Farmhouse

Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse Exterior
Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse Interiors
Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse Lodging
  • four en-suite double bedrooms with a bath and shower
  • one separate suite outside sleeping two
  • spacious lounge with an indoor fireplace
  • wrap-around verandah overlooking the garden
  • four-course dinner
  • afternoon tea
  • snacks and sundowners
  • early-morning coffee and pastries
  • two daily nature drives
  • use of mountain bikes, canoes and other facilities
  • complimentary wifi
  • Nespresso machine

Child friendly? No
Pet-friendly? No
Cost From R2 600 per person per night

Wild Olive House

Bartholomeus Klip Wild Olive House
Bartholomeus Klip Wild Olive House Living Room
Bartholomeus Klip Wild Olive House Bedroom
  • two bedrooms with separate bathrooms and a room with bunk beds
  • an adjoining cottage that sleeps two
  • fully equipped kitchen
  • large shaded verandah
  • private garden
  • swimming pool
  • outdoor braai
  • use of mountain bikes, canoes and other facilities
  • complimentary wifi
  • Nespresso machine
  • pantry orders can be made via the online ordering system to stock the fridge prior to arrival

Child friendly? Yes
Pet-friendly? No
Cost From R3 400 per night (sleeps 6 adults and 2 children)

Heron House

Bartholomeus Klip Heron House
Bartholomeus Klip Heron House Living Room
Bartholomeus Klip Heron House Bedroom

The latest addition to Bartholomeus Klip, Heron House is ideal for larger groups (it sleeps up to 12 adults) on a self-catering basis. The verandah, with its pool, outdoor seating area and braai facilities, boasts exquisite views of the farm and is perfect for effortless entertaining.

  • five en-suite bedrooms with a bath and shower, and a loft area with a double sleeper couch
  • fully equipped kitchen
  • large shaded verandah
  • private garden with outdoor seating area
  • swimming pool
  • outdoor braai
  • use of mountain bikes, canoes and other facilities
  • complimentary wifi
  • Nespresso machine
  • pantry orders can be made via the online ordering system to stock the fridge prior to arrival

Child friendly? Yes
Pet-friendly? No
Cost From R5 088 per night (sleeps 12)

The Restaurant at Bartholomeus Klip

Bartholomeus Klip Restaurant

Bartholomeus Klip is known for its food. Helmed by chef Louise Gillett, who has been at the farm for 19 years, the waterside restaurant serves honest-to-goodness, seasonally driven meals to guests and day visitors alike. Booking is essential.

View the menu

A reservoir of activities

Bartholomeus Klip Activities

While relaxation might be at the top of your list when you choose to stay at Bartholomeus Klip,  there’s a surprising selection of activities you will want to take advantage of.

  • swimming in the dam and pools
  • guided nature drives
  • meet the quaggas
  • visit the endangered tortoise sanctuary
  • mountain biking
  • hiking
  • fishing
  • canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing
  • farm tours
  • day visits with guided nature drives

Bartholomeus Klip ticks all the boxes for an authentic farm stay that’s not too far from Cape Town.

Distance from Cape Town 1.5 hours
Where to find it Elandsberg Farms, Bo Hermon Road, Hermon
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