Brookdale: An Elegant Country Retreat with Unbeatable Views in Paarl

Brookdale: An Elegant Country Retreat with Unbeatable Views in Paarl

A once-forgotten vineyard has blossomed into a tranquil, soul-filled guesthouse and private villa.

In a valley encircled by the Klein Drakenstein mountains, Brookdale Estate has come to life, offering guests the proverbial slice of heaven. It’s a place to slow down and enjoy the pastoral rhythms of the seasons, big African skies, birdsong and serenity. It’s also a rare opportunity to witness the blossoming of a wine estate, and to watch the passion, work and sense of adventure this involves.

When Tim Rudd bought 67 hectares of overgrown farmland in 2015, he set about removing alien vegetation and withered vines, planting over 2 000 trees, vegetable and indigenous gardens and rows of new vines. (He kept just one block of old-growth chenin, which by happy accident turned into the estate’s first wine, released in 2019, now a certified Old Vine.)

Brookdale Estate Manor House Paarl

Apart from its utterly spectacular setting (which is reason enough to visit), Brookdale is all about creature comforts and little luxuries. Husband-and-wife team Gary and Yvonne Coetzee, who have a wealth of hospitality experience (including working at Singita and for Sol Kerzner) are warm hosts (and consummate professionals), who effortlessly and elegantly create a personalised guest experience you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

The lodgings

Brookdale Estate Manor House Exterior

The Cape Dutch-style Manor House is the epitome of Winelands living. Within its whitewashed walls are two dining rooms, a private study, two lounges, a fitness room and a view-drenched kitchen, which comes with the services of a private chef (more about that later). The Manor House also has a pool house, and several courtyards and terraces from which to soak up the spectacular views.

The rooms are lofty, and elegantly dressed in a mix of contemporary and period furnishings, and a muted colour palette that does not detract from the breathtaking views of sprawling vines, flourishing orchards, undulating multi-hued hills and dramatic mountains from every single window.

Brookdale Estate Manor House Lounge
Brookdale Estate Manor House Dining Room
Brookdale Estate Manor House Bedroom
Brookdale Estate Manor House Suite
Brookdale Estate Manor House Bathroom

The six suites can be booked individually for a romantic getaway, or the entire house can be rented for exclusive use – a popular option for families, corporates or groups of friends travelling together.

  • 5 Manor House suites and 1 Vineyard room, sleeping 2 adults each
  • en-suite (bath and shower), plus a separate cloak room on the ground level
  • roll-away beds for 2 children under 12 years sharing the suite with their parents, plus a baby’s cot
  • 3 fireplaces
  • air-conditioning
  • smart TV in all suites
  • complimentary minibar, tea and coffee
  • tea and coffee station
  • daily breakfast

Five-star dining

Brookdale Estate Manor House Dining

Meals at Brookdale are exceptional – served in a different location each day. From the beautifully conceived and executed dishes to the superb service and impeccable setting, it’s the  kind of food we’d happily eat every day for the rest of our lives: healthy, flavourful, delicious, with ample variation and surprising ingredients to keep us rapt.

Brookdale Estate Manor House Food

On our first evening, we sat on the east terrace, overlooking the vegetable garden while Gary’s kitchen assistant, Charlene, plucked spinach and a crop of other greens for our shakshuka breakfast the following morning (which we enjoyed on the sun-dappled pool terrace). We started with “tomato water and Parmesan tuile” (a heavenly gazpacho that Gary described as a “guilt-free cheese and tomato sarmie”, followed by a charred-cauliflower risotto with pine nuts and truffle salsa. Then came the crispy duck breast, with sweet potato rounds, ending with a fillet, served with pea purée, broccoli and baby hasselback potato. As for the coffee crème with vanilla ice cream – sublime.

While you’re there

Brookdale Estate Manor House Swimming Pool

The estate offers a place to unwind, relax and simply just be, taking dips in the spectacular pool or snuggling up with a good book in one of the lounges or the hammock. Pampering in-room massages can be booked and, given the location, a hosted wine tasting of the estate’s two ranges, Brookdale and Mason Road, is a must. (Also in the pipeline is a restaurant and tasting lounge – but for now, wine tasting is a unique, private experience for guests in the Manor House.)

That said, there are many reasons to explore further – from rambles in the orchards or a tractor ride and picnic in the vineyards, to watching the working farm’s activities (whether at harvest time or the magic that happens in the cellar). There are also hiking, cycling, running and horse-riding trails through fynbos and along streams.

Brookdale Estate Manor House Garden

Beyond the gates lie the wine routes of Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Wellington, with myriad estates, restaurants, galleries and boutiques. There are also many nature trails and activities nearby, with Paarlberg Reserve being a locals’ favourite.

The pool terrace, with its generously proportioned and fully kitted out pool house, beckons on hot, lazy summer days – and is the only place to be at day’s end, enjoying the spectacular sunset, glass of wine in hand, as night falls magically over this enchanted estate.

Distance from CT 67km (50 mins)
Child friendly? Yes, ideal for families booking exclusive-use as a private villa.
Two additional children under 12 can be accommodated sharing with their parents
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes, free
Cost per room From R6 560
Where to find it Hawequa Bos Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl
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