A farm for all seasons.
What started as a humble working farm in 1685, Bos en dal (Dutch for bush and dale) has evolved into one of the leading hospitality destinations in the Cape Winelands, famous for its scrupulous farm-to-table food, superb wines and generous country hospitality.
The past decade has seen the farm refining and reinventing its offering (having been purchased by a South African consortium from international investors in 2012), yet its rich agricultural heritage remains at its core, informing every aspect of farm life and creating an inimitably authentic guest experience.
Perfectly positioned between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Boschendal’s spectacular setting acts as a springboard from which visitors can enjoy the string of pleasurable pursuits on offer – from superb food and wine to scenic accommodation and a wide variety of outdoor activities.
These are the 10 reasons we love Boschendal.
Have you visited the farm lately? We’d love to hear about your experience(s) in the comments below.
Please note Boschendal is a cashless destination; the estate does accept payments by card, Zapper and Snapscan.
The Werf Restaurant
Housed in Boschendal’s original cellar, The Werf Restaurant is a paean to the seasons where chef Allistaire Lawrence and his team use the the almost-2 000-hectare estate as their open-air pantry, plucking whatever is in bloom (whether it’s juicy stone fruit from the orchards or sun-ripened tomatoes from the garden) to create utterly delicious plates. Here the words “organic”, “farm-to-table” and “pasture-reared” are not merely buzzwords; but the ethos underpinning the restaurant’s culinary offering.
Recognising the need for a more accessible, less formal, dining experience, Allistaire has evolved The Werf’s multi-course fine-dining offering into a relaxed “small plate” experience, tapping into a wellspring of desire for family, food and reconnection.
Slivers of aged Angus sirloin arrive perfectly cooked, plated with tender baby onions and silky beef jus. Light potato gnocchi is the perfect partner to garden-fresh cauliflower, while the rich meatiness of a free-range pork terrine is neatly balanced by piquant apple and kohlrabi salad.
Add textured interiors (which reflect the soil-to-fork approach), magnificent garden and mountain views through stacking glass doors that bathe the restaurant in natural light and fresh air, excellent service and superb wine, and you have a dining experience worthy of A Year in Provence.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Contact 021 870 4274, email@example.com
Book through DinePlan
Some would say the true magic of Boschendal is revealed at night when the day’s activities grind to a halt and the starlit sky spreads a blanket of silent splendour over the working farm.
Should you wish to experience this and spend the night on the estate, Boschendal’s accommodation options range from elegant garden suites to family-friendly self-catering cottages and even a pet-friendly spot.
Looking for a special-occasion bolthole? The six-bedroom Mountain Villa or Herbert Baker-designed Cottage 1685 might be it. And the best part about all of these? You need not drag all your groceries with you, as there are two restaurants, picnics (during summer) as well as a farm shop and butchery, should you feel like slapping some chops on the braai.
MAKE A RESERVATION
SA Resident’s Accommodation Special The Bertha’s Retreat Cottages, conveniently positioned around 3.5km from the main Werf, is currently running an unbeatable special for South African residents from now until end-December 2021, where kids under 12 years stay for free (when staying with adults)! Each of the 18 two-bedroom units blends contemporary finishes with rural charm, ideal for family stay.
MAKE A RESERVATION
The Tree House
When it comes to kids’ clubs, The Outdoor Experience at The Tree House would give some of the swankiest resorts in Mauritius a run for their money! Not only does it provide grown-ups the opportunity to enjoy all the sensory pursuits on offer, it’s a wonderfully immersive setup where children (aged 5 to 14 years) can enjoy a range of farm experiences.
Like the rest of the estate, the sustainability motif underpins the entire offering, from the activities and snacks to the furnishings. Children will enjoy foraging for fruit and learning the art of fire making (then braaiing marshmallows afterwards) as well as a host of other games and activities.
View the programme for the Outdoor Experience
The Outdoor Experience at the Tree House is available to in-house guests and visitors but must be pre-booked as there are 10 only spaces per slot. The Experience boasts two-hour morning, mid-day and afternoon slots. Children need to bring a backpack with their own water bottle, snacks and a change of clothes.
Day visitors to the farm can make use of the outdoor Tree House play area, which includes an oversized acorn-shaped treehouse hideout, slides, walkways, platforms, mushroom pods and pyramids as well as a pump track. The Tree House, however, is not supervised by minders, so parents need to keep an eye on their children.
Times Monday – Sunday, 10.15am – 4.15pm
Cost Free (The Tree House play area)
R550 (Kids Outdoor Experience, full day, day visitors)
R175 per child for the lunch slot (Kids Outdoor Experience, full day, in-house guests)
Contact 021 870 4210, firstname.lastname@example.org
Caring for the land, and celebrating the produce it provides, is the thread running through every aspect of the Boschendal experience. Across the estate, from agriculture to hospitality, the focus is constantly on inspiring and pioneering new ways to live sustainably; ways that foster healthier ecosystems and develop all the communities who call this corner of the Cape Winelands their home.
Those keen to learn more about this sustainable approach should sign up for a farm tour, during which a local guide walks you through the Food Garden, Werf precinct, surrounding farmlands and model farm, explaining the history of the farm, and the regenerative farming practices and sustainable gardening on display.
And, of course, when you’re dining at The Werf or The Deli, rest assured everything on your plate has been sourced from the surrounding farmlands – from the free-range chickens and pasture-reared Angus cows to the fresh herbs and vegetables.
Good to know 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) – the only higher animal welfare certification in South Africa.
The buzzy night market
During spring and summer, visitors have an opportunity to experience the magic of Boschendal at night – at the weekly Friday Night Market in the Werf precinct. Live music, craft stalls and a wonderful array of artisanal food and drink vendors (pizza, burgers, braaied meat, baked goods, wine, cocktails) set the scene for a fun and festive night out with family and friends.
The fun continues on Saturday and Sunday mornings, where visitors to the estate can – cup of coffee and pastry in hand – shop for artisanal homeware, fresh produce and pantry treats under the oaks outside the Farm Shop.
Opening times Friday, 6pm – 9pm
Saturday + Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Contact 021 870 4200
Wine-tasting with a view
Dating back to 1685, Boschendal’s rich agricultural heritage is palpable throughout the estate, with its rambling fruit orchards, massive herb and vegetable gardens and rolling vineyards yielding fresh and delicious bounty season after season.
The Werf Restaurant’s outside area is the estate’s most popular wine-tasting spot with its long tables set under towering oak trees. Here, you can enjoy a variety of tasting options, as well as a selection of farm-to-fork cheese and charcuterie plates – and even oysters!
Good to know If you’d prefer, opt for your wine-tasting at The Werf Wine Bar (inside) or Cellar Door on the opposite end of the estate, next to the rose garden and Manor House. The Cellar Door is only open in the winter on Saturdays and Sundays.
Cost R350 (Premium Tasting: 5 wines)
R180 (CC Tasting: 4 variations)
R105 (Red Wine Tasting: 4 wines)
R90 (1685 Range Tasting: 5 wines)
R85 (White Wine Tasting: 4 wines)
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (last seating at 4pm)
Contact 021 870 4210, email@example.com
Book through DinePlan
The Farm Shop + Butchery
Stocked to the rafters with fresh produce, pantry staples and exquisite home decor, Boschendal’s farm shop is one of the most beautifully merchandised we’ve seen. Stock up on grass-fed Black Angus beef, forest-raised Duroc pork, pre-packed biltong, droëwors and charcuterie, organic vegetables, freshly baked bread and pastries, free-range eggs, homemade preserves and cheeses, herbs, honey and the estate’s range of top-drawer wines for enjoyment in your farm cottage, or at home.
Insider tip We’ve fallen for Botega’s black ceramic crockery made exclusively for and available only at Boschendal – beautiful to look at and even better to eat and drink from. Another item you won’t find anywhere else is their oak and olive-wood chopping board made on the farm.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Dreamy picnics under towering trees
Under the trees of the Pavilion lawn, the picnic spot at Boschendal is a relaxing setting, with picnic chairs, blankets and loads of space to enjoy a delicious alfresco feast. In each hamper, you’ll find pâtés, fresh baguettes, a seasonal garden salad, cold meats, cheese, preserves and a baked treat, all made fresh on the farm by Boschendal’s team of bakers, butchers and chefs. There are vegetarian and kiddies’ baskets available, too.
Opening times Thursday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm (from August 2021, weather-permitting)
Cost R550 (basket for 2)
R135 (kids’ basket, children 3 – 10 years)
Contact 021 870 4273, firstname.lastname@example.org
Book through DinePlan
MTB + running + hiking trails
There is certainly no shortage of opportunities to work up an appetite at Boschendal. Stretched across 1 800 hectares, the estate is surrounded by mountains and farmlands, where world-class mountain-biking, running and horse-riding trails have been created for all levels of experience and skill.
Mountain-biking The five marked routes begin just before the Rhodes Avenue security gate – Yellow (4km), Green (9km), Blue (11km), Red (15km) and Black (23km) – and snake their way through a well-maintained single trail, Jeep track and section of farm road. It’s advisable to check availability of rental bikes with the activity team before you arrive, as numbers are limited.
Running If running is your thing, you can choose between the 5km or 10km route. The friendly staff at the Trail Centre will tailor-make a farm adventure just for you.
Please note Trails are closed on rainy days as a safety precaution.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8am – 4pm
Saturday – Sunday, 7am – 4pm
Cost R60 MTB/ running day permit
R590 annual permit
R945 for two adults
R1 180 for a family of 4; R250 per additional family member
Dog-friendly? Yes, but on a leash on the walking and running trails only.
Contact 021 001 9401, email@example.com
Horse-riding If you’re looking for a more sedate way to explore the estate, the variety of trails and mounts caters to all experience levels. Riders should arrive at the Trail Centre 20 minutes before your booked time, where you’ll be required to sign an indemnity form. Booking in advance is recommended, and the minimum age is seven years.
Opening times Novice riders: Monday – Sunday, 10am – 11am; 2pm – 3pm
Experienced riders: Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 1pm; 4pm – 5pm
Pony rides at Werf Picnic area: Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Cost R450 (one hour)
R50 (pony rides, children 4 – 7 years)
Contact 021 870 4211, firstname.lastname@example.org
An events venue for any occasion
Whether you’re looking to host an intimate wedding, corporate gathering or a girls’ get-together, Boschendal offers a variety of venues where you can host your ideal gathering. The heart of the estate’s event offering is The Olive Press, a purpose-built events venue set alongside the historic Werf precinct. Able to accommodate up to 200 guests, this elegant function space opens onto a wide private lawn and garden set against the backdrop of the Drakenstein Mountains.
Under the leadership of Allistaire Lawrence, the talented brigade of chefs will custom-create a menu to fit the style, size and budget of any event.
In addition to The Olive Press, the estate’s landmark rose gardens, historic manor houses and oak-lined avenues offer dreamy destinations for events, celebrations and parties. The Werf restaurant can also be booked on an exclusive-use basis.
Contact 021 870 4223/40, email@example.com
Where to find it Boschendal, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek
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