Discover the joys of life in the orchards.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away… What about an entire apple farm, then? In the heart of the Elgin Valley, Cheverells Farm offers a wholesome, fresh-air escape just an hour from the city. The Boome family have been growing a variety of apple and pear cultivars for three generations, and recently started welcoming the public to their slice of paradise.
An old 1960s apple-packing shed has been transformed into an exquisite new venue for daytime dining, retail therapy and wellness. With soaring ceilings hung with basketry and large windows capturing the view, it’s a happy, light-filled space in which to savour the farm experience. There are tables outside on the shade-dappled verandah, too – all the better for enjoying the view and the fragrant breezes coming off the orchards.
At the Farm Café, chef Laura Truter’s menu celebrates the fresh, vibrant flavours of the region and is inspired by the seasonal abundance available on an apple farm. Whether breakfast, brunch or a lazy lunch, there’s something delicious and prettily plated to enjoy – from truffled mushroom scrambled eggs and a salmon poké bowl to gorgeous salads, a gourmet burger and farmer’s platter to share.
Naturally, the apples shine – homemade apple and sage sausages in the Full Shed breakfast, in the Bowl of Goodness with homemade granola, in all of the salads, and the delectable apple and frangipani tart. The Elgin Valley is also known for its wines, which feature on the wine list, along with local L-Gin apple-flavoured craft gin (mixed with freshly pressed apple, mint and ginger juice for the house cocktail).
The adjoining gift shop’s shelves are stocked with little luxuries and surprises, with a focus on supporting South African and African businesses and artisans. A range of sweet treats and bakes to be taken home also beckon. In addition, the glass greenhouse nursery is filled with a rainbow of flowers and house plants, along with stylish gardening tools and décor.
Above the café, a wellness studio offers weekly yoga classes with soul-soothing views over the orchards. The tranquil space, with its botanical-inspired murals, is also available for workshops and health retreats.
The Cheverells Farm Shed is also the perfect venue for a celebration or private function, as well as conferences and retreats. It’s ideal for a country-style wedding (up to 80 guests), with accommodation for 22 people on the farm.
Cheverells will take care of the furnishing, basic tableware and catering, which includes a wedding planner, bar staff, dance floor and back-up generator. Packages start from R65 000 (for up to 30 guests).
Whether it’s trees drooping with ripe fruit in summer, blossom-filled orchards in spring, or the starker beauty of winter, Cheverells Farm is a beautiful backdrop for outdoor activities – a leisurely walk, biking, fishing in the dam or picking your own fruit (from February to May; this must be pre-booked and for groups of 10 people minimum).
It’s understandable you might want to linger longer, in which case there are two self-catering, pet-friendly cottages beside a lily-filled dam. Named after apple cultivars, Kiku and Braeburn sport quilted bed covers, fresh flowers, fireplaces, ivy-covered stoeps and valley views to get lost in.
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