Cape country houses are the stately homes of South Africa, set characteristically amid a sea of vineyard, curling gables etched on blue sky. Thatched roofs on sturdy whitewashed walls, spacious wood-panelled interiors and glorious gardens are the legacies of times past.
Designed in the Cape Dutch architectural style and dating from the early seventeenth century, most Cape Country houses are found in the winelands. An eighteenth-century Cape Dutch masterpiece, the farmhouse of Roggeland is a national monument. Ringed by the blue-purple Drakenstein mountains, Roggeland Country House is situated in the Dal Josaphat Valley, just north-east of the town of Paarl, an hour's drive from Cape Town and 45 minutes from the international airport.
An exclusive hotel with accommodation for 19 people at most, Roggeland provides a serious dose of pampering. The romantic atmosphere of Old Cape hospitality is enhanced by gleaming yellowood finishes, high ceilings, sophisticated yet cosy bedrooms and fresh flowers everywhere. Menus are inspired by the regional produce of Paarl and are stylish, innovative and utterly delicious. The vegetables and herbs are grown in Roggeland's own gardens.
Each of the spacious bedrooms has a unique character. the Melkkammer (milk room), for example, has a doorway paved with worn cobblestones adn retains an old slatted outer door. Every room has a large double bed, or optional twin beds, an en-suite bathroom and a terrace. All have 'riempe' reed ceilings and deep casement windows with wooden shutters. Hand made linen, down duvets and the gentle whirr of ceiling fans all conspire to bring about a deep and restful sleep. Rise as early or as late as you please to the aroma of fresh filter coffee.
Winelovers are perfectly placed to explore the winelands from Roggeland. Playing a game of golf, viewing a flock of 1000 flamingos at the bird sanctuary, horse riding, sightseeing on a steam train or picnicking on a scenic trail are just some of the other leisure options. Sun yourself next to the pool, visit the nearby rose farms or stroll through historic Paarl - one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The local lace, pottery, carpet weaving and art studios are sources for authentic African gifts. Roggeland is a springboard to the fascinating Cape, from here you could take off for winter whale watching in Hermanus or even a West Coast adventure to see bushman paintings and the blazing colours of semi-desert flowers in spring.
· Small and exclusive - 19 guests maximum
· House is flawless example of Cape Dutch architecture
· Perfectly placed for touring Winelands
· Swimming pool
· An hour from Cape Town
· Tariff includes dinner with wine, bed and breakfast
· All rooms have large double bed or optional twin beds, en-suite bathroom and terrace