A cottage in the country, simple and cosy, inviting and nurturing; this is what we seek to break away from a hurried life between places you need to be and things you have to do. We’ve officially reached July and are more than halfway through the year, and we think we could all do with a little mid-year getaway to revitalise and realign for the rest of the year. Country cottages are the perfect place to unwind and escape, and South Africa has such fantastic diversity in terms of landscapes that cottage retreats can be found all over the country. Karoo cottages in the middle of wide open spaces, forest cabins tucked between the trees in the woods, seaside cottages that smell of sea salt and sunscreen, mountainside chalets, or perhaps a barn in the vineyards. We’re loving the variety!
First up is this endearing stone structure, complete with chimney and wooden window frames, and a ‘stoep’ for quiet afternoons watching nature go by. Fossil Hills Cottage is a working wine farm in the Breede Valley between Robertson and McGregor and it’s utterly adorable. Bring your bicycles and fishing rods and relax!
Views of valleys and ridges, black eagles soaring among the cliffs, the Kloof River flowing below, and misty prairies with low, swinging farm gates covered in moss. Cottage life is peaceful yet powerfully invigorating and at Porcupine Hills in the Western Cape’s Overberg mountains, there is little to keep you from delving right into the beautiful natural surroundings. Whether that be from your scenic stone patio, or your steaming outdoor shower, or from beneath the ancient oak trees. We’re in search of South Africa’s most irresistible cottage retreats, and we’ve just found one in the form of Porcupine Hills’ Eyrie House.
The best of both worlds in the Western Cape has to include a) the Winelands, and b) the mountains. Well, there are also the beaches and the valleys and the forests, so there is a lot to choose from, but if we’re looking for somewhere to switch off and indulge in nature’s bounty, we won’t be offended if we’re equipped with some of the Cape’s best wine! In the Franschhoek mountains, Chamonix Cottages offer a variety of places with some of the most desirable views in the Winelands. This 50-hectare game farm is home to wandering antelope, dense woodlands, reflective lakes, and sublime peace and quiet.
Well isn’t this romantic wine estate cottage just everything? Situated in a long valley below the Bainskloof Pass, Doolhof Estate offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking and mountain biking, but it’s also totally forgivable to just stay tucked up with a book in the cosy loft bedroom, beneath wooden beams and thatch. Or, brunch on Cap Classique overlooking the vineyards and while away the hours admiring the gorgeousness of this magnificent South African countryside location. This is Grand Dedale Country House. And we’re in love.
South Africa’s quaint town of Oudtshoorn is where we find the carefully renovated homestead, Rosenhof Country House. A mid-1800s masterpiece named after its beautiful rose garden, Rosenhof is a slice of nostalgia with its yellowwood beams and ceilings and a collection of antique furniture, brass and silverware, terracotta floor tiles and artwork by famous South African artists. It exudes an aura of authenticity and combines sublime comfort with memories of an era gone but not forgotten. Countryside perfection!
Cape Town has so much character and the activity around the city centre has a complex mix of loud modernity and historic details that stand proud in the metropolis. It is a busy city with an incredible international pallet, yet there are quiet corners in old, uneven roads that climb the hillside of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. On the outer edge of Cape Town city centre, Woodstock is a hipster’s paradise with artisanal establishments and cherished history. This is where we find our Mother City cottage of choice: Albert Cottage. A 4-sleeper (2 adults and children), a Victorian building with original wooden floors and a fire place, a quaint front garden and a back verandah decorated by a vine-covered wall and enclosed for privacy in the big city. This is where you can enjoy easy access to the blue flag beaches of the Atlantic Seaboard, the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountains sublime hiking trails and nature, and of course the eclectic industrial mix of the Woodstock neighbourhood.
Ok, so this one’s a villa, but it has undeniable country cottage appeal with its location on a wine and equestrian estate, sublime flowery gardens, gorgeous farm-style wooden doors and stone feature walls. Villa Serruria is in the Cape’s top vineyard region, in the valley of the Hottentots Holland mountains in Franschhoek. Light, bright, French country visions with exquisite ceilings above the loft-style bedrooms brings this South African country stay right to the top of our list.