That Blogger and a team of friends, eager to escape Cape Town for the weekend, set off for the Agulhas Wine Festival hosted at The De Hoop Nature Reserve late on Friday afternoon. That Blogger was attempting a whirlwind trip to JHB on Friday morning and due to a dodgy starter motor on the British Airways plane, managed to delay the departure for Agulhas by a healthy amount of time…however, we got onto the road at last and after an easy, uneventful 3 hour drive were greeted by the friendly staff of the De Hoop Collection in the Reception area.
We were shown to our accommodation and given a tour of the house. Wow, what a nice little spot! There were 3 spacious bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, new bathrooms and an outside braai area. The ever-patient, Boy in the group whipped up a roaring fire in the fireplace and before we could say “Chardonnay” we were all kicking back and enjoying a glass of wine and relaxing in front of the fire.
On Saturday morning, after a yummy breakfast, we set off to explore the reserve. There really seems to be a good amount of game around and within a few minutes of leaving our house, we had spotted Bontebok, Eland and LOTS of Ostrich! We headed for the beach and to check out Koppie Alleen, the beautiful little cottage that is set right on the beach and nestled in the Fynbos.
The view from the beach was just breath taking…the sea was a beautiful turquoise colour and the beach seemed to stretch on forever and the setting for Koppie Alleen is just magical. I will definitely be returning to De Hoop to stay there!
After all that adventuring, the Team decided it was time to do some wine tasting. We headed back to the main reception and were guided to the hall where the wine tasting was taking place. Some quality time was then spent tasting some of the most wonderful wines from the Agulhas area – including Napier, Elim and Gansbaai. We tasted some incredible wines from the estates Strandveld, First Sighting, Quoin Rock, The Berrio, Jean Daneel, Lamond, Lands End, Black Oystercatcher, Zoetendal and Brunio. What a wonderful treat to have so many awesome estates gathered in one place!!!
Fast forward through a rather disappointing rugby game (for the Stormer’s fans obviously) and it was time to sit down to the specially prepared 6 course dinner in the lovely Fig Tree restaurant. The Chef, Bruce, had carefully prepared a meal that could be paired with wine from the estates showcased at the Festival. What a treat!!
The Team gingerly made it to breakfast back at the Fig Tree restaurant on Sunday morning and whilst the croissants with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs were wolfed down, I noticed that there weren’t too many takers for the bubbly-I suspect that might have something to do with the generous quantities of wine paired with the delicious meals the previous evening!!
The Beach and Sand Dunes
We headed back to the beach after breakfast for a stroll and were lucky enough to spot some Whales in the bay! We were told that in Whale Season, there have been nearly a 100 Whales sighted in the Bay! (We spotted 2…but it is still very early in the season!)
It really was an absolutely wonderfully relaxing weekend, made even more so by the almost non-existant cellphone reception throughout the reserve! Yes, the world did survive without us!
If you are looking for a great weekend away with family or friends, you really should have a look at De Hoop Nature Reserve. There is accommodation to suit all budgets and there really is SO much to do. The De Hoop Collection are also running a winter special of 25% off accommodation in June, July and August
For further information, call the De Hoop Collection on 0861 33 4667 or the Cape Town reservation office directly on 021 405 4587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit the website for more info www.dehoopcollection.co.za
De Hoop Collection