We decided on a weekend getaway for our anniversary and chose Wolseley as our destination. Wolseley is a small town located in the Breede River Valley, about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town.
Accommodation in Wolseley
We stayed at Seven Oaks Guest Cottages (to be listed soon) and our hosts made our stay extra special with a bottle of bubbles and rose petals in our room. We had planned a relaxing Friday evening to get rid of the week’s work stress. First, we went for a leisurely stroll on the farm looking for interesting birds (finding birds was part of the weekend plans). We then made use of the wood-fired jacuzzi and had a glass of bubbly.
These wood-fired jacuzzis are an adventurous part of staying in the country-side and there are several establishments in the Western Cape that have them. Our hosts pre-heated ours before our arrival (another thoughtful touch) and we ended up spending more than an hour in the hot tub chatting away.
Next, we lit the fire and had a braai-for-two with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to complement the meat. Truly a relaxing way to start our weekend away in the countryside.
We decided to get up at sunrise on Saturday in order to go and find birds to photograph. Our research indicated that one of the farms closeby, Bergsig, had a hiking path that we could follow with bird hides. Upon arrival, we were a little confused on where to start, but we eventually found the path that has small signs. It’s a beautiful walk that takes you to the river and it looks like it’s part of a popular MTB trail too.
We saw many footprints of cats and we think there are many wild cats on the farm. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any, and so too on the birding side as we didn’t see too many exotic birds. We did come across a shy Jackal Buzzard who made friends with a pair of crows, but they were too far to really get a great shot.
There were many tracks of bucks too, so it would perhaps be useful to do better research on the best time to visit to come across small bucks and wild cats.
The circular hiking path was under 5km and circled us along the river and back to the Bergsig Wine Shop where we bought some wine and delicatessens in the deli. Bergsig Estate actually has a rustic restaurant there and we were told it’s quite popular with locals and tourists. It was a little early to start tasting wine, so we decided to head into Wolseley to stock up on some more wood for the jacuzzi and then head to Waverley Wine Estate.
Lunch at Waverley Hills
Waverley Hills Organic Wine & Olive Estate is a beautiful farm nestled in the foothills of the Witzenberg Mountain Range. It’s well worth a visit and is a certified organic wine producer, we just had to experience it for ourselves. The wines are excellent; floral, spicey with character and we can recommend the SMV and CW Reserve Shiraz (we like bold reds and this suited our preference). Our wine-tasting host was gracious and knowledgeable.
We ambled over to the dining area after our wine tasting. We had to share the dining area with a noisy baby shower, so it detracted from the experience a little, but we were forewarned and decided to still sample the food anyway. We had a leg of lamb and steak dishes and the leg of lamb was as it should be, falling off the bone. The steak was, unfortunately, sinewy and overcooked (we asked for medium-rare), but still tasty with a delicious sauce. We paired the dishes with the CW Reserve Shiraz and it went very well together.
While we were there, we noticed that Waverley Hills Estate also has some footpaths (with birds and other wildlife apparently), so on our next visit, we will be sure to go and hike their paths. With the incredible biodiversity and some fynbos areas protected, it should be a treat.
We can still recommend a visit as it was a pleasant experience overall.
Relaxing Weekend Getaway
After lunch, we headed back to Seven Oaks for a nap and then fired up the hot tub again. It takes about an hour and a half to get the tub to temperature, so we were forevermore grateful to our hosts preparing it for use on Friday.
The cottages at Seven Oaks are really wonderful. Each has a private back yard and seating next to the tub and built-in barbecue and it was such a relaxing time just sitting on the ‘stoep’, waiting for our fire to be ready for another barbecue.
The resident dog ‘Trompie’ came to visit us and we heeded the owner’s strict instructions not to feed Trompie but enjoyed the company.
After a quick braai, we went to bed early to maximize sleep time. It’s funny how when you’re sprinting full-out during busy work weeks you forget about how much quality sleep impacts your cognitive capabilities. We were more than happy to relax as much as possible.
We woke up to a true farm feel of chickens roosting & ducks quacking. Maybe Trompie was out for his morning runabout. The owner Jacqui graciously extended our stay into the afternoon since there weren’t guests checking in to our unit later. This meant we could still head out for the last adventure before coming back to pick up our luggage.
Breakfast at Bosjes
We planned to visit the main restaurant (Bosjes Kombuis) but got side-tracked taking pictures of the Chapel (pictured above). We ended up having a quick bite at the Tea Garden (it’s right by the Chapel) which serves coffee, cake, scones, and some basic dishes for breakfast. We had the quiche and it was delicious!
It was time to head back and we were sorry to leave. This is definitely a charming valley with much more to explore, so we will be back for sure.
Keep a lookout for our listing of Seven Oaks Cottages coming soon!