Bosjes, a 186-year-old farm turned into South Africa’s latest luxury inn

By Amanda Millin 27 March, 2017

Fields of gold

About an hour drive northwest of Cape Town, Bosjes (formerly called Bosjesman Valley farm) has opened its doors, allowing oenophiles and nature lovers to venture inland from South Africa’s bustling capital city for an easy day trip or a quiet weekend getaway. Nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Slanghoek and Waaihoek mountain ranges, Bosjes’s vineyards have been growing grapes, olives, and peaches under the same family since 1831, and now the guesthouse’s five renovated rooms will be available to visitors. Designed by Cape Town-based designer Liam Mooney, the rooms feature crispy whites and neutral shades of sand with chartreuse and copper accents, seamlessly complimenting the surrounding landscape.

Standing out in a beautifully sharp juxtaposition is the property’s newly built chapel, ideal for weddings or peaceful reflection. Architect Coetzee Steyn from London’s Steyn Studio designed an undulating avant-garde silhouette that is meant to reimagine the curves of South Africa’s traditional Dutch “holbol” gables. A single walkway draws the eye past the chapel’s reflecting pools – which it effortlessly seems to float above – and through its glass walls and utilitarian interior to the mountainous views in the back. Guests of the farm can walk the chapel’s lush gardens, explore the property’s historic Cape Dutch manor house that dates to 1790 (Bosjes means “small bushes” in Dutch), or hike the nearby mountains to try and spot wild zebras, ostriches, and springboks.

Meals naturally boast farm-to-table fresh ingredients. For light daytime choices, opt for a seat at the open-air tea garden, which serves cakes and sandwiches. For a proper meal, head to the gable-style farm shed (redesigned by Steyn), which houses the Bosjes Kombuis restaurant. Inside, one of South Africa’s most celebrated chefs, Pete Goffe-Wood, has created a menu of rustic contemporary fare amidst an industrial array of stone, concrete, wood, high-ceilings, and glass walls that immerse diners in majestic mountain views.