I seldom come across a place that has an all-star quality to it, where it literally ticks all the boxes for mom, dad and the kids (from toddlers to teens). Boschendal is one of those rare gems that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s simply an allrounder for every member of the family, with the added bonus of award-winning food and wine on offer and breath-taking landscapes.
You’ll see this month’s blog is a bit different to what I normally post. This is to show you how Boschendal would hit the sweet spot for everyone in your family, too:
The “Sport Lover” Dad
My husband is an avid outdoorsman and cycling enthusiast, so, if a destination accommodates his passion for sports, it gets a nod of approval from all of us. Boschendal definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to keeping sports fanatics busy. They were the proud two-day hosts of the Cape Epic in 2016 and they recently opened the new Boschendal MTB Trails to the public. Its world-class Black single-track trail offers quite the thrilling ride for intermediate and advanced riders, but they also have routes that are more suitable to families and beginners. Find out more, here.
The “Green” Mom
“Eco-friendly”, “health-conscious” and “socially responsible” are three important descriptors that I’m always on the lookout for when visiting a new spot and Boschendal excels! They’re focused on making a positive impact on the environment, uplifting their local community and building a sustainable agricultural farm. Building a farm that will be enjoyed by future generations is at the core of what they believe – and that’s music to my ears! Not only is the farm a feast for the eyes and the senses – its location within the Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK) makes it a very unique spot. The farm is recognised both as a global biodiversity hotspot and a World Heritage site, but also offers authentic food experiences that follow a farm-to-table philosophy. With sustainably sourced produce from the farm itself and the Franschhoek valley, their seasonal menu offers nourishing and delicious dishes that celebrate the bounty of the surrounding area.
The “Busy Bee” Baby & Toddler
The Splish Splash play area is a haven for the little ones where they can play to their hearts’ content in a simple and beautifully curated space and their imaginations can take the lead. The play area is located between The Deli and the Farmshop Butchery and caters to children between the ages of 18 months and three years. Parents can expect a Montessori-style approach, where embracing the environment and its natural materials stimulates child’s play. The kids are also sure to enjoy the pony rides on offer.
The “Roam-free” Kid
For the older children (4-14 year olds), there’s an exciting new educational play centre on the farm, the Tree House. Here, kids are treated to an authentic farm experience, while parents are given the chance to relax and unwind at the restaurant or deli. The Tree House team is responsible for a range of supervised activities that are free to all Boschendal’s Accommodation and The Werf Restaurant guests – BONUS! However, it’s important to book at least 24 hours in advance. For their daily and holiday programme, take a look here.
For Family Festivities
Boschendal probably tops the list as everyone’s favourite picnic spot and we couldn’t agree more. There are two picnic areas – the Werf and Rhone Rose Garden (approximately 1km apart) with some of the most picturesque views in the Cape Winelands. Think lush green lawns and beautifully packed picnic baskets filled with all things artisanal, yummy and local. How’s that for a wholesome and authentic family experience? Just remember to take your own picnic blanket, chairs and tables if you are a Werf Picnic guest, so you’re comfortable to relax there for the whole day.
The Stellenbosch Mom Stamp of Approval
- Safe: The Splish Splash play area for little ones isn’t visible from The Werf restaurant or the Deli, so adult supervision is required. The Tree House area for the older children (4-14 years) isn’t either, although there is a team that is responsible to entertain and supervise the children. There are signs up everywhere to make people aware of the play areas and to warn car drivers to be cautious, which is great! There is also a big, uncovered fishpond at the picnic area, which could be worrisome to some parents, but there is a warning sign up to keep children supervised at all times. I must admit that the play areas are not ideal in terms of visibility (from where one would want to sit and relax), but as long as an adult is there to keep an eye, it’s so worth it – even if it’s just to see the young ones enjoying themselves!
- Sustainable: The Boschendal hospitality team is focused on decreasing their footprint by sourcing produce from the farm itself (and smaller producers in the area) and reducing food waste. They also apply farming practices that enrich the soil and promote biodiversity (both in the vineyards and the surrounding vegetation) showing their commitment to preserving the farm’s natural habitat.
- Socially Responsible: Boschendal strongly believes that long-term employment opportunities and education are significant tools that bring about social change. Over the past three years, the estate has created 350 new jobs, which has made a massive difference in the local community. In addition to social upliftment, they believe in empowerment initiatives that empower local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs are supported by Boschendal itself in terms of an existing market, along with start-up finance, business guidance and accounting, admin and marketing support.
- Soulful: Boschendal stimulates all the senses and it’s easy to feel as if you’ve been swept away to a fairy tale destination, far, far away. The overall feeling is relaxed and farm-like with a touch of sophistication and old-school charm, making every visit a lovely and soulful experience.