Spending the day in Riebeek Kasteel with #TravelChatSA
Arriving at Merindol Manor in Riebeek Kasteel, I knew I had stumbled upon a charming little town. Riebeek Kasteel is a little town situated 80 km from Cape Town. Known as one of the oldest towns in South Africa, Riebeek Kasteel is surrounded by Kasteelberg mountain, olive groves, and vineyards. The #TravelChatSA team and I headed off to experience Riebeek Kasteel for a day, and boy, did we have fun!
Breakfast at Merindol Manor
The drive from Cape Town to Riebeek Kasteel took approximately one hour. We had two stops planned for the day, the first stop was at Merindol Manor house, one of the oldest houses in the valley. A 4-star luxury guesthouse with a large garden surrounds the property. Shortly after arriving, we were given a tour of the manor house before sitting down for breakfast. I immediately felt at home.
The guesthouse has 5 rooms in total and one manor house. Each room is decorated differently but a common warm theme runs throughout. The garden was renovated by the local nursery, an extremely beautiful landscape that blends in with nature and overlooks Riebeek Kasteel.
After touring the luxury guesthouse and garden, a delicious traditional Belgium breakfast awaited us with the perfectly brewed coffee. Think creamy rice pudding with a variety of freshly baked pastries and bread. Between the delicious breakfast and conversations, we also met the owners, a Belgian couple who is passionate about Riebeek Kasteel and South Africa.
Lunch and a game-drive at Bartholomeus Klip
Bartholomeus Klip was our second stop for the day. The drive from Merindol Manor to Bartholomeus Klip took approximately 25 minutes. Bartholomeus Klip is located on a working sheep and wheat farm at the Elandsberg Nature Reserve. The itinerary for the afternoon included lunch and a game drive.
We boarded the safari vehicle for a tour around the farm. There were different species of birds, sheep, buffalo and the endangered geometric tortoise, one of the world’s rarest reptiles. Thereafter we entered the Private Nature Reserve, a 10 000-acre land which was established in the 1970s. It has an abundant herd of eland, springbuck, black wildebeest, zebra and bontebok, baboons, bat-eared foxes, lynxes, antelope and leopards (spotted at night). Heading towards the mountains, we entered a peaceful and quiet area surrounded by fynbos. Halfway through the tour, the rain started pouring and our safari drive was cut short. Luckily Bartholomeus Klip provided each one of us a thick raincoat to keep warm and dry during the drive. The 2-hour game drive cost R355 per person (no under 15-year-olds are allowed) with a qualified guide, a bottle of water, coat and coffee/tea on arrival.
Warm spicy nuts and red wine awaited us at the fireplace when we returned to the main house for lunch. I could have easily retired at that spot, indulging in nuts and wine!
But that was not the end, the chef and the team prepared a 3-course meal for us in the conservatory. A well-light room, with a romantic atmosphere. I felt a strong connection between the garden, decor, and conservatory. The conservatory didn’t distract me from the garden, it felt like we were sitting outside.
I enjoyed the food experience at Bartholomeus Klip, which is French in tradition combined with local flavour. The chef sources local ingredients and the menus are constantly changing. The food and wine experience at Bartholomeus Klip was simple, elegant and delicious! Nothing complicated, just good food and wine made with passion in a beautiful setting!
Bartholomeus Klip is a treasure for any nature lover or anyone seeking privacy from the city life. Click here if you’d like to make contact with the team at Bartholomeus Klip. My experience in Riebeek Kasteel can be summed up in 3 words: adventurous, beautiful and tranquil.
Love and light,