A Weekend in the Countryside


Instead of having a get-together with all my family and friends to celebrate my birthday this year, my husband and I decided to go away to the countryside for the weekend. We chose Blue Gum Country Estate for our romantic getaway. Blue Gum Country Estate is located close to the quaint village of Stanford (about 20 mins from Hermanus) – it’s close enough to town that you won’t get bored, but far enough from town that you feel totally away from it all. This wonderful intimate country lodge with only 10 rooms is a fantastic spot for couples, families and groups of friends to spend a couple of days relaxing.

We were greeted on arrival by Anton, one of the lodge managers, and shown to our beautiful room, the honeymoon suite, which overlooks the vineyards. Waiting in the room for us was a decadent cheese platter and a two glasses of port which made us feel very welcome. But we were not here to spend our time indoors, so being a beautiful sunny winter’s day; we decided to take a walk on the property up the mountain path behind the lodge. When we got to the top, which wasn’t a strenuous walk at all and can be achieved by anyone that is reasonably fit, we were rewarded with spectacular views of the valley down below and the surrounding countryside. The perfect spot for a sundowner drink!

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After freshening up after the walk, we made our way to the cosy bar for pre-dinner drinks and snacks, where we were met once again by Anton who was the perfect host. We were taken through to dinner, which is a 3 course affair at the estate, and we were not disappointed. The food was out of this world and I can only applaud the chef for his choice of meals – the starter was a curried apple soup, something I would not have ever expected for a soup, but absolutely delicious. The main course of lamb and potatoes was to die for, not to mention the lemon cake desert. For anyone who is a lover of fine dining and food, this is the place to come. The restaurant is also open to non-guests so is the perfect place to go for a romantic night out if you are staying in the area.

We had a wonderful night’s sleep and woke up to the sounds of the birds and insects outside, before indulging in a wonderful 3 course breakfast of cereals, croissants & muffins, and a full English breakfast. Our stomachs full we were ready to head out for the day to explore the surrounding countryside. Not far from the estate is the nature reserve of Salmonsdam which offers outstanding hiking trails and plenty of mountain streams for swimming in the summer months. After a walk in the reserve we continued onto Platbos, a privately owned indigenous forest. Walking through the forest we encountered many different species of birds and trees, a troop of baboons, and some antelope spoor…probably duiker….although unfortunately we were not lucky enough to even catch a glimpse of the antelope. We ended off the day with a stop in the village of Stanford known for its preserved Victorian cottages, its craft beer made in the nearby Birkenhead brewery, its wine farms, and its quaint coffee shops and restaurants serving country-style food and mouth-watering pastries.

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For those visiting Blue Gum Country Estate there are also plenty of other activities available in the area so a 2 – 3 days stay is recommend. Drive to Hermanus in whale season and spot the whales from the cliffs, spend the day on the quiet beaches of De Kelders, go shark cage diving in Gansbaai, cycle along the country roads, taste some wine, or just relax. Blue Gum Country Lodge is the perfect weekend getaway since it is only a 2 hour drive from Cape Town. And it is also the perfect stop en-route to the Garden Route. To learn more about the BLUE GUM COUNTRY ESTATE and the surrounding area, please contactJanine@inspired2explore.com