One of the most gorgeous spots to retreat to on a weekend, the rustic little village of Tesselaarsdal has a delightfully undiscovered feel to it. Bundle the kids in the car, pack the mountain bikes, and within two hours (from Cape Town), you’ll arrive at this charming little smallholding above set on the hillside above the village. One of Bella Rosa’s original cottages is a barn-like room that dates back 100 years and is steeped in history – it housed the decendants of freed slaves until just 30 years ago as the farm was part of Johannes Tesselaar’s original farm dating back to the 1700’s, which he bequeathed to slaves in 1810.
Today, a characterful low-ceilinged main farmhouse and two cottages sleep 14 in a cluster of bedrooms around the enclosed pool, making it a great escape for family get-togethers. Summers are spent dipping in and out of the pool, lounging on the lawns and reading, and eating and braaiing outdoors on the stoep. In winter, log fires are lit and the kitchen fills with wonderful aromas of delicious roasts and baking bread while days are spent walking the hills behind or mountain biking on the trails in the area, if not wine tasting in the nearby Hemel en Aarde valley. So pack the games and cards and put away the phones as this is the perfect detox spot (although there’s wifi if you need it) and create precious family memories together. Day trips to Hermanus, Stanford and the Walker Bay coast are easy – there’s plenty to do here if you book a long stay.
Sleeps 14 (max 10 adults)
What we love:
• that it’s just over 20 minutes from Caledon, 15 minutes from Stanford, 20 minutes from Creation Wines on the Hemel en Aarde wine route, and just over half an hour to Hermanus.
• the long stoep – magical for meals outdoors and lazy afternoons with a good book
• that this is a wonderfully cosy winter house with two interior fireplaces (one in the living area and one in the kitchen) plus the outdoor braai on the stoep
What you need to know:
• The last 20 minutes of the journey is on dirt road.
• The two bedrooms inside the main house share a bathroom which is open-plan to the main bedroom. There is also a guest loo.
• In the outdoor cottages surrounding the pool, there are an additional four bedrooms, two with ensuite bathrooms. The other double bedroom is interleading with the kids’ dorm room (sleeps 4) and these two rooms share a bathroom which is ensuite to the double room but can be accessed from the courtyard too.
• There is one restaurant in the village; The Postkantoor Café. They offer breakfast and lunch and you can book a candlelit evening meal (for six or more) if you call two days ahead.