The moment you turn off the sprawling Overberg country roads and wind your way up the sweeping driveway towards the historical homestead of White Water Farm, an old saying starts to ring true. A sense of nostalgia engulfs as your own memories of life on a farm flutter through your mind with the words, you can take the boy out the country but you can never take the country out the boy. I believe this to be true of the owners when they first discovered this magnificent piece of rural paradise, at the foot of the Klein River mountains. It captures your heart and softens your breath, as you take in the crisp mountain air that’s whistling its way through the branches of the grand old oaks and soaring eucalyptus. With the voluptuous valley unfolding before you, and all of its paddocks and pens, you know you’re in for a gentle, soul-reforming ride at this country hideaway.
Set on 50 hectares of plush farmland, where Nguni cattle, horses, chickens and ducks ramble the rolling pastures below the Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, White Water Farm offers so much more than just a rural getaway. Dating back to 1846, the homestead is a sanctuary embedded with architectural heritage and breath-taking scenery every which way you wander. With its endless hiking and horse-riding trails, dams and rivers, mammoth swimming pool and cabana daybeds, healing spa, and gorgeous garden that’s populated with hydrangeas, guava, citrus, coral and tall cypress trees, the property rejuvenates from soil to sky.
The elegant farmhouse and its adjacent suite opens its old farm doors to families or groups of eight. The laid-back, open living spaces are deliberately decorated with understated authenticity of a classical farmhouse. Where old antiques sit side-by-side open fireplaces, up-cycled farm gadgets and reupholstered heirlooms on Persian rugs, beneath reed ceilings. All jazzed-up by luxurious linens, fine art and marble counter tops. With their farm to fork philosophy, the owners pick the ingredients from their 4000m2 organic vegetable garden, and dish-up an honest, delectable feast at the long table under the oak trees.
When the morning mist spills over the mountains and down into the garden where the resident springbok are prancing about the lawn, foraging with the early birds – you know you’re set for a scorcher of a day. The sun will warm the waters of the dams and the heavenly loungers beside the pool, as you go about doing everything that takes your fancy, on what feels like your very own private sanctuary in the valley outside Stanford.
What we love!
- Swimming pools don’t get more magnificent than the 20-metre pool and its accompanying day-loungers that are reminiscent of a tropical beachside hideaway. Piña Colada anyone?
- White Water Farm has its very own chapel for those who dream about a farm wedding – or perhaps vow renewals. It was converted from an old distillery barn, where a local liquor known as Witblits was made. Hence the farm’s name.
- The property is only a two hour drive from Cape Town, yet completely immersed in the countryside.
- There are so many wonderful activities for the whole family to partake in that make your days filled to the brim with real farm life adventures.
What you need to know…
- Phillipskop Mountain Reserve for great hikes to the waterfalls, viewings of the rock stacks and amazing ancient rock art is immediately behind the property.
- If you feel you must leave the property, the lovely quaint village of Stanford is a short drive away. Ice-cream shops, Saturday markets, antique stores, butchers, bakers and craft makers.
- For some delicious wine tasting of the regions grapes, visit Raka, Stanford Hills and Boschrivier – all no more than 10 minutes from the farm.
- Celebrate cheese at Klein River artisan cheese factory down the road. And follow it up with a bit of beer tasting at Birkenhead Brewery.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie