A weekend at the Dragonfly Country Cottage in Stanford

Posted by Imogen Searra on 22 October 2020

If you’ve been yearning for a break and change of scenery, Stanford in the Western Cape should be at the top of your list. This village is the ultimate destination for relaxing and getting back in tune with nature.

Situated inland but along the Cape Whale Coast, Stanford is one of the few Heritage Villages in South Africa. Stanford’s beauty is bountiful. Wherever you look, there is something to admire and appreciate.

From veggie garden patches galore, birds chirping and singing overhead, to the peach blossoms bursting with new fruits and the psychedelic colours of hundreds of flowers, this village really forces you to slow down and enjoy the small things.

The TV room to the left, lounge in centre and master en-suite bedroom in the background. Picture: Supplied

On my recent trip, I had the fortune of staying at the Dragonfly Country Cottage. While it’s more like a home than a cottage, the Dragonfly is equipped with everything you need and more.

Stay entertained with a selection of board games that will bring out your inner competitor, and keep warm by the indoor fireplace and boma-esque outdoor fire pit. There’s an inside braai area that opens onto the garden which makes this home away from home perfect for year-round visits.

The modern amenities, mixed with an old-world charm really makes the Dragonfly a special place to stay.

The indoor braai area opens onto the garden and is perfect for balmy summer nights or chilly winter evenings because it gives you the best of both worlds. Picture: Supplied

There’s a massive garden, which renders the two-bedroom cottage dog-friendly, with a large vegetable patch for you to pick some organic goods. It’s ideal if you’ve forgotten part of your grocery list as there is only one commercial grocery store in town.

The garden has a host of gorgeous trees, where birds flock, fly and swoop by throughout the day. One could spend an entire afternoon birdwatching from the boma or the stoep out front.

The Dragonfly Country Cottage is dog-friendly. Picture: Supplied

The kitchen is well-equipped if you’re looking to make a home-cooked meal, alternatively, The Stanford Kitchen makes a real hearty, country breakfast and a cup of coffee that hits the spot. It’s in walking distance from the house, if you enter the destination into Google Maps it’ll take you on a scenic, yet brief, walk past the Klein River and through the village.

I highly recommend exploring the town by foot, there’s an antique store called The New Junk Shop where you can get lost in for hours. On a Saturday morning, there is a farmers market outside The Stanford Hotel on Main Road. There’s lots of delicious eats, fresh produce and the like.

Delicious food, exceptional coffee and yummy treats can all be found at The Stanford Kitchen for seriously reasonable prices. Picture: Imogen Searra

To really get a feel for the authenticity of the village, a trip to Martin’s Deli and the Overberg Honey Company is a must. I recommend driving as these spots are near each other and you can load up on goods, like honey for R116 a litre or olive oil for R130 a litre, along with the on-site cured meats, delicious cheeses or other essentials.

Martin’s Deli is a real winner in the village. Picture: Imogen Searra

A beautiful way to get your bearings is by going for a jaunt around the perimeter of the village along the Wandelpad. The walk takes you through the village a bit deeper, allowing you to take in the beautiful homes and gardens. It winds along the banks of the Klein River where you’ll eventually reach the path leading back to the Dragonfly.

The Klein River originates in the Klein River Mountains, traverses through Stanford and eventually reaches the Hermanus Lagoon. Picture: Imogen Searra

A must-do on your trip to Stanford is an early evening river cruise on the Lady Stanford. If you’re a bird enthusiast, the best time for birds is February but we had no shortage of sightings in October.

Red bishops, Cape weavers, white-breasted cormorants, African fish eagles, malachite kingfishers, Caspian terns, and an African black duck with chicks are just a few of the birds we encountered. This was a highlight of the weekend.

Stanford Hills Estate is the most popular eatery in the village. Overlooks a stunning dam, the family-owned boutique wine estate is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

The mountain backdrop adds to the allure of Stanford Hills Estate. Picture: Supplied

Visitors can partake in delicious wine tasting from a selection of award-winning wines, enjoy a world-class lunch, spend some time on the row boats soaking up the scenery, and so much more.

Stanford is an incredible place to get a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is equally peaceful and beautiful and steeped in history, making it extremely interesting too.

The Dragonfly Country Cottage is the ultimate family-friendly stay, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a TV room, massive lounge area with a fireplace, a beautiful stoep in the front and an indoor braai area that opens onto the big back garden.

What to do in brief:

  • Stay at the Dragonfly Country Cottage
  • Explore the town on foot
  • Visit the farmers market
  • Have breakfast at The Stanford Kitchen
  • Visit the Overberg Honey Company
  • Visit Martin’s Deli
  • Book yourself on a Lady Stanford bird-watching cruise down the Klein Rivier
  • Take yourself on a jaunt around the Wandelpad to get your bearings of the village

To book a stay at the Dragonfly Country cottage, visit the Wine Flies Tours website here: https://wineflies.co.za/stanford-country-cottage/

Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or phone +27 21 462 8011

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