A quick escape to Dunstone Country House, Wellington

Posted by Teagan Cunniffe on 1 July 2014

At the base of the Bainskloof Pass, near Wellington, is an idyllic country escape that took its name from a tale of love. Vuyi Qubeka and Teagan Cunniffe set off to explore …

Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

Vuyi and I sat down in our editor’s office in early March this year for our first assignment briefing.

We huddled around the cold burnished steel of his small round table and listened eagerly to his explanation of what was required from us. Both of us were new to the Getaway team and were itching to set off and produce work worthy of the magazine – not to mention excited to venture beyond the confines of our coffee-bound office.

Off we set, myself triple-checking I had all my gear (and then stopping on the freeway to check again) and Vuyi navigating our route deftly towards Wellington with all her normal composure in place. We thought ourselves quite on-the-ball until we finally reached our GPS marker, quite merrily sitting in the middle of a dusty road stretching towards some distant mountains. After watching a tractor overtake us we admitted defeat and contacted the ever-so-helpful receptionist at Dunstone Country House. A few correct turns and patient phone calls later, we found it.

Here, I hand over the descriptive reins to Vuyi Qubeka, with this extract from the July issue of Getaway magazine.

‘Sitting on the airy patio at Dunstone Country House, I watched as the bronze sun dipped behind the grape vines and guava trees that spread out almost to the horizon. I could hear the whirring of cricket song, soft wind and, in the distance, the gentle creeks of heavy stable doors.

There’s an enchanted feel to this guest house at the base of Bainskloof Pass near Wellington. Formerly called Bovlei Valley Retreat, the change in name was inspired by a tale of love (ask owners Lee and Abi Wallis to share how their story unfolded on a farm in southwest England). Dunstone’s five country-style rooms, each named after one of the flowers in the bloom-filled garden, are uniquely decorated. The Lavender Room has the best view over the pool, vineyards and mountains as well as a small private garden. If you want more space, the Jasmine Room is larger, more modern in furnishings and opens onto a pretty courtyard with a fountain. The self-catering Guava Cottage lies within the orchards and offers the most privacy; two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a private pool, braai and living room with a fireplace make it perfect for families.

Dunstone is unpretentious with welcoming personal touches: a hessian shopping bag to use on trips into town (a short drive away) to buy art and gifts at Boland Chic (in the Welgelee Plein Centre),  fresh fruit in the fridge and take along your iPod as the docking station and speakers provided invite the company of your favourite tracks. 

Refresh from sweltering summer heat by plunging into the new rim-flow pool, and later unwind with a book in the guest lounge while indulging in cake and chamomile tea during tea hour. Wine hour (between 5pm and 6pm) gives guests the opportunity to try Dunstone’s signature wines (it’s well known for its Shiraz) – both tea and wine hours are included in the daily rate. Dinnertime presents an opportunity to stroll along the dirt tack past the horses down to Stone Kitchen, where you can feast among the wine tanks on home-style meals from a blackboard menu’. – Vuyi Qubeka

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The wonderful Lavender room. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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The Bistro. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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Dunstone is known for their award-winning Shiraz -amongst others. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe


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Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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The beautiful lounge encourages guests to recline, sip wine and watch life go by. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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Vuyi doing just that.Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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Guava Cottage to the right. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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The lodge is found at the foot of the Bainskloof pass,Photo by Teagan Cunniffe

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