Val du Charron: a weekend escape in Wellington

Posted by Vuyi Qubeka on 5 January 2015

There is nothing quite like leaving home, only to find yourself in a place that feels like… home. It’s the warm hospitality at Val du Charron Wine and Olive Estate, cupped in the leafy heart of the Bovlei Valley and owned by former Joburgers Stuart and Catherine Entwistle, that makes you feel like putting up your feet.

Val du Charron, Wellington

 

Sitting in a spacious glass-fronted tasting room with high white ceilings, I am mesmerised by the view: palm trees dating back to the 1920s swaying in the wind, 21 hectares of vineyards, and four-and-a-half hectares of olive trees spreading out beneath a big grey sky. We settle in to some wine tasting, my favourite vintage being the Black Countess red blend, a thrilling mix of mulberry, plum and a hint of butterscotch. As part of the theatrical wining and dining experience, a brazen siren in a black bobbed wig, red-stained lips and a cleavage-revealing corset charms us with a cheeky narrative of the local history. Later we dig into bobotie, rice and poppadoms made by in-house chef and hospitality manager Karin Schmidt.

The decor is modestly modern, with hints of African flair in the lengthy print curtains in the dining area and the eight comfortable suites. Each room is uniquely decorated with paintings, scatter cushions in bright yellows and oranges, dainty mosquito nets and polished French drawers. Rooms one to seven have balconies and a view of the estate and pool while room eight is a large family room with its own garden and courtyard.

Activities include mountain biking, canoeing in the farm dam and bass fishing against the backdrop of the Hawequa Mountains. Great Danes Siza (‘to help’ in isiZulu) and Olive (the colour of an olive) and Bree (‘like the cheese, or the desperate housewife,’ quips Catherine) are never far away.

 

Great Danes Siza (‘to help’ in isiZulu) and Olive (the colour of an olive). Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Great Danes Siza (‘to help’ in isiZulu) and Olive (the colour of an olive).

 

Paw in the mud. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

Paw in the mud.

 

A place to rest or catch some fish. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

A place to rest or catch some fish.

 

This mutt calls this place home. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

This mutt calls this place home.

 

The shape of things to come. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

The shape of things to come.

 

The actress. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka.

The actress.

 
 
You can stay at Val du Charron Guesthouse from R750 per person per night. (They were featured in our December 2014 issue.)

Follow my adventures on Twitter and Instagram: @vuyiroamsfree






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