Bronwyn recently visited the amazing Villa Augusta in Riebeek Kasteel.
If you take the N7 out of Cape Town toward Malmesbury, then take the R46 through the brown farmlands and over the Bothmanskloof Pass, you will find a little jewel called Riebeek Kasteel. Taking a left turn off the R46, you'll drive past wine farms and olive groves and before you can blink, you're in the midst of this beautiful, quiet village.
Turning off the road toward Riebeek West and onto the main road, one is transported into a different world, a world of tiny side streets filled with an eclectic mix of shops and cafes which sell everything from old school medicine dispensers to sophisticated pieces of art, from locally produced craft beer to chocolate ice cream made with olive oil. It is difficult to imagine for a town of this size, but there is even a square filled with shops and restaurants hidden away from the main road which you would definitely miss if you didn't actually go looking for it.
We were invited to stay at 'Villa Augusta' which is situated on the opposite side of town to the main street. The house itself is very attractive with three levels, a beautiful view of mountains in the distance on one side and overlooking the town on the other. The balcony outside the main room looks towards town and is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast in the sunshine in the morning or sundowners while watching the last rays of the sun as they bathe the town in a final swathe of light and warmth.
The garden has a number of citrus trees where lemons, oranges and grapefruit hang ripe from the branches during the winter months - we were invited to eat the fruit which was delicious. The house is also equipped with a pool which we were unable to make use of due to the fact that winter was already upon us, but I imagine that it would be very welcome in the warm summer months. Another amenity which would be put to good use on warm summer evenings is the outside braai facility, plus there is one inside for those cool (or cold) winter evenings.
The house is made up of three storeys, the third being a quaint space divided into three sleeping areas. It would be the perfect spot for kids to retreat to during moments of magical childhood play. The type of place they'd grow up remembering fondly. The house has an abundance of bedrooms and beds which makes it perfect for a family get together or a weekend away with friends.
The kitchen on the ground floor is comfortable and is equipped with a fridge, washing machine, microwave and gas stove. Alongside is the lounge with TV and full DSTV (if that is what you need), though you will probably miss out on a good dinner at one of the towns restaurants if you choose to spend it in front of the TV.
The town is situated in the midst of wine and olive farms with an unbelievable range of olive products and a visit to any of these is well worth it. Riebeek Kasteel is small enough to feel like you've been able to get away from regular life for a bit, but not so small that you need to pack for every possibility. In my books that’s the perfect getaway! We loved our time here and came away feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, rested and at peace!