I’ll skip starting this post with “I’m so sorry I’ve been quiet but work has been off-the-charts busy and moving house kind of knocks you for a six”. Instead I’ll just say hello and that I need to remind myself sometimes that blog posts don’t have to be these long well thought-out opinion pieces, they can also be quick diary-like entries.
So with this in mind, this weekend we want to Elgin River Lodge with a whole bunch of friends and it was simply golden. Canoeing on the river, rope swinging into pools, treasure hunts and musical statues on the lawn. Pizza under the trees, trail running up steep hills, coffee around the fireplace, treehouses to explore, long chats with drinks in hand – this is a truly magical place.
It’s an operating apple farm and as you drive down the dusty road you squish the odd apple underfoot, and then you come to a piece of paradise in a secluded and tranquil spot. There are various wooden chalets on stilts to choose from, including standard chalets and family ones. As our group of friends had booked out the whole place, we had to squish our family of four into a standard chalet and although we were fine, I’d recommend going for the family chalets if there are more than two of you, as it was a bit of a squeeze. There is also a villa and garden cottage which both look fabulous (the linen is top notch too BTW and we had very comfortable night’s sleeps).
Breakfast was amazing each day, and the kids were in heaven as they don’t often get to choose from a buffet. Pancakes! Smoothies! Freshly baked croissants! Eggs! Saussies! Fruit! Their eyes were very wide. In fact all the food we had there was great, including the fish and chips I had for lunch, and the gourmet braai our hosts had arranged on one of the nights.
There was such a sense of freedom there, mostly because you are very secluded and enclosed, so the kids can just run and play like wild things. There is a whole kids area with toys, a pool table, a treehouse and other goodies, and gorgeous comfy couches so you can lounge and keep an eye on them. Bear in mind that if you have kids who are not swimming safe, there is A LOT of water around. I would advise getting a comfy life jacket that they don’t mind keeping on, as that will give you greater peace of mind, and provide protection. And even the kids who can swim need to have life jackets when going out on the water in canoes or on the house boat – luckily the venue has loads of jackets for bigger kids.
If you can be dragged away from serenity, then there are a host of awesome wine farms (and other sights) right on your doorstep to explore. In fact, I’ve written about them before, when we stayed in the area to attend our friends’ wedding right here at Elgin River Lodge – then called Mofam. Charles Fox is still a fave as they make their own bubbly, so put that one on your list!
The real amazing thing about this area is how close it is to Cape Town – once you get over Sir Lowry’s pass traffic, it’s super quick and easy. If you’re looking for a great family getaway near the city, this is right up there with one of the best I’ve experienced since we moved to the Western Cape a few years ago.
Read more about Elgin River Lodge.