After the culinary experience at the V&A Waterfront, Liz Baatjes (2OV sound engineer) and Annette Ashley from African Inspirational Marketing and I managed to somehow fit all our bags, equipment and ourselves into little “Smurfette” and headed for Franschhoek.
An hours drive and we arrived at the Vrede en Lust wine farm gates. The Boutique Hotel we’re staying at is right at the top of the Vrede en Lust wine farm and I felt like I was driving onto a movie set. The sun was setting so this orange and pink glow washed over the mountains making them look particularly blue and purple. We drove through the vineyards and just watched as rows and rows of green grapevines danced in the sunlight.
It’s originally called Cathbert Country Inn, but from the 1st of November it will be having a name change to Angala (Earth Angel.)
It’s in the heart of the Winelands and even though it’s considered to be in Franschhoek, it’s actually 20km from Franschhoek, 10km from Paarl and 25km from Stellenbosch.
We arrived to be greeted by the owners, Peter and Tisha Cunliffe, who popped open a bottle of Rose and offered up snacks of biltong and crisps with guacamole dip.
We took a walk around the property. They are building a gorgeous conference venue, redoing some of the rooms and what I love is that the entire property is going eco friendly/green. The land will become completely sustainable. The electricity, the water will all be solar powered. The swimming pool being built is an eco pool, which uses no chlorine and has a natural filtering system getting the water to near perfection.
The staff are warm and friendly, the place is breath takingly beautiful and as we were walking around, I felt my soul breathe a sigh of relief.
We have some exquisite places in South Africa, but Angala is extraordinary. I really felt like I was in a special place. It has an amazing energy and I felt my soul being rejuvenated. It isn’t something I can describe, it’s something you have to experience for yourself. Magical.
I was exhausted and felt like I needed to look after my cold, so I headed in for an early night, dosed myself and fell asleep pretty early.
In the morning, I woke up to the tranquility and magic.
We headed off for breakfast at Cotage Fromage on Vrede en Lust.
The Eggs Benedict was to die for.
After breakfast we went into Vrede en Lust for a wine tasting experience… it’s a package that all guests who stay at Angala get to experience as part of their stay.
We tried the 2012 Jess Dry Rose with strawberries, the 2011 Casey’s Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, the 2011 Viognier 100%, which was described as a beautiful, high maintenance woman. The gorgeous blonde with the PhD.) I loved the description, and I loved the wine more. It was my favourite from the entire selection.
We also tried the red wines – the award winning 2009 Syrah and the 2009 Boet Erasmus with some Lindt chocolate. Every 120 bottles sold of the Boet Erasmus wine, a tree is planted for the Tree for Life organisation. I love that.
On our drive back, to get ready for the radio show, I couldn’t get over how beautiful the day had become. Not a breathe of wind and a sky so blue… I hardly ever have time to edit any of my photographs on this blog of mine, so what you see is 90% of the time, unedited. I feel like I have to make mention of that before you scroll down. Have you ever seen a sky so blue with such gorgeous whispy clouds?
Lovely Liz set up our 2Oceansvibe Radio equipment and I started the show at 2pm, interviewing Peter and Tisha about this magical place.
They also generously offered a weekend away (including flights depending on where they’re from) and I ran it as a Twitter competition.
Congratulations to Dirk Vale for winning it.
After the show, and just before we packed up, I took one last walk around with my camera…
We packed everything up and needed to fit our luggage and equipment back into our rental car, Smurfette -Tetris style.
Just before we hit the road for a 2 and a half hour drive to Robertson, we stopped at Cotage Fromage again, where they had packed some sandwiches for us.
I adore places with energy and I’ve experienced a few special places in my life, such as Paternoster (which we’ll be visiting on Saturday as part of the Road Trip) and Croatia… I can now add this to my list as one of the most incredible places filled with energy. For bookings go here.