What a relief to arrive at Jan Harmsgat Country House!
Our car had broken down about 30km outside of Swellendam, and we had to be towed into the town. The knowledge of dealing with it all felt overwhelming, but when we arrived at the garage a driver from Jan Harmsgat was already waiting to take us to the guest house, just 15 km from Swellendam, just the beginning of the excellent service that we were to receive as their guests.
After a refreshing and much needed drink on arrival, we were shown to our voluminous en-suite rooms that share a wonderful warm lounge area in the stylishly converted original slave quarters. The two lower floor and two loft rooms are surrounded by wonderful groves of pecan nut, and some fig trees, as well as plenty of lavender and white roses. And there is a lovely new swimming pool to plunge into. All this under the majestic Langeberg Mountains to the North.
The dinner that evening was specially prepared for us by the chef, Lena, and was one of the most delicious that I have tasted. Butternut and Brie Ravioli served with sage butter sauce, a fresh garden salad and home made bread. The after dinner cheeses were from the local farm across the road, and are all served with preserves made from the figs, quinces and citron from the gardens. The pecan nuts are all from their groves. Owners Judi and Brin have personally chosen the wines, which are all excellent. Their attention to detail makes one feel not only pampered and well looked after, but relaxed and regenerated.
I was able to face the next morning of travel refreshed after the wonderful care and hospitality of manager Gerda, chef Lena, and owners Judi and Brin. A 20-minute drive back to Swellendam to collect the car after a little indulgence in the country. How charming!