Priding myself on knowing the best that the Winelands has to offer, since the opening of the Grand Dedale near Wellington I have been itching to get there! So when the opportunity arose to head there for a romantic night out of the city, we were in our car faster than you can say “I do”.
Situated on the Doolhof Wine Estate some 5 kilometres outside of Wellington, and at the base of the Bainskloof Pass, Grand Dedale is a stunning addition to the region. The area is perhaps the most beautiful corner of the Winelands that I have yet laid eyes on – right in the heart of a gorgeous green Valley, surrounded by mountains.
The hotel itself is beautifully refurbished and chock-a-block full of original features such as the wooden beam ceilings and sash windows. But it’s been brought into the 21st century with a fair bit of rococo mixed with French country comfort… There are six rooms in total – the three upstairs ‘Loft Rooms’ are lovely and cosy, with thatch ceilings and lovely views and downstairs there are three ‘Suites’ all named after a different visitor to the Estate. We stayed in Lady Anne Barnard, an ode to all things baby blue… For the ultimate in romance, staying in the separate ‘Cottage’ is a must.
One would think that activities in and around Wellington would be limited but we found it quite the opposite. The farm itself has some wonderful walks (try the short river walk for aiding digestion after all of the food consumed!), mountain biking, hiking, tractor rides into the vineyards and horse riding. Then within a few kilometres, there are several wineries to enjoy tastings at. Try and time your visits around lunchtime as several have lovely little restaurants to have a bite at, including the tasting room at Doolhof (who do a fantastic charcuterie platter). Further afield are the other Winelands towns (with more gourmet pleasures), golf courses and so on. But for me the beauty of Grand Dedale is its location and that it feels wonderfully remote… it’s an absolute must to end your trip with – it gives you the opportunity after perhaps a long time away, to sit back and wind down and look back at your time here…
Dining on-site for dinner is a must – the menu is completely tailored to your tastes and we enjoyed a fabulous caprese salad, followed by gemsbok and butternut fritters, and a divine chocolate/coffee delight! All washed down with plenty of Doolhof’s finest… The Cap Classique breakfast, served on the hotel’s ‘stoep’ (veranda) is also superb!
If you are looking for ultimate relaxation in some of the prettiest surroundings possible, then Grand Dedale is somewhere to put on your ‘to stay’ list.