Rivierplaas Cottages (Swellendam)

Fruit farm on the Breede River with a timber cabin and a stone cottage – 16km from Swellendam

River House and Stone Cottage are secluded cottages appointed on a fruit farm along the banks of the Breede River. Both have a relaxed rustic personality suited to Budget weekenders with Huckleberry Finn leanings.

River House is the more basic of the two – a timber cabin tucked under a rush of milkwood trees. The cottage has electricity (a recent addition), but we reckon leave it in the ‘off’ position as the cosy away-from-it-all ambience created by candles, paraffin lamps and gas is what you are here for.

While still appealingly raw around the edges River House is comfortable, thanks to a Jetmaster, colourful crockery, pretty curtains, bamboo towel rails and other fresh touches. The cottage is equipped; all you need bring is a thick duvet (winters can be chilly as there is little insulation), towels, food and a fishing rod.

Outside, a lazy timber deck, a braai area enclosed by a rickety bamboo fence covered in thick creeper and picnic spots along the riverbank, set the scene for many a happy weekend memory.

Moving a little downstream, we arrived at Rivierplaas’s all-new double-decker Stone Cottage – built, as the name implies, from local stone. Like River House, Stone Cottage is buried under milkwood trees, with a view of the water peeping through the foliage.

The enticing features in this cosy hideaway include gas and candlelight (as well as electricity), a fireplace, rietdak ceilings, wide windows, an airy open-plan living and kitchen area, a spacious loft fitted with two bedrooms (that sleep six), and a nice braai area at the front door. Stone Cottage is an understated Budget gem in the making.

Asher Riverside Cottages (Bonnievale)

Fast becoming an established kid on the Bonnievale block, Asher (meaning ‘blessed’) has a growing following. And the reason is clear to see. It occupies one of the best spots along the Breede River – a broad stretch of tranquil water, flanked by vineyards, giant blue gum and stupendous mountain views – and the cottages are a balanced combination of privacy, country character and spacious comfort.

All spaced safely apart and virtually identical in design and furnishing, Asher’s cottages are larger than your average farm abode, which translates into a generally more comfortable stay: a wide covered verandah, with giant braai and huge views, runs the length of each cottage, while inside, the airy double-volume interior features exposed roof beams, clay tiles, a fireplace, telly and traditional farm furniture. Recently added is a wood-fired hot tub at each cottage.

The general living and kitchen layout is open-plan, flanked by two comfortable ensuite bedrooms (with more views) and a four-bed loft tucked into the eaves above.

Personal touches are also in evidence: a chocolate on your pillow, dishwashing liquid, free wood etc, etc.

Back in the sunlight, a wide patch of green grass and Indian canoes await your attention. From the cottages it’s possible to paddle about 2.5km in either direction, a lazy voyage taking in rich birdlife, several species of fish and your fellow weekenders.

A relaxing spot that’s guaranteed to re-ignite the Huck Finn in you!

Rates from: R300pp nightly for a cottage

Klondyke Cherry Farm (Ceres)

Situated 30km from Ceres town in the Koue Bokkeveld, Western Cape, you can find Klondyke Cherry Farm – we are a real (pet friendly) cherry farm giving you the opportunity to pick-your-own cherries during cherry season, have fun in the snow during the winter months or just relax any time of the year in one of our three self-catering cottages or lovely open campsite.

We offer three cottages that are fully equipped for self-catering. We supply duvets, pillows and towels, crockery, kitchen equipment and utensils. There is a stove and fridge, microwave, kettle, and toaster in each kitchen. There are heaters in all the rooms, and electric blankets on all the beds. Each cottage has an inside fireplace and an outside braai. There is no TV available.

We will provide firewood and firelighters for your first night in one of our cottages. Additional firewood – R25 per bag to be paid into the “honesty jar” please.

We also have a campsite with 8 electrical connections, water points and two ablution blocks. Braai drums and picnic tables are supplied.