Schoone Oordt, Swellendam
Dave was racing in East London and we decided that we would take a slow drive back home, sleeping over two nights on our way back. On the Monday morning we woke up in St. Francis Bay and drove through to Sedgefield. Here we had lunch with Dave’s mum. Being my birthday we thought a little bit of a splurge would be in order and Dave left it up to me where we spent the evening. Given how much it was raining we chose to spend the night in Swellendam. Dave had viewed a place the day before on his laptop and I had glanced over, noticing the beautiful facade of the house. When I went looking on the internet where to stay, Schoone Oordt was the first site I visited and there was that same stunning photograph. I called them and Lana told me there was a room available.
Upon our arrival
I gave her a guesstimate of our time of arrival and very close to that we pulled up to the gate. Ian met us at our car with umbrellas and a warm welcome. Cuthbert took our cases to the room while we were ushered into the house and straight to the lounge. Coffee and a variety of teas were made available to us to enjoy with pastries. The fire was blazing and four other people were enjoying the warmth and comfort. Dave had a cup of coffee and I made myself some tea and then walked around looking at all the rooms. This Victorian house has been remodeled with a lot of care and attention to detail. When I asked Ian if the cellar was used he gladly took Dave and I into it to see all the wines that are stored there.
We stayed in a standard room, one of 10 rooms that are available. The room is luxuriously furnished and coffee, tea and water are complimentary. It was really cold in the room and while Dave fiddled with the air conditioning unit to try and get it to heat the room, I turned the underfloor heating to maximum. This at least meant the tiled floors in the bathroom would be pleasant to walk on. I also turned the heater on to its highest setting but this did not help much. For some reason, Dave could not get the aircon to work for heating purposes. I made coffee, snuggled under the blanket and read a bit before dinner. When I made mention our room was very cold we were offered the choice of having a fire lit for us in the room. We declined as neither of us like the smokey smell.
Before dinner we had a complimentary port in the lounge, warming ourselves by the fire. The meal began with homemade bread. Dave chose the seasonal vegetable soup to start (R45) which very good. I had the Caesar salad (R70) which was average. For the main course Dave had the Cape Malay lamb curry (R155) which was excellent. I had the mushroom risotto (R135) which was tasty but needed more salt. I prefer this to a dish having too much salt. The wine list is pretty ordinary and we chose the Weltevrede Cherrychoc Merlot to go with our meal. Jacomiena baked a cake for my birthday and I shared a slice with Dave, giving the rest to the kitchen staff. I could not resist the vanilla lavender crème brûlée (R55) which was a perfect end to the meal.
While we were at dinner our room had been turned down. On Dave’s pillow was the weather report for the next day with a good night, sweet dreams message. Part of this service was meant to include hot water bottles which would have been more than welcome. The bed was comfortable but really cold. I could smell the smoke from the fireplace in the bedding which was not all that pleasant. The warmest place in the room was the bathroom which at least made getting up at night not too much of a challenge. The shower could do with a bit more pressure and some temperature regulation but it is large. Schoone Oordt make use of Rain products which are locally manufactured in Swellendam. There are lots of good little touches in the room which make me want to come back in summer.
We slept in and had coffee in bed before heading to the dining room where we were offered tea or coffee. The buffet is amazing with pastries, home baked bread, fresh fruit, cold meats, cheeses and a variety of cereals and toppings. I love starting my morning with fruit and tried the home made muesli with yoghurt after that. Dave and I skipped the pancakes and went straight for the eggs Benedict, served with smoked salmon.
This is a stunning venue for weddings or big birthday celebrations and we will most certainly be back. I was most touched by the handwritten birthday card. A standard room costs R1400 per night and this includes breakfast. Our total bill including gratuity came to just over R2000. We had a 2 hour drive back to work and while on the road I received an email from them thanking me for our stay. I found this a lovely gesture and the perfect end to a birthday celebration.
I did not know when we left home that I would need my camera for anything and so these photographs were taken on my iPad. I will have to learn about the settings to get better use of the camera and to take better quality photographs.
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Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime October 19:
- 2015 – Turmeric Tea
- 2014 – The Boy That Never Was
- 2012 – Gordon Ramsay, Ultimate Cookery Course – Give Away
- 2011 – Chocolate Mousse
- 2010 – Rosewater And Pistachio Ice Cream