I Surprised My Dad With a Birthday Weekend Away to Robertson.
It's not easy to come up with a great birthday gift idea for my dad. Partly because he’s the “oh, I don’t really want anything” type and partly because material items always seem to fall short of the amount of gratitude I want to show about how grateful I am to have him as my old man.
That’s why I knew I wanted to do something completely different this year. So, with the help of my friends over at Hot Oven Marketing, I planned a weekend trip of wining, dining and more importantly, off-the-grid relaxing. The best part? He had no idea it was coming!
We made sure he took the day off work on Friday, told him to pack a weekend bag , that we’d be leaving around 1 PM and all he had to do was get in the passenger seat.
Where To Stay
Just two hours out of Cape Town, this small boutique wine farm is nestled in the Agterkliphoogte Valley and took its name from South African cricketing legend, Eddie Barlow, who noticed the mist cascading down the surrounding mountains of Robertson.
There are five family-friendly guest cottages available, all fitted with a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable rooms, parking, an outdoor porch and private braai areas (not to mention beautiful farmland views).
“Feels like the Karoo” was the answer when we asked my dad what he thought and if you know anything about him you’ll know that this is the highest compliment any place of accommodation could receive.
Naturally, I took full advantage of the above-mentioned views, porch and equipped kitchen, packed out some snacks, perfectly accompanied by complimentary wine from the estate and enjoyed one of the most relaxing stays I've had in a while.
What To Do
The cellar was built in 1884 and now, six generations later, Ernst and Nina-Mari Bruwer make up the husband and wife team behind these site-specific quality wines.
The wines are incredible and it comes as no surprise that winemaker, Nina-Mari, was awarded the prestigious title of Cape Wine Master in 2014.
The tasting room, even more beautiful than the already breathtaking farm, is definitely worth a visit. Tastings are by appointment only and when you go I highly recommend POMPHUIS MUSCADEL 2016. No really, HIGHLY recommend.
Next on the itinerary was the new home of the legendary Four Cousins.
Now in the heart of Robertson, they have a tasting room where you'll have the chance to sample the complete range of Four Cousins products, as well as the craft Boet Beer on tap. You can also dine on wholesome food at the family-friendly restaurant, open from Monday to Sunday.
Here he was treated to complimentary champagne and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY balloon (which, yes, I forced him to carry around for the remainder of the weekend). I thought it was such a special touch and can’t thank the Four Cousins team enough for their incredible hospitality.
We chose The Robertson Small Hotel for a celebratory birthday breakfast which did not disappoint. The hotel itself boasts the only five-star rating in the area with 10 distinct rooms, a restaurant and bar, two pool areas, a wellness room and beautiful gardens.
But you don’t need to stay there to enjoy the beautiful setting of the small restaurant.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant features a classic menu with seasonal dishes made from the highest quality local produce. The Small Restaurant makes a point of scouring the valley to source the finest producers of local ingredients and designed the menu to offer simple, sophisticated and strictly seasonal Italian-inspired dishes.
On our table, the griddle pan waffel with honey bacon, rosemary, fruits and egg omelettes with filling of choice (bacon and cheese). Special mention must also be made for the chef who happily whipped up a vegan-friendly dish of seeded bread, panfried mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, spinach and avocado. Everything was utterly delicious and beautifully presented. A massive thank you to the restaurant for spoiling us with complimentary bubbly and a surprise dessert in celebration of the birthday.
Our weekend came to an end with a meander through the little town of Mcgregor. If you ever find yourself here I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat at 51, browsing the local products and produce at the Made In McGregor Deli and shop secondhand books and brick-a-brack at a little store called Marlen.
The Robertson Wine valley proved to be the perfect place for a family getaway and I am so happy to have chosen it as my destination of choice for this very special weekend.
Yet another massive thank you to Hot Oven Marketing for helping me arrange this and to all of our stops along the way, Windfall Wine Farm, Mont Blois, 4 Cousins and The Robertson Small Hotel for hosting us so kindly. I can’t wait to return , seeing that my list for places left to visit has only grown longer since I got this little taste of what the Langeberg Valley has to offer.