Escape to the Countryside at Cascade Country Manor, Paarl
Paarl is one of those unassuming places that you have to explore in order to get to know properly. It is full of tucked away places that you would never know are there without properly seeking them out, and Cascade Country Manor is one such spot.
Hidden up a short dirt road on the Nederburg side of Paarl is this luxurious country-style manor – close enough to not feel as though you are bundu-bashing, but further enough from the town to feel as though you have escaped to a private slice of paradise. The grand manor house sits at the top of immaculate rolling green lawns – the kind the make you want to tuck and roll down the hill like a kid. The grass embankment is fronted by a forest that leads up into the hills and meets with the mountains behind. The greenery of the flora and blue of the clear Paarl sky come together to form a spectacular view from the hotel patio, and equally, looking back up at the manor from the gardens below is quite beautiful.
Some of the rooms at Cascade Country Manor are set within the manor house itself, while others are across the courtyard in a separate building that also houses the full service spa and indoor spa swimming pool. Our room, next door to the spa, was luxuriously appointed with contemporary features and an extremely comfortable king size bed. Other features included a stunning bathroom with dual basins a power shower, separate bath, stocked mini bar and crystal chandeliers, which add a touch of luxury and sparkle.
Upon arrival General Manager Barry suggested a stroll to the waterfall before sunset, which proved to be an excellent idea. The cascading waterfall (yes, the inspiration behind the name) is just a short way from the rooms through a section of the forest. It is an idyllic little oasis, ideal for a moment of reflection, or even a place to sit back and read a book if you can catch a little afternoon sun. The natural canopy of the forest and the backdrop of the waterfall make this the perfect spot for an intimate wedding ceremony.
Cascade Manor prides itself on unpretentious luxury, and as such, also provides a well-equipped play area for children complete with jungle gym, trampoline, and if you’re lucky, a visit from the friendly manor house cat. The lawns themselves are so vast that kids will tire running outdoors and enjoying the fresh country air. While we visited during winter and swimming outdoors was not an option, there is a beautiful pool area, which I would imagine, in summer, is a hive of activity.
As the sun set over the valley we enjoyed a bottle of local Pinotage and olives from the Buffet Olive farm conveniently located right next door. The olives feature as snacks with sunset drinks, but also in the exceptional breads baked fresh by the kitchen daily. Breads are served with olive oil that has been pressed from olives grown in the grounds of the manor estate. We were happy to see that the menu also included local craft beers from the area, which have been conspicuous in the absence from other establishments nearby. The manor house has a restaurant onsite and a 3-course set menu is prepared daily. Guests have the option of dining in, or of dining at any number of the restaurants in the local Paarl surrounds. Staff members are a dedicated group of people who welcome guests with quiet unobtrusiveness – while always present, they are never hovering.
Cascade Manor is part of the Cape Country Routes group, whose hallmarks are character, charm and romance and it readily ticks all of these boxes. It is placed well to be a base to discover the rest of the Winelands, starting with the iconic Nederburg Estate just across the way. Guests can spend the day discovering the area and then can return back to their rooms to get a peaceful night’s rest. The next morning, weather permitting, a breakfast spread including a la carte hot options are laid out on the patio, with surely one of the best views in the area. Even on a cold winter’s morning, heater, blankets and pots of warm coffee with get you out into the cool Winelands air, which you will no doubt find revitalising. And after all, isn’t that what a country getaway is all about.