A Winter’s Stay at Steenberg Hotel & Spa, Constantia

Words: Crush

Everyone clamours to go on holiday during summer, but there is something very serene about a winter getaway – especially when it’s cold and raining and you don’t feel obliged to ‘make the most of the day’. It’s one of the few times that I feel I can reconcile just doing nothing and that kind of blissful respite is very hard to come by these days. Our mid-winter stay at the beautiful Steenberg Hotel & Spa afforded us exactly this.

Pioneering Ways

Along with it being the Cape’s oldest farm, Steenberg should also be revered as one of the bastions of female empowerment in South Africa, given that a woman, Catharina Ras, was the landowner of this property way back in 1688. In a time when women had very few rights, this was pretty remarkable. She set the wheels in motion and steered the property towards success from its very inception. I’m convinced that she’d be very proud of all its achievements and would approve of the course it has taken, with two popular restaurants, an award-winning range of wines and a stunning boutique hotel and spa.

Steenberg is no stranger to hosting guests, in fact, as far back as 1741 visitors to the Cape have overnighted at the farm due to its positioning in relation to the journey to Table Bay from Simons Town. They’ve had plenty of time and experience to perfect their offering and what was a stopover for journeying travellers of old, is now a thoroughly contemporary, luxury space that caters to visitors from all over the world.

Steenberg Hotel & Spa

Constantia is known for its gardens and lush fauna and Steenberg is no different. Vineyards line the entrance way and the gardens boast impeccable lawns, curated hedgerows and a herb garden that is showing signs of life again, despite the cold weather.

The carefully restored manor house offers a cosy place to stay that is steeped with history – look out for Catharina’s portrait which hangs in the hallway. There are also two villas (one 2-bedroomed and one 3-bedroomed), which are often populated by families who enjoy a bigger, more private space for a longer stay. The property has 24 rooms altogether including suites, family and classic rooms as well.

We stayed in one of the 1-bedroomed suites, complete with a private garden area. It provided the ultimate cocooning from the inclement weather and once inside, we didn’t feel the need to leave. Extremely spacious with toasty underfloor heating and an enviably-sized bathroom that I have mentally noted down for a future build.

It provided the ultimate cocooning from the inclement weather and once inside, we didn’t feel the need to leave.

Sometimes spaces feel as though they have been designed simply aesthetically but this one felt functional as well as beautiful – it’s that kind of consideration that sets one place apart from another. A massive king-sized bed with a gorgeous silver velvet headboard framed the room, with a comfy seating area ideal for reading or watching TV and if the weather permits, the private garden space outdoors to relax in.

The Difference is in the Detail

It is very obvious that details matter; from check-in, which is done in front of the library’s roaring fireplace, to enjoying a glass of Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc as we completed this process. Once in the rooms, elements like the lovely Le Creuset tea and coffee making facilities, plush robes and handwritten welcome note.

The team are exceptionally attentive, being very well-versed in what global travellers expect. They were quick to assist and delivered almond milk to the room that I forgot I had even requested, changed the TV channels so that we could watch the Springboks play and even helped me locate a lost earring after dinner. Everyone we encountered was friendly, upbeat and welcoming.

Dinner at Bistro 1682

After a disappointing loss to Wales by 1 point, the prospect of tapas and wine at Bistro 1682 was very welcome. Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin explains the concept of the tapas menu perfectly,

“The ability to taste a variety of flavours in different dishes and eating without overindulging due to the smaller portions are core reasons why small plates are proving so popular.”

And in a nutshell that describes pretty much how my partner and I like to eat, so this dinner option was ideal – the only difficulty being deciding what to choose when everything sounds delicious!

We each selected three; a standout for me was the pork belly with celeriac mash and Sauvignon Blanc and fig jus. I always select pork belly wherever I go and this was honestly one of, if not the best I’ve had. Absolutely melt-in-the-mouth in texture and deliciously rich. I also loved the wasabi dusted calamari with a lemongrass and lime vinaigrette

Having spied a bowl of golden crunchy goodness at another table, we decided the Patatas Bravas had to be one of our choices and it did not disappoint. A literal bowl of potato perfection – crisp outsides encasing pockets of pillowy goodness, served with a chilli-drizzled bowl of crème fraîche. Totally worth busting three months of no carbs for!

Having spied a bowl of golden crunchy goodness at another table we decided the Patatas Bravas had to be one of our choices and it did not disappoint.

We also enjoyed a bottle of Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay Cap Classique, which is always a firm favourite.

Breakfast at Tryn

We slept in the utter tranquillity that can only be experienced on a quiet farm. In fact, we may well have kept snoozing long past when we should have had it not been for the spur-winged geese wake up call! We were grateful for that however, as we could quite possibly have slept right through brekkie at Tryn, Steenberg’s second on-site restaurant.Tryn-Restaurant

Tryn’s beautiful interior and bright jewel-toned booth seating is the ideal spot for breakfast, complete with roaring fire. The menu has a host of cooked options that follow a starter choice of homemade granola, fruit or pastries. Coffee and delicious eggs Benedict got us ready to start the day, albeit having to reluctantly leave to attend other commitments.

Book Your Stay

There’s something for everyone at Steenberg Hotel & Spa – whether you want to partake in a round of golf, indulge in a treatment at the luxury spa, sample some of the best wines at the wine tasting centre or simply catch up on a good book in the cosy relaxation area by the pool. You will also not be judged if you opt to don your robe, sip on a glass of bubbles and thoroughly relax, in fact this is heartily encouraged.

Steenberg Estate, Steenberg Road Constantia Valley, 7945, Cape Town

Call: Steenberg Vineyards +27 21 713 2211 | Bistro Sixteen82 +27 21 205 3866 | Tryn +27 21 713 7178 | Steenberg Hotel & Spa +27 21 713 2222

steenbergfarm.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>