I have been spending quite a lot of time in Franschhoek this year for work, and a lot of the work moms have recommended Boschendal for families. Boschendal is located between the Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains near the Franschhoek valley. Dating back to 1685, Boschendal is South Africa’s second oldest wine farm.
Boschendal has rows of picturesque vineyards, a beautiful organic farm that supplies their restaurants with seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs, free-roaming chickens, and they also have pigs, and Black Angus beef cows. They also offer beautiful cottages where you can stay over, MTB trails, horse riding, and colourful gardens that just want to be explored.
But most importantly, for those of us who have children, they have the Tree House and their kid-friendly activities.
The Tree House is an exciting edu-play centre which offers kids aged 4 – 14yrs a chance to enjoy an authentic outdoor and farm experience under the leadership of our Tree House team whilst you can unwind and take a well-deserved break.
I booked the boys in for Sunday where they went on a special farm foraging before trying their hand at outdoor cooking. While I treated myself to lunch at The Werf Restaurant.
I dropped the boys off at 10 am and we were greeted by the most amazing team. They knew the boy’s names, had their names written on their lockers and had a pair of wellies and a sunhat ready for each of them. I settled them in and left them to explore, learn and have some fun. The programs are designed for the kids only, parents are not recommended to join in any activities.
The Tree House, Boschendal
I went to explore the farm before my lunch booking. I took a walk on the grounds and took a million photographs.
When it was time, I headed over to the Werf Restaurant and got one of the best seats in the house. A table overlooking the vegetable garden, known at The Werf Food Garden. 90% of their food on the menu is produced from the farm and you can taste that freshness in every bite. There is no usual a la carte menu. You can select between 3 or 4 courses, with or without the wine pairing. And you can choose any 3 or 4 dishes on the menu. So if you just want starters or desserts, you can!
Sitting at that table, looking at that pastoral view, all I could hear was a symphony of bird song. I sat there in silence and enjoyed one of the best meals of the year. I am no food writer, so I won’t even try to describe the food. All I will say is that is if you are looking for a treat in the Franschhoek valley, The Werf Restaurant is a must.
The Werf Restaurant, Boschendal
I was mightily impressed with the farm, the food, and the children’s activities. But what most impressed me was the people. From the security guards to the Tree House team, to the waiters and the manager at the Werf. They were all friendly, helpful, warm and knowledgeable.
When I was done with lunch, I rolled out of the restaurant and took a slow walk to The Tree House to fetch the boys. My youngest was so upset that he was leaving and pleaded with me to stay one more day, and all the days following. As we drove home, he kept asking to go back and every time I looked in the rearview mirror he gave me this scowling look – kind of like an angry Jimmy Fallon – before falling asleep. I had to laugh. It meant he had a great day.
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