Grande Provence – Owner’s Cottage
Between the vines of one of Franschhoek’s most celebrated and historic wine estates (the deeds to the 47-acre farm date back to 1694), Grande Provence – a stand-out in the plethora of country hotels in Cape Town – has got to be your number one choice when it comes to hosting a wine-fuelled house party. Interior designer Virginia Fisher has celebrated the history of the region with carefully-selected objets that include oil paintings and antique, yellowed books, creating an unpretentious hideaway that offers cleverly concealed modern comforts (such as the TV and DVD hidden away in a crocodile-skin folding desk at the foot of the bed). The cottage has its own private gardens and a Mediterranean-style pool; there’s also a loggia for shaded outdoor lounging and a smaller spa pool. Five rooms – all similarly in design but differing in size and position-are serviced by a round-the-clock butler; most drinks are included in the rate, as are breakfast and dinner, served either in The Restaurant (see Eat), or at the Cottage itself. There are more vineyards in the immediate vicinity than you’ll have time to sample, and if the pleasures of the grape become too much, head off for a spot of shark cage diving along the nearby Whale Coast.