I am a romantic. So when my wife and I were only going out for about a month and it was her birthday, I wanted to find her the perfect gift. Something that showed her that we were meant to be together. But we were at the stage where a lavish gift might have seemed that I was compensating for something else. So I aimed for thoughtfulness. I gave her The Alchemist written by Paulo Coelho. I underlined a passage on page 128 that read “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you“. I figured that it would take her at least a month to read up to there and by that time she would be hopelessly in love with me. Unlucky for me, she finished reading the book within two days and never mentioned the underlined passage. Awkward.
But luckily I was not in control of our destiny. We got engaged 6 months later and lived happily ever after. Well most of the time :)
A while ago my wife and I won a wedding competition and our prize was two nights at Schoone Oordt Country House. This was two days of “happily ever after”.
Schoone Oordt is a 5 star country house, which is one of, if not the best accommodation in Swellendam. They have 10 luxury bedrooms situated in a magnificent garden. Schoone Oordt is in the middle of the Old Quarter and walking distance from the Drostdy, great restaurants and Marloth Nature Reserve.
We were greeted on arrival by a smiling Fidney, who took care of our luggage and made sure we were at ease. Within minutes Fidney felt like a long forgotten friend. High tea was being served as we arrived and we could start living the fairy tale.
The luxury, elegance, friendly service, Conservatory Restaurant, high tee and saltwater pool can only be rivalled by the not-to-be-missed breakfast. This is the second time that I have eaten breakfast at Schoone Oordt and both times I wanted to hug Wander, the in-house chef. His creativity and passion is evident in all the meals and the afternoon tea delights. If you ask for his recipes, he is not shy to share. A true artist.
High tea consist out of cakes, macaroons, scones etc accompanied by tea, ice-tea or coffee. The selection changes every day. After tea my wife and I wandered down the lane. We visited Mayville House, Mayville Garden and Bukkenburg Pottery Studio. My wife then enjoyed the salt water swimming pool while I went for a jog in Marloth Nature Reserve, next to Schoone Oordt.
On our first evening we decided to have dinner in Shcoone Oordt’s Conservatory Restaurant. The setting can only be described by the photos. The dinner was ended with green tea ice cream and chocolate fondant.
The next morning my wife and I went for an early morning walk on the edge of Marloth Nature Reserve, before we enjoyed a glorious three course breakfast. On our honeymoon we went for a couples-spa-treatment but luckily after being married for a few years our relationship has “grown” so much that I was allowed to bring my mountain bike along :) My wife enjoyed the rest of the morning at Rain’s rainforest day spa and I went for a mountain bike ride. Later we met up at Schoone Oordt to relax.
Following high tee we behaved like tourists again. We viewed some art at Kunstehuijs and bought Belgian chocolates as presents for my mother-in-law who was looking after our children. Next we went across the street to enjoy quality coffee at Coffee Culture. Usually I make the boring choice of cappuccino, because I like it. But my tourist version decided on the Coffee Culture Special – what an experience. You get three servings: Espresso, Grappa and Quality Chocolate. Great choice. My wife had the Rooibos Cappuccino.
To continue our magical break-away we decide to have dinner at Field and Fork that evening. Even though it started raining, Field and Fork is close enough to Schoone Oordt to walk, which added to a great experience. Field and Fork is set in the historical Old Gaol building. If you like quality food, made by a master you will not be disappointed. Chef Francois du Rand’s attention to detail, taste and quality is hard to miss. They also have a fine selection of wine and craft beer. My only disappointment was that photos could not do the experience justice.
The next morning we ended our stay with another amazing breakfast. To cover every wonderful experience I would have had to write another ten pages and it pains me to have had to write so little. But luckily you can usually only read fairy tales. In this case you only have to come to Swellendam to experience it for yourself.
Afternoon tea is done in style and makes you feel right at home.
The Schoone Oordt Country house is one of a kind, each fairy tale should have one.
We spent a great afternoon admiring the history in Mayville house and garden.
David showed us around his and Felicity's Pottery Studio. One of the friendliest guys you will ever meet.
My wife relaxed in the salt water pool while I went for a trail run in Marloth Nature Reserve.
Dinner in Schoone Oordt’s Conservatory Restaurant. Ask Wander if you would like a tour in their wine cellar.
When going for a walk in Marloth Nature Reserve you can do so from Schoone Oordt's doorstep.
The breakfasts were amazing. A great way to start each day.
Rainforest spa treatment at Rain. Pictures supplied by Rain.
Mountain Biking in the platteland.
If you want to, you can just relax at Schoone Oordt, enjoying the garden, swimming pool, afternoon tea or the comfort of the luxury rooms and the manor house. Even my mountain bike stayed in luxury.
Enjoying art at Kunstehuijs.
Belgian Chocolate Shop.
Drinking coffee at Coffee Culture.
A magical dinner at Field and Fork.
The photo that won us the prize. We got married in Swellendam a few years back.