Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Once the property of a Cape Governor who acquired a huge section of fertile land in a picturesque valley below the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, Vergelegen has one of the grandest manor houses and the most beautiful historic outbuildings in the Cape.
Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel first acquired the property in 1700 and set about planting vines and fruit trees, and stockpiling livestock. Countless slaves were used to clear off the land and build his home before his eventual downfall in 1707 and the subdivision of his land, leaving only a quarter of the original farm, albeit still a huge tract of land. In 1971 the manor house and outbuildings were fully restored and are now part of a museum complex.
Of interest on the estate are the camphor trees that van der Stel had planted and were granted national monument status in 1942, the library containing a priceless collection of books, the slave quarters that surely hide wretched tales of torture and abuse, and the original corn mill that lies in ruin.
When Nelson Mandela visited the estate in 1990, he found a fascination for the ancient camphor trees and requested that a photo be taken of him standing alongside the trees.
The estate’s formal octagonal gardens with symmetrical hedges are complimented with a wrought iron pergola that would not look out of place in an old English country garden.
Vergelegen has 2 restaurants; Camphors offers fine dining and is regularly placed in the top 10 South African restaurants, and Stables which is a relaxed open air eatery in the bistro mould. Picnic baskets are offered out in the forest or on the sprawling lawns.
Vergelegen is a premier award-winning wine producer and any meal taken on the estate should include a bottle of their finest.