Stellenbosch's own secret garden
Villa Grande is a charming B&B and Guest House offering luxury Stellenbosch accommodation in a stylishly renovated 1920s villa. The warm, welcoming Guest House is located right in the heart of Stellenbosch, in the Cape Winelands and offers elegantly-appointed rooms, with comfortable, tasteful furnishings. The attentive staff will go above and beyond to ensure that you are happy and have a wonderful, unforgettable experience – from helping you to plan your perfect itinerary to bringing up port and water trays for your enjoyment every evening.
One of Stellenbosch's most beautiful attractions is undoubtedly the 'secret garden.' The Botanical Gardens are hidden in the centre of town and the entrance can be found in Van Riebeek Street. Breathe in the sweet scent of the roses and feast your eyes on the fairyland around you. The sun peaks through the dense foliage of the yellowwood, camphor, mango and tulip trees, creating an inviting dappled shade – a welcome relief from the Stellenbosch sun. This is the oldest university garden in South Africa and at 1.8 hectares; it's a small oasis and one of Stellenbosch's best hidden gems.
Wander around and delight in the abundance of trees and plants around you, including a selection of herbs and medicinal plants. The soothing tinkle of the water fountains adds to the restful ambience and delicate sculptures lord over carpets of flowers bringing their own majesty to the graceful Eden. Catch a glimpse of the glimmering fire of orange-red scales as the koi circle the pond, hiding under the lilies, looking for food. Indigenous blends perfectly with exotic and the whole garden resonates with the sounds of birds calling to each other and the low chatter of happy visitors.
Katjiepiering is idyllically positioned within the garden, with tables and chairs set out under the ancient trees and a menu specialising in delectable, homemade food. The restaurant is open every day between 08h30 and 17h00 during summer and has a tranquil ambience enhanced by the beautiful natural setting. The scrumptious cakes on display are bound to tempt one and taste as good as they look, while there is also a selection of delicious sandwiches and other savoury snacks and meals on offer.
Look out for the 'katjiepiering' which is grown in two pots by the entrance. The sweet-smelling native Chinese flowers are extremely delicate and bruise when touched and were imported to the Cape from England in 1750. 'Catshopiri' is the Afrikaans name for them, drawing on the Malay name for the species.
Savour your tasty cake and enjoy the restful beauty of the garden, which is very much what one imagines the 'Secret Garden' in the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, to look like. This is a place where you expect something magical to happen – you can feel its specialness as soon as you enter and the intense colours of the flowers and trees and their sweet fragrance delights your senses. Villa Grande is located close by to the garden and the luxury Stellenbosch accommodation won't disappoint, offering tasteful, sophisticated rooms and outstanding service.
About the Author:
Villa Grande offers warm-hearted boutique hotel accommodation in Stellenbosch and is situated in the historic centre of the town in the beautiful Cape winelands.
Contact Niel today to find out more about visiting Stellenbosch .