Brookdale Estate has introduced private wine and dine experiences with special menus created by Executive Chef Gary Coetzee. Small groups of up to 12 people are catered for with brunch, lunch or cocktail menus custom designed and personalised to the taste of guests. There is an option of wine pairing by winemaker Kiara Scott to showcase the estate wines, including the lauded Brookdale Chenin Blanc, as well as the Mason Road range.
Private events and special dining experiences may be booked by non-resident guests and day visitors for celebrations ranging from birthdays, anniversaries and corporate events, to engagement parties and bridal showers. Depending on the nature of the event and the weather conditions on the day, the event may be hosted in any of various magnificent dining areas in the Brookdale Manor House, or al fresco at the pool house and terrace.
Depending on the season, a tasting menu could include a refreshing starter of Chilled tomato water and Parmesan tuille served with the Mason Road Serendipity Rosé 2020, followed by a Raw broccoli and avocado salad enjoyed with the Mason Road Chenin Blanc 2021. Fish Ravioli with caper and Brookdale Chenin Blanc sauce is complemented by the show-stopping Brookdale Chenin Blanc 2018, leading to the main course of Loin of lamb, wholegrain mustard mash, carrots, peas and rosemary jus served with the Mason Road Syrah 2020, before the festivities end on a sweet note with Mocca Brûlée, coffees and tea.
With some 20 years of experience under his belt in some of South Africa’s most lauded kitchens, Chef Gary specialises in delicious tasting menus. Inspired by the changing seasons and the quality of Paarl’s local produce, he brings imagination and playfulness to each dish. He also takes pleasure in putting together elegant, family-style options served in a relaxed environment while guests soak up the tranquil surrounds and natural majesty of the Paarl winelands. He says: ‘Here at Brookdale we have the opportunity to share this magnificent location and the fruit of the valley with our guests. While our restaurant is under construction on the estate, we are pleased to have the opportunity to offer the exclusivity of a luxurious private venue where we create a stylish and private, home-away-from-home experience. We are proud to offer a place to relax and entertain guests while all the details are taken care of by our professional team.’
The Manor House is surrounded by expansive gardens which may also be used for pre-drinks or exclusive picnic events.
Whale-watching season, in Hermanus, is in full swing and The Marine hotel is inviting locals to make the most of this special time of the year, by booking a stay at up to 25% discount on the bed and breakfast rate.
Traditionally, whale watching season falls between July and November when Southern Right whales are spotted frolicking in the beautiful bays of Hermanus. The area is favoured as the choice mating and breeding grounds for the species and presents the perfect base to experience these unforgettable sightings. This year, the pandemic forced organizers of the renowned annual Hermanus Whale Festival to cancel the event, but fortunately, one of the ‘greatest shows of the natural world’ is carrying on regardless, with whales instinctively arriving in the protected bays of the Overberg seaside town – almost daily.
At The Marine guests are encouraged to keep their ears open for the whale bell, which gets rung at the hotel whenever a whale is spotted in the bay below. The Southern Right whale is one of the largest species of whale with females between 14 and 16 meters long and males from 13 to 15 meters, and adult whales weighing between 40 and 50 tons.
The team at The Marine is passionate about whale conservation and committed to supporting the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit, which offers symbolic adoptions of the best-known Southern Right whales. The Marine has embraced this educational and conservational project with the adoption of ‘Maggie the whale’, who can be recognised by a small grey marking on her back. Maggie was the first female Southern Right whale to ever be identified in South African waters. Over the years, she has returned to Hermanus regularly, having had no less than ten calves in normal three-year calving intervals along the South African coast. New whale mothers like Maggie come quite close to shore as they need to get the calf, who can weigh over 900kg at birth, to the surface of the water for its first breath after it is born. This provides guests of The Marine with the delightful opportunity to experience what is rated as the finest land-based whale watching in the world, sometimes even from the comfort of their guest room!
Located on Hermanus’ famous cliff path, overlooking the breathtaking Walker Bay, The Marine is currently offering excellent savings for those needing a break and a change of scenery. As a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property it offers ideal remote-working conditions, allowing guests to combine work and pleasure to present professionals with the opportunity to enjoy world-class hospitality in a safe bubble with their loved ones.
Families with children are welcome, as well as their ‘furry friends’ who will receive 5-star treatment, complete with a special doggy menu, toys and 5-star hotel bedding provided. For those looking for even more privacy and exclusivity, The Marine also offers the option to book a dedicated wing ideal for families and multi-generational travel. All room types feature free WIFI and have a desk or dedicated workspace available to cater to guests needing to work during their stay. Excellent Covid-19 safety protocols are in place.
Cape Town, July 2021: Conservation history has been made in the Western Cape with the registration of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve as a non-profit company, following its rezoning from agricultural to conservational use.
Sanbona is one of South Africa’s largest privately-owned nature reserves, stretching across 58 000 hectares of rich protected ecosystems within two biodiversity hotspots. This vast track of land in the Little Karoo outside Montagu will from now on be governed by a Protected Area Management Agreement. This formal proclamation of Sanbona as a Nature Reserve in partnership with CapeNature’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme is set to secure its future for perpetuity.
General Manager Paul Vorster says the transition into a non-profit company is a milestone for conservation. Particularly for the protection of threatened ecosystems, the reintroduction of extirpated wildlife, and restoration of degraded habitats that preserve numerous rare species. ‘Having this large private conservation area converted into a non-profit model allows for a vehicle of collaboration with conservation bodies and community development, as an internationally accepted model for sustainability.’
Twenty years ago, an audacious dream was given life on the arid plains of the Little Karoo. More than 500 square kilometres of agricultural land was earmarked for the creation of the reserve that would attempt to conserve the heritage, ecosystems and landscapes, while creating employment opportunities in one of South Africa’s hardest hit rural centres. Risks were quantified and with a leap of faith, species that had become locally extinct hundreds of years previously, were reintroduced to explore their new home, including elephant, hippopotamus, cheetah and lion.
Although many other reserves in South Africa have successfully been transformed in previous decades from other uses, this was the first attempt in an arid Karoo environment. Numerous challenges were faced without case studies or scientific literature to inform the process. Sanbona’s dedicated conservation team has spent the last 20 years developing and refining a model that identifies outcome driven projects, with the goal of establishing resilient ecosystems, landscapes and communities. These innovative projects have fostered collaborations with international academic institutions and leading conservation organisations.
In October 2015, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve was bought by the non-profit CALEO Foundation and the reserve entered a new phase of its vision. The Foundation’s goal is to protect critically vital ecosystems, endangered wildlife and flora, so that they can prosper. The acquisition of Sanbona was perfectly suited to meet this goal and over the years it has become a role player in many ground-breaking conservation initiatives.
On behalf of future generations, CALEO Foundation decided that the best way to ensure the protection of Sanbona would be to donate and transfer it into a non-profit company (NPC), as this transfer significantly enhances the prospects of the reserve being preserved as a wilderness refuge indefinitely. The new non-profit entity of the reserve is the Sanbona Nature and Wilderness Reserve NPC. Following onto this objective, the NPC can now drive donorship into conservation funding with the added benefit of qualifying as a public benefit organisation (PBO). This comes with associated advantages, among which is the tax benefit it affords to donors, whereby donations made to Sanbona NPC may be treated as tax-deductible expenses.
Today, Sanbona serves as a major role player in the conservation realm, which is shared and intricately woven into the guest experiences at each of the three luxurious lodges, Tilney Manor, Gondwana Family Lodge and Dwyka Tented Lodge, as well as the seasonal Explorer Camp. Revenue from the hospitality business will continue to be invested in Sanbona NPC. In effect, all funds generated by tourism at Sanbona will now be injected directly into the ongoing, long term protection and identified conservation projects, as well as protected area expansion.
Golf enthusiasts are invited to escape the winter cold and head for the Garden Route where The Plettenberg and Fancourt have put together a special offer that includes the opportunity to play no less than three of SA’s top golf courses. Locals can experience the famed ‘Plett feeling’ with The Plettenberg’s Putt and Plett special which includes a round of golf at the Gary Player-designed Goose Valley Golf course, and the use of a golf cart.
The 5-star treatment continues with luxury accommodation and a complimentary room upgrade plus minibar. Full English breakfast is included daily, as well as a 3-course dinner in the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, or served in the comfort of guest suites. A rejuvenating spa treatment is included to the value of R550 per person at Fresh Wellness Spa, and a 2- varietal wine and canapé tasting with a vineyard platter to share at the award-winning Luka Vineyards nearby. The Plett Winelands is home to 18 wine farms and is fast becoming a major attraction on the Garden Route, being conducive to producing cooler-climate wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir varietals. To complete the ultimate holiday for outdoor enthusiasts, a 30% discount is offered on whale watching and dolphin encounters from Plett-based activity partners Ocean Blue Adventures, as well as visits to the trio of animal sanctuaries of Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani.
Golfers may also extend the trip to Fancourt and book the 2-night ‘Tee off in paradise’ package where each guest receives one round of golf per day on Fancourt’s Outeniqua or Montagu golf courses. Alternatively, partners who do not play golf may use a complimentary Spa voucher to the value of R635, or a dinner voucher to the value of R375.
During the winter months when other parts of the country are hauling out the winter woollies, the Garden Route remains inviting, boasting mild weather conditions and pleasant, sunny days. With more than 25 top-notch golf courses along the 250-km stretch of coastline, it is widely recognised as South Africa’s golfing mecca. It is the perfect destination for a self-drive road trip to soak in the unsurpassable scenery of the Southern Cape and the beguiling diversity of its seaside cliffs, white sandy beaches, lagoons and evergreen forests.
About The Plettenberg
The Plettenberg, part of The Liz McGrath Collection, is situated on a rocky headland in one of South Africa’s most spectacular beach towns. Tucked neatly into the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay boasts a year-round temperate climate, pristine beaches and dense green forests, making it the ultimate South African seaside escape. The 5-star Small Luxury Hotels of the World property has direct beach access and showcase some of the most breathtaking vistas in Southern Africa, with views of the ocean, mountains and endless stretches of golden sand. The hotel features 37 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including 12 Suites and two spectacular Villas.
Guests may enjoy world-class cuisine courtesy of The Plettenberg restaurant, where deliciously fresh seafood dishes are served in a mesmerising seaside setting. The Sandbar meanwhile, is the perfect spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks, as well as tea, wine and meticulously crafted signature cocktails throughout the day. Guests may relax at one of two pools with stunning sea views, or on the Sun Lounge & Terrace, before getting pampered at the Fresh Wellness Spa, or indulging in a spot of shopping at The Collection Boutique. Whether visitors are looking for a romantic seaside escape or an action-packed family holiday, The Plettenberg is the ideal place to relax and unwind, recharge and reinvigorate.