Country Life Magazine
Posted on 27 January 2015 by country Life

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get out of town with someone special. It can be a tricky task to get this right, though. Here’s our attempt to help out: 3 romantic country escapes. 

1. Kendall Cottage, Franschhoek, Western Cape

Driving down the tree-lined avenue of Allée Bleue always lifts my soul. I feel the shackles of everyday life falling away as
I slow down and take in the grand buildings, the orderly vineyards and orchards and the majestic backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains.

The estate’s Kendall Cottage, a 30-minute drive from Cape Town, makes for an easy romantic escape. The quaint, self-catering cottage, which dates back nearly a hundred years, retains its historic charm but has been stylishly renovated with all the mod cons, chic furniture and artworks and, of course, all the necessary ingredients for those seeking a romantic retreat. Soak in the big freestanding bath, enjoy a lazy breakfast on the terrace as you gaze over the vineyards, tour the famous herb garden, sample award-winning wines from the house bar or take a short drive into Franschhoek. – Fiona McIntosh

021 874 1021

2. Igababa Cabin, Limpopo, Louis Trichardt / Makhado

If you fancy a romantic bubble bath for two under the stars, with only the low call of owls around you, Igababa Cabin is just the place. Situated below the mountains of the eastern Soutpansberg, it is an ideal base from which to explore the area.

Alternatively, you can just chill together on the private deck or in the plunge pool with a bottle of bubbly and watch the sun sink behind the mountains. Igababa was designed by Gail and Alistair Maytham along the lines of what they would want from a bush getaway – privacy, personality and a touch of decadence. Creatively built to bring the outdoors inside, the cabin front is made entirely of glass and the shower has a Zen-like simplicity. The grassland, wetland and semi-deciduous scrub-forest habitats host many small animals. The bird life is abundant and there are many trails that allow you to explore the farm or walk to the top of the mountain and take in the views. – Lisa Martus

084 400 4595

3. The Dam Cabin at Sandile’s Rest, Eastern Cape, Amathole Mountains

Sandile’s Rest is romantic because I say it is. It’s a feeling. Don’t ask me why, it’s like asking why I think the girl at the strawberry shop has beautiful eyes. It helps that the accommodation is built of logs that beam the comforting glow of wood.

Sandile’s is quiet and tucked away; no one will find you. You can be outside all day, bouncing along on mountain bikes or horseback or take Shanks’s pony over hill and dale. If you’re the twitchy type there are dank forest trails and tumbling brooks where you can tiptoe on stepping stones and soak up the birdsong. Or just stay in, drift away in the clawfoot bath at the end of the bed, then melt into the linen that swirls around you like the mountain mist outside.

– Edward Truter
082 784 0906 / 043 683 7338