By the time October draws to a close, life has become quite overwhelming for most people … it has been a long year, nerves are frazzled and tempers are short.

We therefore eagerly counted down the days until we could leave town and head to the Overberg region – this time our destination was the Olive Tree Country House. Situated on the old “Glenfruin” farm, it is nestled at the entrance to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, and its increasingly popular wine route.

As usual, we were lucky enough to be able to leave just after school let out on Friday and with bags packed, we piled in the car, with snacks for the road and loads of anticipation.

The directions given by the owner were clear and precise and we arrived at the arranged time to find the agent waiting for us at the property, ready to give us the keys and show us around. We were so pleased to find that the house was all that we anticipated and more. It’s very well designed, with the living areas to one side and the bedrooms on the other, separated by a spacious entrance hall.

With a double garage offering direct access to the large kitchen, ease of living is guaranteed. The kitchen is modern and equipped with everything you could possibly need, including a dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, microwave oven and naturally a fridge and stove as well. Plus, it’s fully equipped with every kind of dish or utensil you may require during your stay.

The kitchen has direct access to the cosy dining area which has a formal, yet comfortable feel to it.

We made our way to the four bedrooms, all of which are spacious and offer luxurious beds, soft and warm bedding, and ample cupboard space for all your belongings.

The master bedroom has French doors opening onto the pool area, and is light and bright with windows on every side. It has an en-suite bathroom with a bath and fabulous shower, as does the additional family bathroom.

The remaining three bedrooms consist of a queen size bed, two three quarter beds (combined to form a king size bed), and one with two single beds.

Before we unpacked and settled in, we decided to all take an impromptu swim in the pool. The owner has graciously made provision for a large amount of towels – a very thoughtful gesture. At this time, the temperature was rapidly dropping and I was beginning to change my mind. The boys all jumped in and to their great surprise, I managed to get myself into the water. Although the air was quite chilly by now, the water was divine and refreshed us after our long drive. Needless to say, we didn’t stay in long before hopping out and deciding to have hot baths and showers.

We started the braai fire (wood had been thoughtfully provided), unpacked and settled into our home for the weekend. Once the food was ready, we ate outside on the comfortable patio furniture, enjoying the sounds you never get in the city … the chirping of night creatures and the gurgling of the small river that runs along the boundary of the property.

Settling down later on the comfortable sofas, we lit the indoor fire and snuggled down to either watch some cartoons (the four year old) and YouTube (the teenager), taking advantage of the available Wi-Fi. Later that night, we all cuddled up in the luxurious beds and slept soundly until morning, when we were awakened by the sounds of what seemed like hundred or more birds outside……what a way to wake up!

After cooking up a full English breakfast, we decided to pop to the local shops for some yummy goods to eat. There are a wide variety of little shops to discover, from eateries to craft shops, all selling everything that your heart desires. At the entrance to Glen Fruin sits ‘At The Village Stall’, which is home to restaurants, coffee shops and art and craft displays. It is truly stunning and I had to drag myself away. We took our treasures back to the house and lounged around some more, with the kids swimming, playing ball games on the rolling lawns and exploring the river.

For some reason, by 11:30am we were famished. I attribute this to the fresh country air, as well as the fact that we were spending much more time outdoors – as opposed to being at home in the city, where we would be glued to any and every form of technology.

We decided to take a short drive to Hermanus to find a great restaurant for lunch, where we could order something delicious that would suit both adults and kids. After a long, leisurely and very delicious lunch, we drove slowly back “home” intending to relax a bit more. This isn’t always possible with kids, but this time we were lucky and they all kept themselves busy, mostly outdoors. The adults were able to enjoy great wine and good conversation. We even had an extended visit from the neighbours’ two friendly dogs, who came to say hello and spend some time with us!

The joy of having a tumble dryer available for our use was evident in that we didn’t have to endure wet towels all over the place. It’s a convenience that makes holiday life that much more enjoyable.

After a full day of being outdoors and in and out of the pool, everyone slowly drifted indoors to once more light the fire and settle down to watch old home movies that we had brought along especially for the occasion.

We had a wonderful evening, with the patio doors opened wide to let in the lovely evening, with its beautiful sounds, all the while cuddling down on the extremely comfortable sofas. Not wanting the magical evening to end, we stayed up as long as possible, but eventually shut the doors and once again settled into our divine beds for the night. We were all asleep within seconds.

We woke the next morning to birdsong yet again, but were loath to leave the warmth of the beds. As is tradition, we had a huge breakfast, once again outdoors, agreeing that we would most certainly be back to stay in this beautiful home. The owner, Chris, has done a wonderful job with creating a luxurious, yet homely feel to the house. It’s a beautiful home, with superb surroundings, all of which contributes to an amazing experience.

All that was left to do was throw our clothes back into our bags and wait for the agent to arrive to collect the keys. She arrived on time and we handed over the keys, regretful to leave our little piece of paradise.

We firmly agreed that we would most certainly be back, and we drove away, heading home, having thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Please note that this review was done for Rooms for Africa.  Please visit:

http://www.roomsforafrica.com/art/weekend_stay_olive_tree_country_house

for the original review, more photographs and stunning getaways!

 

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