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A Weekend Of Adventure In Stanford – HaesFarm

On the 1st of October, Cole and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. We always take turns planning our celebrations, and this year was my turn. I really wanted us to go away for the weekend, just the two of us. No plans, no itinerary, no responsibilities… just a bit of freedom. A few weeks before I did a sponsored campaign for Afristay where I listed the most romantic and unusual getaways around Cape Town – I probably went through a hundred listings to put together my exclusive list. HaesFarm definitely ticked the boxes – they deserved that place on the list, but I will be completely honest here… it was not our first, second or even third choice.

 

We struggled to book accommodation, everywhere within our budget was fully booked and we only found out afterwards that it was the annual whale festival in Hermanus as well as the launch of the new Africamps at Stanford Hills. No wonder… the place was flooded with tourists. HaesFarm happened to have space, so we booked it… we were not expecting one of the best and most inspiring weekends we have had in a very, very long time. Actually, we had no idea what to expect at all. From their listing online you can tell that the decor is really pretty and the views are damn great – but none of that does this place justice.

 

Situated in the midst of a 40 hectare organic lifestyle fynbos farm in the popular Overberg region, close to Stanford the house has a spectacular view all the way to the ocean and Hermanus. That we knew from reading the profile, but seeing it in all it’s glory is something that will take your breath away. We arrived really late on Friday night, after being almost certain that we were lost. When we pulled up to the accommodation it was dark outside, we could not see anything but the house. We were greeted and welcomed by HarryΒ Portman, Dutch architect extraordinaire, his partner Steyn Jacobs and their beloved labradorΒ who live in the adjoining barn-house.Β I could tell I was going to like them straight away (even before I saw their book collection). They gave us a tour of the house, and got us settled in by recommending a lovely crisp white wine and craft beer to shake off the long road. They do not normally serve dinner, but I think everyone in the valley could hear Cole’s stomach rumble. A few minutes later Harry appeared out of his beautifully designed kitchen with a Dutch delicacy – a platter of the most divine vegetarian and beef Bitterballen.

 

After our tummies were full, and we have had some time to relax – we retreated to our bedroom. We were exhausted… our hosts had already switched on the heating so the room was nice and cosy. I grabbed one of the books and settled in for the night. The rooms all have block-out blinds and we were left to sleep in peace, with the occasional roar of a lion in the far distance from the Panthera Sanctuary. Steyn and Harry clearly love to entertain, and they adjusted to our pace – which is not something you find often. There was no “breakfast will be served at 8:30am”… we just needed to come find them and tell them when we were ready to eat. That is something I really appreciated. Also, calling it a breakfast is a bit silly, it was an extravaganza. A three-course, ethically and locally sourced experience for the senses. Freshly squeezed orange and pear juice as well as coffee and tea was served in exquisite crockery. We were started off with a plate of organic fruits, yoghurt and granola – all carefully placed to create a work of art. After we finished, we were presented with a platter of cheeses from the award-winning Klein River Cheese farm nearby, served with locally sourced cured meats and home-baked bread. The jams were made my Harry himself, strawberry and chilli was my personal favorite while Cole enjoyed the lemon and ginger marmalade. Our final course were “cloud eggs”, served with locally sourced bacon. I actually tried to re-create this yesterday for Cole’s birthday – it is not as easy as it looks! Harry and Steyn put so much effort into every single part of breakfast, every plate came out like a work of art. Pair that with the scenic view in front of you as you nibble away… life does not get better than this.

 

The views took our breath away… rolling green hills and mountains stretch out for what seem like forever, ending in ocean – as far as the eye can see. It was an incredible surprise after arriving in the dark the previous night. Steyn gave us some great tips on what to do around Stanford, and just as luck would have it – our best friends happened to be in town at the same time! The suckers brought their (very adorable) child with them, so while they waited for him to finish his nap my husband attempted to kill me. He. Rented. A. Canoe. I am terrified of water where I cannot see the bottom, I also know his mischievous streak and just knew he wanted to tip the canoe over on purpose – that is the kind of thing he would find hilarious. He did not do any of that, but he did crash into a tree “on purpose”. I was terrified, but life with this man is, and always have been, one hell of an adventure. I eventually managed to relax after the “let’s-crash-into-a-tree” incident and it actually turned out to be rather romantic.

 

We met up with our friends and spent the day at Stanford Village where they were having a market and some live music. We drank the most delicious gins, craft beers and the best wines. We had so much fun that we did not even take a single photo???! We headed up to Birkenhead Brewery thereafter and did a beer tasting, and were too late to make it for a cheese and wine pairing at Klein Rivier which I was rather sad about.

 

 

We parted ways so that Cole and I could get ready for our romantic supper which was part of our booking special. We enjoyed some wine on the patio while smiling about the amazing day we just had, and then had the most invigorating outdoor shower while watching the sun set. We headed off to The Manor House where Steyn and Harry booked our anniversary dinner (only a 5-minute drive away), and while it was absolutely delicious – I would rather have had more of Steyn and Harry’s cooking! The prawn risotto and the deep-fried artichokes are an absolute winner, a must if you will be paying the restaurant a visit.

 

 

We were so sad to leave the next day, but there was one more thing left on the agenda… Steyn had decided to come out of retirement and is now offering his incredible massage services again. This is a man who was approached by the royal family in Saudi to be the crown prince’s personal masseuse… he is a magician. It was honestly the best massage I had ever had in my entire life… and the perfect way to end off the weekend. This was the best money ever spent, we were lucky enough to nab one of their September specials and it cost us R3800 for two nights, included breakfasts, a dinner/lunch at The Manor House and two 30-minute massages!

 

I would recommend HaesFarm to anyone looking for a break, to regroup, re-energize, revitalize and leave inspired and refreshed. It is definitely NOT child-friendly, no under 18’s allowed.

 

Things I love most about HaesFarm:

  • They are completely off the grid, sustainable and believe in recycling
  • All indemnities are 100% natural and from the Africology range, and thus not harmful to the vegetation around them
  • It stays a maximum of four people, so it will never get crowded
  • It has the feel of being in the middle of nowhere, when you are only a few minutes drive away from all the main attractions Stanford has to offer
  • While Steyn and Harry live in the adjoining house, they respect your privacy and offer absolute comfort and hospitality
  • They stock THE BEST wines and beers, I highly recommend trying the B.Bos wine (thank you for the tip Steyn, it is my new favorite!)
  • Harry and Steyn really do love entertaining, and they put so much effort into everything they do for you. They truly love their home and it shows
  • Their book collection is incredible, I wish I could go for a month just to read them all
  • If you are an art lover, you will be blown away by their amazing collection. From prototypes of iconic pieces to originals, to local artists… they have incredible taste. The decor is just like something out of a magazine.
  • You get so much more than what you pay for. If you compare the pricing of our stay to the surrounding guest houses with a similar vibe, it is such a bargain. Like I said, it cost us R3800 and that included a 3-course dinner or lunch at The Manor House, breakfast and two 30-minute massages! And breakfast in itself was a superb three courses!

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, HaesFarm was not aware that they would be reviewed and the stay was paid for by ourselves. I used Afristay as a booking forum due to the campaign I worked on with them. Great example of how bad a business woman I am… get paid by someone and then use the money on their services! That being said, I found booking on Afristay incredibly easy and everyone was so helpful. There were no errors and all our dietary needs were communicated effectively. I will happily use them again in the future.

 

 

For more photo’s, see Riekert Cloete’s website

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A 3-course breakfast at the most gorgeous place I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. So excited to get the day started! P.s – this stay is not sponsored by Haesfarm, nor are they expecting any exposure from having us here. Everything at breakfast was locally sourced and the cheese platter was from the best cheese farm in South Africa! Steyn and Harry made the jam themselves – lemon and ginger and strawberry and chilli. Good enough to eat with a spoon!!. . . . . #travel #instagood #instatravel #travelgram #trip #love #explore #travelling #instatraveling #lifestyle . . . . #breakfast #food #instafood #foodporn #yummy #delicious #foodpic #foodie #foodpics #amazing #coffee #morning #goodmorning #foodstagram #foodgasm #weekend #onthetable #homemade

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If you watched my IG stories, you would know how damn nervous I was about this. Cole was so excited though so I gave it a go… you know, being spontanious and all that… it was terrifying.πŸ˜‚πŸŽ£πŸŸπŸ˜± . . #weekend #stanford #river #southafrica #travelsa #travel #nature #instagood #instatravel #travelgram #trip #love #beautiful #adventure #explore #travelling #instadaily #holiday #life #happy #tourism #igtravel #fun #instatraveling #lifestyle #happiness #river #nature #water #outdoors #getoutside #weekend #rivers

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