I often get asked which are my favorite venues for hosting weddings. And I always feel that it’s not a fair question because Cape Town and surrounds, and in fact the whole of South Africa, boasts so many amazingly functional and visually appealing locations.
In March I shared some of my favourite venues in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. This time, I turn my attention to some of my favourite venues for a spectacular winter wedding.
1. Bona Dea Private Estate
The Hemel-en-Aarde valley close to Hermanus is famous for its vineyards and dramatic mountain backdrops. It is also just a stone’s throw away from some of the country’s most pristine beaches and whale watching spots.
That’s part of the reason why I love the 5-star Bona Dea Private Estate as a venue. It’s accessibility and proximity to so many wonderful landmarks puts it right up there with the top venues. The charming old Cape-styled farmhouse was kept during renovations and it sets a regal tone for the rest of the premises. Opulence, in terms of décor and ambience, is one of the keywords here.
What I love most is the uninterrupted views of the breathtaking valley beyond the entertainment terrace. There is an effortless flow between inside and outside which affords the whole building with light, airy spaces. This is a definite “yes” for any discerning bridal couple who is after exclusivity, privacy and opulence.
The RiverGold Functions Venue sits on the fertile Stormsvlei road between Robertson and Bonnievale. I adore the honesty and simplicity of the venue, offering you a real sense of belonging in the countryside. The main aim here is to combine the rustic farm feeling with modern finesse and style.
The beautiful old farm house has been transformed into the functions venue with multiple spaces and timber decks extending to both sides of the venue. The floor to ceiling frosted doors add elegance to the wood – which was freely used in the interior. The venue also boasts neatly manicured gardens, some great on-site wine and even a newly fitted industrial kitchen, which makes the catering for any wedding a breeze.
3. Lord’s Guest Lodge
For a unique wedding experience, Lord’s Guest Lodge, situated just outside of McGregor might just be the perfect choice. My first impression is that of romance, set in a slightly isolated, Scottish inspired setting.
The stone and thatch of the buildings, including that of the onsite chapel, simply spells enchantment to me. The venue can accommodate 80 guests, with onsite accommodation in executive suites with names such as Grant, Mackenzie and Cameron. You can almost see the brave swordsman on his horse fighting for his bride amongst the beautifully kept rose garden and sprawling green lawn.
I am always mesmerized by the lure and beauty of historic little towns in the Western Cape. Tulbagh is certainly one of those and I love to just stroll along the winding Main Road, admiring the old buildings and imagining how people lived in those days.
So it comes as no surprise that I have a favourite venue in this area.
Montpellier affords you that old-word charm with the quintessential Cape Dutch Manor House, standing witness to over 300 years of history.
Tranquil and timeless are two words that come to mind immediately when I think of Montpellier. With a variety of venues such as the Dome Cathedral and the Chapel, the estate caters for anything from intimate to lavish celebrations.
The expanse of rolling vineyards, gardens, hidden paths and tree-lined walkways almost provides a sanctuary against the impressive backdrop of the surrounding mountains.
5. Olive Rock
Framed by the Witzenberge and rolling green hills, Olive Rock has been designed to fit seamlessly into the natural surroundings. Owners Nick and Simone Stanford got married on the farm themselves and made sure that every possibly wedding “need” is taken care at this venue.
The expansive multilevel lawns always impress me and the river frontage so close by, just provides that extra little magic.
The venue itself is humble, yet sophisticated in its simplicity. It can easily shift from hosting intimate indoor functions to accommodating up to 200 guests under a bedouin marquee. A collection of tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery and glasses are included in the venue hire.
A must for any easy-going, nature-loving couple!
Rockhaven Farm is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, yet the natural beauty of the Elgin Valley transports you to a different world.
This venue is definitely for more creative couples, yearning for an earthy experience, with all the freedom to create their very own look and feel. The raw brick and wood interior, exposed trusses and cement floor of the venue provides you with a clean canvas to decorate to your heart’s desire. The Boathouse, which doubles as the chapel, is truly spectacular – sitting right on the water’s edge with full paneled glass windows.
The big lawns and different terraces serve as lovely varied spaces for pre-dinner drinks, mid-night fires or even an outdoor ceremony in summer. A worthy venue and a trusted choice of mine.