I often get asked which are my favorite venues within the Winelands or the Cape Peninsula 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.
So, for this blog I took the liberty of identifying some of my favourite venues within a 20 km radius of our offices in Somerset-West. There are other exceptional locations that I love working at so journey with us as I list more venues here that are very dear to my heart.
1. Clouds Estate, Stellenbosch
Treat yourself to true luxury and the best that nature has to offer. Situated on one of the world’s most beautiful mountain passes, Clouds Wine and Guest Estate is a small boutique hotel at the peak of the Helshoogte Pass. This private estate is a working farm that produces its own wines. It also offers premium accommodation that blends designer luxury with all the mod cons. A stylish destination surrounded by incredible views, a stay at Clouds Hotel & Villas is truly memorable. Their team will enhance the awe-inspiring setting and world-class facilities with exceptional service and attention to detail.
2. The Conservatory, Franschhoek
Nestled on the banks of the Kastaiing River, The Conservatory is set among vineyards and ancient oaks, presenting an absolute hidden gem for your special day. Their facilities are set on spacious grounds and surrounded by the majestic backdrop of the Franschhoek Mountains, providing a private and tranquil setting that is ideal for photographs and making wonderful memories. It truly feels as if you are celebrating within a greenhouse in the perfect countryside setting. The interior and the garden exterior marries in perfect union.
3. Grande Provence, Franschhoek
Set on 47 vine-covered acres, Grand Provence is in the heartland of the wine country and offers both authenticity and grandeur to the bride and groom. The venue offers an extraordinary setting for your special day, with endless photographic opportunities, whether outdoors in the beautifully manicured garden or indoors in the superbly decorated private room of The Jonkershuis.
The estate also scores top marks for their accommodation. I will make the Owner’s Cottage my own residence in a heartbeat and they would need an army to get me out of the main bedroom!
4. La Residence, Franschhoek
When I drove through the gates of the estate for the very first time – we are talking ten years ago – I was stunned by the daring colour of the exterior. Within minutes of stepping inside, admiring the interior, architecture and clever design, it all made sense and spoke to my soul.
The 30 acre estate is the perfect place to unwind. With swimming pools, a spa, restaurant, vineyards and endless private spaces in which to curl up with a good book. My favourite space at this 5-star estate is the Elton John suite.
Great food and fine wines are the order of the day at La Residence but the natural beauty of the surroundings lends itself to numerous diverse experiences from hiking and cycling to visiting art galleries, festivals and motor museums.
5. Laurent at Lourensford, Somerset-West
This elite venue is situated on one of the most historic agricultural farms in South Africa. Lourensford Wine Estate is rich in history and heritage. Laurent offers a backdrop of mountains, vineyards and orchards with the sleek veranda overlooking the polo field. Our team brings this venue, with its offer of the finest food and wines, full circle working alongside local and international wedding coordinators – with our clients’ ideas adding the final magic ingredient.
6. MolenVliet Oosthuizen Family Vineyards, Stellenbosch
MolenVliet Oosthuizen Family Vineyards is a boutique wine and guest estate situated in the Banhoek Valley in Stellenbosch with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards.
The luxury accommodation comprises a 5-star offering that captures the magnificent views of the vineyards, mountains, river and the well-established gardens. I love these gardens in particular as it is so well manicured, yet, makes you feel as if you are surrounded and engulfed by the Knysna Forest. There are a multitude of locations to choose from and so much freedom within their offering and their approach. It is a true pleasure for The Aleit Group to work here.