Excellent Excelsior Manor and Wine Estate

In dire need of a break away, us city slickers packed our bags for a quick weekend away in the winelands.

Destination:Excellent Excelsior Manor and Wine Estate

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After a nice long drive right along South Africa’s gloriously long Route 62 – the longest wine route in the world we arrived famished and tired late in the evening, only to be greeted by two very friendly faces Kirsten and James.

A sumptous feast in the great dining hall complete with wine and crackling fire awaited us. Such an inviting and most romantic dinner for two! IMG_2258

Truly it was the most delicious lamb shank I have ever tastedIMG_2271! This was just the beginning as we were soon to learn, Kirstin continued to spoil us throughout the weekeend with feasts fit for a King & Queen.

In South Africa we have an Afrikaans saying: “Magies vol, oogies toe” translated into english “Tummies full, eyes closed” and that’s exactly what we did, hit the hay except our bedroom was far more luxurious than hay. Evanthuis Luxury Room had a comfortable King bed with cozy fireplace in the corner and magnificent Victorian clawed bath as well as a shower in the en suite. What more could a girl ask for?

IMG_2249IMG_2268With only 9 rooms to choose from inside the Manor Guesthouse, I’m pretty sure we got the best one.

We slept like babies and awoke rather late to the most divine smells coming from the breakfast hall.

IMG_2467After a delicious full on breakfast buffet, we got some bicycles from James and decided to cycle through the vineyards. It was such a gorgeous day we ended up cycling all the way to the town of Ashton we stopped at local tourist attraction Platform 62. Really great antique and wine store, complete with restaurant and full on victorian steam engine right outside its doors.

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Steam Locomotive Outside Platform 62

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Antique Goat Hoof Candle sticks at Platform 62

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Vintage Luggage cases at Platform 62

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Vintage Ornaments at Platform 62

We decided to come back by car before we left town to fill up on some dicsounted bottles of vino…the ultimate souvenir when in the wine country!

IMG_2347 IMG_2303After a leisurely cycle back to the Manor we made it just in time to try our hand at Excelsior’s unique ‘Blend Your Own Wine’ experience. What a fantastic idea! One can choose what percentage of Merlot, Shiraz & Cabernet to create your own unique blend. Rather than explain it to you, I’ll let you watch  this short video of how it’s done:

We then grabbed lunch from Excelsior’s Deli ‘Graze’ and even though we were completely late as the deli was closing shop, Chef Deon graciously let us order some sandwiches and generously offered us a bottle of Excelsior Chardonnay which we could enjoy with our lunch.

It was such a lovely day that we decided to take the afternoon slow and soak up the sun’s rays from our stunning verandah with sweeping views of the vineyard and the mountains.

IMG_2420Before  we knew it it was time for dinner again and Chef Kirsten and James our waiter did not disappoint. This time we had a phyllo chicken parcels starter, delicious and tender Ostrich steak rounded off nicely with decadent molten chocolate lava cake, and a side of red wine.

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Chicken Phyllo Pastry with salad and edible geranium

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Succulent Ostrich Steak With Roasted Vegetables and Roasted Potatoes

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Decadent Chocolate Molten Lava with Vanilla Ice cream

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Excelsior Manor Owner, Peter De Wet (6th Generation De Wet) & The Jax

On our last day at Excelsior, we were very privileged to have breakfast with the owner of the Wine Estate, Mr Peter de Wet. Who told us about the history of the farm and how the De Wet’s have been farming there for 6 generations since 1859. Peter’s ancestor, Koos de Wet, was a direct descendant of Jacobus de Wet, the first member of the family to arrive in South Africa. Jacobus, who was an official of the Dutch East India Company landed in Cape Town in 1697 and made planting vines a priority. Koos was one of the first wine makers in Cape Town, but after a disagreement with his brother moved from Stellenbosch (his orginal farm) and settled in Robertson and established Excelsior. He later divided the farm between his sons who went on to breed horses, plant vineyards and also became a very successful ostrich farm. Back in the hey day, early 20th century Ostrich feathers were Big business due to the fashion of the day, fetching as much of GBP £5 for one plume. Many wealthy ostrich farmers displayed their opulence with lavish homes, Excelsior was no exception.

Built with classical Victorian elegance and typical  Cape Dutch gables, Excelsior was lavishly furnished with ornate European furniture. The De Wet family were well known for entertaining and particpating in high class social events such as the Cape Hunt and Polo Club.

But when the car was invented, women’s ostrich feather fashion came to an end as feather boas were no longer practical. Luckily Kowie De Wet and his son Oscar shifted their focus to breeding horses and cultivating vines; this quick thinking on their part made good business sense and ultimately saved Excelsior from going out of business.

Kirstin was very kind to show us around the property on our last day at Excelsior. The rooms were just lovely, each room named after a the De Wet family’s prize horses.

The Octavius Suite is the largest most exsquisite room with super king size bed, garden view, direct veranda access and an en-suite bathroom with a shower and an old fashioned slipper bath.. it’s no wonder it’s the honeymoon suite.

IMG_2478 IMG_2477 IMG_2523Currently running a stunning Honeymoon Package:

Romantic Robertson Honeymoon Experience– R2200 per person. (Valid until end October ’15) R2300 per person (Nov’15 – October ’16)

Includes: Two nights in the luxury honeymoon suite, Octavius, Dinner, Breakfast, Wine Tasting& Blending, a self-drive trip on the golf cart with a bottle of wine, Romantic River cruise at Viljoensdrift

There is also a conference room on site called The Stables where one can rent the venue or book a daily conference package.

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Excelsior-7 (Large)Configurations:

  • Banquet – 36 pax
  • Cinema – 60 pax
  • School Room – 24 pax
  • U-Shape – 23 pax

Equipment included:

  •  Projector and Screen
  • Complimentary WIFI
  •   Flipchart
  • Notepads and pens
  • Water jugs and mints

Conference Packages range from your Day Conference Package of R220pp all the way to your Executive 24 Hour conference package which includes accommodation for R1350pp with several other packages in between.

If you’re not a newlywed yet, Excelsior also has Wedding Packages on offer where one can book the entire Excelsior Conferene Venue and the Manor guesthouse. Prices avaliable on request – best to contact Kirstin direct.

If you’re not getting married, or on honeymoon or conferencing how about a round of golf?

Golf Package:

Excelsior Manor Guesthouse offers a package for those who enjoy golf.

The Silwerstrand Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course just outside Robertson. Surrounded by the rolling Langeberg Mountains of the Breede River Valley, it is the only golf course in the valley of wine and roses and is described as a fun, leisurely course with a good mixture of long and short holes.

2 Nights’ accommodation for only R2800 pp sharing including (Valid until end October ’15) R2950 per person (Nov’15 – October ’16)

·         Breakfast each morning

·         One homemade gourmet dinner

·         Standard luxury room

·         2 Rounds golf (9 holes per round) at Silwerstrand Golf Course in Robertson

·         Wine tasting and blending at Excelsior

They also offer wine walks – the following link will give you more information on this: http://www.excelsior.co.za/#!wine-walks/c1qme. There is no additional costs to take part in the walks for guests staying over and they can also offer a guide should guests prefer to walk with one

With a heavy heart and very full tummies we had to say our goodbyes and make our way back to the city.

We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend getaway than our stay at Excelsior Wine Estate and Manor. A truly unforgettable and highly reccommended experience!

Make your booking now by contacting Kirstin on: guesthouse@excelsior.co.za

I cannot thank Kirstin and James enough for their exceptional, friendly and attentive service! You really took care of us and we were so spoilt from beginning to end. THANK YOU!

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Our Hostess & Chef extraordinaire Kirstin & friendly waitron, James for the weekend

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Gorgeous pool at the back of The Manor

As always, I really do #WishYouWereHere

Jax