Friday, July 11, 2014

Belvidere Manor Hotel, Knysna

We arrived in Knysna on Tuesday morning and went straight to Belvidere Manor where owners Sue and Mike Mills had invited us to stay. We had a lovely well decorated and comfortable house, with a lounge with a log fire, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen is fully equipped and we were delighted to discover that we had heated blankets on the beds as the night temperatures here have fallen as low as 1 degree C. There was also a heater. Not only a place for high summer, as exploring this wonderful area year round can be a delight. Cycling and walking are very popular. Fishing, canoeing, boating, all from their own jetty too. We had a lovely lunch from their pub, The Bell sitting on the terrace outside the historic Manor house which dates back to 1834. We also had two marvellous breakfasts and the staff are terrific, especially tall, amusing Jeffrey, who acted as a tour guide around the estate as well. He has been on the estate longer than the Mills’
Belvidere Manor House, c. 1834, is now the reception, breakfast area kitchen and offices and still has some beautiful original ceilings and floors
The gardens are magnificent and here you can see down to the lagoon. We had one of the cottages on the left
These are the two bedroom cottages
Ours from the back, with the undercover parking
Large fully fitted and equipped kitchen
Nicely decorated and very comfortable lounge with a large TV with some satellite channels, and an open fire. Lots of wood is supplied. Some cottages have gas fires
From the other side you have a better view of the layout
Our double bedroom has views of the lagoon
It has an en suite bathroom
The second bedroom has twin beds and it also has an en suite with a shower
The view of the Pergola, swimming pool and the Manor House from the cottages. They hold a lot of weddings here and there is plenty of accommodation for guests
A lovely place for breakfast or lunch in good weather
Great views of Knysna across the lagoon
Mike Mills invited us for lunch on the terrace

Crisp fresh fish and chips from The Bell

Sue Mills and Lynne had the Crab cakes with a sweet chilli dip and salad
A good hamburger with chips for John and Mike
Their son Tom Mills, who was down to represent Avondale wine farm (where he is the Western Cape Sales Executive) at the Oyster Festival, joined us for a long and fun lunch in the sunshine
Down on the hotel’s jetty
Lovely afternoon light on the cottages
The side view of the manor house
There are also double storey houses with more space
They are grouped together
behind the manor house
The Conference Centre
The Bell pub
Chatting to Mike Mills at breakfast
A buffet breakfast is laid out in one of the front rooms. If the weather is bad, breakfast is held inside
It is a very good selection including cold meats, cheeses scones, muffins, warm pain au chocolate and juices
Fruit, yoghurt, cereals, even hot porridge
There is also a menu of cooked breakfasts. This is the open omelette with cheese, bacon, spinach and optional mushrooms
Lynne chose the Eggs Benedict and they were probably the best she has ever had. Really fresh eggs, perfectly poached, set on ham, spinach and crisp blinis rather than muffins, and the hollandaise sauce was thick and creamy without being sour
There is a comfortable lounge at the back of the Manor house
There is some history on the walls
The main entrance leading to reception
Jeffrey took us to the Three Elephant tree on the Belvidere Estate
carved by an Italian sculptor, whom we later met, who lives in the house in front of it
The duck pond, reminiscent of Monet
Sadly the old oak trees on the estate all have some sort of virus and are having to be cut down.  Some interesting fungus has taken over
Our second morning dawned bright and sunny so we had breakfast on the terrace. Other guests were also enjoying the sunshine
Juice, a chocolate muffin, a warm pain au chocolate and a good cup of black coffee to start for John
Sue Mills came to say goodbye as we were leaving after breakfast. She is describing taking down their stand at the Oyster festival
The Belvidere breakfast for Lynne. Lovely pork banger and well cooked mushrooms
John had the cheese French toast
Thanks to all at Belvidere, we had a wonderful stay
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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