Friday, October 24, 2014

The guesthouse at Excelsior, Robertson

We had been invited to come and visit Excelsior farm and stay in the guest house. The Wine on the River festival presented the perfect time to do so and we arrived on Sunday and stayed till Tuesday, enabling us to visit more farms and taste more wines in the Valley. Carin Visser runs the Guest House like a four star hotel. It is a beautiful spacious old house, in the Cape Dutch Revival style, circa 1900 and Peter de Wet told us it was an Ostrich Palace.  The 9 rooms are spacious, with wooden floors, high ceilings and teak multi-paned windows and all are en suite.  The beds are huge and have lovely crisp linen.  We had dinner on our first night, the food is, to quote them: “ a set three course menu which changes daily taking advantage of what is in season. We offer lovingly prepared, home cooked "farm food". Excelsior wines are included with dinner. The serving staff were really impressive, especially James who is the house butler. And Carin made us very welcome and comfortable throughout our stay
Breakfast on both mornings was very good, especially on Tuesday when the weather allowed us all  to breakfast on the terrace by the pool overlooking the spring vineyards where we could watch staff training and suckering the new vigorous vines. Check them out at guesthouse@excelsior.co.za. They offer intimate Wedding, Honeymoon and Golf packages as well as conference packages.
Always nice to be welcomed by a friendly hound. This is Mango, who helps to herd the guests and loves being taken on long walks.
The verandah of the Guest house is a lovely place to relax
An antique walnut bureau in the entrance hall echoes the grand proportions and history of the house
The lounge
Another view from the adjoining room
Trophies of past achievements
The hallway leading to the rooms. All the rooms are named after horses Excelsior has won races with or owned
They gave us the honeymoon suite and very large and comfortable it is
A slipper bath and a shower in the bathroom
The view looking back down the hall. The style of the house is rather like ours, which is just 20 years younger
Another of the bedrooms. All are en suite
And another with twin beds
Yet another
This was Kyla our constant companion, especially at meals!
Carin Visser in the dining room getting ready for dinner
 Butler James pouring us wine. He was very accomplished and charming
Guests from Johannesburg, who had really enjoyed themselves at the festival and can't wait to come back next year
The starter was a thick vegetable soup
You could drink any or all of these Excelsior wines with supper and they are included in the price
The main course was roast chicken with a tikka masala sauce, mixed vegetables and rice
Carin checking to see if everyone is all right

Dessert was a rich but light cheesecake
Breakfast the next morning
The breakfast buffet
had lots of choices
You can have the eggs and bacon and sausages and tomatoes, served in a very novel way. The smoked bacon was delicious. This was the breakfast we had on the pool deck
which has wonderful views of the vineyards looking towards De Wetshof
Workers tying in and suckering the spring vines
Eggs and bacon for Lynne and a cheese and bacon omelette for John, with good black coffee and orange juice
The omelette
A quiet place to relax
The farm has roses everywhere. This is a formal rose garden
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014
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