Living the high life

2295457 INLSA TAKE A BOUGH: The Vindoux tree lodge in Tulbagh is a unique getaway. Photo: Michael Walker

TWEETING. Chirping. Cooing. And trilling.

A symphony of bird sounds greets you in the morning at Vindoux Guest Farm, a family-run

working fruit farm near Tulbagh, just 90 minutes from Cape Town.

This unusual thatched wood cabin, built on stilts in-between pine trees overlooking orchards of

blossoming fruit trees, is a unique getaway, offering you Heidi-meets- Hansel fantasy potential.

One wall of the tree lodge is canvas tent, and on fine days, which we had, you can roll up this wall, which emphasises the fact that you're high up in the tree on a canopy surrounded by birds, overlooking the beautiful Saronsberg mountains.

The breathtaking view restores the soul. Inside the treehouse, the main area consists of a cosy open -plan lounge with squishy couches, a dining table and chairs. The fully equipped kitchen is spacious. The décor, with its natural and warm colours, seems to bend seamlessly with the outdoors.

The decor, with its natural Aside from an array of delicious meals that can be pre-ordered, there's also a braai area and swimming pool in front of the self-catering treehouse.

If you run out of meat, don't worry - you can order braai packs from the farm. In fact, if you don't feel like driving into Tulbagh to get groceries, or simply feel too relaxed to cook for yourself, several

scrumptious items can be ordered from the farm.

These include home-made snacks and lunches, and for breakfast, the aptly named "babalaas roll" (because you are in wine territory). If you're up for something bigger, the breakfast basket

includes a lavish array of items including eggs, bacon, cold meat, muffins, home - made bread, jams, croissants, cheeses and fruit.

Guests also have the option of a two- or three-course dinner that can be served on their private balcony or at the pool.

Aside from snoozing, lounging or pottering among the blossoming surroundings, if you want to spoil

yourself, the farm's spa offers a variety of treatments.

In Tulbagh itself, which is a few minutes away, there's plenty to see. It's filled with monuments and

interesting old buildings, and it's a town small enough to be seen on foot.

There are hiking trails, fishing, riding, and canoeing. But you can do a lot on the Vindoux farm too -

we ran in the mornings through the beautiful orchards, and we could have hired bikes from the farm and done a wine route bike trail. If you want snow in winter, it's close enough to get wintry, or wet, or at least stand and point. And of course, one of the glorious wine route.

We went to Waverley Hills, an organic wine farm, and did a tasting, and then had a very satisfying lunch in front of a log fire, eating from a very reasonably priced menu of international cuisine and Cape favourites such as bobotie.

Both the restaurant and the winery are highly recommended.

Most of the wine farms are closed on Sundays.

We highly recommend Vindoux Guest Farm (023 2300 635) and the 2012 rates are R1 600 (low season)

and R2 000 for four people sharing with cheaper accommodation ranging from R500 a night for a cottage and up to R1 400 a night for a honeymoon treehouse.


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