This accommodation is the newest to open on the farm, where the first title deed was registered to one Hans Henske in 1692. Some years later and with a few other owners in between, Weltevreden was bought by Voortrekker Piet Retief’s sister Deborah Retief and her husband, Christoffel Esterhuysen, in 1812 from Sybrand Vermeulen. The buildings were proclaimed national monuments in 1975.
In keeping with its past, guests staying over can expect to find their lodgings furnished with period pieces upon which one of the Retief family may or may not have sat or slept.
The Manor House - every farm worth its heritage salt should have one - has been lovingly refurbished and decorated; the ground floor is the home of the farm’s owners, the Bezuidenhouts, while upstairs in the thatched loft are four-bed chambers with open-plan baths and a central communal area.
The self-catering two-bedroomed cottage has had a facelift as well and is where you’d want to stay with some close friends, or your children if you have them. Overnight, day visitor or party host, Weltevreden has a dedicated carnival zone for the offspring, which includes a build-a-pizza area, a confectionery counter that would make Willie Wonka jealous, loads of shade, awesome natural surroundings, two trampolines and two mammoth jungle gyms. There’s a full bar too, but I’m guessing that’s for the grown-ups.
This space is sufficiently far from where we spent the night so as not to have intruded on our peace and quiet, for which I am most grateful.
River Cottage, which has been open only a few weeks, is a long free-standing building with a reed ceiling, and ranges spaciously from left to right (as you enter the double door in the centre) with a desk and tea/coffee station, the imposing bed, a lounge area with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (and a TV with the full DStv premium bouquet, which is a win), a dining area and a massive bathroom (shower, no bath) with a spectacular chandelier. Dramatic light fixtures in unconventional settings are the best.