Recently our friend Mel from The Truffle Journal took a trip to an old-world getaway spot in Swellendam and when we heard how serene and cozy it was, we couldn’t help but yearn to cuddle up in front of their massive fire with a good book! Jan Harmsgat Country House has been on our bucket list for a while and after hearing about all the lovely wines and abundance of pecan nuts, we may just book ourselves a getaway next weekend! It’s good to get away from it all every now and then, and this hot spot in the middle of winter would just be the ideal place to head to.
My blog, The Truffle Journal was founded out of nostalgia and I think there is something truly special about tradition and history. To honour it and embrace it in this day and age is remarkable. A favourite pastime of mine is to seek out places that flip the switch. The proverbial ‘switch’ of life which has us scurrying about our daily lives without much thought. The incessant hum drum of city living, the buzzing of technology and the crescendo of mental noise in the fast lane. I love to find places that simply turn it all off. That make you take a step back, relax and breathe in the fresh air. Places that make you want to go to bed early and wake up with the sunrise.
The location and style
One such place that embodies the spirit of the coveted weekend getaway in comfort is nestled between Swellendam and Robertson. Simply called Jan Harmsgat, this five star establishment oozes history and takes visitors back in time in style. Rated five stars by the tourism grading council, this historical country house offers fine dining and ultimate luxury.
The hospitality is genuine farm style and everything is done with a smile. Most of the staff have been there for more years than I care to count and are proud to call Jan Harmsgat home. The farm was established in 1723 and every nook and cranny is filled with a story to tell. The homestead speaks of the quality and craftsmanship of an era gone by, where every detail and accent was handmade. Filled with antiques, the country house is true delight!
The food and wine pairing
The estate currently has five types of wines – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. All of which were paired with perfectly complimentary flavours – to say that I was impressed by the experience, would be a huge understatement.
The farm also boasts magnificent pecan nut trees and there is no shortage of fresh nuts! A real delight to sit around the fireplace, wrapped up warmly, enjoying a glass of wine and nibbling at freshly cracked pecans. Whether you choose to explore the local area or prefer to stay in, Jan Harmsgat is definitely worth checking out (and in). I also stopped at Mo & Rose, another beautiful guest house in Swellendam, to visit its great wine bistro and succulent garden. I have never seen such amazing succulents and, of course, the wine wasn’t too bad either!