It has been awhile but you have stayed for centuries.
Day two of my return to South Africa and I am wondering why it took so long. Here I am in the nest of gourmet food and wine heaven. Literally.
Breakfast at Vergelegen, a wine estate situated in Somerset West. Important to take note of the drive into the estate, for there are cattle in the midst of the town. Nguni cattle, so relegated to other areas, but there they are, in dappled sunlight on the drive. It is the dappled sunlight that catches the attention at first. The entrance is a woodland of trees, carpeted by hydrangeas of hues of blue. I want to stop and frolic in them.
Dating back to 1700, Vergelegen is an estate steeped in history on the slopes of the Helderberg mountains. A history of slaves, battle, adjustment to commerce and intrigue. Stories all of pioneers, Dutch pioneers, Englishmen and corporate management. Visits of dignitaries and common folk, all wanting to linger a little longer for she has much to offer.
Choosing to dine at The Stables, outside, the gardens are lush and welcoming in the drought.
Breakfast is dining. Cool and sophisticated. But it is to the old house for history, and ultimately to the camphors. These trees have survived change and stand still beside the rose garden, tall and immovable to life – and I am imagining the past. I can do that standing under them. Steadfast is the word I would use now.
Vergelegen in Dutch means far away. For those past, this was so far from their homeland, far from what they knew. Today it symbolises the early Dutch life in the Cape with Adrian and later Simon Van der Stel. It symbolises as history in present time. It is utterly beautiful and another reminder that South Africa has so much to offer all as a tourist destination.
Whimsical, ethereal, rooted in the present. This is the Vergelegen. That is South Africa.
A must on your South African itinerary.