Almondbury Guest farm - photo by Craig Tyndall
The distillery tour that I partook in the beginning of the year was not only filled with a suitcase full of gin but also the exploration of the Cape in a way I had never experienced before. It’s odd to think that I wasn't aware of the vast beauty of my own country. So multi-faceted, old and new, steeped in history and natural wonders; it changed the way I look at South Africa as a whole to be honest.
As I was in charge of the tour, we explored numerous regions of the Cape, often staying in Air bnb accommodation which was nice but never remarkable. That was until our journey into Robertson.
I guess it is the same in any other country where the cost of accommodation closer to more vibey and renowned spots is generally more expensive, with the further away and more remote places being more cost effective and interesting. It was upon exploring those further out locations that we came across Almondbury guest farm.
Stunning vista from the farm
Technically Almondbury is situated 6km outside of main Roberston, hidden beyond most things. The drive from Triple Three distillery in Stellenbosch has been lengthy and we only pulled into the driveway around dusk. Nestled between the Langeburg mountains, the property spanned a large distance with multiple dwellings dotting the grounds. Mark from management greeted us warmly and we were also lucky enough to meet their enormous husky/labrador mix dog who happened to be the friendliest and naughtiest canine I’ve ever met! Mark himself was friendly, accommodating and willing to help with anything which put us at ease. He graciously gave us our privacy as soon as he had led us to the place where we would be staying – the old barn. Queue the jaw-drop.
The side of the 'old barn'
At R500 for the night for two adults, we were expecting a small room or a little flatlet, not a huge, sprawling structure that would belong to us for the night.
Walking in I was greeted with the smell of lost eras and the cold, earthiness of an old building. We put our luggage down and began to explore.
Of course the blue velvet chaise lounge caught my eye and I may or may not have forced Craig to take some photos of me posed on it (don’t judge).
Making model time (I said don't judge!)
The main lounge and dining area were coupled together with the self catering kitchen just off one side. There was also an outdoor braai area which overlooked the mountains and had a small grape vine growing on a lattice above. Perfect for long, warm summer nights and many glasses of wine/gin.
View from the patio
A tastier view from upstairs
Eventually we made our way up the creaky old stairs and explored the various rooms. Each nook and cranny was filled with ancient bric a brac that never ceased to make me smile. Again, that lovely old scent of history engulfed me, taking me away from the stresses of the modern world. It sounds silly but historical buildings always force me to ponder upon the times before my own.
I must admit that the creaky, open spaces did frighten me a little (too many horror films) particularly when I had to go downstairs alone that night. But my own weird fears aside, Almondbury was a hidden gem that I was sad to leave behind.
The old school downstairs
If farmhouse isn’t your style, they do also offer two alternate eco-friendly wood cabins. So really, you are spoiled for choice.
The town itself is tiny and almost frozen in time with its salt of the earth people.
If you are looking for things to do, there is no shortage, from the wine route along the Breede River Valley which boasts 20 wine cellars, to horse riding – maybe a combo of the two would be interesting! The Klipdrift Brandy distillery is also nearby but if you are in more of a gin mood then be sure to make a trip out to Worcester to Six Dogs distillery. And if you are in the mood for a slow drive, then you can make your way through the picturesque 1853 established town and look at the preserved Victorian houses and white washed cottages.
Whatever your decision, I do recommend a stopover at Almondbury guest farm. For more details and how to book, check out their website: