Giving away your last Rolo or being the first to change your relationship status on your social networking site are good ways of demonstrating your romantic side if you’re not the type who shows affection with gold and diamonds. Combine sweeping romantic gestures with a hint of something sparkly in Franschoek’s own Valley of Gold with a one night stay for two at Val d’Or Estate for R845.
When taking a well-deserved break from the suburban life of dishes, dusting and morning traffic, some people enjoy nothing more than just lazing around in their hotel room, getting cosy on the couch and sipping a cup of something warm. With more country charm than a cowboy in an Armani suit, the Val d’Or Manor House is the perfect place to just that, all the while surrounded by the tranquil sounds of nature. Less than an off-key kumbayah sing-along from Franschoek, the estate is a haven for those looking to get away from city life without leaving their cellphone signal or all signs of civilisation behind.
Considering the estate finds itself nestled firmly in the heart of the Cape Winelands, one of the best ways to spend your lazy day would be a romantic stroll surrounded by grapes with the half-day wine tour. Even if you just spend the day lazing around in your complementary robe and slippers, the tantalizing thought of the three course lunch at Chez d’Or might be enough to get you venturing out into the hazy daylight. Once every last delicious crumb has been consumed, you can return to the under-floor heating of your luxurious room and snuggle up under the covers again. If you’re finding the fresh country air as good as the movies say it is, you can bask in the last rays of the afternoon sun on your private patio and watch the scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
After a night spent as cosy in a cat in a basket full of laundry, enjoy a full breakfast to start your morning with true country style when the sunlight finally breaks through your slumber. Enjoy your eggs indoors in the cosy breakfast area, or under the shady trees if the sunshine decides to stick around.
If a rustic, relaxing night away isn’t a grand enough gesture, maybe your significant other just needs a new ‘best friend’ in the form of something shiny from Uwe Koetter or Du Toit Classique Jewellers.
Sleepy Fact: A famous hotel in eastern Asia is famous for its unconventional rooms. One styled after an Indian Rice has a rice-paddy instead of a floor and a bed made entirely of wheat-grass. The Cocoa room is made entirely from different shades of chocolate and includes a hot-chocolate waterfall.