Even dreary cold weather can’t hide the fact that Stellenbosch is a charming little town full of history, beautiful places and of course lots of wine! This is part of why I would never say no to spending a bit of time there especially if it’s at the newly refurbished and truly iconic Lanzerac Wine Estate. In 2017 a fire severely damaged a large portion of the estate and so the 13 month renovations began and it officially opened its doors on the 1st of July. Being one of the 3 oldest wine farms in the Stellenbosch winelands the fire actually managed to uncover some beautiful brick work and floors that have been incorporated into the current look. Old meets new with a very healthy dose of luxury and glamour has made Lanzerac somewhere you really need to experience.
Seeing the positive in every situation is my strong point. It was bucketing down as we arrived – driving through their oak lined drive – but I was dreaming about a cosy fireplace and delicious wine. So we checked in, skipped heading to our suite and went straight to the tasting room because my priorities are most definitely in order. It might only have been 11am but we were not the first people to sit down so don’t feel bad when booking that post breakfast tasting!
Wine tasting at Lanzerac
A wine tasting is always on my list of must do’s when visiting a wine farm. It’s a nice inexpensive way to try out some really great wine and if you are staying over then you can figure out which bottle you want to try at dinner! Starting off with the cellar tour Lanzerac offers daily at 11am is also a good way to get to know the heritage of the wine you will be drinking and get a glimpse of where the magic happens.
The wine tastings start at R70 per person for five of their premium wines but I will always encourage the pairing with chocolate ( R120 pp ) because you just can’t beat the combination! Lanzerac was actually the first wine farm to bottle Pinotage ( as luck would have it, its also my favorite red wine ) so it was a real treat to try it out and then continue to drink a whole bottle with lunch! Believe me it is that good and of course I shared with Mike, well kind of…
The Deli at Lanzerac
The Deli is one of the four dining options Lanzerac has on offer and the simple fresh food keeps people coming back for more. A laid back atmosphere with a lovely inside and outside seating area this is the place to go for all day breakfast, delightful cappuccinos and sweet treats or mouth watering cheese platters like we opted for. Being a vegetarian it still had plenty of great options for me on the Ploughmans platter – the cauliflower piccalilli was so good – and Mike told me the meat option were amazing. Sharing some great food, bottle of wine and plenty of laughs is exactly the type of thing I love about places like Lanzerac. It’s difficult to say how they stay so unpretentious while treating you to such a luxurious experience, but I am definitely not complaining.
The rooms at Lanzerac
Our room for the night was one of their beautiful – and very large – suites, that even had its own gorgeous pool and view of the vineyards. We did peak inside a few other room options ( Lanzerac has four different ones ) and I was blown away by how great they all were. The attention to detail, the luxurious surroundings and the modern amenities like usb ports really makes them stand out.
Beds and pillows are something else I usually judge a hotel by and thankfully the bed was all I wanted. If I can reference Goldilocks here – it was just right!
The Spa at Lanzerac
So let’s just take a few minutes to appreciate great spa’s. The wonders a fantastic massage, some jacuzzi and bubbles and a bit of sauna time can do for you is just next level. The spa at Lanzerac is not only very instagramable, its also top class with everything you could want from a spa. Jacuzzi, sauna, pool and repeat suited us just fine especially since it was still raining outside. An hour couples massage in between was just what we needed as well and I was about to pack up and move in when we got chocolates in the chill area afterwards.
We headed back to the spa the next morning before breakfast to smash out a session in their great little gym that also overlooks the vineyards. It doesn’t take much more than that epic view to motivate you to exercise off all the food you ate the night before.
Silly me also forgot her straightener at home so I was beyond delighted to see a GHD in the changing rooms. Little extras like that always show me how much thought places have put into their guests.
The Manor Kitchen at Lanzerac
Creative colourful dishes and a large beautiful space is what you can expect from The Manor Kitchen at Lanzerac. This is their main dining area serving breakfast, dinner and Sunday lunch. Being able to see inside the kitchen where the magic happens is always great and it kind of gives you the feeling of being part of the passionate process.
A three course dinner , a bottle of very smooth Shiraz and a lot of ohhhs and ahhhs and we were finished, left sated and very happy. I did however have to admit defeat – I blame the amazing bread and lavender butter – as I could not finish the last few bites of my dessert. I was also pleasantly surprised by all their vegetarian options that were very very good!
Breakfast brought with it lots of beautiful light pouring in from the huge windows as well as some pretty awesome breakfast options. I am a buffet and hot meal type of girl and I was feeling extra hungry after our early morning workout at the spa. Of course I opted for carbs on carbs in the form of croissants and pancakes with caramelised banana and cream. Throwing in a smoothie and some fruit for good measure and a lovely mimosa to wash it all down was just my way of pretending to be a bit healthy. Sounds like major breakfast goals right?
I am pretty sure you would agree with me that leaving a place like this is never easy. You seem to want to stretch out time just a little bit more. One more glass of wine, another walk around the gardens, one more night maybe… Lanzerac really did well on keeping the heritage, bringing in a few fresh new things and staying with the times without losing the soul. I can’t wait to visit again!