The magnificent Steenberg Hotel & Spa in Cape Town’s Constantia Valley has a noble history, flourishing vineyard, fine restaurants and a range of delicious MCC and wine that will certainly have your heart.
By invitation of GC Communications, I indulged in a weekend stay at this remarkable five-star hotel. With just 24 rooms that range from perfectly placed Classics to refined Villas and beautiful Premier Rooms – one of which was allocated to me. Understated luxury, considerate touches and enviable design throughout. It was such a treat to be there absorbing the hospitality, ambience and gentleness of the carefully nurtured surroundings and learning more about all that is offered to guests on this much-loved South African farm.
The Premier Rooms are immense with a lounge area, big comfy beds, dreamy bathrooms with deep standalone baths, double vanities and blissful Healing Earth Africa products. Private terraces with loungers overlook your own little garden and the mountains beyond. It is lovely! So lovely that I was late for every appointment I had as I struggled to tear myself away from mine.
There’s definitely female energy throughout the property which is prevalent in the muted pinks and touches of gold, the delicate flowers lining the garden paths and the endless attention to detail. This is not surprising given the farm’s history which saw it first owned by Catharina Ras in 1682 and currently headed up by a female strong management team. My time there saw me exploring the property, taking gentle walks, eating more than my quota, tasting an array of delicious Steenberg wines and soaking up the elegant tranquillity.
Bistro Sixteen82 is admittedly where we spent most of Saturday, initially for a delicious breakfast overlooking the reflective waters and runway that connect to the cascading lawns and line of indigenous trees, returning for a classic wine tasting that talked us through two of the MCC’s for which the farm is known, and three of their wines, before meandering through the vineyards back to our room.
In the evening as the sun softened and golden hour teased the mountains that surround the farm, we returned for a dinner of vegetarian Evening Tapas, delicate flavours and the colours of nature displaced across our three scrumptious salads, Arancini risotto and fritto misto – accompanied by a mountain of patata bravos for good measure.
Named after the year in which Steenberg was established, Bistro Sixteen82 is the tapas and bistro-style darling of the Cape dining world. And I now know why. An innovative and interactive wine and food destination, it is perfect for people watching as it seems to attract the most glamorous of them who mostly take to the runway to capture the glee of life, too long suppressed in the last year.
At our hosted tasting our favourite wines were the renowned Steenberg Cap Classique Brut, the Pinot Noir Cap Classique, the Ruby Rose, Rattlesnake and Merlot. Plus the Chardonnay, all enjoyed on a deep couch with a driftwood mobile behind us. The bistro is open daily, and it’s always a good time to visit. We rounded off our weekend with pedicures next to the pool, although we would happily have booked treatments in the comprehensive health spa which offers an array of wellness treatments. But as they say, there’s always the next time.
Steenberg is a destination steeped in heritage with an exceptional winery, two fine restaurants, lawns that welcome picnic goers, a golf course, incredible hotel and spa, walking and biking trails.
Above are the Premium Rooms, of which we stayed in the one.
Steenberg’s Private Villas
With many travellers seeking out self-contained private homes and villas for a safe holiday with the promise of absolute privacy, Steenberg’s exquisitely refurbished two and three-bedroom Private Villas are an ideal choice. With all the luxuries and personalised touches of a 5-star boutique hotel, they offer an escape for long staying guests and families seeking a home from home breakaway. The ultra-exclusive villas are spread across the property and come complete with a private dining space, outside terraces and their own private pools – social distancing is effortless.
The Manor House is another gem for exclusive use. Perfect for those intimate moments of celebration it comprises four en suite rooms and a one-bedroom suite. Separated from the grand entrance to the homestead by an intricately carved screen of stinkwood, ebony and yellowwood, the dining room offers a safe environment for life’s significant milestones. With its striking gable and high beamed ceilings, this historic homestead that dates back to the 17th century has been declared a Provincial Heritage Site.
Named after the year in which Steenberg was established, Bistro Sixteen82 opened its doors in 2009 and has established itself as a great spot for a day out or meal. An innovative and interactive wine and food destination, it sits adjacent to Steenberg’s winery and Wine Tasting Room, spilling out into the surrounding indigenous gardens with a terraced dining area and water features. The menu constantly evolves and features inventive dishes that are designed from the finest locally sourced ingredients. There’s a breakfast, lunch and a late-afternoon tapas menu to choose from. Know that time stands still at Bistro Sixteen82 and you’ll easily while away the day here, especially with all the homegrown MCC and wine that wants to be tried.
Breakfast overlooking these waters, wine tasting in the design-rich lounge, tapas at the end of a perfect day. We had it all.
The Tryn Restaurant
Named for Steenberg’s 17th-century founder Catharina Ras, or Tryn, as she was fondly known to her loved one. A restaurant with a contemporary spirit that serves delicious food, it has a bold and modern interior and relaxed atmosphere. Choose from wholesome breakfasts to light and easy lunches, or more refined and sumptuously served dinners. These can be enjoyed in one of the beautifully decorated rooms or on the large sun-dappled terraces by day. It’s perfect for children who wish to run free on the lawns or amuse themselves with the laid out lawn games. If it’s not a full meal you’re after, Tryn is good for intimate pre-dinner gatherings in the trendy bar lounge. I recommend that you try the Al-Fresco Boxes which once collected can be enjoyed in the garden, all you have to do is bring your own blankets and cushions to make yourself comfy on our lawn.
They say that God is in the detail and that is certainly true at Steenberg. Look at these flowers.
Chasing my well-laid mantra to ‘always walk the land’ we took the well-marked path from Bistro Sixteen82 back to the hotel and through vineyards heavily laden with grapes. At their most lush, they awaited harvest and their transformation to delicious wine. The Cape’s first farm established in 1682 has certainly come a long way since its humble beginning. The oldest registered farm in South Africa, Steenberg produces an impressive range of wine through a process of environmentally considerate and dedicated winemaking. From vine to bottle, all are primed to maximise on the unique terroir of this gorgeous estate.
Firm favourites of mine are the yellow-labelled Cap Classique, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah.
There are numerous self-guided walking trails on the farm that are so worth taking for the elevated views offered from the farm towards False Bay.
It can be hard to believe you are actually in the city, it feels so sublimely rural on this 300 ha farm.
The Essential Details
You’ll find Steenberg in Cape Town’s beautiful Constantia Valley. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call Tel: +27 21 713 2222 or visit www.steenbergfarm.com. South Africans are currently being offered a promo of 30% off accommodation bookings, so do be in touch as you don’t want to miss out.
My warm thanks to all at Steenberg for the exceptional visit, with special mention of Carla, Tracey, Chanel and Damien. To the team at GC Communications, thank you for the opportunity.
** Of course strict Covid safety protocols apply throughout.
With my daughter Lemor Weiss who joined me for the weekend.
** Pics are mine, except for a few that were provided.