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August 24, 2011

Schoone Oordt Country House

There is something quite magical about Schoone Oordt Country House.  She has been passionately, painstakingly and lovingly restored over many years by Richard and Alison Walker.  As a result, she has been instilled with charm and grace and she adores welcoming guests.

Her extensive grounds house eight magnificently crafted sumptuous suites, a quaint, private family cottage and a romantic and secluded honeymoon hideaway set in lush, abundant gardens and sheltered by aged oak trees.  Each luxurious room has conceded to every modern convenience whilst unique, restored (mostly by Richard) antiques retain the Victorian feel of the Manor House and a bygone era.

The Manor House, originally built in 1853, boasts the most exquisite light and airy conservatory, which Richard designed and built in true English style, a cosy fire-lit bar and lounge, an intimate dining room and a true country kitchen.  The warmth of the original wooden floors, ceilings and doors coupled with many quirky antique pieces creates a wonderful welcoming ambience and guests are encouraged to ‘kuier’* here.

Schoone Oordt is passionate about food, about wine, about people and about the environment.

Meals are made with love.  Breakfasts are traditionally a gourmet affair and Schoone Oordt has developed quite a reputation for them using fresh herbs and occasional veggies from her garden as well as local farm produce.  Plans are currently underway to introduce extravagant high teas and lavish dinners in season using organic, fresh produce sourced as locally and as ethically as possible.  At the moment, the chef is trying out his recipes and a ‘voorsmakie’ is available at Chef Wander’s Table during the cold winter months.  Delectable wines are sourced from the celebrated verdant regions surrounding Swellendam; Robertson and Hermanus.

Schoone Oordt has been created with a vision for entertaining.  Choose from the intimate and private boardroom with views of the mountains, the sun-drenched conservatory overlooking the grounds or the cosy, slightly more formal dining room in the grand old house.  She is truly an extraordinary venue for an exclusive occasion filled with laughter and love…

The area around Schoone Oordt offers guests an abundance of activities.  Hiking, horse-trails, bike-trails, watersports as well as visits to the nearby Nature Reserves are a must.   A trip to the De Hoop Nature Reserve for seasonal whale watching cannot be missed, a short journey over the Tradouw’s Pass to quadbike in Barrydale as well as a day trip wine-tasting in the Robertson Wine Valley .  Along with a nine-hole golf course, quaint coffee shops, the renowned Drostdy museum, berry-picking, lavender-picking, good restaurants and a feast of art, Swellendam spoils its visitors for choice.

The emphasis at Schoone Oordt is on unpretentious, unaffected luxury, elegance, quality

and acute attention to detail.

She is a gracious old dame with heart and soul and she invites you to visit… soon…

*  Lovely Afrikaans word for visiting, drinking, eating, chatting, gossiping and enjoying time with people you love.

Copyright Alison Walker 05/05/2011