Known as “The Jewel of The Cape Winelands”, Delaire Graff is one of the most beautiful properties in South Africa. Actually, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Right from the lush gardens reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon at the entrance of the property, all the way through the countless pieces of priceless art on display for guests viewing pleasure, Delaire is a must-see for any visitor to the Cape.
I’m ashamed to say that though I’ve driven past many times, my first visit to Delaire was only last month, when I visited for lunch during the #Stellenblog campaign. It might have been their reputation as the pinnacle of luxury that lead me to believe I needed to wait for the perfect opportunity to visit. But once there, I was warmly welcomed with trademark South African hospitality. Now I can’t wait to go back.
The gardens as you drive into the property are breathtaking, and the outdoor sculptures that line the entranceway to the main reception are framed by countless shades of nature, with a backdrop of mountains and sky. What I love most is how they’ve managed to balance man’s art with nature’s art to create something unique and laid back in its beauty. Art doesn’t always have to be all about a gallery experience, and I was particularly grateful to have the opportunity to see some iconic pieces in such a natural setting.
In 2013 an important painting was bought by Mr Graff and returned South Africa. I walked straight past Vladimir Tretchikoff’s iconic Chinese Girl, currently on display in the entrance to the main building, because I’ve seen it splashed across scatter cushions and prints so many times that I had no idea this was the real deal. One of the most iconic pieces of the 20th Century sits nonchalantly atop an easel in the entrance to the reception.
As far as the eye can see. Mountains, shades of green, yellow, red and orange. Each new view more beautiful than the last. This view from Delaire Graff Restaurant is pretty special. Definitely worth taking in over a long lunch and many glasses of wine.
We had lunch at the stunning Indochine, which serves Asian-inspired food that totally blew me away. The space itself is gorgeous, with a giant Lionel Smit installation, depicting over 1000 swallows in flight on the ceiling and mega views. The food was perfect. Every bite was flavourful and delicious and fresh. Of course the wine is incredible too. This restaurant is my current favourite and I can’t wait to go back.
Everything about Delaire says “effortless luxury”. We got to experience the ultimate in luxurious mid-week lunches when we took a flip around the winelands with NAC Helicopters from the helipad at Delaire.
NAC Helicopters offer a flight package from the V&A Waterfront to Delaire, where they wait for guests for two hours before heading back to the city. This flight costs around $440 per person and is luxury luxury luxury all the way. It offers some truly spectacular views and is a real once in a lifetime experience.
Delaire Graff certainly deserves its reputation as the jewel of the winelands.
*My recent visit to Stellenbosch was part of the #Stellenblog campaign. As always, my views and blog remain completely honest and based on my experience.