On my recent recce to Southern Africa I had the opportunity to visit Sterrekopje Farm, a new property in Franschhoek that opened in January this year. It’s rare to visit a place that instantly impresses on every level and is truly one of a kind.
Dating from the original Cape Dutch period, Sterrekopje is a fusion of both a working farm and wellness sanctuary. Breaking the mould, it’s taken a bold and progressive approach to slow travel, sustainability and design. It is, in essence, a haven for the modern traveller.
Sterrekopje is best thought of a sanctuary rather than a base to explore the winelands and will suit return visitors to Franschhoek or those looking to slow down, either at the beginning or end of a journey.
For me, the property is special for many reasons. Firstly, it totally encapsulates what modern luxury means today. Secondly, despite having a firm sense of place – in a beautiful location within the Franschhoek Valley – it feels truly global in terms of what it is trying to achieve. Thirdly, it offers something totally new to the valley; a genuine wellness experience. Focussing on rest, relaxation and renewal, this is a place to come either before or after an active trip.
Beauty is everywhere; from the expertly crafted staff uniforms and views over fields and mountains to hand-painted frescos and outdoor terraces framed by mature olive trees.
Interiors – made up of beautiful pieces the owners have collected from their travels worldwide – have been sensitively and thoughtfully combined with authentic Cape Dutch architecture. Gardens echo of-the-moment landscaping philosophies such as a focus on natural planting, indigenous plants and rewilding techniques.
Food has an emphasis on the local, especially from the expansive vegetable gardens and fruit orchards; expect innovative herbal concoctions and bread made daily on-site. Public spaces effortlessly create a sophisticated yet warm and homely feel, while rooms offer tasteful yet indulgent havens with enormous bathtubs, garden-facing outdoor seating areas and furnishings from the Indian and African continents.