{travel} The Langeberg Chronicles: The Montagu Country Hotel

With windswept hair and blushing cheeks from the sheer exhilaration of the ride, we pulled up in front of the Montagu Country Hotel in our purring classic American Dream Cars. This is where we’d rest our heads for the night. I couldn’t wait to walk in and be enveloped in true Langeberg Valley hospitality.

Introduction

I reluctantly watched the sun set on the first day of our #MagicOfWinter media stay in the Langeberg Valley. I was sad that the day went by so quickly, but I also knew that we were about to start a whole other journey of the senses as we checked into the incredible Montagu Country Hotel.

With a bit of time to freshen up and explore the lush grounds, General Manager, PJ Basson, invited us to dine with him later the evening, and enjoy the spoils of the valley before we lay down to rest for the night.

Background

The Cape Country Routes’ charming four-star Montagu Country Hotel in Montagu, nestled between the Langeberg mountain ranges of the Western Cape and within a comfortable driving distance from Cape Town, is the perfect destination for those wishing to experience country living and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The hotel offers comfortable accommodation, excellent facilities, warm hospitality, and imposing mountain views. The family hotel has 32 eclectically furnished en-suite rooms – 15 Classic, 16 Luxury and one Luxury Suite.  It has a conference centre, an on-site wellness centre, a spa, a lush courtyard, beautiful gardens and two outdoor pools (information supplied).

The experience

The only Original Art Deco Hotel in South Africa, walking into the grand foyer of the Montagu Country Hotel is like stepping back in time. Not in a “dusty museum” type of way. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was like a glimpse into a quirky era of creative fashion-forwardness; an era of colour and uninhibited imagination. In my mind’s eye, I could see gorgeous ladies in tight fitting sequined and tassled dresses sashaying across the foyer to the ballroom, men huddled by the door, top hats and cigars in hand. I could almost hear the piano’s classical tunes from the dining room, as the staff scurry around to prepare for the pending soireé.

I shook my head clear of my daydreams and took another minute to take it all in. It was simply exquisite in its decadence, without losing that twist of abundant country hospitality that I have by now come to expect of the Langeberg people.

We checked in and with a few minutes to spare before dinner, I couldn’t wait to see my room.

I excitedly pushed the door open to reveal a spacious, neat and practical room, classic in its presentation, with touches of vintage to accentuate the overarching theme. Over-sized purple velvet chairs and gorgeously curved dark-wood furniture filled the space, with layers of those signature art deco patterns tastefully swirled into the details. Beautifully polished hardwood floors and heavy drapes rounded off the picture. In that moment, I was so happy.

Cape Country dining

After a quick refresh and change of clothes, we headed down to the stunning bar and dining room to meet our host and GM of the hotel, PJ Basson, for a handcrafted tasting menu from his kitchen. We sat down to a table laid out with silverware and cloth napkins, gentle candlelight and beautiful bottles of local wine. A pianist played soft, romantic pieces that reminded of a bygone era, and it left me feeling nostalgic for places I’ve never been.

Dinner was merely a morsel of their full kitchen offering, but all six courses on the craft tasting menu were honest, fresh, creative and full of flavour. I was blown away by the borscht; a beetroot consommé poured tableside, the bowl filled with delicate bites of grilled vegetables and crispy prosciutto. It was a hearty meal, packed with passion. 

Another highlight was the roasted springbok, followed by a cheese course that included the most delicious blue cheese ice cream. Our eyes were wide, and our appetites even bigger.

The menu was prepared and served with love and pride, and a bit of theatrics on the side! Chef Werner Blom has found just the right combination of country and classic, and infuses his dishes with a touch of Montagu magic.  In his kitchen, food is created like pieces of art in a potter’s studio.

Soak up the style

After a ridiculously good night’s sleep and a lovely breakfast in the conservatory style breakfast room, it was time to explore. But not before I tell you about the Montagu Country Hotel’s homemade scones. Light, fluffy, shiny golden brown and ever so more-ishly creamy, these are a must when you sit down for breakfast. Have one with cheese before your eggs, and another one with fruit preserves for the ultimate breakfast dessert (yes, it’s a thing!).

After breakfast I had a slow meander through the sprawling gardens, which are immaculately kept and reminds of a piece of paradise, the trees alive with birdsong. I bumped into the resident cat, Coco, sunbathing on the lawn. I wished I had more time to relax next to the pool, or to visit their wellness centre, but alas, we were on a different mission.

We had a quick tour of the rest of the premises, including the different accommodation options, the wellness centre and the various lounges and communal spaces especially designed with the weary traveller in mind. With a bit of time to spare before we needed to head out, I couldn’t click away on my camera fast enough to capture the essence of this quirky, yet elegant, 1920’s art deco-inspired oasis. I could easily lose myself in the welcoming arms of this hotel, and hide in a plump couch with a book for the rest of the day. I could spend hours walking around and admiring the scattering of eclectic art pieces throughout the nooks of the hotel, or while away a few hours gazing at the mountains from the terraces outside.

In conclusion

The one thing I’ll always remember about this hotel, is the way in which we were made to feel at home. Not only “looked after,” but completely and utterly invited to make ourselves at home, in all the senses of the word. We hardly spent 24 hours here, but when we reluctantly parted ways the next morning, it was as friends, with hugs and big smiles and honest promises to see each other again on the next visit. I am simply humbled by the complete outpour of  true, honest human connection we’ve received in the Langeberg Valley, and even more so at the Montagu Country Hotel. The moment you walk in, you are swept up into the arms of the family that lives, breathes and loves this piece of magical architecture in main road of rural Montagu.

A massive thank you to PJ and his excellent team for taking such good care of us, and for hosting us in Montagu!

About Cape Country Routes

Cape Country Routes (CCR) South Africa is a leading group of owner operated and managed accommodation and activity establishments located along popular road travel routes in the Western and Eastern Cape. CCR’s collection of more than 20 privately owned hotels, lodges and guest houses, unusual places and attractions and activities and tours are situated on the scenic and historic routes of the Cape. For the best accommodation and a wide range of adventure, wildlife and fun-filled activities for memorable holidays, journeys or adventures-of-a-lifetime Cape Country Routes’ exceptional collection has options to suit every taste and budget.

The Fine Print

Email: info@capecountryroutes.com
Web: www.capecountryroutes.com

Email: res@montagucountryhotel.co.za
Web: http://www.montagucountryhotel.co.za/
Tel: (0)23 614 3125
Address:  27 Bath St, Bergsig, Montagu, 6720

The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.

Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my personal capacity. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.

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