Just when I thought the COVID walls couldn’t lock me down any tighter, I received an invitation from Kunjani Wines to safely social distance and recharge in their gorgeously luxurious Shiraz Cottage.
I was (and still am!) one of those who follow(ed) the COVID rules meticulously and wholeheartedly. Throughout this process of never-ending sanitising and social distancing, I missed exploring our beautiful country the most. I missed Saturday afternoon wine tastings and Sunday drives along the foot of the mountains. I missed spontaneous breakfasts and secret hideouts where one could rest and recuperate in peace.
When the Kunjani team reached out and offered me the tranquil spaces of their Shiraz Cottage for a long weekend, I gratefully and breathlessly accepted. The Tall Hedonist and I desperately needed a change of scenery, so the promise of a retreat at one of our most favourite wine farms was simply too enticing to resist.
To read my review on Kunjani Wine’s Chenin Blanc 2018, please click here!
Paul Barth & Pia Watermeyer, husband-and-wife team and owners of Kunjani, have created a contemporary and soulful establishment that reflects cross-continental influences like no other in the Winelands of the Western Cape. It is here where good food, fine wine and luxurious accommodation combine to truly reflect the good life… and the true character of this spectacular place where love and passion are reflected in every creation.
The villas are synonymous with the Stellenbosch Winelands’ allure and Kunjani’s restaurant’s modern design. They complement the estate’s boutique charm and boast an eclectic mix of elegant finishes and sophisticated designs. Villas are adorned with a collection of contemporary furnishes and local art, preserving the backdrop of the Estate’s fashionable ethos (https://kunjaniwines.co.za).
An offer you shouldn’t refuse!
Get 30% off all accommodation bookings valid until 28 February 2021. This offer is valid for all stays at Kunjani villas until 28 February 2021. Discount is only valid when booked directly with Pia via firstname.lastname@example.org.
I couldn’t possibly recount all the indulgent details of our weekend away, as I’d surely end up writing a short novella on the beauty of Shiraz Cottage.
What I can tell you in short, is that it was the most incredible escape during a time that took its toll on all of us. It didn’t even matter that the rain and wind relentlessly hammered down on the windows most of the weekend. It didn’t even matter that we were completely and utterly bound to the comfy confines of Shiraz. In fact, that was exactly what we wanted, and it was exactly what our stay at Kunjani Wines delivered thrice over.
It’s all in the details
To experience pure magic, you need to engage all the senses. From the moment we walked into Shiraz Cottage, we were enveloped in a sensory homecoming. Tastefully and carefully decorated with an abundance of textures and gorgeous colours, your eyes and hands are simply spoilt for choice.
A stack of velvety blankets in the lounge for chilly Netflix evenings and crisp, white percale linen on the generously sized beds. An assortment of Charlotte Rhys body products in the bathroom and a jar of freshly baked rusks in the kitchen. Stunningly understated pieces of art adorn the spacious two-bedroom duplex villa, whilst french doors open onto the picturesque vineyard. The magic lies in the details, so thoughtfully included to ensure the most comfortable and memorable stay possible.
A space to cook and dine
In true Pia and Paul fashion, who both enjoy good food and good friends equally, the kitchen is a focal point of the downstairs living space. Opening up onto a large open-plan dining room and lounge, the kitchen beckons you to prepare a feast and throw open the windows to the vineyards. It was equipped with only the best crockery, utensils and appliances, including a microwave, dishwasher, full fridge/freezer, dryer and washing machine.
The Tall Hedonist might have squealed a bit when he saw the shiny red Nespresso machine, and the jar filled with an assortment of coffee pods. I immediately stuck my nose in the jar of complimentary homemade rusks, and they smelled just like the crunchies of my childhood, with the added bonus of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I couldn’t wait to wake up to my morning coffee.
I converted the spacious dining room table into a writer’s desk for the weekend, arranging my laptop and cameras between an assortment of wine glasses and snack bowls. From where I sat, I could simultaneously peek at the rain-soaked vistas and keep an eye on The Tall Hedonist as he curled up into a bright red bucket chair with a book, a blanket and a generous glass of Kunjani Chenin Blanc. With complimentary Wi-Fi, a smart TV, Netflix, and wall panel heating, I could totally steep myself in Shiraz whilst it stormed outside.
Upstairs in Shiraz Cottage, you’ll find two bedrooms and a full bathroom. The first bedroom is a twin and the second the master with an en-suite bathroom. As with the downstairs living area, no expense was spared on the details. The colour palate of soft neutrals, earthy tones and cloud greys were interspersed with pops of brilliant colour, creating an tranquil haven for rest and relaxation. I coined the word, “tran-quality,” for it described best what you can expect to find in any of the Kunjani villas.
Sunlight simply seeped into the plentiful large windows, spilling onto the floor and furniture. Shiraz Villa was designed for comfort and convenience, for indulgence and unwinding. I remember falling asleep that night to the sound of the rain and the wind, feeling completely unbothered for the first time in months. I slept undisturbed.
Breakfast with a view
The next two mornings we headed to the restaurant deck for Chef Lamek Mnisi’s famous breakfasts. There’s no more sumptuous way to start a weekend morning than a fragrant cup of coffee and beautifully poached eggs, and we were adamant to take full advantage of our surroundings. We almost managed to work our way through their full breakfast menu during our stay. The Strammer Max comes highly recommended.
Kunjani’s restaurant is a stunning amalgamation of features which encourages al-fresco dining at its absolute best. A wide, sweeping deck, seemingly floating above the vines, as well as a high roof and fold-able glass doors smooths out the seams between man and nature. Watching cloud formations or rose-gold sunsets from the deck, it doesn’t matter if you raise a coffee cup or a wine glass – you’d most certainly want to cheers to all the good things in life.
A welcome reprieve for travelers and locals alike
Situated in the scenic heart of the Stellenbosch winelands, Kunjani Wines is the perfect half-way stop for travelers, the perfect breakaway for families and the ideal come-together for friends. Whether you want to dine, wine or sleep – Pia and Paul can’t wait to welcome you to the Kunjani family with their famous unbridled hospitality. It’s what they do best, so let them accompany you for a few hours or a few days as you fill your soul with fresh air and good fare.
There’s four self-catering villas in total, and you can read more about them HERE. Each villa has been designed with quality and well-being in mind. They have been placed strategically to ensure privacy, without having to sacrifice any of the amenities on offer. Each villa comes with a barbecue area, either on a shaded patio, or literally on the verge of the vines, as in the case of Shiraz Villa.
We reluctantly left our Kunjani family after three nights of absolute blissful respite. We felt nurtured, look after, and very well rested. Whilst the world healed, we did, too, and our hearts felt lighter after steeping ourselves in Shiraz Cottage.
Kunjani Wines have always held a special part of my hedonistic little heart, but I’ve just added Shiraz Villa to another corner reserved for the perfect escape.
Thank you, Pia and Paul, for hosting us so generously. Thank you for allowing us to quench our senses after the drought of lock-down.
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.