Bartholomeus Klip is one of my favourite lodges in South Africa and I was lucky to visit for a third time last weekend. Tucked away in Bo-Hermon next to the Elandsberg Nature Reserve it’s a luxury Guesthouse that is completely unique. You get a beautiful glimpse into what life on a working farm is like whilst happily going about your business of doing very little and feasting on delicious food. They are known for their fine country cuisine, so I was especially thrilled to be attending their second pop-up dinner on Friday night.
The theme was Smoke & Fire with an inspiring menu created by chef Louise Gillet to celebrate spring and the flowers. They set it all up in a hanger in the reserve so guests were transported the short distance from the main house by Land Rover. Wines from Groote Post were paired with each course and the evening had guests sipping and eating late into the night. As spring hasn’t quite sprung for us in terms of the weather, there were large boma style fires to keep us all snug and cozy. Six courses plus three generous snacks and a delicious bread course of sourdough and baked pears, and bacon jam spiced lamb medfouna with olive oil foam got our appetite fired up for the feast to come. All the meat came from the farm including from their own and young herd of Wagyu. Louise had cooked this over charcoal buried in the earth for a good few hours until it was meltingly tender. I loved this finale course, which was served with potato terrine, bone marrow butter, carrots, caramelized beer jus, cacio de pepe crunch, spring onion root, mushroom emulsion and charcoal wafers. I mean!
The routine at Bartholomeus Klip is very simple and you just slot into the plan as you wish. There are two game drives – one at 8.30 am and another at 4pm. A huge brunch spread is put out at 10am and their famous afternoon tea goes out at 3pm. Dinner is served at 7.30 with pre-drinks being served next to the fire before. Should you wish to eat anything else in-between, they have an ongoing snack menu available. Louise and Lesley Gillet are twin sisters who manage the lodge with a team of charming and friendly staff.
There are ample things to do on the farm like swimming – in the pool or in the lake, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking or fishing, but I loved being able to completely chill and disconnect from my life for a while. There are also so many places to visit near the farm like Riebeek Kasteel and all the wine farms in the Swartland and Wellington area, but I personally don’t want to leave when I’m there.
As it was my first visit in spring, it was a joy to see so many flowering species in the reserve and learning so much from the Steve – a very knowledgeable guide. I also saw so many animal species, which is a rare opportunity in the Western Cape. We spotted springbuck, black wildebeest, zebra, bontebok and even caught a fleeting glimpse of a bat-eared fox. The Elandsburg Nature Reserve is home to the Geometric Head Start project (this is a tortoise), a buffalo breeding and quagga project, so it’s the perfect place for nature conservation lovers. Water comes bubbling off the mountain from their own springs and it tasted utterly delicious.
Bartholomeus Klip is a little bit ‘Out of Africa’ a little bit of Western Cape Farm with 100 percent warm and un-encroaching hospitality. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
They will be running themed seasonal pop-up dinners every 3 months. The next one is7th December and then after that on 29th March, so get onto their mailing list or follow their social media to find out more about these. Instagram & Facebook
I obviously took hundreds of photos, so this is what it looked like.
*I was invited as a guest of Bartholomeus Klip
To see what my last visit looked like, click here.
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