There are not many ways more wondrous than to switch off for a weekend escape in Montagu. Slow down and gather yourself at Montagu Vines, a four-star guesthouse in Montagu situated on a small town farm with immaculate nature views. On the cards are refined accommodation, a gorgeous dam with vibrant greenery, and the ever-imposing Langeberg mountain range looming in the background.
Owners Pam and Anthony Townsend left behind the fast-paced living of Johannesburg in 2015 and settled on the small town on Route 62 for a new chapter. ‘There’s just something about Montagu that appeals to us and a lot of people. The town is embraced by mountains on either side, much like a mother hugging a child. You get a sense of security and peace,’ says Pam.
The Townsends have over the years turned the space into a quiet retreat to reconnect and share their very own version of slow living.
Intimate stay options
A cluster of spacious en-suite room options are available, all decorated in a classic style, and a lounging space to kick back after a day of exploring. Their courtyard garden rooms start at an affordable price point with some greenery blooming at the doorstep. At a slightly increased price point, you can opt for the Standard Garden Rooms which are three linked cottage-style spaces. Here you can expect cosy fireplaces for romantic winter nights and French doors that open up to stunning views of the garden and surrounding mountain range. For ultimate privacy, the Luxury Garden Rooms promises a more intimate setup with stylish furnishings, a large bathroom, and overlooking the olive grove and its surrounds.
Montagu Vines is also a good option too if you’re planning a short remote working break. All rooms are air-conditioned and come furnished with a working desk, lounging space, and understated wall decor for those Zoom sessions. There are quite a few outdoor garden seating spaces where you can catch up on emails or give your colleagues some fomo with the epic backdrops.
A conservation edge
‘Montagu Vines’ originates from vineyards that were planted on the property and previously destroyed by the floods over the years. Today you’ll find a small olive grove that was started in 2010 in its place.
When the Townsends purchased the guesthouse they made a conscious decision to ditch toxic pesticides and instead create an ecosystem that allows indigenous animals and plant life to thrive.
Two wild tortoises have since made the grove their home as well as riverine rabbits, guinea fowls, some rich birdlife, and even a porcupine that comes to life after dark.
Montagu is quite unique in its conservation efforts. Water for irrigation on most farms including Montagu Vines is fed from the Langeberg mountains and nearby Breede River to ease the burden on municipal supply. A number of tanks are also strategically placed at the guesthouse to make the most of rainwater.
Things to do
With so much on offer at the guesthouse, you’ll want to plan your visit carefully and settle for at least a few days to fully explore the space and surrounding attractions.
Wine farms are high up on the to-do list and there are a number of respected ones to try such as Montagu Vines, Springfield, Bon Courage Wine Estate, De Wetshof, and Weltevrede Wine Estate among others.
The restaurant scene is a layered affair tying together some great country cooking to fine dining all relying on seasonal produce. 22 Church Street by Sanel Esterhuizen comes highly recommended for her seasonal farm-to-table fare.
Montagu is also considered the best climbing area in South Africa with multiple climbing and hiking routes.
The popular Lover’s Walk with its white footbridge is great for an easy run or morning stroll and leads from the guesthouse into the city centre. End the day right on your doorstep and take advantage of the large lawn next to the dam area, perfect for sundowners or a sunset picnic.
– Benn Ndzoyiya
Address: 2 Tanner Street, Montagu