During the Winter School holidays you might be tempted to stay at home and not venture out and about, let alone going away anyway, just in case the weather turns and you end up not only stuck indoors, but without the usual home comforts and children’s entertainment! But, you would be missing out on enjoying a whole host of entertainment options and amazing places to visit. One of the best things about going away in winter is that not many other people are brave enough, which means you often find great bargains and special offers plus the restaurants and tourist attractions are usually quieter too!
For our winter break we are heading off for a weekend at De Hoop Nature Reserve which we are so looking forward to! Located just three hours from Cape Town, the 36 000ha De Hoop nature reserve boasts spectacular bird-life, diverse fauna and flora. In the coming months, the De Hoop nature reserve will host spectacular displays as more than 40% of the world’s Southern Right whales come into the bay to mate, calve and see their young through their first few, vulnerable months.
Besides Nature’s entertainment De Hoop also have a fab lineup planned over the winter weekends of the next few months, definitely worth looking into should you be keen for a weekend away with a difference…
14 – 16 June – Father’s Day weekend with Ivo Ivanov
Take the opportunity to spoil dad by booking a luxurious two-night trip to the De Hoop marine reserve over Father’s Day weekend. If he’s accompanied by at least one of his children, dad gets to stay one night for FREE. A diverse, full package awaits for the weekend. Accomplished violinist Ivo Ivanov will entertain diners with a selection of popular movie scores, favourite classics and recognisable jazz tunes on Sat evening in the Fig Tree restaurant. Ivo graduated in Bulgaria from the Sofia Academy of Music. He was a student of the legendary violist Petar Christoskov and Eli Kasakova.
A special rate of R995 per four sleeper cottage (minimum 2 night stay) includes a free guided Bird and Fynbos Walk for the family along the Vlei (normally R400)
Dinner and Music by Ivo Ivanov : R250 per person (Dad half price – Children 12 and under half price!
Father’s Day Sunday Lunch: R175 (Children 12 and under half price)
8 – 12 July – Karina Behr Art Workshop
Join renowned artist, Karina Behr for a creative weekend and learn how create a masterpiece. Start this artistic retreat with a tonal drawing in charcoal to emphasise shadows and lights, lost edges and atmosphere. You will then prepare a canvas and a drawing of the still life you are going to paint. Karina will teach you perspective, negative spaces and colour mixing, and at the end of the workshop you will have completed an oil painting! Karina is an established artist both in South Africa and abroad. Her work has been exhibited in France, Switzerland and London, and sought after by International buyers for private collections. She is a realist, figurative painter in oils, gouache and pastel – and will impart her knowledge and love of both nature and art to all who wish to participate in this feast of visual images.
Weekend Package – R4 270 per person sharing
4 night workshop includes accommodation, all meals, teas and guided walks (excludes transport and drinks).
12 – 14 July – Christmas in July with Stargazing by astro expert Fred Smith
The De Hoop Collection promises a warming family weekend of Christmas in July celebrations. Log fires and cosy accommodation – now with electric blankets, hearty food and fantastic wine promise to keep the cold at bay.
Adults can relax around a braai under the legendary fig tree on Friday evening while children are entertained with a movie and special kiddies dinner. Afterwards, enjoy a casual but informative evening of stargazing with a local astro expert Fred Smith. Away from the bright lights of the city, stargazing at De Hoop is the ideal way to learn more about your universe. After a scrumptious Saturday brunch at the Fig Tree restaurant, you can try your hand at some chocolate truffle making, by Richard Von Geusau Chocolates. Or opt for a number of guided activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Christmas spirit will get underway with a traditional Christmas dinner, and a visit from Santa who will hand out presents for the children on Saturday evening.
Accommodation rate: options from R250 per person
Saturday Dinner and Stargazing with Fred Smith: R225 per person (Children 12 and under half price)
Truffle-making course: R195 per person including ½ kg truffle chocolates! (Children 12 and under R95 for ¼ kg chocolates)
26 – 28 July – Culinary Experience with Reneé Daneel – “A Taste of France @ De Hoop”
2 – 4 August – Wine, Whales and Music @ De Hoop
Friday cocktails in the Whale Bone Bar with an opportunity to chat and mingle with top musicians from the Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestra, followed by a first class feast with a sumptuous five-course food and wine pairing dinner in the Fig Tree restaurant. On Saturday, join wine makers from the Cape Agulhas region for a relaxed but informative wine tasting. On Saturday evening, savour select wines, cocktails and canapes while top musicians from the Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestra treat you to a Whale Time serenade. Together with Malané Hofmeyr-Burger and her string and flute ensemble, friends from the JPO will perform pieces by Bach, Haydn, Vivaldi, Boccherini and some lighter works. The weekend will also include guided walks and a picnic on the sand dunes watching the Southern Right Whales at Koppie Alleen. On Sunday morning, an interpretative marine walk at low tide to visit the whales is scheduled. Richard von Geusau, the well-renowned Chocolatier from Greyton will also be running a truffle-making workshop.
Weekend Package – R2350.00
(2 nights per person sharing) includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner,
music, truffle-making, wine and food pairing, walks
One Night package – R1 945.00
Dinner and Music only – R275.00
23 – 25 August – Culinary Experience with Reneé Daneel – “A Taste of Spain @ De Hoop”
The De Hoop Collection opened in the De Hoop Nature Reserve in 2008, following a pioneering public-private partnership between eco-tourism visionaries, Carl Trieloff and William Stephens of the renowned Madikwe Collection, and Cape Nature, who manage the conservation aspects of De Hoop. In addition to a wide range of accommodation types designed to suit all budgets, the De Hoop Collection offers visitors a chance to experience unparalleled peace and tranquillity in what must be one of the Cape coast’s most unspoiled gems.
Images: supplied by De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve
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