Mountains straight of Middle-earth, a chapel that floats on water and hearty country dining in a glass atrium. The newly opened BOSJES estate is a special place with so much to offer those who take the drive out to the picturesque Breedekloof Valley, near Ceres.
Contemplate the Famed BOSJES Kapel
Open any recent design magazine and the BOSJES Kapel (or chapel) is sure to be a feature. It’s for good reason too. Inspired by a Psalm, the sweeping curves of the white flowing roof reflect in the pond below to create the impression of a delicate bird, floating on water. It’s not big, but it certainly is breathtaking. Venture inside and note that the curves emulate the surrounding magnificence of the Waaihoek and Slanghoek mountain ranges, visible on all sides through the ceiling to floor glass walls that encase the delicately furnished interior.
And while the old BOSJES farm (meaning ‘small bushes’ in Dutch) boasts an original Cape Dutch manor house that dates to 1790, the strikingly modern chapel does not feel out of place, the weightless undulations of the concrete waves paying tribute to the vernacular architecture of the area.
It’s a sacred marvel, and fantastic new wedding venue (should you be in the market).
Explore the Gardens
The chapel certainly engenders a feeling of contemplation, and the newly designed gardens allow for that meditative feeling to unfold in a peaceful meander. Step through the sculptural water feature and wind your way up to the top of a small hill for a bird’s-eye view of the dramatic landscape before heading down into the gardens themselves, planted with trees and vegetation that have biblical meaning – complete with plaques that detail why they’re there.
You might want to stop by the sunken tea garden (BOSJES Teetuin) and enjoy a cuppa as well as a baked treat from the kitchen or make the pilgrimage up past the newly-planted vines towards the BOSJES Kombuis (Afrikaans for Kitchen) for their country dining menu.
Dine at BOSJES Kombuis
The restaurant, like the chapel, was designed by architect, Coetzee Steyn. It too is a wonder, with light, modern lines that give it an open-air feel, a sense heightened by the high ceiling and glass walls that allow for further mountain gazing.
The bistro-style lunch menu, designed by Chef Pete Goffe-Wood is simple in its offering, with no more than five options per course. But with the Breede Valley and Waaihoek Mountain vying for attention, the restraint is welcome, distracted as you might be with the awestruck wonder of your surrounds.
After snacking on the complimentary farm bread and butter, we enjoyed a simple roast
vegetable salad for starters, along with chicken livers served with mini pita breads.
If you’re feeling a bit more peckish, opt for the farm platter – replete with locally-sourced cured meats, home-made bread, pickles, pate and caramelised onions.
Mains get a little more interesting, the pan-fried sea bass on a bed of infused mash topped with a mussel veloute light and lovely. My partner tucked into the Karoo lamb cutlets served with a refreshing tabbouleh salad and cucumber raita, while the grass-fed beef burgers that made their way on to other patrons looked like generous crowd-pleasers. Kiddies are well catered for, with a special menu and jungle gym, visible from the deck, out back.
The trio of ice-cream is your best bet on the dessert menu, but cheesecake and apple pie also make an appearance – the presentation of all dishes beautiful in their simplicity. As it’s still early days, I expect the menu will continue to be refined as the estate evolves.
In keeping with their locale, the wine list is equally as modest, all bottles sourced from the Rawsonville area they’re in. While not extensive, it will give you the opportunity to sample wines you may not have heard of, and sip away you must as the prices are some of the most reasonable we’ve yet to come across.
Don’t leave without wondering out onto the wooden deck where you’ll see the historical- and-nature inspired blue and white tiled mural of the Bosjes Tree of Life created by Lucie de Moyencourt and Michael Chandler. Fashioned from 366 hand-painted tiles on the outside of the building on the patio area, the intricate mural depicts over 100 fauna and flora species along with the story of the family farm owners.
And, if you can tear yourself away from the farm itself, there are gentle walks and hikes to be had in the surrounding area – where you might see springbok, zebra and ostrich.
Indeed, this humble peach, olive and protea farm has evolved into something quite
marvellous – a gift for guests who enjoy soaking in the Western Cape’s glory.Visit BOSJES
BOSJES Kombuis is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm.
Address: Bosjes, R43, Western Cape, South Africa.
Call +27 23 004 0496 or email email@example.com for more. Alternatively, visit
Blog post by: Tarah Darge