This gem of a boutique country hotel nestles between the estate of the same name’s vineyards on the outskirts of Tulbagh village on the Winterhoek Road to the north. Often and often I send my guests to enjoy a sundowner on their pergola-clad veranda – what better than to admire the sun sinking behind the glorious Saronsberg through a wineglass darkly? In summer, with the banks of iceberg roses in bloom, it is a beautiful setting for a white wedding, and latterly the hotel also offers guests a luxurious wellness spa.
Last Sunday the family and I decided to try out their Governor’s restaurant’s famous Sunday roast – a delicious plateful with all the trimmings followed by a decadent baked pudding with custard. And of course I ordered a bottle of Mr Perfect with alacrity – the closest I will probably get to Mr Right in Tulbagh! (BTW resident Rijk’s Ridge winemaker Pierre Wahld makes wine like an angel – he has rewritten the record books by featuring on the ABSA Top 10 for 10 years and is colloquially known as the Pope of Pinotage…) Needless to say, we needed a serious middagslapie after all that indulgence!
And did you know that ‘Rijk’ is in fact a title, meaning ‘father’, given to Governor Tulbagh after whom our town is named. It was bestowed due to the respect in which he was held by the Cape community - fondly remembered generations later for a popularity occasioned by fiscal discipline, fairness, justice and applied common sense. He and his wife, Elizabeth Swellengrebel, being a childless couple, were benefactors to many orphans. It is perhaps no co-incidence that today Rijk Tulbagh Private School is also housed on the property an indeed, Tulbagh is also home to one of the oldest orphanages in the country, Steinthal Misson School.
We are so blessed to have such an asset on our doorstep!