A visit to the Cape is never complete until you take the hour drive to the spectacular wine region. The historic Franschhoek valley is arguably the most picturesque of the winelands.
And here you will find the heart-warming farm of 7 Koppies. A beautiful and natural retreat deep in the countryside. Owners James, a successful travel entrepreneur, and Marc, a well-respected interior designer, had a vision to recreate the life they both experienced as boys growing up in Italy, more specifically in Rome with its seven hills – the original foundation of the ancient city.
When James and Marc found their 50-hectare farm in the Franschhoek valley of South Africa, with its seven “koppies” (an Afrikaans word meaning “hills”), it brought their respective family history full circle, and 7 Koppies Farm was born.
The homestead today is a far cry from what they took on at the time. Gone are the dark rooms, small windows and low ceilings – the house has been opened up so that everybody staying there can fully appreciate the pristine location and incredible views. The main house now boasts 3 suites and 3 bedrooms, with treasures and trinkets collected from around the globe, an eclectic mix of James’ and Marc’s travels, heritage, and creativity.
At the front of the house is the Courtyard Suite with its four-poster bed, wood burning fireplace and oversized bathtub. Upstairs, you’ll find the Mountain Suite and Orchard Room, while the Garden Room is downstairs. All rooms have a beautiful outdoor space, except for The Mountain Suite which boasts breathtaking views of the craggy mountains. The central, open plan, kitchen is a wonderful, homely space with stunning views through double doors, out, over the pool, to the valley and mountains beyond.
Next to the main house you’ll find the Terrace Twin, and the beautifully appointed, Valley Suite. Exposed brickwork lures you in and with features like the private outdoor shower, a day bed and direct access to the pool this is a firm favorite with guests.
The Rockwood Cottage
But the pièce de résistance must be The Rockwood Cottage. This beautiful little cottage is an 6-minute walk from the farmhouse, nestled deep in the fynbos. It offers the creature comforts of the main house, but it’s all yours! Soak away your stress in the outdoor ball and claw bathtub surrounded by lavender, honey birds and natural vistas, or enjoy the views from the private pool and large garden. It’s a fully equipped, self-catering cottage and is one of Franschhoek’s best kept secrets. Oh, and a thoughtfully prepared breakfast basket is delivered to your door in the morning with everything you need to satisfy a rumbling tummy.
The central, open plan, kitchen – located in the main house – is a wonderful, homely space with stunning views through double doors, out, over the pool, to the valley and mountains beyond.
For a better understanding: 7 Koppies is a working farm with its own vegetable garden and orchard, not to mention the delicious honey from the farm’s many hives. Much of this produce will find its way to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner plate in true farm to table style. The homely feel is very comforting and the closeness to nature is magical. Watch the sunset deepen over the valley with a glass of wine or a G&T and enjoy an evening meal on the terrace or, on colder nights, around the fire in the kitchen.
We chose to have dinner in-house. A delicious homemade chicken pie and fresh garden salad served with our favorite wine, in front of the fire. Magical. The homely atmosphere lends itself to fire side chats with fellow guests and swopping stories with James and Marc was a highlight of the evening.
Btw: Our room was warm and comfortable with its own crackling fire, coffee machine and well stocked minibar. In the morning we chose to watch the sun rise over the valley from the terrace with a delicious, steaming cappuccino. Our breakfast included a fresh fruit, yoghurt and granola pot and either a full breakfast or, our delicious choice of, avocado toast topped with ham and two poached eggs. After breakfast we popped in at the farm shop before heading into Franschhoek eager to follow Marc’s suggestions of places where we could find some objet d’art.
The picturesque town of Franschhoek, with its world class restaurants, is only a 15-minute drive away, so, if you enjoy time spent outdoors, walking the many trails on the farm, the diversity of the fynbos and incredible birdlife or venturing further afield to some of the country’s most prestigious wine farms, this is for you. Perhaps a trout fishing experience is your thing, or the famous Franschhoek Wine Tram tickles your fancy. If you’re a car enthusiast, venture back in time to the Motor Museum – the warm and friendly staff will be on-hand to point you in the right direction.
This Pretty Hotel is everything you could want in the cape wine region. Welcoming and modern, but with nods to tradition and its Dutch roots, detailed, eclectic, remote and isolated, yet deceptively close to fine restaurants, renowned wine farms, shops, and art galleries. It’s a home before it’s a hotel. It’s wild nature before it’s a farm. It is very special.
Doubles in summer season around 350 euros including breakfast. The Rockwood Cottage costs from around 450 euros per day.
Booking & Contacts
7 Koppies Farm