Planning to pop the question but not quite sure where or how to do it? Don’t fret – we have you covered. The Cape Winelands are brimming with striking and idyllic venues. Here are our top 5 proposal ideas for destinations that will guarantee a resounding ‘Yes!’ from your loved one when that special moment finally arrives, your heart all a flutter.
Set on a 200-hectare farm and dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren lies in the Drakenstein Valley, almost halfway between Franschhoek and Paarl. This Eden-like destination sums up the true spirit and style of the Cape Winelands – it is welcoming, beautiful and world-class. With a 3.5-hectare garden that supplies three restaurants, a stunning spa, an impressive wine-tasting room, a boathouse with rowboat and dirt roads ideal for getting lost on, Babylonstoren does not fall short on places to propose.
The brainchild of media moguls Karen Roos and Koos Bekker, no stone has been left unturned when it comes to meticulous detail. This is perhaps the most ‘Instagrammable’ of all the Winelands destinations, with a garden modelled on the famous Company’s Garden in Cape Town – probably one of the farm’s main attractions (and an inviting spot to go for a walk with your sweetheart). This venue also lends itself well for a full surprise day, with an award-winning hotel available for celebrating lovebirds.
If you’re looking for an al-fresco lunchtime setting that packs the flavour without the ponce, then consider popping the question at The Table. Think mismatched antique platters, a hound running around and plenty of sunshine on your skin. Located on De Meye Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, The Table offers beautiful lunches made using produce grown and gathered in owners Luke and Jessica Shepherd’s own kitchen garden, as well as other ingredients sourced locally such as pasture-raised meat, farm eggs, olive oil and goats cheese.
What makes this venue extra special is that all of the tables are spread out within the garden setting, ensuring privacy but with conviviality delivered. If special arrangements are made beforehand, you can secure a spot out of sight, with a romantic table for two designed for a lazy two-course lunch under the trees, followed by dessert on the provided picnic blankets – the perfect spot to get down on one knee.
If it’s wild and traditional Cape beauty within a garden setting that you’re after, then Boschendal offers this in generous servings. With its ancient oak trees, forestry expanses and beautiful, unmanicured gardens, the destination is a must for any visitor to the Cape, but particularly for any star-crossed lovers.
Besides the deli, restaurant, wine tasting room and accommodation on offer, in summer, the Werf Pavilion provides a very sweet spot for a proposal, and if all goes according to plan, the Pavilion is also available for wedding ceremonies. Picnics are also an option, freshly packed and served in wicker baskets and enjoyed under the shade of the lofty, fragrant pine trees. If you want to sneak away for somewhere particularly private to pop the question, the Manor House Rose Garden boasts an internationally acclaimed rose garden designed by Gwen Fagan, an authority on old gardens in the Cape, and will provide an aromatic and colourful backdrop for any future bride and grooms to be.
One of Hidden Valley Wines’ best assets is its majestic views. Located on the slopes of the Helderberg mountains near Stellenbosch, and surrounded by magnificent fynbos-dotted gardens, the farm offers a welcoming oasis for any nervous boyfriend and his unassuming girlfriend.
Whether it is summer or winter, the tasting room has some of the most striking Winelands views in the Cape, with a selection of wine tasting options, nature trails and cellar tours available to visitors. Our suggestion is to experience the Hidden Valley picnic, available if pre-booked and set up in one of the more secluded spots at the dam, encouraging a mise-en-scène of birdsongs and nature while you psych yourself up for the big moment. The indulgent picnic basket includes a blanket and plenty of tasty snacks. Wine is sold separately but highly recommended.
If you can’t pick one specific wine farm, how about a view over all of them? Our wild card entry comes in the form of a hot air balloon ride – something relatively unusual and 100% memorable.
Wineland Ballooning offers daily scenic Hot Air Balloon flights over the Berg River Valley, located just 55kms outside of Cape Town. For the cost of R3,900 per person, you will receive one hour up in the air with a trained captain, during which time you and your future fiancée can drift away gently with the summer wind, overlooking the vineyards below and Table Mountain standing proud in the distance. If a proposal is being planned, let us help alleviate a bit of the nerves leading up to the big day by helping you arrange a basket for you and your loved one. When you’re back down to earth and ready to celebrate, a 5-star breakfast is part of the package and is served at The Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl.
Something very important to keep in mind if this is your proposal place of choice is that hot air ballooning is strictly an early morning activity as very stable weather is a requirement for safe flying. As a result, there is a risk of cancelled flights the day before due to weather. We advise that if your intention is to pop the question in the sky, allow for a 2-day window during which your flight could take place. Daily sunrise tours take place from November to the end of April.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, or want to create a truly memorable experience, we’ll put together an entirely private and exclusive curated immersive tour that will take you to all the places you’d like to visit, especially those off the beaten track to make room for that special moment.
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