It’s has been almost a year since my first-ever trip to the small, yet warm and inviting historical town of Riebeek-Kasteel. Situated in a beautiful green valley about 30 minutes from Malmesbury or an hour and a bit from Cape Town, this old-world town has much to offer. Here you’ll find clusters of art galleries, antique haunts, al fresco dining spots and the tastiest wines and olives.

The town has an abundance of lovely guesthouses and B&Bs. Yet, The Royal Hotel was number one on my ‘must-stay at’ list. It is one of the town’s most prized monuments as it is the oldest colonial hotel in the Western Cape. As you walk up the steps of the hotel you’ll be welcomed by a never-ending ‘stoep’. Inside, the smell of polished antiques fill the air as you are escorted by the friendly staff to your luxurious garden suite.

There are only 10 suites – each with an ensuite bathroom and without a doubt the largest bed I’ve ever slept in. From your room you can look out onto the grounds and the surrounding hills and mountain slopes.

A nice touch for me was that although there are no coffee facilities in the room itself, you’ll be served freshly roasted coffee twice a day on request in your room. (Whoever liked those sachets of Ciro coffee anyway, right?)

On your way to dinner, stop at the hotel’s bar for a beer, then enjoy the dining room’s haute cuisine. All of the dishes are taste- and picture-perfect: the rolled, deconstructed Caesar salad was an incredible starter, while the Plankies Rib-eye steak – served on a slab of wood – with triple-fried potato chips made for an unforgettable meal. As you dine you can also admire the underground, well-stocked cellar, which you can view through the glass floor.

Breakfast is included in the tariff, so sit outside if the weather allows and try The Perfect Egg –a slice of brioche topped with smoked salmon, poached eggs, crème fraîche with truffle oil and some lovely fresh greens. Need I say more?

For more info go here.

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