Text Naomi Larkin, Gemma Bedforth, Roberta Coci Photographs Graeme Wylie, Gemma Bedforth, supplied THE LITTLE FARM WHERE: Wellington, Western Cape, 021-790-0972, perfecthideaways.co.za WHY WE LOVE IT: Perfect for large groups and big families, this is one of the most relaxing – yet chic – holiday spots we’ve found, with room to sleep 14. Elegantly decorated bedrooms and bathrooms open out onto the swimming pool, complete with loads of lovely umbrella-shaded loungers and comfy couches. What’s not to love? Dine alfresco at either of the large dining tables or around the boma. When they’re done swimming, there are plenty of bush walks and places for the kids to ride their bikes. THE X-FACTOR: The beautiful French-style bedrooms, with luxurious linen and ample space combined with the tranquil farm setting, make for an unusually stylish country getaway. THE COTTAGE @ MONTPELLIER WHERE: Upper Waterfall Farm, Franschhoek, Western Cape, perfecthideaways.co.za, montpellier-franschhoek.co.za WHY WE LOVE IT: Built on the olive farm that produces the Three Daughters Olive Oil at the foot of the Groot Drakenstein Mountain range, just 10 minutes’ drive from Franschhoek, this is an idyllic weekend bolt hole. The cottage can sleep four in two bedrooms, both with spacious en-suite bathrooms. There are three outdoor eating areas, a plunge pool and huge fireplace in the living room. Superb beds and tasteful decor make it hard to leave. THE X-FACTOR: There are few self-catering places that are decorated with such flair and surrounded by such breathtaking beauty. GONDWANA GAME RESERVE WHERE: Heuningkip Farm, R327, Mossel Bay, Western Cape, 044-697-7077, gondwanagr.co.za WHY WE LOVE IT: Tucked in between the rolling hills of Herbertsdale and Mossel Bay lies the Gondwana Game Reserve, not only home to the Big Five, but also to a truly special fynbos reserve. Find time between action-packed game drives to discover the splendour of this unique flora or to bask in the sun whilst sipping on a cocktail around the pool. THE X-FACTOR: A private bush picnic boasting a variety of fresh local produce, surrounded by nothing but green hills and an African sky, is an exciting take on alfresco dining. This article was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of House and Leisure.