Lifestyle, Local, Travel

Country comfort at Dunstone Manor

Georgia East
There is no need to visit France for a taste of Provencal style, as this sumptuous self-catering manor house provides the same kind of luxury living in the small town of Wellington. Fringed by the Groenberg mountain range, Dunstone Country Estate looks out over the green expanse of the Wellington Valley, famous for its fruit and wine agriculture. Dunstone Manor is nestled in a secluded corner of the estate, surrounded by ancient oak trees and the estate's own lemon and guava groves. Originally a single-storey farmhouse, the Manor now boasts an extra level with three spacious bedrooms – each elegantly furnished with period-style pieces, Victorian bathtubs and large picture windows. Roomy enough to comfortably sleep six, the Manor also features a large country kitchen, dining room, lounge with open fireplace, outdoor barbecue and a pool. Although there are other self-catering properties on the estate, access to the Manor and the surrounding gardens is controlled by guests, meaning that total, relaxing privacy is assured. Walks around the farm are encouraged, as is the picking of one or two lemons for an evening gin and tonic. Guests are welcome to relax on the comfortable verandah – glass of wine in hand – and watch the Wemmershoek Peak glowing in the fading light, the call of guinea fowl and the weaver birds that make their nests in the nearby reeds the only sounds stirring the air. Owners Lee and Abigail Wallis bought the estate in 2002 and retained the previous owner’s love of horses by stabling Abbi’s own three on the farm and converting the original stables into luxury self-catering accommodation. Named after the farm where the couple stayed after getting engaged, Dunstone’s unique branding was inspired by the stone walls of the farm in England and the couple’s two Weimaraners – Rosé and Merlot. Although relatively new to the South African wine community, Dunstone’s selection of single-vineyard wines is celebrated for its terroir-driven process and award-winning varietals. As committed to good food as it is to great wine, Dunstone Country Estate has its own restaurant – The Stone Kitchen – where guests of the Manor can enjoy home-style fare that makes use of ingredients ethically sourced from the surrounding farms. Its wild boar burger is a particular favourite (the boar comes from the annual cull of excess venison at the nearby Bontebok Ridge Reserve). Sitting outdoors in the guava grove, we enjoyed the lamb burger and the vineyard platter of local cheese and charcuterie, paired with Dunstone’s crisp and lively Sauvignon Blanc. The Stone Kitchen will be closed for the month of August for a few renovations to make guests' dining experience a little more private – the restaurant is currently open to the public too. In addition, the wine cellar will be moved to the new tasting room situated just behind the Manor. Visit dunstone.co.za for more details or to make a booking. Save