My first stop in South Africa was Lyngrove Country House on a vineyard in Stellenbosch, just outside Cape Town. The service was impeccable and the scenery beautiful. The region boasts a bustling wine industry that pre-dates the California wineries.
After my 37 hours of travelling, I couldn’t stay awake and had to take a short nap. I awoke at dusk. After a respectful 10 minutes I received a call from the concierge (who noticed my light turn on) to ask if I wanted him to make a reservation somewhere or if I would prefer a small plate in the living room. I chose the living room.
The next day, he handled all of my reservations and expressed concern when I wanted to venture out to dinner in a neighboring town at a restaurant my Afrikaan friend had suggested. Concern for two reasons: he had never eaten at the restaurant so couldn’t vouch for the quality, and the fact it was a fair distance away and I would be returning at night after dark. Given that I was a single woman travelling alone, this is actually a very real and legitimate concern. The restaurant he did suggest was fantastic and just a few kilometres away.
This was definitely a great beginning to one of my favorite trips. But then, every trip is a favorite trip when it is the one I am remembering.