Agri tourism or farm stays is a growing hospitality sector and the reasons why are clear: better bang for the Buck and an opportunity to be nearer to nature. When growers want to offer a place to stay on a working farm it is also educational as guests see first-hand the elements that contribute to getting food on our tables. The Ceres Valley, known as a fertile apple and pear growing region, has another attraction. There’s a good chance of winter snow and a definite opportunity of experiencing a range of temperatures. Even in the heat of summer, early mornings and nights are cooler in Ceres than elsewhere.
At Ouplaas, a Tru-Cape apple and pear growing farm in the Witzenberg Valley of Ceres, they also raise horses, sheep and some cattle. There too is the Oubos Cottage, a comfortable and well equipped self-catering unit that sleeps four people in two bedrooms and more if the TV room/indoor braai area is utilised. Although surrounded by working buildings – the farm creche is next door and the fruit sheds are within reach, there is a real feeling of privacy and, especially when visiting on a weekend, soul-enriching quiet.
Although a farm stay should be about “getting back to basics” you might be surprised by the high-glamour of the main bedroom at Oubos – complete with a silvery crystal chandelier and two bejewelled pendant lights on either side of the double bed. There’s plenty cupboard space too if you were planning on a longer stay. Although the second bedroom is larger, it doesn’t have the stunning view over the horse paddocks to the mountain beyond. The second bedroom has two single beds. A taller person may find these a little short. There’s one bathroom with a basin, toilet and shower. Expect excellent water pressure as well as Charlotte Rhys bathroom amenities. The kitchen area doubles as a dining area with a large table and six chairs. You could comfortably fit eight around this table and additional chairs are used as side tables in the spare room.
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