On a recent holiday trip in the Klein Karoo, we spend one night at the beautiful Swartberg Country Manor near Oudtshoorn. Located along the Swartberg Pass about 20 minutes away from the Cango Caves, it’s an idyllic lodge that offers excellent hospitality, fantastic food, and the most beautiful views of the Swartberg Mountains.
An oasis to relax and re-charge.
Before I start highlighting Swartberg Country Manor, I’d first like to give our recommendations of things to do while on holiday in the Klein Karoo. We spend a long weekend in Oudtshoorn exploring this magificent region of our country.
Things to do near Swartberg Country Manor
First we headed to the Cango Wildlife Ranch who look after endangered animals and nurses them back to health. Apart from the many animals you get to see on your tour, you also have the chance to experience a wildlife encounter getting up close and personal with the animals that you love. Most of this money goes directly into charities and wildlife rehabilitation, which is always a good thing to support.
Buffelsdrift is one of the largest game reserves in the area. Start with a quick lunch on the deck and join one of the safari drives afterwards. These start at 3 pm for outside guests. Giraffes, zebras, impala, rhinos and much more can be seen on this very special game drive.
Lastly, a visit to the Cango Caves is a must. If you feel up for it, the adventure tour definitely comes recommended as you climb deeper into the caves than the standard tour. It does get super tight with the walls closing in around you the deeper you venture, but it’s well worth it in the end with a sense of accomplishment coming over you when you finally get back to fresh air.
Swartberg Country Manor Review
We did all of these activities while on our short little holiday and having the pleasure of spending one night at the Swartberg Country Manor. A beautiful lodge, where we stayed in a cosy little cottage with a kingsize bed and en-suite bathroom. The welcome treats were a very nice surprise when we entered our room.
Each cottage has its own small terrace with an uninterupted view of the Swartberg Mountains. With the sun setting, a golden coulor emerged and the mountains seemed so close, you could just reach out and touch the peaks.
On a hot summer’s day, the swimming pool is close by where you can relax and catch a tan.
Patat: Restaurant Review
A majestic 300 year old Pepper Tree marks the entrance of Patat Restaurant. The property dates back to 1720 when it was used as a bakery for the house and farm-workers. Nowadays, it’s a beautiful restaurant that is open for guests and outside visitors.
The restaurant is only a few meters away from the cottages and boasts the same incredible view; perfect for an afternoon drink. A local gin with tonic comes highly recommended.
The chef makes use of local ingredients when designing the menu, which changes frequently. Nearly on a weekly basis. It all depends what ingredients she finds in the herb and vegetable garden that’s located right on the farm, as well as what the local suppliers can provide. Seasonal ingredients are the focus – always.
During our stay, we enjoyed a wonderful 3 course dinner at Patat Restaurant (R250 per person). This started with freshly baked bread along with flavoured butter, which is always a wonderful start to get the palate excited about the things to come.
The evening started with a delicious sweet potato soup. Hints of ginger that weren’t too overbearing thanks to the light coconut – these ingredients made for a well balanced starter.
A salad perfect for summer: Maple roasted butternut, cranberries with feta and toasted seeds. The natural sweetness of this dish makes it absolutely refreshing.
The ostrich was served with a delicious and sweet red wine sauce. It came with fondant potatoes and garden green. Cooked amazingly – a super tender piece of meat that I still rave about today.
If I see pork belly on a menu, it’s something I will definitely order. The coleslaw and caremelised apples added a beautiful depth to this dish that I thoroughly enjoyed. The pumpkin puree added an element that makes Patat’s take on pork belly unique and exciting.
The Karoo Lamb Shank was another master piece by Patat Restaurant. The meat just fell apart just by looking at it. Served on a bed of mash and al dente veggies, the de-boned lamb shank was the star of the evening. The peas were also cooked with mint, which added a refreshing and surprising element to an already perfect dish. Amazing!
We ended the evening with two beautiful desserts. Death by Chocolate came with a wonderful salted peanut ice-cream accompanied by a chocolate brownie, chocolate salami and chocolate fondant. Very sweet, but incredibly tasty.
But the star of the desserts has to go to a dish named after the restaurant: Patat. It’s a sweet potato partfait with honeycomb and sweet potato sponge. Sweetness and crunchiness – everything you want in a dessert. It’s a fitting finale to a beautiful dinner.
From the accommodation, to the service and hospitality as well as the food and the beautiful surroundings, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Swartberg Country Manor. With so many friendly faces, you’ll want to stay at Swartland Country Manor for a few days longer.
But even if you aren’t staying on the farm, the restaurant is definitely worth checking out with three courses available at affordable prices. A 2 course dinner only costs R220 while a 3 course feast is only a little bit more expensive at R250 per person.
On our next adventure along the R62 and the Klein Karro, we’ll definitely be back!