Welcome to our latest adventure diary! Earlier this year, one of GILTEDGE Incentives’ new corporate clients gave us the privilege and pleasure of hosting 56 VIP guests from Gauteng for a two-night mid-winter getaway in Cape Town.
A hearty mix of luxury and homeliness followed, setting the scene for a journey filled with exclusive experiences, local flavour, and heartwarming memories. From cosy evenings by the fireplace to a sidecar adventure through the Winelands, the incentive trip was a reminder that local really is lekker, with every moment a testament to the beauty and spirit of South Africa.
The star of the getaway? The Retreat Cottages at Boschendal, which we booked out for this group’s exclusive use. This newly launched property boasts well-designed two-bedroomed cottages, each with a shared open-plan lounge, kitchen, and balcony overlooking The Retreat’s manicured gardens.
Boasting a modern aesthetic and featuring beautifully coloured fabrics and local artworks, these cosy cottages were the ideal home base for our group – with most of the team members wasting no time lighting their wood-burning fireplaces as soon as possible!
Each room received a beautifully packaged welcome box from the hotel, which included a bottle of local red wine, two freshly baked loaves of bread, farm butter, local jam, biscuits, and fresh fruit. What a lovely personal touch.
The day of arrival went well, with all domestic flights arriving on time. The group began to unwind after checking in at the hotel following a late morning spent savouring light snacks and drinks on the lawns (whilst taking in the magnificent mountain views in the warm winter sunshine).
That evening, celebrity chef Justin Bonello hosted the group for a relaxed ‘Traditional South African Braai Experience’ at The Retreat’s picturesque boma area. Each guest received a personalised apron, making them feel part of Justin’s team.
Everyone participated in the prepping and braaiing of the various dinner service courses, all eager to get some helpful insider Braaimaster tips and secrets from Justin. He’s an excellent host for group events – friendly, informative, patient, and funny.
Despite the bitterly cold temperatures that night, the group stayed around the boma until all the fires were out and the stars were twinkling energetically in the sky. It was an entertaining and memorable first night.
The following day, after a delicious breakfast at The Retreat, the group embarked on an enormously exciting Cape Sidecar Adventure to the nearby Winelands. The group was split into two after choosing their bikes and meeting their drivers (and donning the complimentary leather biker jackets and helmets).
The first group set off with much fanfare to visit the Spice Route for a ‘Wine & Charcuterie’ tasting, while the second group headed off to the Fairview to enjoy a ‘Wine & Cheese’ tasting.
After each flavourful experience (and a spot of retail therapy), the groups swopped over so everyone could enjoy both estates. The estates are set on beautiful grounds with spectacular views and world-class facilities. Sometimes, Becoming a tourist in your own country can reveal its truly out-of-this-world offerings.
Next, the entire group visited Spier for a casual lunch. The sight of 30 sidecars driving through Paarl and Stellenbosch in convoy – with one bike featuring the now famous mascot, Brody, the rescue dog – caused quite a stir amongst the locals!
Lunch at Spier’s Vadas was excellent – relaxed dining, good food, great service, beautiful setting. The group finished the meal with quite possibly the best Pasteis de Nata you’ll find in the Cape!
That night, everyone savoured a wine-pairing dinner at Boschendal’s Werf Restaurant. The incredible food, brilliant wines, gorgeous décor, and a very tempting gift shop all made for an excellent night out. Boschendal really does have something for everyone.
The next morning, the group was meant to have a picnic breakfast at The Retreat, but, unfortunately, the weather had other ideas. So, everyone just grabbed their picnic hampers and ate inside the dining area.
You’ve got to love how South Africans just roll with the changes and don’t fuss over things beyond their control. Our locals’ adaptability and cheerful nature make our lives as GILTEDGE Incentives tour leaders that much easier.