My most luxurious stay at Lothian House on the Lothian Vineyards estate in Elgin Valley

by Karisa

Lothian Vineyards is the most exquisite wine estate situated in the Elgin Valley.

Its location is quite unique in that it’s positioned in the Kogelberg Biosphere – an area which posesses 1654 plan species that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.  Their location also means that if you’re patient and alert enough, you’ll also be able to spot rare species like the Cape Leopard, African Fish Eagle, Cape Clawless Otter and the Cape Eagle Owl.

This gorgeous estate is owned by the Wilson family who are originally from Scotland, but hail from 3 generations of Cape Winemakers.  They actually grew up on their grandmother’s vineyard in the 1950s & 1960s… you might recognise the name: Rust en Vrede?  Yup, that’s certainly some good wine heritage they have there…

The naturally cool climate of the area plays the perfect host to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rose and Riesling varietals made in a Burgundian style, and thanks to their winemaker Stefan Gerber’s philosophy of not forcing any particular style onto the fruit and rather letting it reach its own full expression, they’ve already collected quite a few awards.

Accommodation wise, Lothian Vineyards has Lothian House – a 22,000 sq. ft masterpiece that can only be described as pure, unadulterated & exquisite luxury.  I know this, because I was lucky enough to spend a night there last week, and I almost cried when I had to leave again the next day.  Seeing as Lothian House is certainly not short on space, I took along two partners in crime – my good friends Jacki & Clouds.

This really ended up being an experience like no other, so prepare yourself for lots and lots of photos. (the perfect kind of “reading” for a Monday, right?)

Just to set the scene:  This gorgeous 2 level home comfortably sleeps 14 – 16 people.  It boasts 7 double en-suite bedrooms (including a little guest cottage), each with a private terrace.  The lush gardens stretch out as far as the eye can see, and you have uninterrupted views of Lothian’s vineyards, the orchards, the private Applethwaite Lake, the Palmiet River, as well as the Elgin valley mountain-scape.

From the moment you walk through their tree-inspired front door, straight into the most elegant & striking glass stairway, you just know you’re in for quite a ride…

Let’s start the grand tour with a walk through the ground level, shall we:

Now if you’re not already completely blown away, let’s head upstairs:

As someone who’s afraid of heights, I will admit, that glass walkway really freaked me out… The only way I was able to cross it was by holding Jacki’s hand and screaming like a little girl…

This is the master bedroom…

More shots of the master bedroom…

This was Clouds’ room…

This was Jacki’s room…

And then of course most importantly, this was my room…

Just look at my view… #incredible

But the views don’t stop there…

It’s views for daaaayyysss…

The place even comes complete with jacuzzi, sauna, gym & peacock (yes you heard me… a peacock!)

There he is…

Oh and then this is what the guest cottage looks like:

Terrible right, just terrible… 😉

Our afternoon was spent by the pool, enjoying all the beautiful Lothian Wines and digging into the most amazing cheese & charcuterie platter prepared by house manager (and most amazing guy), Grant Butterworth.


I’m calling this collage “Pure happiness” – Do read more about their wines over here.  That MCC is beautiful (but unfortunately you won’t find it in the shops), and I really enjoyed their Chardonnay & their Horny Owl Shiraz as well.  Their newest addition is their Isobel Rose, and its a lovely summer options for sure.

Tough life…

The house also comes with a foosball table, jetskis, paddle boards and various other things to keep you entertained.  If the great outdoors is your thing you can also do some hiking, fishing, bird watching, picnicking & lots more. (Check out the full list of facilities over here)

Because we were going more for the more chilled out approach, we decided to light a fire & enjoy the sunset while continuing our Lothian wine exploration.  Clouds at least got a bit adventurous and tried her hand ad SUPing:

Top: chilling with Gerald & his awesome dog Benji. Gerald is in charge of keeping the gardens in tip-top shape. Bottom left: Estate manager, Ewen, popped in to say hi. Bottom right: Clouds getting her SUP on. That water was cold, trust me… this woman is much braver than I am.

Sitting there watching the sun setting over the lake truly is an experience.  Even though you’re only about 70kms away from Cape Town, you really feel like you’re in a completely different world…

Jacki, myself & Clouds with house manager, Grant

The house also really lights up after the sun goes down:

These lights above the main dining table change colours to match the different colours of the chairs…

And in your room, you can choose to have the starry sky above your bed… (apologies for the crappy photo, my camera was really battling to focus with all the sparkle lighting going on, but hopefully you at least get the idea)

Our night time activities included an incredible 3 course dinner cooked by Grant himself.  This man cooks a restaurant quality lamb shank that’ll blow your hair back, and then after dinner he even prepared special cocktails for us to enjoy in the jacuzzi:

Seriously Grant – don’t you wanna come live with me? Pretty please?

Now I know what you’re thinking, how do I book my own stay at this incredible place??  Here’s the low-down:

  • Lothian House costs R75k per night during peak season & R35k per night during low season.
  • You of course book the entire house and get to enjoy all the amenities I’ve mentioned above.
  • The house also comes with:  A house manager, private chef and housekeeping/gardening staff.  AND they’ll make sure your kitchen & wine rack is fully stocked.

One night just really isn’t enough though, you’ll want way more time there. Therefore, if you’re able to, I’d encourage you to at least book a few days to really take it all in.  They also cater for weddings & special events, so that’s good to keep in mind.  (I’m totally getting married there – just need to find myself a husband… with money… not asking for much…)

For bookings & more info you can contact Grant Butterworth:

  • 071/4505492

And if you need someone to tag along, you can drop me an email as well.

Do yourself a favour and also have a look at the floorplan over here.  It really is quite something.  You can also get a great bird’s eye view of the estate over here.

A BIG thank you to Grant and the rest of the Lothian team for looking after us so well.  We have now been spoilt for life… cursed never to be impressed by anything else ever again…



Madeleen Theron Nov 5, 2014 - 8:14 am

This place is truly beautiful!
I live in Grabouw, and I love the Elgin Valley, but I would never have guessed that there is such a lovely place not far from my house In Eikelaan.

Karisa Nov 5, 2014 - 8:45 am

Hi Madeleen. Grabouw is a really lovely area as well. But yes, this place really is something special. I hope to make my way back there again some day. 🙂

Luzani Mothobi Nov 8, 2014 - 11:55 am


Karisa Nov 9, 2014 - 9:38 am

That’s exactly what kept going through my head as well 🙂


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