ARUM LILY COTTAGES & LOG CABINS – WOLSELEY
Wednesday 22 February 2017
Just occasionally, I shall write about something that does not wholly concern wine, is related, or deserves special mention. I am forever conscious of the need to drive responsibly whilst wine-tasting and so it made sense to book accommodation for the night for my mini tour of the Wolseley area wine farms. I chose Arum Lily Cottages & Log Cabins as it was well-located and close to Waverley Hills Organic Wines where I had booked for dinner.
Arum Lily was easy to find off the R46 to the East of Wolseley. I had been given a mobile number to open the gate and that worked perfectly. I drove down the tight farm track between the pear trees towards the dam and then to the end cabin, Number 6. The cabin was perched right on the edge of the dam with the most stunning views to the mountain beyond.
I immediately relaxed and went straight to the hot tub on the rear deck. This was heated by a log fire and lit already by the owner for my arrival. I had never seen one before and fascinated to see the clever design with firebox made out of stainless steel that was submerged in the water.
As it warmed up, I explored the rest of the property. There were two bedrooms downstairs, one a double and one with twin beds that would suit children or friends. It was not until after I laid my bags down on the double bed in the neat and well-equipped room that I realised there was a room upstairs too.
I could barely believe my eyes as I reached the top of the stairs. The room was vast and covering almost the whole footprint of the cabin. There was a ‘bridal’ double bed and Victorian-style bath by the window. Matching towels complete with little leaves to decorate were on the bed. This was luxury indeed and of a high standard that would not be out of place on a 5-star game lodge.
I checked the water in the hot tub for temperature – it would be ready soon – and explored the rest of the cabin. The kitchen was extremely well equipped for self-catering albeit I would not be using on this visit. The downstairs bathroom was equipped with a double shower complete with two large drench shower heads.
The hot tub was as warm as a pleasant bath and the perfect place for a pre-dinner drink of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage from Seven Oaks Wines. I reflected on the very fine and thorough attention to detail that the owner had put into the accommodation. Everything was placed where one needs it: fire-starters by wood for the braai on the deck; a box of matches beside every candle; the plant pot of mixed fresh herbs outside; vases indoors with sprigs of local vegetation to decorate; obscure glass on the shower window downstairs so as not to be overlooked; the milk in the fridge; a jar of rusks in the kitchen beside the kettle; towels, soap and shower gel beside each sink, bath and shower; and old wine barrel staves for the stair rail and towel holders.
I returned after dinner and could not resist another try out of the hot tub. It was even hotter and almost too warm. The stars were bright above and the Milk Way clear. My partner said, “I could live here”! The hot tub was warm enough in the morning to enjoy a third time.
Before leaving in the morning, I discovered the outdoor braai area beside the cabin. Shaded by trees, the high standard and attention to detail was apparent here too. The braai was laid with wood and ready to light. It had a canopy for if it rained which was a nice touch. There was a canoe and stand-up paddle for guests to use on the dam. Other activities included fishing in the stocked dam, together with walks and mountain bike rides in the area.
Arum Lily is a place I shall return to and recommend to my friends. The cabins have a fabulous setting, are not overlooked, and equipped to the highest standard. Nothing has been unthought-of for a luxury stay. The accommodation must be good in winter too. Don’t be put off by the thought of a log cabin. This is nothing like a SanParks cabin or mountain lodge or trail accommodation. Arum Lily is an ideal place for a mini-stay, whether weekend away or mid-week break, or to stay and relax or a base for wine-tasting in the Wolseley and Tulbagh area.
I shall definitely return again. Now who wants to join me for a relaxing weekend and some wine-tasting?