Exterior view of Brookdale Estate, Paarl, South Africa

Brookdale Estate
Paarl, South Africa


They say that the pearl is a queen of gems and a gem of queens, a fitting way to sum up the Western Cape wineland of Paarl, which (you guessed it) means pearl in Afrikaans. But here, there is a gem within the gem, like the exceptional “have it all to yourself” escape that is Brookdale Estate.

Just an hour’s drive from Cape Town through stunning landscapes or a two-hour scenic route that takes in the surrounding winelands is Brookdale Estate, set in a lush valley below the undulating granite Paarl skyline. This gorgeous 18th-century property is vineyard first and getaway second, but you’d never know – the service is second to none and the focus is on delivering exceptional luxury. 

The house is available as a private let only, so whether you’re just two planning a romantic break or with a group of friends or family of up to 10 celebrating a milestone, the entire place is yours. Included in the price are all meals and local alcoholic drinks, activities on the estate, private wine tasting, private chef and butler. 

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While you’re Out There
While it may be quite the push to want to leave the luxury of Brookdale, you must pay a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house at Groot Drakenstein Correctional Centre between Paarl and Franschhoek. Now a National Heritage site, it is where we spent the last 14 months of his incarceration as a supposed “terrorist.” Now, a life-sized statue of him with fist raised stands at the very place he took his first steps outside the prison as a free man.

Here, beautifully decorated rooms and cosy nooks meet excellent fresh home-cooked food from the verdant kitchen garden (not to mention some of the best wine you can drink from the land). It’s the perfect, rejuvenating bolthole with plenty of open space and fresh air. We especially liked the Instagram-worthy pool area, with its adjacent pool house in the same style as the manor, where we spent the day lounging and watching the sun cast magnificent shadows on the vineyards and mountains beyond, while supping plenty of cold, refreshing house wine. 

The magic touch at Brookdale, though, is the super-friendly team, who are always to hand with a smile and warm South African welcome. 


Photography courtesy of Brookdale Estate

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