Hotel

This South African Farm Retreat Has a Spaceship for a Chapel

Rustic cuisine and an ethereal place to pray at Bosjes.

Is it a bird? A wave? A spaceship? Those are questions I never thought needed asking—until I checked into Bosjes, a new farm retreat in South Africa’s little-known Breede Valley, about 90 minutes from Cape Town.

Here, set amid 2500 acres of rolling land lined with pomegranate, apple, lemon, and mulberry groves, I found a modern farmhouse with five contemporary suites; Bosjes Kombuis, a restaurant set in an airy barnlike structure serving rustic-modern comfort food (I had the sea bass with mashed potatoes and mussel velouté followed by a classic South African Malva pudding for dessert); and the owners’ manor house, done up in classic Cape Dutch style, fanciful gables and all.

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The Bosjes Kombuis restaurant.

The Delft-inspired mural by Cape Town-based artists Lucie de Moyencourt and Michael Chandler.

Almond panna cotta, poached pear, and housemade shortbread.

Chef Kim Cox

The chapel.

The living room inside a suite.

A guest room.

A bathroom vanity.

A pool outside the guesthouse.

But what really caught my eye was the chapel, a striking new venue for highly photogenic weddings. The curvaceous concrete slab rises from its surrounds like an otherworldly orb—but it was not, in fact, the brainchild of extraterrestrials. U.K.-based architect Coetzee Steyn, a local boy gone global, was the mastermind, acting on a brief that simply directed him to avoid anything traditional. I think he succeeded: Bosjes promises to put the Breede Valley on South Africa’s already packed road-trip map: a hot new destination to eat, pray, and sleep, perhaps?

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