The recently established Essere Lodge is a boutique guest house, wedding venue and conference centre just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town. The Italian verb essere translates as ‘to be’, which has to be the most fitting name for a truly perfect spot to do just that, ‘be’, 10 minutes from the bustling small town of Tulbagh in the Cape Winelands.
Essere Lodge has a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. It is the kind of place where one can unwind, recline with a book, spend the day in a pool or take a walk among the trees. It is ideal for a retreat of any kind.
The style of the lodge is modern with large industrial windows, exposed brick, screed floors and exposed copper plumbing in the bathrooms. The decor is light, in white and creams. There are two swimming pools, a communal lounge and dining area with a well equipped bar, and an exquisite indigenous garden with pool loungers and trees to relax under. There is limited cellphone reception in the area however, should you wish to be connected there is wi-fi throughout the lodge. There are seven suites to choose from, ranging in price and amenities.
Protea Indulgence Suite
We stayed in the Protea Indulgence Suite and I must say, it was stunning. The Protea Indulgence Suite is light and bright with large windows and skylights in the roof. It has a plush king size bed with a cascading mosquito net, en suite bathroom with shower, fireplace, freestanding bath, private access from the parking area and best of all, an outside shower with a view of the fields surrounding the lodge. Coffee and tea facilities along with a bar fridge are in all the rooms, and all rooms come with complimentary breakfast.
It is the little things that make this place different, like the open wardrobe which is made up of logs with copper railing set in, carrying through the use of copper beyond the plumbing. The towel rails are also repurposed logs, carrying through the feel of the outdoors into the rooms. Essere Lodge also has a large collection of board games and packs of cards available for guests to use. I love playing board games on holiday as it is something so out of the ordinary for me, it is a wonderful way to really remove oneself from the technological world.
What I particularly loved about Essere Lodge is how connected it is with local producers and other small businesses in the area. We ate artisan cheeses from Druk My Niet Stud Farm and cheese and dairy industry consultant Annie Christensen from Bellecrème. The lodge sources all their meat from farms in the area, any vegetables they don’t grow on the property they get from the local community garden in Church Street in town, and they have a huge variety of local wines to enjoy at the bar. Essere Lodge has braai packs and picnic baskets for sale, all of which include locally sourced ingredients and items.
It is the relationship with local producers and small businesses in the town that is bringing to life the idea of a pop up restaurant at Essere Lodge. The first event will be held on Saturday 29 April 2017 and will see Essere Lodge joining forces with Saronsberg Wine Estate for a Wine & Food Pairing Evening. The menu has been conceptualised by resident chef Karin Schmidt from Culinary Tactics and promises a talk and wine pairing hosted by award-winning winemaker Dewaldt Heyns from Saronsberg. For more information about the Wine & Food Pairing Evening, click here.
Essere Lodge has found its feet in such a short space of time. If you’re looking for a break from all the madness, a place to retreat and be with your partner or even just accommodation for a wedding in the Tulbagh area, check out Essere Lodge. I certainly can’t wait to return.
For more information about Tulbagh, see the Tulbagh Tourism website here.
Find them on Google Maps.
Note: For the above post I was invited as a guest of the establishment. All content, views and images are my own unless otherwise stated.
Any photography that is not my own on this post is credited below the image.