Garden Route Road Trip #1: A Swell Stay at Schoone Oordt

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Tell me, have you booked your honeymoon yet? It has to be said as exciting as booking a very special holiday in some beautifully romantic or exotic place is, sometimes it becomes a little lost in the whole wedding planning process, am I right?  But once the big day is over, it’s such a treat to head off into the sunset with the love of your life for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Your honeymoon is such an important part of getting married, a chance to relax, recover from the madness of wedding planning and enjoy your first few days as Mr & Mrs!  Besides a few sporadic reviews and giveaways, honeymoons don’t often get a look in on wedding blogs, so we’ve got ourselves a(nother!) brand new feature on b.loved!  Twice a month I’ll be sharing reviews, tips and advice from me, the and some of our real life brides on some of the hottest honeymoon destinations on the planet (literally and figuratively!)

To celebrate, we’re kicking off with a very special mini-series.  At the end of September Mr. B and I had the amazing opportunity to head to South Africa’s south coast to explore The Garden Route, a famous and unbelievably scenic stretch along the coast from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.  South Africa is a very special place to us, and this is a trip I’ve wanted to plan for the best part of 10 years, so I already had bookmarked all the places I wanted to stay, taking in the pretty historical town of Swellendam, stunning lagoon sunsets of Knysna, colonial-style safari in Addo Elephant Park, the relaxed and trendy surfers paradise at Plettenberg Bay and the sophisticated wine farms of Stellenbosch {follow our route here}.  Every Friday from now until Christmas I’ll be sharing our trip, the where-to-stays and the what-to-do’s, and I hope we’ll persuade you to add South Africa to your honeymoon shortlist!

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Our first stop was the picturesque Swellendam, one of the first towns to be established in South Africa, around a 2 hour drive inland from Cape Town.  Nestled between the trees at the foot of the majestic Langeberg mountains we found our 5* Luxury Guest House Schoone Oordt, where we’d been invited to spend a night.  With its perfectly proportioned Victorian frontage and delicate wrought iron detailing, and blossoming wisteria carefully framing the house, it was a such a pretty first impression!  We were warmly welcomed by Sonette and her husband Wander who manage the guest house, and are just as charming as the lovingly restored original features of the house.  Our room was perfect, hidden away on the hotel’s grounds with it’s own balcony, luxurious finishes and a bathroom filled with amazing products from Rain {a local company producing luxury handmade body & bath goodies all with African origins}.  After a quick freshen up after the drive we headed out to discover the tiny little town wandering along the main road to the Drosdty Museum, housed in the very pretty old town hall, and enjoyed the early spring sunshine {remember seasons are the other way round in the southern hemisphere!} drinking Castle on the deck at super quaint and chintzy ‘Cafe Oppi Stoep’.

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Back at Schoone Oordt, we relaxed in the library with a glass of local wine while Wander lovingly prepared dinner in the original Victoria kitchen.  His specially created daily menu makes the most of the freshest, in-season produce, all local of course!  We were treated to amazing dishes and perfectly paired wine in The Conservatory restaurant, beautifully decorated in a fresh colonial style, with views over the gardens and pool.  Returning to our room as the night turned chilly, it was lovely to discover the open fire crackling away before we slipped under the sheets for a wonderful night’s sleep.

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Early the next morning we returned to The Conservatory for a freshly prepared breakfast and coffee and a chat with Sonette to learn more about Schoone Oordt.  Functioning as an all-year round guest house and wedding venue, it’s the perfect choice for a relaxed country wedding or lazy stop on your honeymoon.  With 10 rooms, and a separate family cottage  there’s plenty of space to accommodate an intimate wedding party too!  For a relaxed start to your Garden Route trip, I couldn’t think of a more homely and welcoming place to stay.

Join me next week for Part II when we head down the coast to the beautiful Knysna lagoon.


Image Credits: Schoone Oordt & b.loved


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.


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Krishanthi Williams

Gorgeous, Louise! I’ll be following these posts with glee, couldn’t be more perfect timing as we’re planning our Cape adventure in January! Look forward to seeing more… x


Oooh, so exciting Krishanthi!! I hope you enjoy the posts & feel free to ask any questions! You’ll get gorgeous weather in January, one of my fave times of year in SA :) xo