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Stanford, A Gem of a Village

If you'd prefer a more rural option with an architecturally charming streetscape (from this point of view, Hermanus is horribly bland), and you don't mind being on a lagoon rather than the sea, base yourself in the village of Stanford, a 15- to 20-minute drive beyond Hermanus. Thanks to planning strictures, the village has retained its historical integrity and, popular with Cape Town's creative types, now boasts a number of lovely places to eat and stay; best of all is the secluded retreat, 12km (7 1/2 miles) outside Stanford, called Mosaic Farm (tel. 028/313-2814; www.mosaicfarm.net). There are two self-catering cottages on the reserve; one sleeps up to eight, the other just two (and, at R700 a night, is good value), but the 10 comfortable East African-style en-suite tents (due to be enclosed by glass by Sept 2009), set under whispering milkwood trees and overlooking the Hermanus lagoon and Overberg mountains, are the ones to book. Here it's so quiet, you can hear yourself breathe. Rates start at R1,920 to R2,540 double and include dinner and breakfast. You can breakfast, dine, and sample award-winning wines at the adjoining solid stone Spookhuis (Ghost House), and activities include kayaking and guided bird and nature walks.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.