Take a trip to Schaftplaas and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back in time. Schaft where? Schaft what? Exactly. Probably one of the best kept secrets on the West Coast this. But I have a distinct feeling that is about to change. Because gogga, die plek is awesome jong. So basically, to get there you bullet out of Cape Town down the R27, turn right at the Langebaan turnoff and then double back towards Hopefield. Alternatively, you bullet out of Langebaan towards Hopefield and you get to the Schaftplaas turnoff 15 minutes later. The road that leads you in is about 3 kilometres or so. It winds past a windpump or two, some grazing cows and silent farm houses. Now, let’s take you on a wedding day trip shall we?
Written by Warren Williams.
Warren Williams is a lifestyle, wedding conference, event and landscape photographer based in Langebaan.
You grab your ‘rok,’ your bridesmaids and thunder down the highway. Stepping out of the car, the first thing that greets you is the weather. It’s hot here. Then there she is! Owner, Alet Kruger with her generous smile and real warmth. You sense immediately that she’s very proud of Schaftplaas. She’s taken an immense amount of time in creating a quite extraordinary vintage farmhouse environment. Schaftplaas offers complete function and event facilities that can cater for up to 200 guests. Five self-catering cottages offer accommodation for a total of 16 guests in all. But! There are also 11 tents with beds and hot showers, offering accommodation for an additional 22 people if needs be. Stepping into the cottages is a delightful experience in itself. Antique furniture, artifacts and wall hangings take you back to a bygone era when life was filled with quality craftsmanship. Each cottage is also distinctly different, offering its own rustic and vintage breath of inspiration. Absolutely beautiful to behold. Old farm-world character personified in immense detail. You hang up your ‘rok,’ kick off your shoes and settle down for hair and make-up. Pop goes a champagne bottle and it’s game on. Time passes in a flash. You’re ready to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk. You’re looking the part. Let’s go.
Surrounded by your bridesmaids, it’s a short walk to the wedding ceremony area that takes you past the stables to a pathway surrounded by rustling trees. Ahead of you are your guests, sitting elegantly in their finest outfits on tastefully covered hay bales. Nice. So far so good. As you begin your walk towards your man, who is standing somewhat nervously, but very bravely waiting for you, you pass some butterflies flitting in the trees and you get the distinct feeling that this is where the fairies come out to ‘langarm’ at night. You pass a plethora of brightly coloured flowers arranged in the trees, or in bottles, or in hanging baskets and boxes – Schaftplaas know a thing or two about putting just the right flowers in just the right spot. Hanging lanterns greet you as they sway back and forth in the afternoon breeze.
There’s an absolutely awesome old hammock to one side, surrounded by dream-catchers. Thankfully, the best man has decided not to plonk himself there with a whisky in hand just yet. Splendid stuff. To the rear ‘Japie se Gat’ lies quietly – an old dam feeding from a natural spring, complete with fallen tree. You feel like you’re a million miles from civilization in a place made just for you. You could get very used to just staying here forever. But all good things must come to an end, so you exchange your vows, and give it that big ‘ol first kiss before ambling back up past the stables together with your guests. And there, waiting for you is freshly baked bread, canapes, chilled wines, beers and spirits. Just the thing to get the conversation started. Your wedding photographer starts bossing you a bit now, but that’s okay because the farm offers more than enough photo opportunities and anyway, it’s fun.
Photos over. Your guests move under the bedouin tent which is attached to the main venue. This is where it all starts to come together, because your décor, the rooms, the ceremony area – everything actually, is seamless in look and feel. It makes your wedding planning easy and your wedding day look unique and distinctive. Speeches over and it’s time for food. ‘Regte egte boerekos’ – a traditional feast of traditional South African fare, just like Ouma used to make it. And while your guests tuck into a second helping, Oom Frik is helping himself to a double-something on the rocks in the bar, decorated with old historic farm and family photos. Lekker kos, lekker vibe.
Wedding over. You wake up the next day a Mrs. A clutch of chickens walk past your bedroom door going about their morning routine. You’ll definitely be back for a weekend with friends. After all, good times are made at Schaftplaas.
– Two outdoor and an indoor wedding ceremony area
– Wellness retreats
– Tranquil accommodation
– Soul searching experiences
– Private bar area for guests only
– Walking trails
– Mini shop selling basic supplies
– Beaches and water sports
– Fossil Park
– Game Drives
– Hiking Trails
– Mykonos Casino
– Nature reserves