Ben Nevis Cherry Cellar and Guest farm
- Property Name
- Ben Nevis Cherry Cellar and Guest farm
- Property ID
- 22 USD Per Night
- South Africa
- Sub Location
- Free State Clocolan
Ben Nevis Cherry Cellar and Guest farm
Ben Nevis is situated at the foot of the Clocolan Mountain in the Clocolan district in the Eastern Free State.
The farm has belonged to Pietie and Carina Botha since 1973. The original cherry orchard, one of the oldest in the area, was planted by the previous owner, Mr Hennie Keyter, and some of the first trees are still there. Initially there were only a few cultivars, such as Black Tartarian, Bing, Giant Heidelfinger, Early Red, Black Biggareau and Napoleon. Over the years, however, three other orchards were planted with Stella, Van, Korum, Burlat, Rainier, Lambert, Lappins, Early Sweet, Early Royal and Royal Lee. There are also peach and plum orchards on the farm, where besides fruit, vegetables are grown and beef cattle farmed.
Farm Cherry Cellar
In 1994 the idea of opening a cellar where alcoholic beverages made from cherries could be produced occurred to Pietie as a way of adding value to the existing farming activities by introducing alcoholic products, produced from cherries. A cellar licence was approved in 1995 and a cherry liqueur, which fast became a hit with the public, was introduced. The liqueur and wine produced at Ben Nevis proved so popular that that the farm soon became such a popular tourist attraction that before long Ben Nevis was transformed into a fully-fledged guest farm. Ben Nevis was the first, and is still the only registered cellar in South Africa producing its unique range of products made from cherries. The farm has tasting room for its liqueurs and wines, and there is a factory shop with a large range of bottled products and dried fruit from the farm. There is also a dining room for functions or tour groups.
Those who book in for a couple of nights of relaxation in a haven of peace and tranquillity, will be welcomed with true farm hospitality. There is a small campsite with space for five caravans or eight tents, with power and ablution facilities provided.
Alternatively, there is three-star accommodation consisting of 2 chalets and 3 ensuite rooms that share a lounge, dinig room and snoeker room. Altogether we can accomodate 12 people. 3 baths and 3 showers.
The first chalet is called KOSMOS and is open-plan with a room with a double-bed and divan, a kitchen with a stove and fridge and a bathroom with a shower and bath. There is DStv and linen and towels are provided. There are braai facilities outside.
The second chalet's name is " Vergeet my nie" It has a bathroom with a shower and a kitchenette.
The en suite rooms which make up the B&B share a dining room with a fireplace, a sitting room with DStv, a snooker table and an honesty bar.
LAVENDER, which has an outside door, has two single beds. The bathroom and toilet are separate and there is a bath in the bathroom.
ASTER is a large family room with a double and a single bed and there is a shower in the bathroom.
MADELIEF is on the top floor, with a balcony with a beautiful view of the garden and the mountain. There is a double bed and bunk. There is a bath in the bathroom.
During the fruit season, visitors are welcome to come and see how fresh fruit and vegetables are packed, and to buy fruit at very reasonable prices. The cherry trees are in blossom from about 5 to 20 September and visitors to the farm will have the opportunity of strolling through the orchards and delighting in the breathtakingly beautiful sight of the trees covered in white blossoms. Cherries are ripe from about 20 October to the end of November, while plums are picked from the beginning of December, and peaches harvested until the end of January, after which vegetables such as courgettes, beans, etc are brought in.
Set in a tranquil, shady spot is a tea garden where delicious refreshments are served. Guests can enjoy a barbeque in the lapa and refresh themselves in the a swimming pool filled with spring water. There is also a fully-licensed restaurant where meals for functions and lunches for large groups can be served. BenNevis also caters fors weddings and the farm’s unique mountain chapel will make any wedding held there it a truly memorable occasion.
Ben Nevis is a paradise for birds, with large lawns and an established one-and-a-half-hectare garden. There is an excellent 18-hole golf course only eight kilometres from the farm, a dam for angling six kilometres away, as well as an interesting hiking trail twisting up the mountain.
There is a walking trail on the slopes and on top of the Clocolan Mountain. It takes more or less four hours to complete the 8km-long circular route, which is moderately difficult. There is bushmen art to be seen along the way and there are spectacular views of the Maloti Mountains and surrounding areas to be enjoyed on top of the mountain. Magnificent sandstone rock formations are typical of this area and many indigenous trees can be seen on the way.