Higher Living at The Cellars-Hohenort

Higher Living

There is living and there is living – higher living, you could call it. In the same way that there is country music and then there is Dolly Parton. Tap water and San Pellegrino. Consider the art of tea making for instance…  The higher living way of brewing and drinking takes time and patience – it considers the leaves in the bag, cares enough to steep for longer than modern attention spans would like, it indulges, slowly, mindfully, in the way of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and it listens to the effect in the body.

Mastering the Zen way of tea drinking is a dream far removed from my reality, but I take the time to try… to consider, care, indulge and listen. Dolly or tea may not be your idea of higher living, but it’s more about the method than the product.

Spa Experience

Higher living is simply about these four actions – consider, care, indulge and listen. A reminder and teacher of this code is the Fresh Wellness Spa & Skin Centre in the gardens of The Cellars-Hohenort, a retreat carefully created by Spa Owner, Jean-Mari Ferreira. Taking care of the body, listening to its aches, indulging it in pampering… are a variety of touch therapies, Dermalogica facial treatments, and grooming for your hands and feet.

“In our treatments we encapsulate all five senses to imitate our surroundings in order to portray this rich valley at its finest. Using oil from the Stellenbosch vines, authentic techniques and various natural elements, the Fresh Wellness spa guest can be assured an experience that will be as refreshing as a breath of new life,” says Jean-Mari.

Spa Therapists

There’s a reason we call them Spa Therapists… they’re psychologists and their method is the five senses. Touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound unite in the Spa’s superb 5 Senses Signature Massage that therapist Shandrè treated me to… The massage combines the refreshing power of Avo-Shea body butter, volcanic stones, tropical bamboo sticks and unique massage techniques, so that all the senses get some attention.

The Spa, like The Greenhouse Restaurant above it, on the same grounds at The Cellars-Hohenort, has been newly revamped. Take a look at some of the other treatments on offer.

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The Greenhouse Turns Over A New Leaf

The Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort’s new look and menu is higher living at its best. To explain the multi-sensory exploration of local South African ingredients and flavours and African food fables, Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff discusses the new direction of this award-winning restaurant in the Q&A below – as featured on The Collection by Liz McGrath’s website.

What has changed in terms of décor and the interior space?
It was great getting involved with the refurbishment this time round, what started as a need for some new chairs and tables ended in a complete facelift of the entire space. The grand old Hohenort building now has a fresh, new interior.

We updated the look by adding dark naked tables, leather and wooden chairs and eclectic art pieces. We then changed the bits and pieces on the tables, including crockery, cutlery, napkins and menus. Even the music was looked at! The restaurant sound track was compiled by DJ Rene ‘The Frenchman’

What can diners expect from the food?
The food remains fun and edgy, yet recognisable. Combining innovation without losing classical cooking fundamentals and combinations is our goal; as always. The focus of the menu is Africa, with a nod to my time spent in Japan and France.

Can you share a dish with us?
One example is the ‘4 degrees of cheese’. It’s a dichotomy of South Africa’s most awarded, local cheese: Huguenot from Dalewood. Here we explore its diverse flavour profile through a range of temperatures from freezing and cold to room temperature and hot.

Has anything unexpected been added to the offering?
We have just introduced an African Single Origin Coffee tasting. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and is the only country that celebrates coffee with a ceremony. We pay homage to this region as well as to Rwanda, where civil war has decimated the area and coffee has been the community’s salvation. These two amazing coffees are served as single espressos with traditional accompaniments.

Below are some of our images from the launch. For more take a look at our album on Bundle.


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The Greenhouse

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The Greenhouse is open in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday. Bookings are essential. To make a reservation call: +27 (0) 21 795 6226 and follow them on Twitter @GreenhouseCT for updates from the creative kitchen.

The House of Health | Ellerman House

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Health is one of the stealthiest of animals to pin down, a state of being we spend our lives seeking to acquire or hold onto. Some believe that the mind is the answer to all health, that, like time, it can heal all. But there are occasions when our bodies, as external entities, require something that the mind cannot provide.

Since the Roman era, men – yes, even the manliest of men, legionnaires and the like – have visited spas. ‘Sanus per Aquam’, health by or through water, or SPA – a word that is believed to originate from the hot, natural springs that fatigued troopers sought out for rejuvenation, relaxation and to treat their sore wounds and tired muscles.

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As much as the meaning of the word “Health” may fluctuate with changing fads, the word “Spa” remains reliable. It is a place to heal, even when you don’t realise you are in need of healing. The masseuse manages to uncover the aches you’ve ignored and bitten your tongue through, the subtle tension you’ve hidden from the world in the muscles in your back, and the places in your body that you’ve denied care. She awakens you to the secrets you’ve been harbouring, her hands kneading the truth out of you. I realised this hidden inner world lying face down on a table between ocean and sky, at Ellerman House‘s spa.

Below:  Spa therapist, Kirstin

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The House of Health

The beautiful Britta Dahms, Marketing Miss at Ellerman House, and I took our fatigued soldier bodies for a spa weekend in one of Ellerman House‘s villas. The House of Health, if you will. Between champagne sunsets, bubble bath soaks, and dolphin watching from the terrace, Britta went for the facial and I, the Chinese Massage Stretch. The stretch treatment combines several massage techniques with acupressure and stretches to relax the muscles, open up joints and encourage the flow of circulation in the body. After every stretch, hot stones are applied to prevent any stiffness or sore muscles for the next day.

Discover more about the Ellerman House spa and the treatments available here, with massages such as traditional Japanese body work, LaStone therapy, Bellabaci, aromatherapy, Swedish, deep tissue, Reiki and lymph drainage.

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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

To better facilitate the healing experience, the kitchen at Ellerman House can balance specific meals with your spa treatments during your stay.

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“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.”
― Jack Kornfield

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An Ocean Timelapse – the view from our villa

And the sun sets on another beautiful day in Africa… Seen here: an Atlantic Ocean timelapse from our villa at Ellerman House @ellermanhousehotel.

A video posted by Relais & Châteaux Africa (@relaischateauxafrica) on