R820 per cottage per night (R850 from 1 February 2016)
Budget Getaways Review
Long Thin Farm overlooks the Goukou River, 13km from Stilbaai. And, judging by the gushing guest feedback, it looks like a Budget gem in the making...
On offer are two self-catering cottages, both above a beautiful stretch of idyllic river as it carves a slow meandering path towards the sea.
Milkwood Cottage, beautifully restored to expose some of its original stonework, sleeps two in a separate bedroom which is ensuite, a further two singles can be found in the loft room. The kitchen, living and dining area is open-plan, fully equipped and fitted with a cast-iron fireplace for winter. Towels and linen are also provided. Outside, there's an enclosed stoep and private garden overlooking the river.
Further along the way, Stone Cottage is like the name suggests: an old stone cottage that's been fully restored to the exacting standards of the modern Budget traveller. It also sleeps four, but this time there are two bedrooms. The bedrooms share a common bathroom with shower. As with Milkwood, towels and linen are provided. Again the lounge etc is open-plan and fully equipped, including cast-iron fireplace. The stoep is covered with a reed ceiling and has a wonderful outlook over the water.
Both cottages are comfortable and tastefully decorated in a home-from-home atmosphere.
Looking beyond your bed for the weekend, there's plenty to keep you occupied at Long Thin...
The activity platter includes boating (rowing boat, canoe and kayak provided), swimming and waterskiing (launching facilities available), fishing from the lower reaches of the river, mountain biking (bring your own), birdwatching (with 250 species ticked off to date, including fish eagles), picnicking under an ancient fig tree alongside the river, stargazing, braaing to your heart's content, and helping out with the olive picking. There's even an amateur croquet lawn to hone your skills in preparation for the Queen's visit.
Thirteen kays away, Stilbaai has a long beach, historic interest and a couple of decent eateries.
"What an absolutely amazing setting and such a beautiful quaint cottage. We relaxed completely and enjoyed the sweeping views of the river and hills below. Absolutely stunning. The cottage has a gorgeous fireplace that kept us toasty while we prepared a delicious dinner. Would go back anytime, really worth it."
(Rae Donnelly , visited January 2015)
"This farm gives meaning to the "still" in Stilbaai. What utter bliss it was to be able to stay in such quietude and appreciate the stillness. Milkwood Cottage is beautifully appointed and the wood-burning stove kept us toasty on what was a very cold weekend. We hope to be back in summer to take advantage of all the river has to offer."
(Gudrun Burns, visited July 2015)
"Fabulous cosy cottage in an idyllic river valley setting. The river is a short stroll from the cottage. Would definitely return."
(Kim Sowden, visited July 2015)
"A scenic winding road leads up the river to reveal the charming cottage set on the hill, overlooking the river, we only stayed for one day and night, but it felt like a weekend, as we immediately relaxed in the tranquil setting and didn't leave the stoep, except to fill up the tea pot, or get a cold beer. The bird life is prolific and the birdsong in the morning begs you to enjoy coffee outside, down to the call of the fish eagle, whom we spotted later. The cottage is charmingly decorated in French farm-style and all amenities are new, work well, clean and comfortable, great fluffy duvet! We will definitely return for a longer stay next time."
(Tania Pringle, visited April 2015)
"Attention to detail is my first reaction and thought to this lovely cottage. We stayed in Stone Cottage for three days, relaxing on the veranda, braaing and chilling. We used the SUP (stand-up paddle) board and kayak which was provided. Beautiful, well maintained surroundings, very appealing to the eye. A photographers dream with all the fruit, olive and grape vines to photograph up close. There is a lovely closed fireplace in the lounge area which warms up the whole house on those chilly nights and thick extra blankets which come in very handy. Charles welcomed us and was there for any questions we might have. Truly a beautiful and well maintained property. I will definitely be back for a longer stay."
(Tania van Zyl, visited May 2015)
"Spent 6 glorious days at the farm with my wife and two kids 6 and 8 . Lazy days on the river, whether supping or canoeing (supplied by the farm) or just floating on our backs amidst the serenity of this special place. It was a rare pleasure to be able to play in the river one day and surf the famous Stillbaai reef the next (only 13 km away). The cottages were well appointed and cosy at night , as well as cool during the day. We will definitely be back."
(Wade Gainsford, visited April 2015)
"Definitely has the WOW factor! Incredibly clean, comfortable and lovely setting. Charles was there to welcome us and added a special touch knowing he was close by for any emergencies or advice. We spent a relaxing 6 days there, getting to visit a number of the areas nearby including Stilbaai, Jongensfontein, Gouritz Mouth and Vleesbaai, with the benefit of being able to get back and just enjoy relaxing on the loungers on the verandah. We enjoyed the wine and have brought back some Long Thin Farm olive oil. The use of the kayak and SUP was an added bonus as most days we paddled up or down the river to suck in the tranquility of the surrounding farms. A great budget getaway!"
(Paul Nicholson, visited February 2015)
"Wonderful and blissful time on the river."
(Ellie Courts, visited January 2015)
"A really relaxing weekend. Great canoeing with the kids. Super welcoming hosts!"
(Darren Allen, visited March 2014)
"The ONLY place to stay on the Goukou River, Stilbaai! What a lovely surprise when you enter the Goukou Valley. Green pastures galore and the slow meander of the Goukou river...exhale. Long Thin farm is not only breathtaking, owners Kevin and Italia are sincere and caring hosts. Country hospitality at its best. You are instantly made to feel at home. Amidst lush green banks lined with olive trees, vines, lavender, fruit trees and spectacular bird life. Facilities are exceptional, there's loads for kids to do; kayaks, canoes are available and a paddle down the river makes for great views! Do pack a fishing rod, there are also plenty of quiet dirt tracks for mountain bikers. We stayed in Milkwood Cottage, a lovely restored farmers home, very well equipped with quality finishes, the cottage is surprisingly warm and the river views from the stoep are just spectacular! We are definitely heading back, taking the whole family. Thank you Kevin and Italia for a wonderful stay and we love the boutique Cabernet Sauvignon! If you ever get the chance to stay at Long Thin Farm, don't forget to stock up on the yummy Olive Oil and Red wine! Made with love and without nasty additives, much like our hosts!"
(Michelle Uys, visited May 2013)
"Four of us trekked up to long thin farm from cape town for a long weekend and it took us about 4 hours (with a few stops along the way). The last 10 kms or so leading to the farm was on dirt track road, which only added to the feeling of a real hideaway holiday! Well, what can we say...? The setting was so beautiful and peaceful. The owners, Italia and Kevin, live in a house that is situated right on the bank of the river. They are both the most friendly and delightful hosts one could want for such a holiday. They have a small vineyard next to their house where they make stunning red wine (which of course you can buy from them - and I urge you to do so!). The cottage we stayed in was situated further up the hill - far enough away that you don't feel encroached by the owners, but close enough, that if you need something you can just nip down to see them. The cottage is lovely and quaint and very good value for money. It has a modest kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a small living room with a wood burning stove, and a built in braai out the back. The views from the cottage are spectacular! Italia and Kevin also provide a couple of kayaks for use on the river and we had full use of their back garden area which backs on to the river. I almost didn't want to review this because I want it to remain the best kept secret in the Western Cape :) We will definitely be back! Thanks Italia and Kevin!"
(Russell Johnston, visited September 2012)
"We had a great weekend at Stone Cottage, with a warm welcome from hosts Italia and Kevin. Very comfortable, clean and neat accommodation. The setting is lovely and just a pity the weather didn't play along to be able to use the kayaks on the river, which only means one thing ... we will be back!"
(Ingrid and Barry Young, visited September 2012)
"If you want to get away from it all but still be close enough to a town and beaches when required, The Long Thin Farm comes highly recommended. Everything said in the introduction is accurate. There is lots to do. Just sit on the porch and watch the birds, go for walks or mountain bike rides, drive on interesting dirt roads or swim and canoe in the river. The beach is only 15 minutes away by car. Kevin and Tally, assisted by Bianca (their huge and very friendly Great Dane) are the perfect hosts. On the farm they produce olive oil and red wine. They specialise in Sharaz and a Sharaz Voignoir blend as well as a limited production of Grenache. They also do an impressive Port and Grappa. It is often not the alcohol in the wine that makes one feel a bit rough in the morning but the added sulphite used as a preservative. While some sulphite must be added to wine, Kevin keeps this to a minimum whereas the larger producers use much more. The good news is that the wine is beautifully smooth and full of character and the “morning after friendly”. The only drawback is that the wine will only last for about 4 years after bottling but, in our household, that is hardly a problem. My wife and I highly recommend The Long Thin Farm. "
(Charles and Shannon Maxwell, visited May 2012)
"Kevin and Italia are the most amazing people, friendly and inviting. The stone cottage was beautiful and comfy. The view from the stoep is gorgeous as well as the birdlife and the cute bunny we saw. The kids loved the river, canoing and swimming. There is a short drive to the town and beach which we also enjoyed. All in all a wonderful getaway where we were able to relax and take in the tranquil setting! Will definitely go back!"
(Sue Botha, visited December 2011)
"We are a family with 4 kids ranging from 2 to 17 and what a perfect place to escape to and have something for the kids of all ages to find appealing. Our hosts went out of their way to accommodate us as normally the cottage comfortably sleeps 4 (a bit more cozy with all of us but with the view and outdoor area we never felt too on top of each other). The small extras that are laid on are everywhere - down duvets, chocolates on pillows on arrival, buckets and spades for the kids, lifejackets for small ones and best of all plastic kids crockery - so often never thought about which leaves one hovering over the kids when they eat in case that inevitable accident happens). As in the previous comments one can not find more accommodating hosts who take you in and make you feel as if you have known them for years. We can't make it back in Dec but will be back next year with more family in tow taking both cottages this time. Thanks so much for the wonderful break (and the best broad beans in the world direct from the garden)."
(Jen Peser, visited October 2011)
"We spent 2 nights here and had a lovely time. The Stone Cottage is very comfortable, generously equipped, and beautifully positioned with great views of the river and valley from the front porch. Kevin and Italia are just the nicest people, very welcoming without being obtrusive in any way, and their impeccable taste and warm nature really shine through. The river is good for swimming, canoeing and hand-line fishing, and the dirt road is good for an amble. Lovely spot, we will come back without a doubt."
(David Fair, visited October 2011)
"This most certainly IS a Budget Getaways gem! We loved our two nights in Stone Cottage. It has been beautifully and thoughtfully restored, and was perfect for our family of four. The boys (aged 8 and 3) loved fishing in the river and paddling about with dad in the canoe. Dad was happy catching waves at nearby Stilbaai and Jongensfontein, and mum was happy flicking through the stack of decor magazines in the cottage. The cottage was comfy and well equipped, and had fresh flowers in every room. We will definitely be back one day!"
(Emma Millar, visited March 2011)
"When planning our regular visits to South Africa I spend hours searching for new destinations such as Long Thin Farm; a quiet, rural environment; clean and attractive accommodation; reasonably easy access in a saloon.... a special place to immerse oneself in. My wife and I have never enjoyed a 4-day stay more. In addition to all the above we met two industrious and happy hosts who made us most welcome. Stilbaai is just 13km away and is a bonus if you're looking for sea/beach and a few extra things to do, however we would be very pleased to spend many more days in the delightful environment of Long Thin Farm. Visitors often say they will return; for us it's a very long journey but it will be top of our list the next time around. Thank you again Kevin and Italia."
(Aubrey Watson, visited February 2011)
"Italia and Kevin are wonderful hosts and the cottage which we have stayed in twice is decorated beautifully by Italia. I would without a doubt recommend this wonderful heaven on earth. Added to all this it is such good value for money. Thanks Italia."
(Liezl Le Roux, visited December 2011)
"Our two night stay in Stone Cottage was simply superb. The setting is magical and the pleasure of drfiting along the tranquil river at sunset in a rowing boat, with the cry of the fish eagle overhead, is hard to beat for sheer bliss. The cottage is simply but so tastefully decorated with loving attention to detail, and yet it retains the rustic charm of the original building. It is well equipped and we slept wonderfully in comfortable beds with quality linen. Italia and Kevin are wonderful hosts and are passionate about their farm. Their enthusiasm for life and their olive growing and wine making ventures make us city slickers want to drop everything and find a bit of paradise as they have done!"
(Jennifer Wilson, visited May 2010)
"Italia and Kevin were fantastic hosts and made us welcome immediately. Beautifully decorated and comfortable cottage, and the kids enjoyed it thoroughly. Definitely home away from home! Hope to see you this coming December. Thank you for a wonderful stay."
(Danielle Chinner, visited December 2009)
"Italia and Kevin certainly pulled out all the stops to make our stay a great one. There were chocolates, juice, fresh milk and vases of stunning fresh flowers from their garden. Everything was tastefully put together and our stay was supremely comfortable. A multitude of vessels for use on the river were available at all times. Highly recommended place. Thanks Kevin and Italia. Look forward to our return someday."
(Ann-Marie Breen, visited April 2010)
"The entire experience was superb. The cottage is beautifully situated - quiet and close to the river. It's immaculately clean and the decor is gorgeous, with lots of very special touches. The hosts are excellent. I would love to visit again."
(Anne Perusset, visited December 2009)
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