Bird Cottage R300pp - R350pp nightly; Frog Cottage R350pp - R400pp nightly, minimum 2-night stay over weekends.
Budget Getaways Review
What we have here are two cozy and quaint Victorian cottages on a small grape enterprise named Montagne Farm, perched on the steep slopes of Franschhoek Peak.
Both cottages sit pretty in their own tended gardens, at a suitable distance from the main house where Graham and Paddy and their hounds live.
Bird Cottage is fully equipped for four adults and the relaxed bric-and-brac decor has ‘welcome’ written all over it. The kitchen is a tight culinary affair with dainty country pieces, a small fridge and two-plate stove and oven.
There are two bedrooms, both comfortably cosy, and a Christopher Robin kiddies’ loft above the lounge that's sadly no longer home to the extended family of cute teddies we met on our first visit several years ago – like humans, bears grow up and move on.
The bathroom has a Victorian tub and the lounge a fireplace and small telly.
Closer to the main house and attached to Paddy’s outdoor studio is a second cottage called Frog Lodge. It’s a little more spacious than Bird Cottage but the feel and furnishings are similar. There is a double room in the loft upstairs with superb views across the valley.
Head down to ground level and you’ll find the open-plan lounge with fireplace, the dining room, kitchen and bathroom with bath.
There’s an outside shower on the patio if you’re up for the adventure.
During our stay we made a concerted effort to be energetic but never got round to tackling Montagne's new walking trail. Instead, we settled for a wake-up dip in the dam and a marathon game of Scrabble on the cool patio overlooking the valley, aided in our three-letter creativity by a 5-litre box of Franschhoek's finest.
"We loved the hidden away cottage with private front stop and vineyard view. Fantastic hikes in Graham's indigenous mountain property and the best crystal clear dam to swim in. Great weekend escape!"
(Julie Kenney, visited November 2016)
"A very beautiful setting and a quaint cottage. The owner is very helpful and kindly shows you the walks to go on and he imparts his knowledge of the area. An amazing place to relax and enjoy the surrounding area and all the wine farms and restaurants."
(Susan Blampied, visited Sep 2016)
"What a little gem! Thank you Budget Getaways for yet another fantastic spot. We loved the quaint and characterful cottage, full of art works and pottery, mostly by the owner herself. We loved the mountain walks on the farm and the exquisite, private dam just a short stroll away. We loved the proximity to Franschhoek with its wonderful restaurants and interesting art galleries and shops. We loved the beautiful sunsets over the mountains from our little stoep and the gorgeous, gorgeous scenery all around us! And our friendly host Graham, who explained the walks on the farm to us; well done to him for re-establishing the beautiful fynbos nn the mountainside. The farm is very easy to find if you simply read the detailed map that Graham sends you. You will not regret booking into Bird Cottage if you are a lover of nature, beautiful surroundings and peace and tranquility. We are going back in the summer to swim in that crystal-clear dam. Can't wait!"
(Glenda Bloch, visited Jul 2016)
"Great weekend getaway with lovely hosts."
(Caroline Grzeschke, visited Jun 2016)
"Very sweet cottage in a beautiful setting. It's quite close to the main house, but still very peaceful. Great outdoor shower!"
(Jennifer Campbell, visited Mar 2016)
"Comfortable and cost effective."
(Sharon Hopkirk , visited January 2015)
"Bird Cottage, still lovely after all these years. Now with some new appliances and furniture, and all the little glitches seen to."
(Helen Douglas Douglas, visited January 2015)
"It was a very good getaway, for me seeking a break from the city. Beautiful views and peaceful surroundings,a dream getaway. Mr Howes was very friendly and even assisted us when we got lost. The cottage is well layed out with a fire place and the kitchen has all requirements you will need. We had an incredible weekend and will go back again."
(Paul Perzent, visited July 2015)
"We stayed at Frog cottage which was well-equipped and has a lovely stoep. Frog cottage is just a few meters from the main house (so, not that great if you like your privacy), but Bird is a little further away. Our little dog was attacked by the owner's dog and we did not want to keep our dog locked up in the cottage so we decided to leave early. Apparently this dog has attacked other dogs, so I would not recommend taking your pets. It is a lovely place and if you don't take your pets I'm sure you will enjoy it. Nothing fancy, but good for the price-tag."
(Joanne Corrigall, visited June 2015)
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, although we did have an in depth discussion on this at the time of the visit. But just first to advise that from our kitchen and study doors to the steps of Frog Lodge I measured 40m . It is also behind another building so it is very private and has its own views over the fynbos and mountain slopes. In respect of the dog incident, I would like to confirm in all the years we have had "dog" guests we have never had an incident except on two occasions when the guests Jack Russells attacked my dogs. The incident refered to was between the farm dogs. However I do think that Ms Corrigal could accept some responsibility for this. I did omit to advise that we had dogs on the farm but then all farms have dogs and she did not ask. Her dog was not kept at her cottage and unfortunately was discovered by my one dog at its food bowl at the kitchen door. With the resultant attack (no damage done) that unfortunately set the "relationship", We refunded the the difference of the stay.
"Just as nice or even nicer than we remember from way back in 1994. For those who like rural more than town especially, but it's close enough to town We have done it as a getaway to recover after a torrid few months in 1994 and more recently as a hiding place during a big destination family wedding in Franschoek, but we were careful not to tell anyone else there are two bedrooms!"
(Liz Murray, visited January 2015)
"Thanks so much for a fabulous weekend. We can't wait to come back."
(Mimi Thurgood, visited January 2015)
"We stayed in Frog Lodge for the first time, after a couple of previous weekends in Bird Cottage. Frog is a bit bigger with fancier appliances, including an invection stove (so I couldn't use my aluminium espresso maker, too bad). But when our agreeable host asked which place we preferred, we couldn't decide. Bird Cottage more than makes up for itself with its warm cottage-y character. Yes, in both places you'll likely find some dust bunnies in the corners and the beds are bit soft for our liking: you can certainly find more ritzy accommodation in Franschhoek, but you won't find it at this price. One drawback is the dogs that rush up barking when you pass by the main house. One big plus is the beautiful dam amid the fynbos."
(Helen Douglas, visited December 2014)
"Main complaint is that the newly installed solar geyser only provides enough water for one bath in the morning and it takes ages to heat up again. We did not use the outside shower. Location is beautiful and peaceful. Graham is a graceful and lovely host."
(Linda De Rooster, visited December 2014)
"Dear Linda, thank you for your comments and we too really enjoyed having you and all the chats. I am sorry that you had had problems with the Solar geyser. You should have told me as it is an easy matter (just to push a switch) to rectify the problem. I did say it was still early days with the solar installation and would have appreciated feedback while you were there to have rectified the problem. But we apologise for the inconvenience. Kind regards, Graham."
"Our stay at Bird Cottage was our most pleasant and enjoyable weekend away so far. I warmly recommend it to families with children and/or dogs. The patch of lawn in front of the house is perfect for kids to play while you can watch them from the porch or join in. The dam is heavenly! Only a short walk away with the most spectacular views and crystal clear water. Even little ones can splash on the side - just keep an eye on them because it gets deep soon. The surroundings offer perfect opportunities for walks with young kids. If you feel like venturing longer and further Franschhoek has a lot to offer. Although one feels totally "away from it all" it is a plus that the little city centre is only 10 minutes away, in case you have forgotten something or just want to enjoy a stroll over the market on Saturday. Our host was very warm and friendly and I would have loved to have more time to chat to him about his farm and sustainable, organic farming methods. Unfortunately the hostess seemed not very interested in us, but being an introvert myself, I am not complaining. The only thing that I would like to mention is that the cottage could really use a good spring clean. Tub, sinks etc. are clean, but everything else really is quite dusty. New mattresses would also be a good investment at some stage. This would not keep me from returning though. Next time I might just pack some Handy Andy ... or not."
(Melanie Rabie, visited November 2014)
"Great value for money, enjoyed the quietness and tranquility of the farm. Beautiful surroundings!"
(Benny-Ree Bezuidenhout , visited October 2014)
"A lovely rustic experience of farm life in Franschoek!"
(Sarah Long, visited October 2014)
"My husband and I stayed at Frog Lodge while relocating from Johannesburg in June this year. This charming, cosy cottage set at the foot of the mountains served as our temporary home from home for seven weeks ... it was a wonderful, tranquil transition for us. Thank you Graham & Paddy for being such wonderful & welcoming hosts!"
(Tanya Frodsham, visited June 2014)
"The location is wonderful but we were were not comfortable in the room in the loft due to the uncomfortable bed, old linen, noisy (wind) and blinds not working. The place needs a good clean. There was very little coffee, tea and sugar. Getting to the farm initially was also problematic due to the GPS not guiding us accurately and the road is not well sign posted. We had to buy our wood, but the fireplace is great and the whole place is heated up."
(Antony Broodryk, visited August 2014)
"Dear Anthony, Thank you for your comments which are always useful to maintain standards. We have not had prior comments about the bed but will now look at it as we will the linen which we use for all the accommodation. Maybe it was the winter "fluffy" sheets that gave you that impression. We can't help the wind, which died the next morning. The blinds we have fixed. We usually send out maps to our guests who arrive with no problem (as had the Bird Cottage lady) but you advised you had a GPS so we didn't. Perhaps it would have been kinder to advise that I came down to escort you in when you were lost. You did advise that you had stayed at Le Petite Ferme which of course is in a different price bracket to us. We appreciate your comments. Graham Howes."
"Sometimes you need to getaway to just get away! This was one of those weekends. My husband and our 3-year old toddler needed to take some time away from the whirlwind that had become our life and enjoy being in a new place. At Bird Cottage we found comfort peace and tranquility away from our usual comfort zone of home. The usually hot weather was perfect for us to explore the quaint town of Franschoek and our toddler was able to romp around in the garden and explore the vineyards accompanied by the delightful Blossom dog who attached herself to us. The chilly winter evenings were spent relaxed inside by a warm fire with a good book. The enormous Victorian bath was so comfortable and filled with bubbles released the stresses of life. Thank you Graham and Paddy for an ideal getaway weekend."
(Louise Duffett, visited August 2014)
"This was absolutely fantastic way to finish off our holiday in the Western Cape, everything was perfect, and I will recommend this to anybody and everybody,its private and the view over the Franschhoek valley excellent. Thank you Graham and Paddy for a lovely stay."
(Marene vd Walt, visited August 2014)
"To sit in silence, to connect in silence, to be with one another, with the mountain, with the wind, with the world. Frog Lodge allows this."
(Zaria Davies, visited August 2014)
"we had a great stay."
(Karin Wood, visited May 2014)
"Although more than a year after our stay at Bird Cottage we still exchange our wonderful memories and stay with friends and relatives. Untouchable in all aspects, hospitality, setting, surroundings, atmosphere... Defnitely one for the have-to-do list!"
(Terrence & Chantelle Coombes, visited March 2010)
"This is a wonderful place to take your friends and have a relaxing, happy time together. We stayed in Frog Lodge, as Bird Cottage was already booked. It had everything we needed for a comfortable and homely stay - a lovely big bath and outside shower with a view for the adventurous seeking a refreshing wake-up. The braai area and long stoep provided a perfect setting for long breakfasts and dinners. We're workaholics, so although we had planned to spend the whole weekend recovering and chilling next to the fireplace we couldn't resist a few trips into town for a spot of wine tasting and browsing and the cottage is so close, it was easy to get away. The price is actually R220 each, which is very reasonable. We'll definitely be back! The hosts took the time to show us their wonderful art studio behind the cottage, which was a fun distraction. There are a lot of very protective dogs on the farm, so if you're a bit dog-shy, paying the hosts can be a breath-taking experience!"
(Jennifer Bessesen, visited June 2010)
"Bird Cottage is the perfect getaway for anyone looking for an escape from 'reality' for a while. A cozy cottage situated on the most beautiful farm at the foot of the mountains. A definite must for families, couples new and old... Bird Cottage ticks all the boxes! Loved my stay!"
(Sally Rodrigues, visited July 2010)
"Very nice stay."
(Carin Heyns, visited September 2009)
"Bird Cottage ticked all the right spots for my Birthday away! It was sooo hard to leave, we almost resigned!The freshest sweetest mountain water, the warmest swims in the dam and the best hosts! Blossom,the Maltese,definitely takes the cake followed very closely by Paddy and Graham.Sorry Guys! Two days back and I've hopefully booked for New Year! A place to reflect, play scrabble, over-indulge in food, wine and Jagermeister in the company of great friends. We'll be back at least every 2nd month! The best restaurant's, Reuben's highly recommended, fantastic shopping NOT found in CPT, yet we actually missed 'home' when we went out! This is a secret getaway, only the very fortunate will hear about from me!"
(Graham Cowburn, visited January 2009)
"We loved the homestyle, country feel of the cottage, and the farm setting is magnificent. I curled up on the patio with an old book from the bookcase, while the kids ran around the large grounds exploring."
(Leanne du Plessis, visited October 2002)
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