The Steenberg Estate, originally known as the Zwaanswyk, was granted to Catherina Ustings in 1688 and was one of the first farms in the Western Cape. Its Cape Dutch homestead was erected in about 1740, and its verandah and outbuildings were added at the beginning of the 19th century. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 7 October 1983. Despite a twist of fate preventing its interior overhaul, the new owner of this gracious Steenberg Estate manor created something beautiful. Steenberg Estate has known its fair share of gutsy women. As a lone widow of 22, Catharina Ras, the first owner of ‘the Farm below the stone Mountain’, boarded a sailing ship just 10 years after the arrival in South Africa of Jan van Riebeeck. She made the perilous journey from her home in Lubeck on the Baltic Coast of Germany to the furthest tip of Africa. What she found when she arrived was certainly no land of milk and honey. Instead, it was a fierce, wild place; twenty years and five husbands later, the fiercely independent Catharina convinced Cape Governor Simon van der Stel to grant her the mandate ‘to cultivate, to plough, to sow and also to possess’ a 25-morgen portion of Land at the foot of Steenberg – and thus was born the first Farm in the Constantia Valley.
Over three Centuries later, the equally indomitable Veronique Susman, owner of a Cape Town decor store, would also fall under the spell cast by the cool, sea-facing slopes and majestic granite Ridges of this piece of Land. Veronique is an insatiable hunter-gatherer whose treasure-seeking voyages have taken her from the brocantes of Provençal France and the mercados of Buenos Aires to the poky attics of the oldest Cape Dutch homesteads in the farthest reaches of the Great Karoo. She was immediately seduced by the views of Vineyards and Valley offered from a magnificent gentleman’s Residence, situated on two acres of Landscaped grounds, at the foot of Ou Kaapse Weg. Drawn to the lofty dimensions of the North-facing Manor House, a study in symmetry and grand proportion executed by Cape Town architects André Pentz and Andrew Berman, Veronique wasted no time in securing the Title Deeds. Intent on stamping her own mark of creative genius on her new home, she then drew up a plan of complete internal overhaul.
The Cape’s first Farm, established in 1682, has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Roughly 30 minutes from the bustling heart of Cape Town, Steenberg is a destination steeped in Heritage. It has been renovated into a luxurious Hotel; Steenberg Hotel & Spa. Has spectacular views and plenty of History. Exceptional cuisine at two signature Restaurants which cater for all tastes, from Contemporary Dining, at Catharina’s Restaurant to more relaxed Bistro-style fare, at the popular Bistro Sixteen82.
An outstanding Winery, producing some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc and Méthode Cap Classique in South Africa, along with other celebrated wines, and an 18-hole championship Golf Course, make Steenberg a complete leisure destination in idyllic Constantia.
-34° 4' 16.029", 18° 25' 18.3024"