Christmas, like most occasions in South Africa, is centred around the braai and langtafels. Here family casually pass bowls of homemade salads…..

If you’re looking for an escape to celebrate the festive season, here are 3 family-friendly escapes to look into booking for reconnection and relaxation.

Boschendal Trout Cottages (Franschoek)

Situated in one of Boschendal's private areas, Trout Cottage enjoys an enviable position at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains and surrounded by rows and rows of precious vines. The property offers exclusive access to the many walking and trail running routes and mountain biking trails around Sugarbowl Mountain, making it the perfect base for outdoorsy types.

Three rooms sleep four adults and two children, with plenty of space to cook, eat and unwind in between. The outdoor terrace looks over fragrant fruit trees and acres of farmland - an ideal spot for sundowners with friends after a day spent exploring the landscape and cooling off in the neighbouring dam.

Perfect Barrydale Hideaway – Bobbejaansberg (Barrydale)

Nothing says ‘South Africa’ quite like the Karoo. The Klein Karoo is a little different, with a touch more green and gently rolling hills. It’s here that you’ll find a Gregory Mellor-designed holiday home that is the most perfect hideaway. The low-slung, wisteria-covered Karoo slate home left us speechless (and that doesn’t happen often!).

Days pass slowly in the Karoo, and we suggest you spend a day in the pool – enjoying a cocktail and the panoramic views of this most pristine part of the country – and a cooler day in front of a roaring fire. The kitchen is a passionate cook’s dream: a sunny Lacanche stove, a pizza oven and a solid French oak, James Mudge-designed kitchen island with a rough stone top are hard-working accessories but also look appropriately rustic. “Copper pots hanging above the stove and wall-mounted shelves filled with Sarah Ord earthenware are a country kitchen epitomised.”

Solemn Solitude at Swartberg House (Prince Albert)

Whitewashed Swartberg House sits in a field on the edge of Prince Albert. Olive groves and vineyards, acacias and veld plants surround it, and it’s well fortified not against attack by wild tribes from the mountains but against the heat of the summer. “It was important that the house functioned well in the extremes of hot and cold”, says the owner, an architect who designed it as a cluster of contemporary-looking ‘boxes’ of varying volumes, some laid on their sides, others upright, all of them interconnected by transitional spaces defined by low or high ceilings and steps.