As the sweet fragrance of blossoming flowers fills the air and chases away the gloominess of wintertime, everyone is awash with a renewed sense of hope and the motivation to explore new beginnings.
Are you looking for the perfect way in which to celebrate the dawning of spring? Make your way to Stellenbosch and toast the season with a generous glass of pink bubbly, followed by a hearty meal crafted from fresh, local ingredients. Now’s your chance to dine outdoors and soak up the sunshine! Here are a few fabulous local suggestions to add to your spring wish list:
Spier Wine Farm
Spier Wine Farm offers a springtime excursion ideal for the entire family. The kids can partake in grape juice tastings while the adults delight in chocolate and wine tastings, embellished with cheese, olive, and charcuterie platters for maximum effect. You can also opt to hop aboard a Segway for a tour of your surroundings, take a self-guided walk, or get up close and personal with Stellenbosch birdlife and other adorable critters, including eagles, owls, tortoises, and piglets.
Rust en Vrede
Rust en Vrede’s Winemaker Lunches are legendary. With only two meals on the menu, they are sublime in their simplicity. Enjoy a Chalmar Sirloin steak with French fries and a garden salad or opt for the Norwegian Salmon with baby potatoes and asparagus. Grab a seat in the estate’s colourful garden and pair your meal with a glass of Rust en Vrede’s finest. Spring dining doesn’t get much better than this!
From colourful summer salads to smoked snoek croquettes, the Longtable restaurant at Haskell Wines truly makes the most of local produce and decadent ingredients. It is also well-known for its fresh juices, including its fairy apple juice – a fragrant concoction of apple, cucumber, lemon, mint, cinnamon, and ginger – which you can sip on at your leisure. There is also the chance to enjoy a picnic out on the lawns. The silky, soft grass will provide you with cushioned comfort as you dive into a basket spread filled with home-baked bread, cheeses, preserves, locally-cured meats, chocolate-crammed desserts, and more.
Hidden Valley Wines
Help yourself to a mouth-watering mishmash of flavours and textures when you dine at The Deck, one of two restaurants at Hidden Valley Wines. The Deck is literally a deck that floats on the surface of a picturesque lake and promises spectacular views in every direction that you look. The menu is trendy and minimalistic, but the most famous dish by far is the juicy, 100% free-range cheeseburger, spilling over with a host of delicious toppings that only add to its splendour.
Spring, sushi and Stellenbosch – need we say more? Head over to Genki at the quaint De Wet Centre Courtyard in Church Street and recline beneath towering oak trees as you sample a spread of scrumptious sushi favourites. The restaurant specialises in sustainable fish, as well as creative Japanese tapas.
Church Street is home to another favourite, the iconic Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel and Spa. Wander out onto their impressive ‘stoep’ and watch the world go by as you tuck into a hearty South African meal. It’s a great place to enjoy vibey, vibrant Stellenbosch!
You know that you’re getting a chef’s specialty when the menu consists of just 18 options in total. The vegan- and vegetarian-friendly restaurant on Cavalli Estate boasts intricate meals comprised of the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables, for which the chef and his staff forage daily in their heirloom garden. The restaurant is located lakeside, promising gorgeous outdoor views and plenty of floral-fragranced fresh air while you dine.
Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden
The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, which is the oldest university botanical garden in all of South Africa, is open once again from September 1st. Bring your own eats and set up a picnic under a tree, or head to the Katjiepiering tea shop and restaurant for a selection of proudly South African favourites.
There is no better way in which to celebrate and revel in the joys of spring than to explore the Stellenbosch region’s many memorable sights and flavours outdoors. So, head on over this weekend and get the new season off to an excellent start!