I think I’ve successfully convinced you that Stellenbosch is the place to go for food and wine in South Africa (and also the world). I’ve listed eight of the places I dined at during the #Stellenblog campaign and given them my personal recommendation. Read about eight places to eat in Stellenbosch here.
Now you might be wondering, “what else is there to do in Stellenbosch besides eat and drink?” and I am happy to report that there are several unique and awesome experiences that involve limited food and wine.
But to be honest, you can be assured that there will always be some food or wine or both before or after or both. Which I have absolutely no complaints about. It is Stellenbosch, after all.
1. Take a walk at Jonkershoek
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is a popular place for students and locals looking to get some fresh air and exercise. It is incredibly beautiful and also a great place for a picnic or just a chilled afternoon reading on a blanket.
2. Cycle the winelands with Adventure Shop
A great way to see the beauty of nature and get some fresh air in your lungs is to join a cycle tour through the winelands. Stop off for tastings along the way and see much more than you ever get to see from a car. It’s also a nice way burn some of the calories you have consumed. Contact Adventure Shop for details and rates.
3. Chocolate and wine pairing at Waterford Estate
Ok, so this includes both food and wine, but it’s a really awesome and a very unique experience. Also, if you don’t like chocolate then who are you? Did I mention that Waterford Estate has won the title of “Best Tasting Venue” four times? Taste 3 wines paired with three delicious chocolates and take home their awesome box containing the whole collection to host a tasting for your friends at home.
4. Stellenbosch Art Tour
Stellenbosch is full of arty little spots and people, but they also have a beautiful outdoor exhibition right now as part of World Design Capital 2014. “Come Sit” combines art with functionality in the streets of the town. Keep your eyes open for benches created by local artists and dotted around the city. Pop into smac Art Gallery for a look at the local modern art talent. A visit to Tokara is a feast for all senses with their stunning outdoor sculpture exhibition (please don’t leave there without eating at their restaurant, or at the very least, tasting their wine).
5. Stellenbosch Walking Tour
The streets of Stellenbosch are lined with beautiful old Cape Dutch style buildings, each with a fascinating history of it’s own. Keep an eye out for the variety of gables and the heritage plaques on some of the more prominent buildings. Contact Bites&Sites Tours to book a walking tour with the lovely Hanli.
6. Learn to cook like a local
I’ve mentioned before that I think that when travelling you can learn a lot about a destination from their food. I’ve had cooking lessons in local cuisine in Thailand, India and the Bo-Kaap and now Stellenbosch. Malay flavours and local Cape Malay culture permeate every bite. It’s a great night out and a delicious meal you won’t forget. Book with Bites&Sites Tours.
7. Meet the locals in Kayamandi
I never used to buy into Township Tours since I imaged a group of whiteys driving through the townships in a huge luxury safari van and taking pictures of the locals. But I’ve since visited informal settlements in a few third world countries with responsible tourism-passionate operators and learned more about the local culture, people and history than ever before. I’ve also met some truly wonderful, entrepreneurial and colourful people.
Take a walk through the streets of Kayamandi (the local Township in Stellenbosch) with a local guide from Kayamandi and meet her friends. Spend the afternoon in the kitchen of business woman, mother and exceptional cook Lilly, and learn to cook a traditional Xhosa meal of pap, chakalaka and moroga before tucking in on the floor of her living room as she tells some of her famous stories. Book with Bites&Sites Tours.
8. Be entertained at AmaZink Live
Huge smiles, stunning voices and heaps of energy, AmaZinkLive is a local theatre group that combines song and dance and infectious vibes. They combine cultural authenticity with local talent and good food.
9. Segway Tour at Spier
Spier Wine Farm has been around since the 1600’s and has it’s own vineyards, cow field, happy chicken range, running routes, restaurants, river, grey water recycling plant, veggie farm and more and more and more. Get on an off-road Segway tour and see it all. This is a really fun way to get around and was one of the highlights of the trip!
10. Blend your own wine
Ok yes, this activity revolves purely around wine but it is such a fun one that it can’t be missed! Taste the single varietal wines, experiment with identifying smells and blend and bottle your own signature blend. Middelvlei will bottle your wine, print a label and send it to your home address. Such a nice little surprise to get once you’re back from your trip. If you can resist the smells wafting from their boere braai then you are a stronger man than I.
If you can resist the smells wafting from their boere braai then you are a stronger man than I.