My mom is my biggest fan. She’s also my biggest critic. But mostly, she’s my biggest fan. She reads every blog post, every Tweet, Facebook post and anything other post that I put out there. She critiques my work unsolicited. But she also praises my work when praise is due. Very often she will comment on a particular post with “I want your life” or “I want to go there next time I come to Cape Town!” but inevitably, every time she visits from Joburg it becomes about the family holiday. Which is great, it just means that we don’t have the opportunity to do all the things I want to do with her.
I’ll often be off in the winelands or on a plane and think “I wish I could be doing this with my mom”, or “I wish my mom could experience this”. Because it’s all thanks to her love and dedication that I ever do anything at all. Behind every successful woman is one really self-sacrificial mom. I couldn’t have of the things I have, if it weren’t for her.
Our birthday’s are three days apart and, now that I’m an adult, I think back in awe to all the birthday parties my mom threw me. There was the time she got me a Spice Girls cake. The many times she bravely took a group of little kids to the amusement park. The time she planned my sweet 16 surprise party and nobody showed and her heart broke. All those parties. All that love. And all that money!
This year, I wanted to make her birthday out-of-this-world awesome. I wanted to give her a day of spoils. I used my birthday as an excuse to get her to come to Cape Town for a week. I wanted to show her a few of the places she’s watched me experience. Tickets were booked and plans were made in secret to take her into one of my favourite parts of the world to show her the best birthday ever.
Stellenbosch Wine Routes is running this amazing winter package, which includes 2 nights accommodation, a lunch with wine, a dinner with wine and two unique winelands experiences. This was it. The perfect gift. She would be able to spend her birthday soaking up the winelands while I got to spend her birthday soaking up her company. The family pitched in and I booked our mama-and-daughter getaway.
We stayed at the really lovely Bonne Esperance, right in the heart of the town. It’s a beautiful old heritage building and they serve delicious hearty breakfasts. It’s a nice place to base yourself, since it’s walking distance from the centre of town and within easy access to wine farms.
I’d been dying to take my mom to Spier, because it’s a farm I really love. I’m constantly amazed by how it is both a well-oiled machine and an extremely caring, eco-sensitive living thing. The farm puts so much work into being sustainable and environmentally conscious, from the way they produce their wines to the way they dispose of their waste. For example, the plastic wrappers that their brownies come in are bio-degradable. That’s something small, that will eventually make a big difference.
We had a wine tasting before heading to lunch at the hotel restaurant. We took a walk through the farm and I told my mom the little I know about the history of the buildings and showed her the protea garden. There was a bottle of bubbly and a hand-written note waiting on the table when we arrived at the restaurant. Every single thing we ate in our starter and main course was grown on the farm. I really loved that. After lunch there was a birthday cake with Happy Birthday written on the plate.
Some of the restaurant options were closed because it was Tuesday, so we booked our dinner at The Big Easy. I’d never been before, but the food was great. We were seated next to a big fire which was nice cause it was raining outside.
Service was not great when we arrived (the maître d’ was really rude) but our waiter was nice and the food was seriously delicious! Think comfort food: Risotto, salmon… And before we could leave, another Happy Birthday treat. I think it made my mom feel really special. The restaurant is a great place for a cosy dinner and the value for money is great.
Our first experience was a formal tasting at Simonsig. It was my first visit to the farm but unbeknownst to me, it was the first wine farm my dad ever took my mom to (about 20 years ago). The farm is famous for their Kaapse Vonkel MCC (Methode Cap Classique – basically South Africa’s Champagne), which was the first one made in the country. We couldn’t leave without a bottle to take home.
Our second experience was a Turkish Delight and wine pairing at the beautiful Lourensford. We both love Turkish delight, so this was a big treat. It’s perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. The weather was beautiful and we got to experience the view from way up at the top of the farm – it was incredible! I love this farm because it has so much to offer. It’s beautiful, you can taste wine with chocolate or Turkish Delight, there is a coffee roastery and a restaurant on the farm – it’s a great place to spend the day.
The package is only R1300 per person and that includes 2 nights accommodation (with breakfast and free wifi), a lunch with wine, a dinner with wine and two experiences. If I were you, I would book it right now.
*This is not a sponsored post – it’s just a great special that I think everyone should take advantage of!