Let’s all agree: 2016 has been a baseball-bat-to-the-face type of year and you deserve something nice.
Trump’s President of the United States; the United Kingdom has Brexited and our state may or may not have been captured. We all need a break from 2016.
Just 35 minutes from Cape Town International Airport, I recently discovered just how perfect a place Stellenbosch is to get away from everything.
Here’s how I ate, drank and relaxed by my way back to sanity in the area:
1. Cavalli Wine and Stud Farm
Everything about the farm screams “beauty” – from the immaculate, perfectly designed stables to the labels on the bottles of wine that are practically works of art themselves.
The restaurant (an Eat Out award winner) at Cavalli is beautiful. Imagine eating fresh, seasonal fare – paired with the estate’s wine – while you look out on fynbos gardens, a crystal-clear pond, all surrounded by mountains.
If that’s not enough; the farm is home to a cleverly curated art gallery and a bespoke store where you can purchase luxe South African jewellery, fragrances, clothes and more.
Tel: 021 855 3218
SEE: Explore Paarl: Get lost in the Cape winelands
2. Bistro 13
Remember Nick van Wyk of Terroir fame? His newest dinning experience – Bistro 13 – is really something special.
The night we visited, the kitchen was bustling with young chefs whose enthusiasm for what they were creating was practically tangible.
The food – fancy but not fussy – is really something to experience. Imagine the flavours you grew up with transformed into elegant, perfectly plated courses.
Try the Feed Me Experience (R325pp) – if you’ll let him, the chef will choose five perfect courses for you to enjoy over lunch or dinner (but if you’d prefer, you could choose your own). And while you’re at it, let them choose your wine too – the Stellenbosch Vineyards wines are really lovely with van Wyk’s food.
Tel: 021 881 3044?
SEE: SA Winelands secrets: 9 stops to make along the Devon Valley Detour
3. Warwick Estate
Famous for their gourmet picnics, Warwick Estate is the perfect place to relax. Order a picnic (R300) ahead of time and, when you arrive, a shaded spot on the lawn along with a picnic blanket and cushions will be reserved for you.
Pair your basket with a Warwick wine and you’re set for an afternoon of bliss. The picnic area looks out onto pond and the Stellenbosch mountains.
It’s a perfect spot for families with children – kids can run wild while parents keep an eye on them from the comfort of their picnic blanket.
Tel: 021 884 4410
4. Wedgeview Country House and Spa
We stayed at Wedgeview for a long weekend and I’m not lying when I said I didn’t want to leave. That’s probably because instead of feeling like a stiff hotel suite it truly feels like home – an incredibly luxurious, glamorous version of home, that is.
Wedgeview boasts 360 degree views of the Stellenbosch mountains and surrounding vineyards.
You can have your meals in the manicured garden with breath taking views – or if you aren’t interested in getting out of your fluffy white robe (like I was) you can order room service; either way, the hearty food is delicious.
I treated myself to a morning at their spa and left feeling wonderful. The onsite spa fittingly uses Theravine products for the perfect winelands spa experience.
Tel: 021 881 3525
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What to read next on Traveller24:
- Best of Wine Tourism: 7 Top estates to head to this summer
- Top 10 fun wine and food pairings for travellers in Stellenbosch
- Wine and dine in style and the best new restaurants in the world