Food & Wine

Experience the Cape Winelands
South Africa boasts a number internationally acclaimed wines, and a visit to the Cape Winelands is a treat for wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Enjoy a delicious glass of wine at one of South Africa’s many wine estates. Image courtesy of jose romeu de abreu, aka Jose Romeu, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

A tour of the Winelands can easily be incorporated into a holiday to Cape Town – or visiting wine estates can be the main focus of the holiday.

Here is a selection of some wine-tasting venues…

Spier wine estate (pictured below) is situated in the Stellenbosch region. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options (one of which is a children’s grape-juice tasting), view contemporary art, enjoy a Segway tour through the vineyards, learn about agricultural practices, enjoy a meal at Eight restaurant, and more. Delicious food platters to pair with your wine tasting are also available. Besides producing award-winning wines and being one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa (its history can be traced as far back as the late 17th century), Spier is concerned with sustainable tourism practices – evident in the fact that it is recognised by a number of fair trade and sustainable tourism organisations, including Fair Trade Tourism South Africa.

If you’re looking for award-winning South African sparkling wine, then look no further thanThe House of JC Le Roux in the Devon Valley near Stellenbosch. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options, one of which is a tasting in which sparkling wines are paired with nougat and turkish delights. Another option is pairing of sparkling wines with a variety of marshmallow and meringues. Le Venue, the restaurant at The House of JC Le Roux, serves breakfast and lunches.

In the Robertson Wine Valley you will find the Graham Beck Robertson estate (there is also a vineyard in Stellenbosch and offices in Franschhoek, but tastings are only available at the Robertson estate). Here you can enjoy a wide selection of award-winning Graham Beck wines, including its world-class Cap Classique. Cellar tours are also available by appointment, so remember to book ahead of your wine tasting.

The Nederberg wine estate in Paarl is also a popular wine-tasting venue. Choose from a variety of wines to enjoy in beautiful and lush surroundings (pictured below). You can enjoy one of its cellar tours, which outline the history of Nederberg wines, the wine estate and more. Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday. From July 2014 the estate will be open on Sundays too. The estate also offers food and wine pairings, and the Red Table restaurant, located in the Cape Dutch-style Manor House, offers Bistro-style dining. It is best to pre-book for tours and to make reservations for the Red Table to avoid being disappointed.

The well-known region of Franschhoek offers a number of great vineyards, restaurants and accompanying views. A visit to Franschhoek, even a short trip, will quickly make it clear why this region is so loved. The views in Franschhoek are magnificent, the wines are delicious, and the food exquisite. Try the  Boschendal Wine Estate – here you can indulge in some delicious wine and chocolate pairings, as well as cellar tours. Between November and March you can also enjoy vineyard tours. Booking for the vineyard tours is essential.

Image courtesy of Patrick Meier, aka herr meier aus frankfurt, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

Why not try some of these, and other, estates in the  Cape Winelands. You’ll be glad you did.

Image taken in Franschhoek. Image courtesy of Jon Reid, aka Nomadic Vision Photography

Experience the Cape Winelands

South Africa boasts a number internationally acclaimed wines, and a visit to the Cape Winelands is a treat for wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Enjoy a delicious glass of wine at one of South Africa’s many wine estates. Image courtesy of jose romeu de abreu, aka Jose Romeu, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

A tour of the Winelands can easily be incorporated into a holiday to Cape Town – or visiting wine estates can be the main focus of the holiday.

Here is a selection of some wine-tasting venues…

Spier wine estate (pictured below) is situated in the Stellenbosch region. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options (one of which is a children’s grape-juice tasting), view contemporary art, enjoy a Segway tour through the vineyards, learn about agricultural practices, enjoy a meal at Eight restaurant, and more. Delicious food platters to pair with your wine tasting are also available. Besides producing award-winning wines and being one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa (its history can be traced as far back as the late 17th century), Spier is concerned with sustainable tourism practices – evident in the fact that it is recognised by a number of fair trade and sustainable tourism organisations, including Fair Trade Tourism South Africa.

If you’re looking for award-winning South African sparkling wine, then look no further thanThe House of JC Le Roux in the Devon Valley near Stellenbosch. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options, one of which is a tasting in which sparkling wines are paired with nougat and turkish delights. Another option is pairing of sparkling wines with a variety of marshmallow and meringues. Le Venue, the restaurant at The House of JC Le Roux, serves breakfast and lunches.

In the Robertson Wine Valley you will find the Graham Beck Robertson estate (there is also a vineyard in Stellenbosch and offices in Franschhoek, but tastings are only available at the Robertson estate). Here you can enjoy a wide selection of award-winning Graham Beck wines, including its world-class Cap Classique. Cellar tours are also available by appointment, so remember to book ahead of your wine tasting.

The Nederberg wine estate in Paarl is also a popular wine-tasting venue. Choose from a variety of wines to enjoy in beautiful and lush surroundings (pictured below). You can enjoy one of its cellar tours, which outline the history of Nederberg wines, the wine estate and more. Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday. From July 2014 the estate will be open on Sundays too. The estate also offers food and wine pairings, and the Red Table restaurant, located in the Cape Dutch-style Manor House, offers Bistro-style dining. It is best to pre-book for tours and to make reservations for the Red Table to avoid being disappointed.

The well-known region of Franschhoek offers a number of great vineyards, restaurants and accompanying views. A visit to Franschhoek, even a short trip, will quickly make it clear why this region is so loved. The views in Franschhoek are magnificent, the wines are delicious, and the food exquisite. Try the  Boschendal Wine Estate – here you can indulge in some delicious wine and chocolate pairings, as well as cellar tours. Between November and March you can also enjoy vineyard tours. Booking for the vineyard tours is essential.

Image courtesy of Patrick Meier, aka herr meier aus frankfurt, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

Why not try some of these, and other, estates in the  Cape Winelands. You’ll be glad you did.

Image taken in Franschhoek. Image courtesy of Jon Reid, aka Nomadic Vision Photography
Five cool things to do in Durban
Durban is famous for its balmy weather, lush, subtropical feel and its links to the Orient. Here are five cool ways to experience South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.
Trainee life guards at Durban’s North Beach

Never been to Durban before? Here are a few must-dos when you’re there…

1. Dip your toes in the Indian Ocean

Durban’s claim to fame is the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean that make year-round swimming and surfing a pleasure, and it’s not unusual to see Durbanites nipping down to the water’s edge for a quick surf between business engagements. Take a stroll along the beachfront and spot the incredible sand sculptures that are a permanent fixture here, or chat to the lifeguards whose job it is to keep an eye on anyone who ventures into the water.

Sand sculptures are a fixture on the beachfront

2. Go on a city walking tour

The sprawl of Durban can be confusing and a bit overwhelming for the first-timer, so one of the best ways to acclimatise yourself to the heady cultural mix of the city is to go on a walking tour. If you’re interested in Durban’s links with the Orient, or want to see some of the historical landmarks on foot, then book a tour with Durban Tourism. It costs only R100 for an adult and will keep you occupied for several hours. The Oriental Walkabout will take you past landmarks like the Juma Musjid Mosque and the Victoria Street Market, while the Historical Walkabout will see you visiting landmark buildings like the current City Hall.

Bookings: Call Durban Tourism on +27 (0)31 3224173 to arrange a tour so that they can line up a guide for you. Tours start at 9.30am or 1.30pm, but must be arranged in advance.

An organised walking tour is a good way to orientate yourself
Durban’s City Hall

3. Buy some masala for the folks back home

Thanks to Durban’s Indian population, this city is famous for its curries and so it is virtually mandatory to eat a spicy meal when you’re here. If you want to take that nice, warm feeling back home with you, then buy some masala (mixed, ground spices). Some traders make up frighteningly hot mixes with names like ‘Arson Fire: Mother-in-Law Exterminator’. If you’re not up for the hottest of hot curries, then request a milder version to be made up especially for you. A sachet should cost around R20.

Masala piled high at a trading store in the Victoria Street Market
Stall inside Victoria Street Market

4. Visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Based in Umhlanga, north of central Durban, is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, whose job it is to protect bathers along the coastline of this province, where the warm waters attract some 14 species of shark inshore (only three of which are dangerous to bathers). Here there is an interesting display with more information about the sea life to be found in these waters and a curio shop. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also attend an audio-visual presentation and watch a shark dissection. Sharks have been known to scavenge all manner of things (like Wellington boots and even human body parts), so you never quite know what might be inside that stomach!

Where? Follow the signs on Umhlanga Rocks Drive past the Umhlanga Hospital
Contact: +27 (0)31 566 0400

A dissection at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board
This surfboard is on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head offices in Umhlanga

5. Have sundowners at a beachfront hotel

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a great Panorama Bar and Pool Deck on the second floor, with a commanding view over the beachfront where you can watch the surfers dropping into the water off a pier, or simply enjoy the balmy air and view of the glistening water. Remember that the sun rises in the East, so you won’t see it sink into the sea but it’s a still a great place for cocktails or to enjoy one of their trademark ice creams. Another popular spot is Joe Cool’s on the beachfront.

Durban beachfront as seen from the sea

 

Five cool things to do in Durban

Durban is famous for its balmy weather, lush, subtropical feel and its links to the Orient. Here are five cool ways to experience South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.
Trainee life guards at Durban’s North Beach

Never been to Durban before? Here are a few must-dos when you’re there…

1. Dip your toes in the Indian Ocean

Durban’s claim to fame is the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean that make year-round swimming and surfing a pleasure, and it’s not unusual to see Durbanites nipping down to the water’s edge for a quick surf between business engagements. Take a stroll along the beachfront and spot the incredible sand sculptures that are a permanent fixture here, or chat to the lifeguards whose job it is to keep an eye on anyone who ventures into the water.

Sand sculptures are a fixture on the beachfront

2. Go on a city walking tour

The sprawl of Durban can be confusing and a bit overwhelming for the first-timer, so one of the best ways to acclimatise yourself to the heady cultural mix of the city is to go on a walking tour. If you’re interested in Durban’s links with the Orient, or want to see some of the historical landmarks on foot, then book a tour with Durban Tourism. It costs only R100 for an adult and will keep you occupied for several hours. The Oriental Walkabout will take you past landmarks like the Juma Musjid Mosque and the Victoria Street Market, while the Historical Walkabout will see you visiting landmark buildings like the current City Hall.

Bookings: Call Durban Tourism on +27 (0)31 3224173 to arrange a tour so that they can line up a guide for you. Tours start at 9.30am or 1.30pm, but must be arranged in advance.

An organised walking tour is a good way to orientate yourself
Durban’s City Hall

3. Buy some masala for the folks back home

Thanks to Durban’s Indian population, this city is famous for its curries and so it is virtually mandatory to eat a spicy meal when you’re here. If you want to take that nice, warm feeling back home with you, then buy some masala (mixed, ground spices). Some traders make up frighteningly hot mixes with names like ‘Arson Fire: Mother-in-Law Exterminator’. If you’re not up for the hottest of hot curries, then request a milder version to be made up especially for you. A sachet should cost around R20.

Masala piled high at a trading store in the Victoria Street Market
Stall inside Victoria Street Market

4. Visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Based in Umhlanga, north of central Durban, is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, whose job it is to protect bathers along the coastline of this province, where the warm waters attract some 14 species of shark inshore (only three of which are dangerous to bathers). Here there is an interesting display with more information about the sea life to be found in these waters and a curio shop. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also attend an audio-visual presentation and watch a shark dissection. Sharks have been known to scavenge all manner of things (like Wellington boots and even human body parts), so you never quite know what might be inside that stomach!

Where? Follow the signs on Umhlanga Rocks Drive past the Umhlanga Hospital
Contact: +27 (0)31 566 0400

A dissection at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board
This surfboard is on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head offices in Umhlanga

5. Have sundowners at a beachfront hotel

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a great Panorama Bar and Pool Deck on the second floor, with a commanding view over the beachfront where you can watch the surfers dropping into the water off a pier, or simply enjoy the balmy air and view of the glistening water. Remember that the sun rises in the East, so you won’t see it sink into the sea but it’s a still a great place for cocktails or to enjoy one of their trademark ice creams. Another popular spot is Joe Cool’s on the beachfront.

Durban beachfront as seen from the sea

 

Hit a six in Cape Town once the cricket wraps up

If you’ve spent an hour or two checking out the international series in South Africa, you’d know it’s been a pretty exciting tour – finely balanced after two Tests, with the Aussies hoping to finish the tour on a high with a win in Cape Town.  And if you’re looking to follow the team’s footsteps, and make sure you hit Cape Town for a six, we’ve lined up some of the top things for you to do while in the Mother City.
More →

Hit a six in Cape Town once the cricket wraps up

If you’ve spent an hour or two checking out the international series in South Africa, you’d know it’s been a pretty exciting tour – finely balanced after two Tests, with the Aussies hoping to finish the tour on a high with a win in Cape Town.  And if you’re looking to follow the team’s footsteps, and make sure you hit Cape Town for a six, we’ve lined up some of the top things for you to do while in the Mother City.
More →

Discover the unique spice trails of Durban

Buzzing, vibrant and exotic, Durban offers a South African experience that is uniquely its own. The coastal city in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is the third largest in the country and brings together the best of city, sea and culture. More →

Discover the unique spice trails of Durban

Buzzing, vibrant and exotic, Durban offers a South African experience that is uniquely its own. The coastal city in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is the third largest in the country and brings together the best of city, sea and culture. More →

Gone glamping: The best ways to camp in style in South Africa

Sleeping under the stars is one thing. But doing it in a king-size bed with gourmet meals and air conditioning sure beats a sleeping bag. More →

Gone glamping: The best ways to camp in style in South Africa

Sleeping under the stars is one thing. But doing it in a king-size bed with gourmet meals and air conditioning sure beats a sleeping bag. More →

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek – Billy Law

Billy Law was lucky enough to get a table at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. Prepare your taste buds for the best restaurant in South Africa! More →

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek – Billy Law

Billy Law was lucky enough to get a table at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. Prepare your taste buds for the best restaurant in South Africa! More →

Four Friends, Ten Days and Twenty Unforgettable Experiences – Part 2

Last week the four friends experienced Johannesburg and Soweto, this week they head out of the city and along the Garden Route.

More →

Four Friends, Ten Days and Twenty Unforgettable Experiences – Part 2

Last week the four friends experienced Johannesburg and Soweto, this week they head out of the city and along the Garden Route.

More →

Oxtail Potjie

It’s cold outside so it’s time to put a South African Potjie on the fire and enjoy another Neil Perry recipe.

More →

Oxtail Potjie

It’s cold outside so it’s time to put a South African Potjie on the fire and enjoy another Neil Perry recipe.

More →

BBQ Peri-Peri Spatchcock

Elgin chickens are the very best free range chickens in South Africa, use any spatchcock that is of good quality as a replacement.

More →

BBQ Peri-Peri Spatchcock

Elgin chickens are the very best free range chickens in South Africa, use any spatchcock that is of good quality as a replacement.

More →

Chicken and Prawn Curry

Kevin Joseph’s recipe for the Chicken and Prawn Curry which Neil Perry cooked with him.

More →

Chicken and Prawn Curry

Kevin Joseph’s recipe for the Chicken and Prawn Curry which Neil Perry cooked with him.

More →