After a busy week, the lure of spending weekends in my pjs on the couch and watching movies is strong. If I didn’t have Rosie, I’d probably become one with the duvet. However, as much as a lazy day is warranted now and again, I really do love spending a day enjoying new experiences, snapping photos and creating special memories with Mr H and Rosie…and one of my favorite spots for all that is Stellenbosch.
Affectionately known as Eikestad, City of Oaks, for the number of oaks that line its pretty streets, it’s one of the few locations in South Africa that reminds me of England because I just adore being able to walk the streets, feeling safe and relaxed. Living in the Northern Suburbs means that Stellenbosch is right on my doorstep and if I need to get out of the house and stretch my legs, with the promise of good coffee/wine and history, then “Stellies” is the place to go.
Fancy getting out of the house? Here are some of the lovely family-friendly spots we like to check in to when we’re visiting for the day:
Pretend you’re in Paradise
- For just R10 pp (redeemable if you buy something at the cafe or shop) you can take a leisurely stroll through the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens and almost feel like you’ve slipped away to a tropical island. It’s my go-to spot if I want to get out with Rosie and be somewhere beautiful and sensory. Neat and compact, it doesn’t feel small, but is just a beautiful piece of nature that has been carefully nurtured for everyone to enjoy. The cafe also bakes delicious scones.
A spot of lunch
- Boschendal at Oude Bank (formerly Schoon De Companje) offers yummy baked goods and local produce in a bustling setting that makes for great people watching. The menu is fresh and homely, great for picky eaters. For a more sophisticated experience, go for a wine tasting there…but it’s probably best to leave the kids with someone else.
- Though it’s not in the heart of Stellenbosch itself, for relaxed dining, a picnic at Warwick Wine Estate should be at the top of your list. There is vast amounts of space for kids to go wild in and being a wine estate, there is a selection of award-winning wine to assist in making mummy and daddy more relaxed.
There are numerous choices of picnic locations but my favorite is on the lawn; with big cushions, wide umbrellas, coupled with excellent, fresh food, you might never want to leave Warwick.
For the sweet tooths
- The Birdcage has scrumptious cakes and baked goods that will give your kids that insane sugar high every parent dreads.
They have recently moved location, lower down in Plein street, but their Oreo cheesecake is still the best in town – perhaps the best in SA?
- There is never a wrong time for coffee…or pastries…and when you combine the two together, you’re on to a winner. Meraki is a beautiful little cafe that makes you feel as though you’ve arrived in Europe. The coffee is exceptional but so too are the freshly baked pastries and Rosie is addicted to almond croissants. As am I.
Pick of the bunch
- Again, not in the center of the town itself but still a great experience for kids, Polkadraai Farm offers strawberry picking from R40pp. Go in sensible shoes, hats and plenty of sun cream and watch the wonder on your kids faces as they get to hunt for the biggest, juiciest strawberries.
Fancy a getaway?
There are so many places I want to mention that are not in the heart of Stellenbosch town itself so I thoroughly suggest spending a weekend here and taking things extra slow.
- If you’re looking for that special getaway then Rest @ Chabivin is just the ticket. Surrounded by mountains and vineyards, it’s a fantastic base for exploring the area.
- For something a little more extravagant, the luxury 12 sleeper villa at Oldenburg has the most beautiful views and private swimming pool. The accommodation includes breakfast, soft drinks and premier spirits as well welcome canapés and wine from Oldenburg Vineyards.
If you’re still not sure of the perfect place to stay, check out SA-Venues.com for a more comprehensive guide; easy to navigate and with clear pricing and accommodation features, SA-Venues.com is a great source for finding your perfect break away- trusted by travelers and by you since 1999.
For a little more about Stellenbosch read about it here.