The Cape Winelands can aptly be described as the jewel of the Western Cape. It attracts thousands of international visitors and is even on the bucket list of some South Africans. But with the sheer amount of Cape Winelands activities it’s not quite that easy to pick a starting point – I should know, I’ve been in that predicament more than once. To avoid that from happening to anyone, here’s a list of places to visit in the Cape Winelands including things to do in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek that’ll suit all budgets.
1) Klein Joostenberg, Muldersvlei
There’s literally something for everyone at Klein Joostenberg just off the N1 highway in Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch. With a bistro, deli, craft brewery, nursery and rose garden all on one property; it’s definitely on my list as one of the most fun activities in Stellenbosch.
2) The Perfect Place, Wellington
Situated on Church street in the heart of Wellington, the Perfect Place is a quirky restaurant and antique shop. If you’re up for a good burger and milkshake, pop into this little gem – you’ll also love the décor!
www.theperfectplace.co.za | Contact: +27 21 873 6620
3) Babylonstoren, Simondium
The stunning fruit, vegetable and flower gardens of Babylonstoren have cemented it in the Cape Winelands points of interest. The Cape Dutch farm also has a beautiful tasting venue, two restarants and an on-site spa and accommodation.
www.babylonstoren.com | Contact: +27 21 863 3852 | firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Spier, Stellenbosch
Spier is one of the most popular wine farms in the Cape Winelands purely because a visit guarantees a great day out for the whole family. The farm offers picnics, activities for children, beautiful Winelands accommodation and even Sedgeway tours!
www.spier.co.za | Contact: +27 21 809 1100 | email@example.com
5) Root 44 Market, Stellenbosch
This weekend market is bustling with activity, music, food and great stalls to browse. Best of all is that it has a dedicated play area for the kids as well as separate section for all the craft lovers.
6) Mooiberge Farmstall, Stellenbosch
If strawberry picking is not on your list of things to do in the Cape Winelands then you’re doing it very wrong! Mooiberge with its colourful scarecrows is situated directly opposite the Root 44 Market and offers strawberry picking on weekends in season. The farmstall sells a wide range of products and is so popular that some even use it for their weekly shopping!
Corner R44 and Annandale road
7) Bellevue Wine Estate, Bottelary road
Bellevue estate recently renovated their tasting room and restaurant and it’s definitely worth a visit. I recommend having their woodfired pizzas and a glass of their Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Cinsault 2015 – better yet, purchase them both to take home! The restaurant is also child-friendly and overlooks the jungle gym play area.
www.bellevue.co.za | firstname.lastname@example.org
8) Delheim, Stellenbosch
Ladies day out in the Winelands? Then the cupcake pairing at Delheim is the perfect thing to do! You can expect pairings such as; Pinotage and Pumpkin as well as Chenin Blanc and Rooibos. The estate also has a great event calendar and a serene garden restaurant.
www.delheim.com | Contact: +27 21 888 4600 | email@example.com
9) Lanzerac, Stellenbosch
Who doesn’t love chocolate! Take it a step further with a chocolate and winepairing at Lanzerac wine estate – home to the first bottle Pinotage. The deli also serves the most delicious come-back-for-more cheesecake I’ve ever tasted!
10) Franschhoek Historical Walk
Learn the interesting history behind South Africa’s culinary capital with a guided historical street walk. Get insight into Franschhoek’s grand architecture and other unknown facts about the local establishments.
www.franschhoek-adventures.co.za | Contact: +27 72 999 8581
11) Franschhoek Medical Herb Garden
Bet you didn’t know about this one! Situated opposite BICCCS in the main road, the garden is overseen by local resident, Judah James. Judah knows a thing or two about herbs and offers visitors invaluable advice for everyday ailments. You can also purchase herbs directly from the garden.
Contact +27 072 469 2240 for more information.
12) Oude Slaven Huis restaurant, Franschhoek
You’re killing two birds with one stone at Oude Slaven Huis because it’s situated on the same premises as the Huguenot Museum. The venison pie and brandy pudding is delicious and on a clear day, the outdoor seating is ideal to take in the surrounding garden.
Contact: +27 21 876 2192
13) Franschhoek Village Market
If you’re up bright and early on a Saturday you can catch the Franschhoek Village Market in the main road under the Oak trees. Locally sourced food, art and well-known chefs (if you’re lucky!) is what this market is known for.
www.franschhoekvillagemarket.co.za | 29 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
14) Franschhoek Wine Tram
The all-encompassing mother of Franschhoek wine route tours – the Franschhoek Wine Tram. Take your pick from the 6 tours (or lines as they’re otherwise known) available which spans the entire Franschhoek Wine Route and includes some of the best wine estates in the Cape Winelands.
15) Vrede en Lust, Franschhoek
Pop into Lust Bistro and Bakery for breakfast and the most delicious crumpets. They also have stunning gardens and offer daily cellar tours and a delicious Lindt Chocolate and wine pairing.
16) Allée Bleue, Franschhoek
My idea of Winelands adventure activities is a tractor ride through the vineyards and Allée Bleue offers exactly that! Afterwards at the tasting venue you can choose between set selection or your own chose of wines. There’s also a cute farm shop and bistro at the entrance to the estate. They’re also well-known for being child-friendly and have a jungle gym and jumping castle to keep the kiddies happy!
17) Solms-Delta, Franschhoek
If you’re in the mood for true South African food then Fyndraai restaurant on Solms-Delta Wine Estate is the perfect place. An unprententious menu featuring Cape Malay favourites like samosas, snoek and roosterkoek will set your mouth watering! After your meal you can visit the museum next door or do the farm tour if you’ve pre-booked.
www.solms-delta.co.za | Contact: +27 21 874 3937
18) Grande Provence, Franschhoek
Blend and bottle your own wine at this wine estate under the watchful eye of a Grande Provence ambassador or winemaker (depending on the option you choose). It’s a great social experience and is not technical at all so newbies and oenophiles are both welcome! The estate is also one of the most beautiful places to stay in the Winelands (I’ve seen the stunning accommodation!).
www.grandeprovence.co.za | Contact: +27 21 876 8600
19) Holden Manz, Franschhoek
Franschhoek’s self-proclaimed hidden gem, Holden Manz certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its Franschhoek Kitchen restaurant offers guided tastings and you have the added option of enjoying a pre-packed picnic basket next to the river. There’s also a 5-star country house, spa and yoga studio to entice a visit.
20) Camelot Spa Le Franschhoek
Rejuvenate yourself in the tranquil setting of Le Franschhoek Hotel – the home of Camelot Spa. Expect award winning treatment and welcoming staff. The spa also has a labyrinth under a majestic big tree.
www.franschhoek.co.za/camelotspa | Contact: +27 21 876 2735 | firstname.lastname@example.org
21) La Motte, Franschhoek
The Winelands High Tea at Pierneef à La Motte restaurant is perfect for a mother and daughter outing. Individually plated cakes and pastries are served with your choice of the finest teas. The La Motte museum is a permanent host of the Jacob Hendrik Pierneef heritage collection.
22) Mary’s Kitchen, Franschhoek
Authentic South African food made by a local resident, Mary, is served at this home-based eatery. You can enjoy hearty meals such as Bobotie, yellow rice and vetkoek with mince curry.
Contact: +27 21 876 3623 or +27 73 289 8044
23) Residence Vive la Vie, Franschhoek
When all that exploring calls for an overnight stay in Franschhoek – check into Residence Vive la Vie. Situated within a stone’s throw from the main road and popular Franschhoek wine farms yet incredibly peaceful, this luxury accommodation is ideal. Choose from five suites and revive yourself with in-room spa treatments
www.vivelavie.co.za | Contact: +27 21 300 3149
24) Pniel Museum
The little village of Pniel is often overlooked in favour of the more popular Cape Winelands towns. It has a fascinating history which you can learn all about at the local museum. For example, did you know everything in the village once belonged to the church which also enforced a 10pm curfew on the residents? The museum also has a lovely tea garden situated adjacent to it.
Contact: +27 21 885 2645
25) Pniel Historical Walk
Discover even more about Pniel by hearing it straight from local guide and resident, Faith Stubbs. She conducts historical street tours of the Dwars River area and surrounds and has many interesting stories to tell!
www.faith4utours.co.za | Contact: +27 78 157 3737
26) Flowers Direct, Johannesdal
Purchase beautiful Alstroemerias at only R40 for a 20 stem bunch from local resident Ashley Mentoor who runs the Flowers Direct nursery. Everything is grown on the property in the residential area of Johannesdal!
Contact: +27 83 703 4205 | email@example.com
27) Kylemore Street Art
The Dwars River Valley street art project founded in partnership with Open Africa features 12 unique artworks scattered all over the area. They depict stories of the past, present and future so try your best to see them all!
28) Siena’s Tea Garden – Beker en Bord
Enjoy a homecooked meal outside in Siena’s quirky garden. Delicious Cape Town favourites like Kerrie afval, stamp mielies and kool bredie are all on the menu! There are also interesting curios available to purchase.
Contact: +27 78 912 9604
29) Cape Dutch Style Houses, Lanquedoc
A drive down the main street of the little village of Lanquedoc reveals hundred year old Cape Dutch style houses. One of them is 140 years old and still occupied by the original owner’s family!
30) Lumley’s Place Guesthouse, Pniel
This family owned 4-star bed and breakfast has four tastefully decorated rooms. The guesthouse also has a pool and an inside area dedicated to displaying and selling of crafts made by locals.
www.lumleysplace.com | Contact: +27 21 885 2962 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Places to Visit in the Cape Winelands
And there you have it, 30 things to do and places to visit in the Cape Winelands! This will no doubt be a start of a love affair with some of the best Western Cape wineries and led you to some places you never knew existed!