Is there anything better than a slow weekend afternoon spent tucking into hearty, gourmet meals? The Cape Winelands offer delectable treats in vibrant venues and farmstalls, making for a trip that is well worth the picturesque drive out of the city. Mischa Smith highlights a few favourites and gives us the scoop on why they’re such notable finds.
Fresh produce at the Slow Market (Stellenbosch)
Home to local farmers, bakers and artisans, the Slow Market is a must-see on a Saturday spent in Stellenbosch. From cured meats and farm-style cheese to organic vegetables and fresh bread, this is the perfect place to stock up on locally sourced, ethical food. Guests can chat to the producers and hear the stories behind their wares while learning to shop and cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Slow Market is also a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, offering a delectable range of quiches, pies and curries with local wine, barista-made coffees and craft beer on tap. Visitors may dine in Oude Libertas’s lush gardens to the sound of live music, or browse jewellery, ceramics, handcrafted leather products and fresh-cut flowers with a hot beverage in hand.
Handcrafted Wine and Gin at Misty Mountains Estate (Hermanus)
Tucked away on the mountain-side road between Stanford and Hermanus, Misty Mountains Estate offers travellers craft wine, gin and beer tastings, and much more. Each drink is handcrafted on site in small batches and is only available to order on site or to purchase to indulge in at home. A visit to the beautiful tasting room gives guests a sense of the full range of artisanal alcohol brewed at Misty Mountains, while the farmstall, opening soon will be stocked with plenty of ‘padkos’ for the road. For those looking stay a little longer, there is also luxury accommodation available. The estate is family-friendly – kids can climb on the jungle gym and play on the ample lawn overlooking the vineyards while adults tuck into wood-fired pizzas in the restaurant.
Gourmet food trucks, Polo and a Cross-Country Run at Val de Vie Estate (Paarl-Franschhoek Valley)
Val de Vie Estate’s artisanal market on 7 October celebrates the opening of the polo season with a cross-country run sponsored Cape Winelands Properties. Participants of all ages (and their dogs!) are invited to partake in a scenic run, walk or jog through its beautiful grounds, following routes (2km, 5km and 10km) that pass through Val de Vie Estate’s sprawling vineyards, the stables, landscaped parks and the winding Berg River. Afterwards, visitors can kick back with friends and family at the market on the lush greens of the Pavilion Polo Field overlooking the gorgeous Paarl-Franschhoek valley. Clark and Sons craft cola, lemonade and ginger ale are on sale along with artisanal gin mixed with Indian tonic, pink tonic or bitter lemon for a refreshing, old-fashioned experience. Many food trucks are serving a variety of delicious, hot gourmet meals and kids can run free on the Estate’s manicured lawns. Keep an eye on Val de Vie’s social media for more exciting events, coming soon.
Baked Goods and Buffets at Rambling Rose (Montagu)
Country-style Portuguese cuisine, ocean-fresh fish and weekend buffets all prepared with fresh local produce make the Rambling Rose a must-see in Montagu. The menu reveals delectable fish dishes starring Hake, Kingklip and Bluenose alongside comforting roast vegetable and meat dishes and ample vegetarian and vegan options. Weekends and public holidays are a dessert-lover’s delight, with piles of handcrafted chocolates and sweets and artisanal cakes and pastries on offer. The Rambling Rose is a family-run business sharing small-town hospitality to ensure each guest feels right at home in its warm, eclectic space. To take a little piece of Rambling Rose with them as a souvenir, holiday-makers can look through the charming local products and crafts filling the shelves, or buy some home-made jams and preserves and some warm, bakery-style bread to enjoy at home.
Address: 36 Long Street, Montagu
Time: 8am to 5pm | Closed Tuesdays | Facebook: Rambling Rose
Vegan ‘Padkos’ at Peregrine Farm Stall (Grabouw)
No roadtrip to the Overberg would be complete without a stop at the Peregrine Farm Stall – a longstanding favourite spot for a cup of coffee, a delicious breakfast or lunch, or simply to stock up on the best local snacks for the road and some craft presents for your hosts. Full English and Benedict breakfasts are on offer, along with homestyle pies, cakes, mosbolletjies and soft serves to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings. The café menu now even includes farmstyle cooking, but vegan style: think plant-based pies and meat-free boerewors rolls. Peregrine takes pride in filling its shelves with the best products from local businesses – sample smoky pork ribs from the Hickory Shack and cold-pressed apple juice from the Elgin Valley, or visit the deli and purchase some artisanal cheese and a bottle of award-winning wine from the surrounding winelands. Cakes, breads and pastries are made fresh daily and barista-brewed coffees are available for the road, or to drink while sitting on the lawn or on the stoep, enjoying the fresh Elgin air.
Address: N2 & R321, Grabouw
Time: 7.30am to 6pm | Facebook: Peregrine Farm Stall | Tel: 021 848 9011
Sunday Lunch and Handcrafted Mead at Stanford Harvest
Stanford Harvest is located between the seaside town of Hermanus and the small charming village of Stanford. Its generous Sunday lunch – a three-course homestyle buffet – is not to be missed. A delicious starter is served at 12pm, followed by a relaxed visit to the laden harvest table with a variety of roast meats, curry and a bountiful selection of seasonal vegetables and salads. For those with room, there are ample desserts on offer. We’d recommend taking your time here… Kids can stay entertained on the jungle gym and there are ceramics and other beautiful handcrafted products to peruse. On Saturdays Stanford Harvest serves a delicious Argentinean Prawn Special, as well as hearty meals, kiddies treats, and light lunches. Vegetarians lovingly catered for. An extensive list of local wines including the Lomond wines, one of the most Southern Vineyards in Africa, along with craft gin cocktails and, excitingly, one of the few Meaderies in the Western Cape offering the opportunity to taste bespoke beverages made on site.
Coffee, Cake and Flowers at Pajamas + Jam Eatery (Strand)
With an assortment of artisanal cakes and pastries baked daily, barista-brewed coffee and a section dedicated to antiques and gorgeous upcycled decor items, there’s more than enough reason to visit Pajamas + Jam Eatery. Tucked away in the industrial part of Strand, Pajamas + Jam is located in a refurbished factory, with a helicopter parked outside to make sure you don’t miss it. This irresistible destination is famous for its classic, buttery pastries and its decadent desserts. New flavours are introduced regularly – pecan pie and carrot cake-flavoured cheesecake, guava, lemon, and raspberry-almond tartlets and granadilla meringues are just a few examples that have been on the menu recently. Pajamas + Jam also offers a full breakfast and lunch menu with new options added daily. Don’t leave without a bunch of fresh-cut blooms or a loaf of crusty, warm bread to extend the joy a little longer.
Artisanal Tastings and Gourmet Dining at Spice Route Destination (Paarl)
Situated on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, the Spice Route Destination offers a huge variety of tasting experiences within walking distance. The location commemorates the Cape’s diverse cultures of artisans and spice traders, all of whom have been inspirational in today’s flavour infusions. From chocolate and ice-cream making, coffee-roasting and beer-brewing to glass-blowing, diamond-cutting and sports activities, visitors are invited to experience the multitude talents of passionate local artisans. A tasting passport gives access to tastings at CBC Brewery, Wilderer Distillery, De Villiers Chocolate, the wine tasting room and Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats. A newly introduced wooden gift box contains a selection of treasures from the various vendors to give away as a gift, or savour at home. Spice Route is also home to a restaurant, pioneered by award-winning chef Bertus Basson.
Address: Suid Agter Paarl Road, Suider Paarl
Tel: 021 863 5200 | Website: www.spiceroute.co.za | Facebook: Spice Route Destination