Wine, dine and soak up the summertime vibes with an impromptu food and vino festival in this quaint Boland town
Enjoy grapes and gourmet during the languid summer months in the Cape Winelands when the Stellenbosch Street Soirees splash onto the calendar once a month on Wednesday evenings from December 2013 until March 2014. The next event is scheduled for Wednesday, 12 February 2014.
Presented by the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, this regular pop-up wine and food tasting event transforms the lower part of the historic town’s Church Street (between Bird and Andringa streets) into a culinary haven for connoisseurs and students alike.
Participating restaurants beckon visitors to sample their unique dishes at the street stalls, while representatives from wine farms along the country’s oldest and foremost wine route offer delicious vintages to wash away those weekday blues. What’s more, live music and entertainment is scheduled to get those feet tapping as the sun settles over the town’s oak-lined roads and ways.
Events Coordinator for the Stellenbosch Wine Routes Elmarie Rabe reveals that the layout and lifestyle of the “quaint town really lends itself to street ‘kuiers’” and allows visitors to “forget about the day’s hassles and hullabaloos.”
Plus, since Stellenbosch has unseated Franschhoek as the “Gourmet Capital of South Africa” (four of the Top 10 Restaurants in the 2013 Eat Out Awards are from Stellies), the evening soirees offer food and wine lovers a top-notch epicurean experience – and one that’s as affordable as it is fun.
TICKETS FOR THE 2013-2014 STELLENBOSCH STREET SOIREES
Each week the culinary fair features a different selection of cellars and caterers, and entry to this street party is absolutely gratis, mahala… FREE. For a mere R30p/p, revelers can get a wine glass and a ticket to taste as many wines as there are on offer on that evening. Food dishes are priced individually by vendors.
The event starts at 6pm and runs until 8pm
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picnicking at Spier. You can sit around the lake or meander down the banks of the Eerste River. Choose your picnic box online or visit the takeaway picnic deli Eight to Go. Online you have the following choices: gourmet picnic (R298 a couple), relaxed picnic (R220 a couple), raw picnic (R320 a couple), vegetarian picnic (R270 a couple), heritage picnic (R300 a couple) and a kids picnic (R70 a child). At Eight to Go, situated close to the tasting room, you can fill your basket with fresh breads and sandwiches, roast chicken and much more as you make your way through the deli. Spier is spacious and comfortable and you can choose to take a seat at the picnic benches or lounge on the lawns. Picnic bookings must be made two days in advance.
Contact: Tel 021-809-1153 or visit www.spier.co.za
For Cape specialties with a German touch, try the ‘picnic barrel platters’ at Blaauwklippen. In addition to pâtés and cheeses, the standard option includes a selection of cold meats, wienerwurst, oriental spring rolls, chicken samoosa and berry cheesecakes (R165 or R210 a person including a bottle of Landau Red, White or Rosé and a bottle of Aqua-Bella water per couple). The ‘exclusive’ option also includes delicacies like homemade melba toast, fried haloumi, pastrami and traditional pickled fish (R200 or R245 a person with wine and water). Kids can enjoy toffee apples, yoghurt, chocolate chip cookies and fruit skewers at R55 a person.
Contact: Tel 021-880-8222 or visit www.blaauwklippen.com
At Zorgvliet, you can create your own basket at the deli, or order the ‘Banhoek basket’ which includes sandwich ham and roast beef, blue cheese and cheddar with figs, olives and biscuits, salads, a beef, chicken or vegetarian wrap and something sweet (R395 a couple including wine). Grab a family basket with two salads, a whole roasted chicken, four baguettes and flavoured cream cheese (R375 including wine). A special occasion? Upgrade to the Silver Myn basket where the cold meats include parma ham, salami, pancetta and smoked chicken, and a selection of gourmet cheeses (R485 a couple including wine). For children there’s a jungle gym and a choice of two R55 or R65 picnics, one with a cheddar and ham roll and muffin, the other with a chicken burger and brownie (plus sweets, chips and a ‘squirrel’s beverage’).
Contact: Tel 021-885-1399 or visit www.zorgvliet.co.za
Long known for its unpretentious hospitality, Hartenberg offers a country picnic hamper packed to the brim with Eleanor’s snoek pate, beetroot and cumin pate, homemade lamb and pork terrine, tomato and basil salad, potato salad, chicken and thyme tart, farm bread, rosemary foccacia, cheeses and a chocolate brownie. (R145pp including juice or a half bottle of wine!). Focusing on sustainability, the ingredients are sourced locally and the picnic containers are made of biodegradable materials. Enjoy it on the lawns, or take it with you along the estate’s popular wetland walk.
Contact: Tel (021) 865-2541 or visit www.hartenbergestate.com
Warwick is the first estate in Stellenbosch to open 365 days of the year, where you can picnic and go on a ‘Big 5 Wine Safari’ (a guided 4×4 tour through the vineyards for R50 a person, R85 a person with wine tasting, free for children under 12). You can sit on the lawns spilling out onto the dam, where you can relax under umbrellas on scatter cushions and beanbags while being served by your own picnic butler; in ‘The Forest Courtyard’ a gravelled area with tables and chairs adjacent to the water feature and a jungle gym; or in ‘The Pods’, designer-rustic wooden shelters flanking the dam. Served in zero-carbon-footprint packaging, acclaimed chef Bruce Robertson’s menus change regularly but the promise is “to satisfy the most discerning palate and most sophisticated gourmand” (R299 for two, R49 for the kiddies’ picnic).
Contact: Tel 021-884-4410 or visit www.warwickwine.com
Hermitage restaurant at Hazendal offers a picnic (R130pp, R35 per child) comprising homemade bread, chicken liver paté, spinach and feta quiche, Greek salad with fresh homemade rolls, crispy chicken pieces, sliced ham, cheese and biscuits, chocolate brownies and fresh fruit salad. On Sunday afternoons you can also enjoy live music/theatre in the Plaasteater.
Contact: Tel (021) 903-5034 or visit www.hazendal.co.za
Morgenhof offers two meat picnics as well as a vegetarian option, all include a Greek salad, potato and spring onion salad, ciabatta, vanilla cupcakes and a selection of cheeses (R150 a person). Kiddies get a choice of a hot dog, beef burger or chicken strips with potato wedges, a juice and vanilla cupcake (R60 a person) Bring your own blanket and sit anywhere on the beautiful lawns.
Contact: Tel 021-889-2024. www.morgenhof.co.za.
Remhoogte’s picnic basket (R250 for two adults sharing) contains french bread, a tub of olives and pickles, platter of cold meats and salads, cheese platter, a dessert and a bottle of wine (Remhoogte Chenin Blanc or Aigle Noir Red Blend). Enjoy while watching zebra, wildebeest and springbok graze metres away against a breathtaking Simonsberg, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain backdrop.
Contact: Tel (021) 889-5005 or visit www.remhoogte.co.za.
Now also home to a lion park, this estate has huge gardens dotted with gazebos and benches and there are many shady spots for spreading your own picnic blanket. Hudson’s restaurant offers deluxe picnic baskets containing a selection of cold meats and salads, fresh bread, a platter of cheeses, biscuits and preserves, fresh fruit and homemade muffins (R280 for two people). Bunny buckets for small children include a hot dog, cheese, crisps, juice and sweets (R48 a child).
Contact: Tel 021-881-3590 or visit www.visithudsons.co.za, www.vredenheim.co.za.
On tree-shaded lawns sloping down to the lake, enjoy freshly baked French loaf with snoek pate and chicken liver pate, rare roast beef sirloin with homemade mustard, grilled chicken fillet with a sweet chilli sauce, garden greens and baby tomatoes, potato salad, homemade spinach and feta quiche, selection of cheeses, biscuits and preserves, mini milk tart, koeksister and fresh fruit (R290 per basket for two; R390 for Halaal). The kids’ basket includes a chicken drumstick and cheese roll, chips, lollipop and fruit juice (R60 a child). You can also pre-book a choice of two braai baskets with the standard garlic bread, Greek salad, potato, chive and bacon salad, boerewors, a selection of cheeses, biscuits and preserves, mini milk tarts, koeksisters, fresh fruit and different meats depending on the basket (R290 or R360 for two; Halaal R450 or R475 for two; minimum two baskets to be ordered, wood, firelighters and grid provided). Order to be made 72 hours in advance.
Contact: Tel 021-900-5700 or visit www.zevenwacht.co.za