Eat, Play, Drink – that was the name of the book right? Regardless, Stellenbosch was a welcome break from camping and the desert for James and I! We stayed at a lovely Airbnb about a 20 minute walk to the city centre. We walked around a lot, went for runs, ate delicious food and drank good wine. Here were our highlights:
I wish this section was longer, I really do! We wanted so badly to be hungry our first night, but we weren’t really and so we just made a salad at home. Our second night we opted to make a cheese and charcuterie platter (which my Dad lovingly calls ‘Cold Cut Platters’ or CCPs for short) at home and the third night I was so full of wine and popcorn I fell asleep at 7pm. Embarrassing. Stay tuned for Cape Town where all we did was eat! This all being said, we did have two great meals out.
The first was lunch at Middelvlei Wine Estate where we had a Boerebraii and shared some of their excellent Shiraz. We ate at a picnic table overlooking the vines and also had an adorable visitor 🙂
Our other meal out was a lovely breakfast at Postcard Cafe – they have a great breakfast menu and iced coffee!
One of my favourite things about Stellenbosch is that we could go walking and running! Walking around the town was lovely, and they also have some great running trails. We checked out the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve and James also went for a run in the Jan Marais Nature Reserve, which was close to our Airbnb.
I also had the opportunity (for the first time in SIX MONTHS!) to go to a reformer pilates class. In Australia I went to pilates 3-4 times per week and even went through the training and exam to become a certified Exlir School of Pilates instructor. So I was excited to say the least. I checked out Club Supercore for an early morning class. There were only 3 of us in the class (they take up to 6) which was nice because there was lots of personal attention – and I really needed it after such a long break!
The other indulgent (and completely necessary) activity I did was getting a pedicure at Lanzarac Wine Estate. They had a special which included a 30 minute back massage and the view of the vineyard during my pedicure made it all feel very luxurious!
Let’s be honest – sampling some of the Western Cape’s best wine was the real reason we were here! We went to 2-3 wineries each day so I’ll just share my favourites 🙂
- In first place, more for the story and scenery than the wine, was Muratie. The tasting room has a cool vibe, with pictures all around and cobwebs in the corner. In the mid-late 1600’s, Laurens Campher (a German soldier) fell in love with a slave named Ansela. They had to keep their love affair a secret for many years. In 1965, after realizing he had a ‘deep love for the soil’, Cape Governor Willhelm Adriaan van der Stel granted Laurens the piece of land where the Muratie vines now grow. Though he cared for the land, his first priority was Ansela and he would often travel 3 days by foot to the slave quarters to visit her until she was finally baptized and set free in 1699. This is just one of the many interesting stories you will hear when visiting the vineyard. And the wine is tasty – we bought a bottle of the Ben Prims port to enjoy around our campfires in the coming weeks 🙂
- Delheim was the first winery we visited (and just up the road from Muratie). Michael Hans “Spatz” Sperling was one of the founding members of Stellenbosch wine country – he was one of three in the 1970’s, and today there are over 200. The wine tasting itself is quite an experience – you sit at a table in the cellar and really get to take your time enjoying the flavours. They also have an adorable Jr. Sommelier who will gladly come over and sit on your lap while you sip 😉
- Villiera Wines was our last stop (of three) on day two so perhaps I was more inclined to like their wines by that point in the day, but they had some pretty awesome sparkling wine. We did our tasting at a picnic table outside – it was a very laid back tasting surrounded by beautiful scenery so not much to complain about!
Bonus! If you’re a beer drinker, check out Stellenbosch Brewing Company. You can grab a paddle and head out to a gazebo or picnic table. They also had some pretty stellar looking food, though we just opted to grab some popcorn to snack on.
Needless to say, Stellenbosch was the break we needed! Next, we were going to continue sleeping in an actual bed in Cape Town before heading back to #camplife.