Burgers and Play at Skilpadvlei in Stellenbosch (2018-09-15) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 13 JUN 2019

After a morning of strawberry picking at Polkadraai Farm you could of course just grab a simple bite to eat there, but if you want something a little bit nicer (with a 100% more beer), you would do well to quickly nip down the road to nearby Skilpadvlei, a wine farm, accommodation hub, wedding venue and most important of all, family-friendly restaurant.

This is exactly what the girls and I found ourselves doing one afternoon out and about in the Stellenbosch surrounds, and again, thanks to Skilpadvlei’s lovely kids play area (featuring an amazing jungle gym setup), friendly atmosphere and a good food and beer selection, I find myself once more highly recommending this as a lunch time option if you are out and about with small kids.

And yes, the 78 hectare, fully operational farm is charmingly named after the colony of tortoises that were found in its vlei back in the 1800’s.


Lunch at Skilpadvlei Wine Estate in Stellenbosch (2016-10-20) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 25 FEB 2017

Way back in October last year, on a beautiful and windless Thursday afternoon, Chantelle and I picked the girls up from their respective playschools and headed out towards the Stellenbosch winelands, making our way to the super popular Polkadraai Strawberry Farm for an enjoyable strawberry picking session. (Midweek, because that place is far too busy on a weekend come strawberry picking season!)

Anyway, following our romp in the strawberries (which the girls absolutely loved), we decided to round off the outing with some lunch, and so we did a u-turn and headed back down the road to the nearby Skilpadvlei Wine Estate, known for its local wine, accommodation options, its use as a beautiful wedding venue, and if you have small kids, it’s impressively large wooden jungle gym!

Whilst the inside of the restaurant is always a nice and quirky affair, we almost always sit outside to take in the tranquil vineyard views, and this day was certainly no different. With the place almost entirely to ourselves, we enjoyed a great lunch, with the girls wolfing down their food as fast as possible in order to maximize their play time in Skilpadvlei’s great kids play area.

Not that I was complaining mind you… ;)

Oh, and in case you are wondering about the rather unusual/charming name of this wine estate, i.e. Tortoise Marsh in English (admittedly, perhaps not the best translation), it stems from the large colony of tortoises who purportedly called the vlei home in the 1800’s.

The estate has notably been in the hands of the Joubert family since 1917, with the fully operational 78ha farm being primarily made up of 55ha of vineyards, 3ha of olive groves, and of course the rest seemingly being taken up by that jungle gym of theirs…

Also, I did my best to annoy Chantelle with my camera phone as much as I could on the day:

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So, in summary, a good family stop (as always) for us.

Bonus: a handy map so that your kids can bug you to head out that way as well:

Related Link: Skilpadvlei Wine Estate | Facebook

Sunday Lunch at Skilpadvlei Wine Farm (2015-10-18) Photo Gallery 04 NOV 2015

With Saturday having been such a nice day (Jessica’s school concert, both sets of folks over for a braai, winning our Rugby World Cup game against Wales), we treated ourselves to a nice family Sunday lunch out at Skilpadvlei Wine Farm, a recent re-discovery of ours.

IMG_20151018_131454 emily lotter with chantelle at skilpadvlei wine farm restaurant

It was a particularly beautiful day, and so I guess it was no surprise that the Skilpadvlei restaurant was pretty much packed to capacity – i.e. it probably would have been a good idea to actually make a booking first!

Luckily for us though, they could squeeze us in a spot (with a smidgen of shade as a bonus), and from there we preceded to enjoy quite a nice lunch, with the kids particularly more-or-less (neither seemed quite their self on the day) happy to bounce from play area to play area.

IMG_20151018_131348 kids playpen at skilpadvlei wine farm restaurant

Whilst my food was delicious, and I think Chantelle enjoyed hers, I definitely remember that Emily was not super impressed with the slice of lemon that I gave her!

IMG_20151018_132217 emily lotter tasting a lemon slice at skilpadvlei wine farm restaurant

Dads will be dads I guess.

Anyway, after a nice lunch and some play time for the girls, it was back to Gordon’s Bay for the four of us, with Chantelle heading back to work to finish off her split shift, whilst I entertained the girls, gave them supper, and then settled into my chair to catch the rugby.

Which turned out wasn’t being shown by SABC2.


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Related Link: Skilpadvlei Wine Farm

Coffee at Skilpadvlei (2015-09-26) Photo Gallery 10 OCT 2015

A couple of Saturdays ago, Emily finally managed to find her way out of this gigantic Disney princess-themed jumping castle and join the rest of us to finish celebrating little Hannah’s fourth birthday with one of Michelle Ollewagen’s always fabulously setup kiddies parties at their house in the Zevenwacht Estate.

IMG_20150926_115613 emily in the jumping castle

However, all good things come to an end and after finishing up with the party and tearing the girls away, we took a drive along the scenic M12 (Polkadraai Road) in Stellenbosch, heading towards the Skilpadvlei wine farm in order to meet up with Chantelle’s folks for a cup of coffee (and hand over pans which Chantelle in any event forgot to bring with in the first place!).

IMG_20150926_165231 chantelle lotter with girls at skilpadvlei wine farm in stellenbosch

Although we haven’t been to Skilpadvlei in years, we had recently seen on Facebook someone commenting on the awesome big kids jungly gym that they had installed, and were thus eager to go and check it out.

IMG_20150926_163631 emily on the see saw at skilpadvlei wine farm in stellenbosch

Pleasingly, social media wasn’t lying this time around. Skilpadvlei have gone and created a fantastic kids space which lets the kids run around and enjoy themselves (with a small ball pit pen for the tinier tykes), leaving us older bunch to sit around and indulge in some great coffee without too many distractions.

IMG_20150926_163838 jessica on the jungle gym at skilpadvlei wine farm in stellenbosch

In other words, I suspect that the Lotters will be popping in there more than just a few times over the upcoming Summer weekends! :)

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Related Link: Skilpadvlei

Masked Miscreants My Life 06 APR 2009

Nice. Had a thoroughly relaxed weekend for a change, devoid of all work and stress in its entirety. Had a productive day at work on Friday, fixing bugs left, right and centre, got home to an empty house (Chantelle was visiting with friends) and set about entertaining myself with The Batman and Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes, pausing only for some quality time behind my computer monitor in order to whip up my CodeUnit Collections mobile website (to help me with those ‘cool stuff shopping moments’ that happen all so frequently nowadays!).

Saturday was decreed do nothing day and other than pop out to the mall for some shopping, Chantelle and I really did absolutely nothing but eat pancakes for breakfast and lounge around like lizards. The evening however was a completely different story because we found ourselves dressed to the ‘T’ and in the car heading out to the Skilpadvlei wine estate where we met up with Dean and Zania (who had arrived in their newly christened ‘Zodo’) for a masked ball that we had purchased tickets for ages ago already!

In the end the ‘event’ was a lot smaller than what we had originally thought, but it was a lot of fun and the food was particularly good. As per usual it didn’t take long for Chantelle and I to find the dance floor once the beats kicked in, but unfortunately the unnaturally warm venue soon put an end to that, leaving all those brave enough to dare the dance floor absolutely soaked in sweat. Thankfully though it was a beautiful evening outside, so after a couple of minutes cooling down in the refreshing night air, one could quickly pop in and tackle another song before rinse and repeating the process all over again!

Oh, and I even managed to win a prize for the night, actually the first prize drawn for the evening at that! Too bad I got up, collected my prize, sat down, and promptly lost it again – now sitting in the grateful hands of C who can make far better use of a facial at a health spa than what I ever could! ;)

Chantelle Craig Dean Zania Masked Ball

Our plans of checking out a church on Sunday morning were however scuppered when we both failed to wake up and deciding that the two of us obviously needed as much rest time as we can grab, stayed in bed for a good chunk of the morning. However, all good things must come to an end and so after some more pancakes for breakfast (thankfully this batch worked with me and I didn’t have to scream at them like the Saturday morning’s lot), we were dressed and packed, on our way to Bellville to meet up with the combined Lotter and Montgomery clans for a braai at Monty’s stronghold.

(We did however make a pitstop on the heads up from Ryan regarding a Games sale at Game, but no luck on that front. So in two weeks’ time when we do finally organise our big braai get together at our house, you’ll be stuck with the same Singstar titles that were there last time! :P)

The braai itself was a great success, with some absolutely delicious food and dessert churned out and by the sounds of it, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. However, Idols was fast approaching and with C absolutely determined to watch it this week, we bid our farewell and jetted off back home (where I see we are now the lucky owners of an electric fence encircling the complex perimeter! Just when the heck that happened, don’t ask me!).

Chantelle caught her Idols, I finished populating my CodeUnit Collections site, we cleaned up the house a bit, ate a quick supper, watched an episode of The Batman and then ended the night by snuggling together on the couch being entertained by that fabulous trio of Clarkson, May and Hammond in another hilarious episode of Top Gear.

What an awesome way to round off such a relaxing weekend I tell you! :)