Tag Archives: stellenbosch

Owls, Kites and Vultures in Eagle Encounters at Spier, Stellenbosch (2017-09-16) Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 19 MAR 2019

Eagles, owls, hawks, falcons, kites, buzzards, secretary birds and vultures – if birds of prey interest you then a visit to Eagle Encounters at Spier in Stellenbosch should probably very firmly be on your cards.

Founded in 2001, Eagle Encounters is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism center. It is home to numerous types of rescued raptors, has a number of interactive touch points, and their flying demonstrations are always both informative and entertaining.

The girls always love visiting there (touching and interacting with the owls is by far their favourite bit), and honestly, the institution always makes for an interesting outing. Easy to recommend really.

And as a bonus, a visit to Eagle Encounters is also a visit to the delightful Spier wine estate, itself a brilliant adventure packed with food, art, activities, wine and endless views.

Related Link: Eagle Encounters | Spier | Stellenbosch

The Farmers Kitchen at the Mooiberge Farm Stall in Stellenbosch (2018-12-12) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 25 FEB 2019

The Zetler owned Mooiberge strawberry farm and farm stall is impossible to miss, thanks to its plethora of brightly hued scarecrows that proudly stand tall all scattered about the strawberry fields. The farm stall with its strawberry liqueur and strawberry picking activities already makes for a popular roadside stop, but it is the restaurant/bar additions in the form of The Farmers Kitchen and Thirsty Scarecrow (honestly, I don’t know where the one starts and the other stops) that really pulls in the big crowds.

Blessed with a magnificent view of Stellenbosch’s beautiful mountains (hence the name Mooiberge), The Farmers Kitchen/Thirsty Scarecrow also caters for the little ones with a neat little outdoor play area, perfect to keep the kids out of the way as you tuck into what is a particularly good menu.

Strawberries abound, the view is good, and the general vibe is live and bustling – to be honest, it really isn’t that hard to understand just why this spot is as popular as what it is.

For our first ever visit we met up with Retha and Miguel who had flitted into the country for a visit, and as meet ups go, this one was pretty nice. The weather good, the food excellent, and the milk pouring cow hilarious.

Well worth a stop in other words.

Related Link: The Farmers Kitchen | Thirsty Scarecrow | Mooiberge

Visiting the new BASH at Louisenhof Estate in Stellenbosch (2018-09-02) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 21 FEB 2019

While the original Rosendal (Durbanville) BASH branch continues to fire on all cylinders, the delightful Paarl BASH kids venue unfortunately didn’t quite work out. No worries though – nothing that a quick relocate to the lush Louisenhof Wines estate in Stellenbosch can’t solve!

So all the cool wooden play structures have been brought across, the fun kids play areas have been set up, the kitchen/restaurant area fired up, and the scenic Paarl view swapped out for a scenic Stellenbosch view.

The kids are happy to run about and play, the parents are happy that BASH can finally serve alcohol, and that of course then means that there is now little reason not to stretch out play dates for just that little bit longer.

Fun in the sun.

Related Link: BASH | Louisenhof | Stellenbosch

Celebratory Dessert at Postcard Cafe in Stellenbosch (2018-11-07) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 18 FEB 2019

We celebrated last year’s wedding anniversary with some delectable lunch at Sweetwell, just outside Stellenbosch. For dessert, we took a drive through the town and headed out towards Jonkershoek, making our way to the tucked away gem of Postcard Cafe, the small bistro/restaurant situated on the grounds of the delightful Stark-Conde Wines estate.

Fronted by a large open lawn overlooking a small dam, the beauty of the landscape around you is almost reason enough to pay a visit to Postcard Cafe, but of course its well crafted menu is not something to be overlooked either.

Given the beautiful day that we found ourselves out and about in the valley, we opted to sit outside on the patio, soaking up the view while tucking into our desserts and coffee. (Sadly for us though, on this particular day the desserts didn’t quite match up to our expectations.)

Nevertheless, the locale is stunning, the atmosphere tranquil, and quite frankly, it is easy to see why Postcard Cafe is as popular as what it is!

Lovely.

Related Link: Postcard Cafe | Stark Conde Wines | Stellenbosch

Celebrating with Eisbein at Sweetwell in Stellenbosch (2018-11-07) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 15 FEB 2019

Chantelle and I celebrated last year’s wedding anniversary with a day spent out and about in Stellenbosch. For lunch we opted to duck into the excellent Sweetwell farm butchery and restaurant.

Situated on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Sweetwell itself is an absolute delight. Classic white farm walls, a great view of the surrounds, free roaming chickens and particularly good food that emerges from the kitchen. I had their truly excellent eisbein while Chantelle tucked into a decadent slice of pork belly.

In addition to the restaurant, the premises is also home to the deli, which is stocked with all manner of high quality home industry product, as well as all the meat and baked goods that emerge from the onsite butchery and bakery.

It’s a classic farm restaurant experience that sits comfortably on that level just below fine dining, and is certainly a very easy to recommend spot!

Delicious.

Related Link: Sweetwell | Stellenbosch

Scones with a View at Hillcrest Berry Orchards in Stellenbosch (2018-03-25) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 31 JAN 2019

We really wanted to have lunch at Tokara Delicatessen. We completely underestimated just how popular it is. Luckily, a perennial favourite of ours was close at hand to help Chantelle get over her disappointment.

There is a reason that I feature Hillcrest Berry Orchards so much on this blog – they have by far the best combination of scones, devonshire clotted cream, coffee, and location.

Love it. (And their jams of course).

(P.S. Lesson learned, the next time we headed out to Tokara we actually booked!)

Related Link: Hillcrest Berry Orchards | Stellenbosch

Art and Veld in the Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch (2018-03-25) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 25 JAN 2019

I always love paying a visit to the awesome, beautifully compact, Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch (about which I have written before). It is literally the perfect spot to stretch your legs and take in some fresh air without actually having to leave the bustle of the town behind.

Easy, wide paths to stroll around on, loads of interesting fynbos to take in, a scattering of art installations to admire or invoke conversation about, a small kids play area, an outdoor gym area, and the occasional tortoise or two.

Seriously, what is there not to love about this spot that finds itself smack bang in the middle of Stellenbosch itself?

(Bonus: The slide at the end was a bit of an epic fail. Emily raced over to it, climbed to the top and then slid down, only to emerge crying her head off. Turns out the slide was home to a huge puddle of water at the bottom – which she had only noticed once she hit it. Absolutely soaked. All I can say is it was super lucky that Chantelle was with us for a change – mommy’s love was DESPERATELY needed! :D)

Related Link: Jan Marais Nature Reserve | Stellenbosch

Burgers and Colouring Pages at Villa Visaggio’s in Klapmuts (2018-07-28) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 02 OCT 2018

Jessica, Emily and I paid a long overdue visit to Butterfly World back in July, and after a nice lengthy walkabout of butterfly spotting and guinea pig stroking, I decided that we now wanted something to eat. So, I was rather pleased to discover that there is actually quite a nice lunch option situated right next door to the animal sanctuary these days – in the form of one Villa Visaggio’s.

Set up primarily as a stylish venue intended for weddings, conferences, corporate parties and other event gatherings, Villa Visaggio’s is also home to a really nice restaurant – featuring a decent menu packed with well priced, particularly good food. (I had their Mexican burger on the day, and I have to say, it was pretty damn delicious.)

Although not necessarily spacious enough (in terms of grounds) to be labelled as a kid friendly restaurant, there is however a small play area (complete with jumping castle) out back (though not visible from the dining area), and the menu certainly does a great job of doubling up as a neat little colouring page.

All in all, I rather enjoyed stumbling upon this new option for our annual Butterfly World visit, and honestly, it might just be enough to lure Chantelle to also come out butterfly spotting with us for a change! ;)

Related Link: Villa Visaggio’s | Facebook

Animal Spotting at Giraffe House in Stellenbosch (2017-09-30) Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 02 SEP 2018

The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre (better known as the Giraffe House) sits on the outskirts of Stellenbosch on your way to Paarl. Their focus is on providing easy access to some of Africa’s wonderful wildlife and bird species, a place for people to enjoy being outdoors whilst experiencing and learning all about the animals – but most important of all is the fact that they are home to Gerry the hand reared giraffe.

Actually that isn’t all that accurate any more. These days the Giraffe House is home to a handful of giraffes, joining the rest of the stable that includes the likes of monkeys, meerkats, eland, bontebok, grysbok, duikers, springbok, zebra, caracal, cape fox and a black backed jackal!

In addition to the wildlife, Giraffe House also has a couple of farmyard enclosures set up, filled with goats, sheep and geese, perfect recipients for kids eager to feed the animals. (Of course this does then mean with every kid wanting to feed an animal, a lot of kids walk away slightly disappointed when the now obviously not so hungry/quite full goats refuse to take even a nibble! :D)

The center also has a collection of snakes, Nile crocodiles and tortoises on site, with the bird complement being filled by the likes of ostriches, blue crane, storks, lovebirds, parrots, ducks and even a couple of starlings.

Given the open space, the venue also makes for a great locale for kids’ birthday parties, and they have a little snack vendor and small kids play area to ensure that the kids don’t moan too much once they tire of walking about watching the animals.

My favourite part of visiting Giraffe House is however the interactive reptile show with their extremely affable host, who is guaranteed to pretty much always pull a good coupe of laughs out from the crowd.

At least this time around I didn’t end up with a tarantula on my face!

Pro-Tip: Avoid going in the middle of the day when it is too hot – there isn’t a lot of shade, it is a lot of open ground to cover, and quite frankly neither you, your kids or the animals aren’t going to be even bothered with one another if all are miserable and drenched in sweat.

Related Link: The Giraffe House | Stellenbosch