Tag Archives: stellenbosch

Flowers of the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden (2018-09-15) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 SEP 2019

Located in the historical center of Stellenbosch, the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa. While the garden itself is relatively small, it houses an incredible diversity of plants both indigenous and introduced, and is an absolute MUST for anyone even vaguely interested in plant life!

Open to the public, for a negligible entrance fee you can leisurely stroll around the grounds moving from one beautifully arranged collection to the next, picking your way through the bonsai, fern, insectivorous plant, medicinal plant, oxalis, succulent and xerophyte plant collections, all the while taking in the vast array of rare, threatened, endangered, and even extinct Cape Floral Kingdom species around you.

And then there are the trees, including giant sequoia (the biggest tree species on earth), dawn redwood (thought to be extinct until 1948), California redwood (the tallest tree species on earth), and even olive trees grown from cuttings from the Garden of Gehsemane!

It is a lush, dizzying collection of the most wonderful plants, in a well cared for environment that is scattered with benches, fountains, sculptures and other pieces of historical interest. (And the occasional student frantically scribbling notes).

Also, if you just want to sit, drink a cup of coffee and take in all this verdant green nature around you, then the onsite Katjiepiering Restaurant has you covered. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

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Sculptures and Selfies at Tokara Delicatessen in Stellenbosch (2018-12-08) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 24 JUL 2019

I love the fact that Tokara with its wonderful wines, olive oils and exquisite restaurant, also has the more casual, equally as beautiful, Tokara Delicatessen on the estate, opening the beautiful art, landscape and food experience to an even broader range of people.

This particular visit saw us meeting up with Retha and Miguel who were down in the country for a bit of a visit, but seeing as the girls and I had arrived a little earlier than everyone else (Chantelle was out delivering a cake on the day if I remember right), we had a bit of extra time for strolling around the vineyards and orchards to admire all the sculptures and scenic beauty on display.

And after a light lunch? Well it was time for some silly selfies of course!

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Searching for Strawberries at Polkadraai Farm in Stellenbosch (2018-09-15) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 19 JUL 2019

When Spring rolls in at the start of September, the strawberry plants start bearing fruit, and as such, Stellenbosch’s firm family favourite, Polkadraai Farm, opens its gates and allows the public to stream in and start hunting out the best of these sweet red juicy delights.

The last couple of years has seen the farm really cement its family outing offering, with the completion of a host of different upgrades, resulting in an experience with better parking, more shopping variety, outdoor eating options, a mini golf course, jungle gyms, dedicated party venues, pony and tractor trailer rides, and of course expanded strawberry fields for the picking.

It’s a colourful assault on the senses (even if the clouds were a little grey on this particular occasion) and a fun experience for the kids, whom these days don’t often have the opportunity to see just where their food actually comes from. Plus, the strawberries are absolutely delicious, so there’s that too! :P

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Burgers and Play at Skilpadvlei in Stellenbosch (2018-09-15) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 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.

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Breakfast Snacking at the Schoon Manufactory in Stellenbosch (2018-09-15) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 09 JUN 2019

Fritz and Chanelle Schoon’s beloved bakery has certainly moved around a bit. Having started out as Oude Bank Bakkerij in Stellenbosch, then reformed as Schoon de Companje, then moved to Somerset West with the opening of Schoon Bright Street Café, and now back in Stellenbosch with the Schoon Manufactory Café, the team must be doing something right because their devoted fans seem to follow them everywhere!

The new Schoon Manufactory in Stellenbosch is actually quite interesting to visit. The manufactory (derived from ‘manual factory’) acts as the centralized hub for Schoon, giving them one large space to produce all their bread, pastries and café food in, while also allowing them to run an experimental kitchen and small onsite café from. The end result is a very much factory like space that is open to the public and allows interested fans the opportunity to observe the ongoing artisan baking taking place, whilst all the while tasting and spreading the word of Schoon’s decadent bakes.

The girls and I started one of our big day out adventures with a breakfast run at the manufactory, and I have to say that their pastries are just a thing of absolute delight. Unfortunately for you though, this stop involved a full on effort of marshaling of two very excited (at the prospect of all that custard, chocolate and other sweet treats) little girls, so I didn’t exactly take any pictures of what was put down in front of us!

Never mind though, all the more reason to pay them another visit then.

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Owls, Kites and Vultures in Eagle Encounters at Spier, Stellenbosch (2017-09-16) Nature and 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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