I’ve showcased the fantastic kid friendly The Carnival (at Weltevreden Estate) more than once on my blog before, but seeing as the girls and I visited there recently on one of our weekly weekend adventures again, I thought it worth the while to post this as a reminder:
Lekke Neh and The Carnival are great (especially if you have small kids).
The well manicured grounds, Cape Dutch architecture and dining options available at Lekke Neh means that there is plenty for the adult eye, while on the flip side, the colourful jungle gym, pizza oven and welcoming atmosphere of the Carnival are more than enough to keep the little ones happy.
With the customary stalking of the resident peacock out of the way, the girls and I made our way past Lekke Neh, immediately turned around and marched back to the car in order to fetch their jackets, before heading back in and ambling along through to The Carnival space.
A big glass of beer or two was on my agenda of relaxation for this stop on our day of adventure, while the girls on the other hand were more than happy with the suggested alternative in the form of juice and the chance to make their own pizzas.
Truthfully, the pizza was okay, the beer pretty good, but most important of all, the running around and getting rid of all that extra energy was best.
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Definitely hard to argue against visiting there if you have small kids!
Related Link: Weltevreden Estate
One particular Sunday back in March this year, Chantelle and I must REALLY have been in the mood for a proper Sunday afternoon drive, because basically our day ended up looking like this: first food at Eaglevlei and then play at Weltevreden (both in Stellebosch), before moving on to scones at Hillcrest Berry Orchards (just outside Pniel), which in turn was then followed up with a drive through the idyllic Franschhoek and of course a jaunt over the Franschhoek Pass. Next was one quick photo stop at the nearly empty Theewaterskloof Dam, before we rounded off our impromptu trip with a drive through the picturesque Viljoen’s Pass to reach Grabouw – and then straight on to Sir Lowry’s Pass to get back home to our beloved little hometown of Gordon’s Bay!
I started off by mentioning that we first had an early lunch at Eaglevlei Wine Farm, a Stellenbosch situated, wine producing farm that just so happens to also be particularly geared towards tourism – aimed almost specifically, believe it or not, at us locals!
So in addition to their wine tasting facility, Eaglevlei is also home to a large, welcoming restaurant, a pizzeria & beer garden in the form of The Nest, and perhaps most surprising of all, a giant indoor kids play park!
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, they even have their own indoor movie screen, perfect for date nights, or as they call it, Movies in the Vines!
Also, and this is a pro tip mind you – be sure to keep an eye out for a very vicious little step leading down to the kids play park. Nearly did a very impromptu tuck & roll manoeuvre myself in case you’re wondering…
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Lunch at Eaglevlei was pretty good, but because we didn’t particularly feel like sitting inside watching the kids play, we decided to head back towards Stellenbosch for a cup of coffee at Weltevreden Estate, another great option for couples with kids thanks to their awesome Kids Carnival (and little more upmarket Lekke Neh) space.
So that is exactly what we did (though, only after first stopping to buy some of Eaglevlei’s rather enjoyable wine).
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Naturally, and as always I guess, the kids had a ball.
So, just in case you want to check them out for yourself, first a map of Eaglevlei:
Followed by a map of Weltevreden:
And there you have it – Two rather enjoyable family-friendly outing options in Stellenbosch then!
We only discovered the beautifully restored, historic Weltevreden Estate last year. Packed with all manner of interesting art and sculptures, the classic Cape Dutch manor house and homestead is home to a brilliant little eatery that trades by the fun name of Lekke Neh, a wine tasting room, conference and wedding venue facilities, exquisite grounds, and most important of all – if you have little kids like we do – a separate, super kid friendly area known as the Kids Carnival – complete with a fantastic selection of playground equipment and of course kid friendly food choices!
As it turns out, we’re not the only ones fond of this place – my sister Claire also rather enjoys it, and so despite them living all the way out in Constantia, we were surprised to get an invite to join them for a family get together for their little boy’s recent birthday celebration.
Needless to say, our girls were rather excited by the prospect of heading out to The Carnival once more!
On such a beautiful summer’s day, the kids had an absolute blast playing on and with all the kids stuff, while we got to sit back as a family and tuck into some rather satisfying food.
(That said, if there is one constant disappointment when visiting The Carnival area at Weltevreden is that the service there is really, really poor. I think we’ve been there now four or five times in total, and each and every time we have come away complaining about how bad the service actually is! Pity.)
Nevertheless, the kids had an absolute ball, and that is what it really is all about, isn’t it?
Anyway, Chantelle and I are still overdue for a proper dining session at Lekke Neh (which really looks good), so yeah, I reckon we’ll be popping in there a couple of times more before they close up shop for the winter season…
Oh, and of course when I could grab a moment, I did wander around a bit in order to snap a few pictures of this beautiful estate (which incidentally has an official heritage status – it was declared a National Monument in 1975!).
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Bonus: In case you are keen on discovering this great little gem for yourself, here is a nice and nifty map:
It has been five years now since good friend Terrance (I’ve known him since school days) left our sunny shores for a life of teaching English in Japan. He has of course subsequently made a life for himself over there (Ryan and I were lucky enough to attend his wedding in Komagane back in 2014), so I doubt that he will ever call this part of the world home again.
He has however been pretty good in coming back to South Africa in order to spend time with his folks from time to time, and as circumstance would have it, this year we got to catch up twice – back in February where I introduced him to the Vergelegen Estate (and caught a screening of Deadpool in the process), and now again at the end of July.
This time around though, as both he and I were flying solo (more or less – I still had the girls with me), I opted for a kid friendly venue which lead to us meeting up at Wild Clover, a frequent favourite spot for the Gordon Bay Lötters!
The girls and I arrived a little early, so we did a spot of exploring around first, but pretty soon we grabbed a table (they have a new chef, so the place is pretty popular again!) and were joined by an eager Mr. Brown for some craft beer, pizza and a great catch up session!
Still eager for some more time swapping stories, I next suggested that we move up the road to Weltevreden, as the play area at The Carnival (which we only recently discovered) is nicely shaded and makes for a better afternoon play spot than Wild Clover.
Pleasingly he was keen, and so a quick drive later (Jess enjoyed being his passenger in the Citi Golf), we were once again seated and chatting, with the girls happily running around searching for ladybirds and whatnot.
All in all, not a bad way of catching up on all the news from the Land of the Rising Sun! :)
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Weltevreden Estate is one of the original Stellenbosch homesteads, having been awarded by Simon van der Stel, governor of the Cape to a German, Hans Henske, back in 1692. These days the beautifully restored Cape Dutch homestead and grounds stand as a National Monument (1975) and are well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. The estate features a beautiful outdoor restaurant in the form of Lekka Neh, but for our purposes we were more interested at stopping in at The Carnival, a kids-centric play and eating area that is designed to be an absolute must for visitors if you have your small kids in tow!
Walking about Weltevreden is a treat for the senses, thanks to the pristine buildings, abundance of art and whimsical sculptures that are tucked away in all corners of the estate.
(Though of course, once the girls spotted the jungle gyms peeking out above the carnival themed buildings, it was over for us, as we were dragged into The Carnival and play time commenced!)
The Carnival is well suited to kids’ needs, with an abundance of big jungle gyms, a trampoline house, push bike tracks, a sand pit, rocking horses, etc.
Lots of kids options like pizza, slushies, ice cream is on offer, and so it is no wonder that you can end up spending a fair bit of time here if you aren’t watching the clock!
For some or other reason on the day though, the service was pretty bad (almost non-existent), so neither Chantelle nor I left particularly happy (also, I don’t expect coffee in a takeaway cup!), but this didn’t faze the girls one bit, as they happily chased up and down pretty much anything and everything that could be clambered about on!
Oh, and Jessica rather enjoyed catching a ladybird – to which she became rather attached!
Bad service aside (which according to my sister, who rather enjoys this venue, isn’t the norm), I loved the setup and can definitely see us making more than a few more turns here in the near future!
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Related Link: Weltevreden Estate