Tag Archives: skilpadvlei

A Year of life in the Helderberg (2019-12-31) Photo Gallery 25 APR 2020

So with the 2016, 2017 and 2018 image dump posts of all the photos which aren’t linked to a blog post now sitting all safe and sound with my web host, I guess that I need to add the 2019 batch as well, seeing as we are now well and truly into 2020. (Also, sorry for not doing one of my annual Goodbye Hello posts at the start of this year – honestly they’ve become a little too routine to continue for now).

This particular selection features first days, sport, concerts and voting at Gordon’s Bay Primary School, Mark Haze at Die Boer in Durbanville, a turn at Home Affairs in Somerset West, the view from my office in Westlake, Ocean Basket’s Harbour Island View in Gordon’s Bay, the solar panel parking and delicious green curry from Wang Thai at The Sanctuary in Somerset West, wine and cheese tasting at Steenberg Vineyards, planes at the Stellenbosch Flying Club airstrip, views from Somerset Mall and the Helderberg Shopping Centre of all places, a Somerset West night time Christmas market, walks along the Lourens River, strolls along the Strand beach promenade, and of course scenes from our home here in beautiful little Gordon’s Bay.

Plus Belgian waffles – because those things are of course delightful.

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