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A day at Asara Wine Estate

Considering the sheer volume of wine estates in the Cape, choosing where to begin can be an overwhelming task – especially if your time in the region is limited.

As far as holistic wine estate experiences go, we can recommend Asara with confidence. Barely 40 minutes outside of Cape Town, and off one of Stellenbosch’s biggest roads, you can be forgiven for thinking that you’ve reached another world once you come to the end of Asara’s tree-lined path.

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View endless mountain ranges, a gorgeous lake, a European-style courtyard, you could easily spend the day there – and, that’s how the team has designed it. Apart from the standard wine-tasting, Asara also boasts two restaurants and a dedicated gin bar – with the largest collection of gins in the Southern Hemisphere. This makes Asara a fantastic choice if some in your party aren’t big wine fans, as there is another tipple on offer.

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Sansibar is the more casual restaurant and the perfect option for an al fresco lunch, given its beautiful deck that extends across the lake. The menu boasts favourites such as wood-fired pizzas and burgers, along with substantial salads for the more health-conscious. In terms of drinks, ask the barman to surprise you with a bespoke gin and tonic – you can expect intriguing combinations such as rose and pink peppercorn and rosemary and orange.

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Dinner is a romantic affair at Asara, and is served at the upmarket, newly-opened Mise en Place Restaurant, at the water’s edge. Expect full silver service, and a menu to match. Gin-cured salmon, oven-roasted pork belly and chocolate soufflé, finished table side, all feature on their current summer menu. If you’re looking for the perfect spot to “pop the question” on your Cape adventure – or, are simply celebrating a special occasion – then, look no further than Mise en Place.

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Experience the best of Cape Town – and beyond – with Cape Voyage. Contact us for more information on how we can help craft your perfect experience.

Cape View Clifton – A Beautiful Boutique Hotel

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Cobus Bester, the General Manager of Cape View Clifton.  My brief from a client was to find 5 star accommodation, ideally not a hotel, with the essential “home away from home” feeling.  As I arrived I knew that I’d hit the jackpot.

Cape View Clifton is centrally located and within minutes of the city of Cape Town. It offers convenient access to many of the spectacular sights of the area, Twelve Apostles, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens and Clifton’s very own Blue Flag beaches.

Two things struck me when I arrived, firstly the very warm welcome (Knowledge, the porter, opened the door before I could press the buzzer!) and then the uninterrupted views of Clifton, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles.

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This boutique hotel is beautifully appointed and Cobus was quick to tell me that Jessica Latimer, Founder and Owner of the Cape View Clifton, has transformed the family beach house into this elegant guesthouse.

First we viewed one of the Deluxe suites. Three words come to mind – spacious, bright and luxurious!  You can see that Jessica has an eye for detail. Every room has a sea view with a sea facing balcony and each room is beautifully decorated.

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The two Junior Suites are generous and have king size beds with crisp white linen. They have the same features as the Deluxe suites, sea facing balconies, beautiful furnishings and luxurious attention to detail.  The only difference is that the balconies and living areas are slightly smaller than the Deluxe suites.

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Cobus mentioned that they also have two and three bedroom suites on the ground floor, perfect for small groups and families. These suites have separate living / dining areas and a fitted kitchen, ideal for the nights when your want to enjoy a casual dinner at home and enjoy the spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.

A delicious breakfast is served in the open plan kitchen area and the coffee station is available to guests during the day.

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I loved the honesty bar concept where you can help yourself to drinks and freshly made cakes whenever you feel like it, note it down and it will be charged to your bill.

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For those who like to stay fit whilst on holiday there is a small gym on the top floor with possibly the best workout view in the world! Trail runs and hikes are easily accesible for those wishing to enjoy the outdoors.

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Photographs courtesy of Cape View Clifton

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a special honeymoon venue or a luxurious escape with spectacular views, I think we’ve found your perfect location.

For more information contact Cape View Clifton +27 (0) 21 438 8748 or visit Cape View Clifton.

 

Rated the number 1 place to visit in Stellenbosch!

Waterford Wine Estate definitely has the WOW factor! It’s hardly surprising that it’s recently been voted the number one place to visit in Stellenbosch.  Beautiful scenery, award winning wines, friendly staff and great service are some of the reasons why the estate always seems to have a special spot on the agenda when we plan our wine tours.

The 120 hectare property is owned by Jeremy and Leigh Ord and managed by partner and cellar master Kevin Arnold. The minute you arrive at the estate you know that you will have a special experience.

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“The Estate boasts old citrus groves, rolling lawns, water features and fragrant lavender and rosemary beds. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of Provence or the Spanish countryside” Bronwyn H, Front Office Manager at Waterford Estate.

I would definitely recommend the wine and chocolate tasting. This really is a unique tasting experience and who doesn’t love chocolate and wine?

Three wines are paired with three chocolates specially crafted by the Greyton-based chocolatier, Richard von Geusau, all beautifully displayed on a wooden board.

The Kevin Arnold Shiraz is paired with a Masala Chai Dark Chocolate, the Waterford Estate Cabernet with a delicious Rock Salt Dark Chocolate, and the Heatherleigh Noble Late Harvest with a Rose Geranium Milk Chocolate.

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When we visited last time we noticed that a young child was offered a milk and chocolate pairing! Now that’s how you enjoy a memorable family trip to the winelands.

Waterford’s wine and chocolate tasting is open Monday to Friday 09h00 – 1700 and Saturday 10h00 – 17h00. The more limited combination of three wines with three chocolates costs R45 per person, whereas the full tasting of eight wines with the accompanying chocolates costs R65 per tasting.

 Every guest to the farm is made to feel a part of the Waterford Way, and those who have visited are drawn back often not only to the sumptuous wines, but to the heart and soul of Waterford.

 

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Download the Sideways app on your iPhone and explore the winelands, or if you want to kick back and enjoy your day, find out more about our personalised tours with a registered tour guide.

Sundowners with a postcard view?

Our meeting in the CBD ended early so we decided to pop to the Cape Grace for a quick drink. It wasn’t a tough decision, a chilled glass of wine at Bascule Whiskey, Wine & Cocktail Bar situated on the international yacht marina, certainly beats sitting in the traffic!

We arrived just after 4:00pm and Bascule was buzzing with what looked like informal business meetings, and a number of tourists soaking up the spectacular view of Table Mountain.

We only had time for a quick drink, but next time we will definitely order the Tapas.  The prices were surprisingly reasonable and the portions looked much bigger than the average portion of Tapas.  The speciality is the Bascule Burger, wagyu beef, truffled mushroom sauce, fries and roasted garlic aioli.

 

 

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The service was a bit slow, but I don’t think anyone wants to rush when they’re enjoying the views and the perfect setting.

We were disappointed that you had to buy vouchers for the wireless connectivity.  I can understand that they want to avoid the masses using their wifi for hours on end, but with the trend towards a mobile workforce I would have thought a 5 Star Hotel would at least offer a seamless wireless service.

Bascule opens daily at 10h00 for a great selection of tapas, and in the evening the sunlit terrace is transformed into a glamorous whiskey and cocktail bar!

You can’t beat these views!  Secure your spot at Bascule, to mingle with the rich and famous for an hour or two, or just sit and flirt with the idea of this billionaire lifestyle!

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