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The Heritage Market at Constantia Uitsig

Over the past few years, Constantia Uitsig has been under a seemingly constant state of change. The latest addition is the new Heritage Market – and, let’s just say we’re pretty excited.

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While the new winery and wine tasting facility is still under construction, the estate has already opened a restaurant – Open Door – and a bike park, both of which have proven to be very popular with visitors. And, we’re quite sure that their new market is going to be no different.

Set in the row of quaint cottages, you’ll now be able to browse and shop from a variety of artisanal craft producers. With four producers already in residence, and more on the way, here’s a peek at what you have to look forward to during your next visit.

Sushi Box

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Said to be the best sushi this side of Japan, Sushi Box uses only the freshest, most sustainable ingredients – and aims to bring world-class sushi to the city. As the sixth outlet in Cape Town, you can now get your sushi fix in the winelands.

Contact details:

Tel: 021 204 3132 | Email: manager@sushibox.co.za | Website: www.sushibox.co.za

Closed on a Monday | Tuesday to Saturday 11h30 – 20h00 | Sunday 11h30 – 17h00

Alexander Avery Fine Chocolates

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Suppling a number of exclusive, 5* hotels and properties, Alexander Avery brings his beautiful display of bonbons, filled chocolates and more, all made from the finest chocolate, to Constantia. We’d also suggest taking advantage of the delicious, European-style patisseries, high quality teas and French Press coffees – pop a few in your basket to enjoy later, and turn tea time into something special.

Contact details:
Tel: 021 204 3135 | Email: info@alexanderavery.co.za | Website: www.alexanderavery.co.za

Kirsten’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream

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Handmade with love, Kirsten’s ice creams are all made from scratch, right down to the marshmallows, cookies and honeycomb. If a scoop (or two) of ice cream isn’t enough to tempt you, then why not add a freshly-made waffle, doughnut or cookie to your order? Good news for those with dietary requirements –there are also sugar-free, banting an vegan ice creams on offer. Ice cream for everyone!

Contact details:

Tel: 021 204 3134 | Email: kristen@kristenskickass.co.za | Website: www.kristenskickass.co.za

Monday to Sunday 09h00 – 17h00

Nest Deli and Coffee Shop

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A coffee shop that offers the finest single-origin coffees, breakfasts, light lunches and cakes, Nest Deli prides itself in warm and friendly service in a space that feels like home. Connected to the shop, you’ll also find a selection of gifts, fresh produce and home ware –we suggest adding a little extra time to your visit for a browse. Here’s a peek at their menu to tempt you – click on the image to enlarge:

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Contact details: 

Tel: 021 204 3133 | Email: info@nestdeli.co.za

Monday to Saturday 08h30 – 16h30 | Sun 08h30 – 15h00

Heritage Market at Constantia Uitsig:
Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town

Intimate wine estates in Franschhoek

It’s easy to be swept away by grand buildings, fancy labels and well-known names – but, did you know that you could be missing out on a few hidden gems?

With over 50 estates in the Franschhoek Valley, choosing a wine estate to visit can be near impossible – so, to help you make your decision, we’ve found three lesser-known estates that you should add to your “must-visit” list.

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Le Lude

A family winery situated on the edge of town, Le Lude specialises in bottle fermented sparkling wines – Méthode Cap Classique – and, in their own words, “Le Lude is also the first winery in South Africa to produce the artisanal Agrafe bottle fermented sparkling wine. This is the method of fermenting the wine under cork instead of crown cap”. The estate also offers a beautiful, greenhouse-style restaurant and cottage for overnight guests.

Find them: Le Lude, Lambrechts Road, Franschhoek | 021 100 3465

La Bri

Established in the late 17th century, La Bri’s modern history began with their 2008 harvest – the first to be crushed in the new, modern 120 tonne cellar on the estate. Using a gravity-fed winemaking process, the estate produces limited volumes of superior quality, elegant wines. Complete with a spectacular backdrop and tasting balcony, their range of wines includes: The Affinity Blend (Bordeaux blend), a barrel fermented Chardonnay, Shiraz-Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Find themLa Bri Estate, Excelsior Road, Franschhoek | 021 876 2593

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La Petite Ferme

La Petite Ferme is a small wine estate that only produces enough wine to sell on the property – if you’re looking for limited edition, then, this is it. Says their winemaker, Wikus, “The thing about wine making is that some bigger wineries don’t have the opportunity to go out and pick individual parcels that are specific to the area and to the farm itself, but because we are fairly small and everything is done by hand I can go out and find these unique spots within La Petite Ferme’s vineyards and showcase what we can do”. Offering luxury accommodation and an award-winning restaurant, it’s the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon in the valley.

Find them: La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek Pass Road, Franschhoek | 021 876 3016

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.

A hidden gem in Franschhoek – lunch at Mont Rochelle

It might seem strange to call Mont Rochelle “hidden”, as it is “Sir Richard Branson’s South African vineyard”, but it’s often not on the radar of many visiting beautiful Franschhoek.

A short drive off Main Road, Mont Rochelle encompasses two restaurants, a wine tasting area and a hotel.

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Popping in to the less formal of the two restaurants – The Country Kitchen – you’re greeted by a light, bright space, as well as the option to sit outside, if the winelands heat isn’t too much for you.  The menu is divided into small plates – for those who prefer a light lunch or tapas option – and then a traditional three course menu, for those whose hunger is slightly more substantial.

Prices are in line with what you would expect in the area, but portions are substantial. Mains are a standard R195 and come with a choice of two side dishes. Think along the lines of Cape Malay seafood potjie, grilled sumac lamb chops and beef brisket with mustard jus. In an area where fine dining tends to reign supreme, The Country Kitchen lives up to its name and offers hearty fare to happy patrons.

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Their wines may be not as well-known as their neighbours, but are well-priced and very easy drinking – we recommend a wine tasting while you happily digest your meal. It’s also worth nothing that the kitchen is very willing to accommodate all dietary requirements, with advance notice.

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.

 

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.

Looking for a child friendly wine estate?

Last weekend saw the end of the Cape Epic. 8 days on their bikes, 739km and 16000m of climbing! An incredible week watching super fit athletes cycling in mountainous, dusty and very hot conditions.

Monday was time to relax! A day to reflect on the week, and celebrate with friends and family! So the question was posed,  “Where are we going to enjoy a day out in a relaxed environment?”  The only stipulation was to find a beautiful, child-friendly, wine estate.

The unanimous decision was Warwick Wine Estate. On Sunday we called to order the gourmet picnic for our party of 12 and on Monday we headed for the winelands.  I can’t think of a better way to start the week and as we parked the cars we knew we had made the right choice!

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When we booked we mentioned we had toddlers in our party so a table had been reserved right next to the water feature. An immediate hit!  T-shirts off and nappies on, the water amused the toddlers for hours.

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With the rolling lawns and beautiful views of the Kanonkop and Simonberg mountains, Warick certainly lends itself to the perfect picnic venue. Our party immediately chose a comfortable spot. Some sat around the table, other chose to relax on the grassy areas with blankets and cushions.

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The gourmet picnic was outstanding. Pretzel rolls (delicious!), cheese, trout, biltong pate, baby potato salad tossed in olives, sundried tomatoes & fresh basil vinaigrette; and for those with a sweet tooth, a cheesecake pot for dessert.

Plenty of delicious fresh food, chilled Warick wine and happy children certainly allowed everyone to relax after a tough and challenging week.

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Warwick is open 7 days a week.  Enquire online, 24 hours in advance or call  directly to make a booking.+27 21 884 4410

 

 

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.

Explore the Winelands with Sideways!

On Friday I met with the team at Explore Sideways, Brittany Hawkins CMO, Marthinus Botha COO and Nicola Du Toit CTO. What a dynamic team! Our short introductory meeting turned into a long brain storming session discussing different ideas to attract visitors to the beautiful Cape Winelands. A luxury vehicle, knowledgable guide, chilled water, Free Wifi and the Sideways App surely must guarantee a wonderful wine tasting experience?

Explore Sideways has developed an iPhone App called ‘Sideways’ to assist those planning a trip to the Cape Winelands. Just key in the estate that you would like to visit and a photograph, GPS co-ordinates, phone number and other key features appear. This has to be easier than lugging around heavy wine books that often aren’t very helpful.

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If you’re not sure which estates to visit, filter by keyword or region, to ensure that you see the best estates in the area. There are over 40 different search filters that range from organic wineries and cellar tours to onsite restaurants and spas.

Once you’ve found the farms that take your fancy, tick the boxes, add them to your own custom list and you’ve got your own personalised wine route!

Our guides are really impressed with the App. There is always so much to learn about these estates and what a fantastic way to have fun, enjoy the beautiful scenery and taste some magnificent wines. For more information contact us at info@capevoyage.co.za

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De Grendel Wine Estate – “Few places on earth offer such a spectacular outlook”

Enjoy these beautiful Spring days and escape to the only vineyard in the country, 20 minutes from Cape Town, 350m above sea level, and 7 km from the sea. Truly breathtaking, this estate  owned by the Graaff family has been family owned since 1720.

 

We had planned a quick wine tasting, but once settled in the afternoon sun, we found it very hard to leave! Although the estate was busy, Douglas our Wine Ambassador was fantastic! It was evident that he has a passion for wine, and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge about the wines and the history of the estate. It was interesting to learn that not only do they produce award-winning wine, but De Grendel also has a dairy farm with herds of Holstein cattle.

Photographs courtesy of De Grendel Wine Estate

A few tastings later, and feeling very relaxed, we decided to order a cheese platter and a meat platter. Both equally delicious, they filled a gap whilst we enjoyed the wine, and were tormented by the aromas from the restaurant kitchen!

I had a quick look at the menu, and I look forward to visiting De Grendel restaurant soon!  Although a relatively small menu, every dish looked delicious and I’m sure very deserving of the American Express Fine Dining Award received last night.

Just before we left, Douglas took us on an impromptu tour to see the cellar and the restaurant, and again shared some of the fascinating history that makes De Grendel such as special estate.

De Grendel received five medals for its wines at the China Wine and Spirits Association competition, held in Hong Kong last month. My favourite was the Op die Berg Chardonnay 2013, which won a Gold at the Michaelangelo Awards last week.  “On the nose citrus flavours of grapefruit and marmalade that on palate is well supported by soft vanilla undertones”

We will be planning another visit to De Grendel soon, spectacular setting, and fantastic wine, but we’ll also return to enjoy the exceptional service and friendly ambience.

Tasting hours:

Monday – Friday 09h00 – 19h00

Saturday 09h00 – 19h00

Sunday 10h00 – 16h00

Contact number: 021 558 6280

 

 

Waterkloof Wine Estate – Magnificent Views, Fantastic Wine, & an Award Winning Cheese!

What an amazing day at Waterkloof Wine Estate, on the slopes of the Schapenberg mountains, in Somerset West.

Kim, Waterkloof’s Wine Ambassador, ensured that we had a memorable experience. She is clearly passionate about wine and the estate. She was very happy to tell us about their biodynamic approach to farming and explained that the “farm is a living entity and should be treated as one. All of the farming efforts are aimed at preserving and nourishing the soils, and encouraging the growth and essential organisms, in which the wine grows”

The restaurant is a spectacular hanging glass box with floor to ceiling windows, providing views from every angle, and the “open-plan kitchen emphasises the Waterkloof winemaking philosophy of openness and transparency”

Photograph courtesy Jessie De Bruin photography

In the summer you can sit outside to enjoy the 5 star tasting experience. The tasting platter for 2 is a delicious selection of  a very tasty terrine, olives, fresh brown bread, and the award winning Healey Farmhouse Cheddar.

The wines are fantastic. We loved the Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvedre 2013, Circle of Life White 2011, & the Circle of Life Red 2010.

Open for wine tasting everyday from 10h00 – 17h00, & booking for the restaurant is essential.

Waterkloof wine estate is a must visit. Add this one to your Bucket List, this really is a piece of heaven!

 

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