Let the good things come to you

Without leaving your living room, you can shop and gym and enjoy a wine tasting, all online. Mirandi Nel gives the low-down on five services that will make your life much easier.

Farm-fresh and plastic-free

Who doesn’t want market gardens and farms on your doorstep with boxes of fresh vegetables delivered to you every week, complete with the week’s menu sorted out. Every Sunday morning you will receive a WhatsApp message with the menu and have till 6pm to place your order.

And ordering Down to Earth couldn’t be easier. Once you’ve followed the sign-up link on one of its social media channels and completed the form, you’ll get a WhatsApp message prompting you to save its number to your phone so that you can receive the weekly menu. Once you’ve placed your order, you can pay by EFT between then and delivery time. On the day of delivery you’ll get a message to say when your box will arrive – or you can pick it up yourself. At present, delivery and pick-up are available in the Stellenbosch, Somerset West and Table View areas. The menu changes weekly, depending on the season, although there are some staples, including beans, grains, nuts and seeds, flour, spices, sweet treats and ready-made meals. A few cosmetics and household and cleaning products are also stocked.


Preloved and vintage

There’s nostalgia online with the vintage stuff that Stellenbosch-based mother Liz-Mari and daughter Liza Lombard source and sell through social media only. Liz-Mari’s furniture venture, With A Twist, speaks of her love for things with a past and her ability to breathe fresh life into special items. Daughter Liza runs her own vintage clothes concern Grow Your Own Funk. Each garment is hand-picked and authentic, allowing you to grow your “own funk”. Browsing their latest acquisitions is a treat in itself, with pictures tempting you with choices ranging from delicate porcelain and embroidery to cool designer names, all chosen with an eye for wonderful fabrics and colours, those coveted one-of-a-kind pieces. The descriptions are clear and accurate, and the prices very affordable.

Virtual wine appreciation

Throughout the lockdown, the social media channels of Stellenbosch Wine Routes have been a hive of activity. Among the popular airings, ‘Skink, Dink en Leef Wynstories’ introduces interesting personalities in the wine industry, ‘Gourmet & Grape’ records conversations between a chef, an epicurean and a winemaker. Renowned chefs share some of their favourite recipes. Elmarie Rabie, the manager of Stellenbosch Wine Routes, says her team will look out for more opportunities to step out on the virtual stage in the near future, whether or not the lockdown is lifted. “We will have to wait and see,” she says. “Even when tourism opens up completely, I think people are still going to be cautious.” But, she adds, social media channels are a great way to reach more people. “Suddenly your audience is global and winemakers and marketers don’t have to fly anywhere to do a tasting.” The team is already planning virtual concerts; be sure to keep an eye on their social media channels to find out where the next event is – online or in person.

Endorphins online

Wanting to get into shape before venturing out to a gym? Try out the live classes you can join via Facebook, Instagram or Zoom. There is, for example, The Hot Yoga Studio in Stellenbosch, led by guru Johannes de Villiers.

His team quickly moved online and there is, believe it or not, a 24/7 option. It offers an unlimited class schedule of Vinyasa, Rocket, Power, Yin and Athletic Yoga, as well as meditation.

Check its Instagram and Facebook page for more information and prices.

Another example is Burnt Fit trainer Uleen Fourie, who shares her workouts online to “inspire and motivate many others to move”.

She created the eight-week Burnt Fit Shred at Home programmes to help clients build healthy habits and lay a foundation to change their lifestyle. As she says, “There’s no better feeling than post-workout endorphins!”

An ‘anything goes’ delivery service

Seepglad, started by a group of Stellenbosch residents, provides a prompt delivery service to individuals and small businesses. When Covid-19 hit, the team seized the opportunity to make life easier for those confined to their homes. It helped with deliveries, distribution and other essential services and now operates as a courier service, but with a personal touch. Small businesses get their items delivered quickly, while consumers remain safely at home. Seepglad has moved study materials, legal documents, groceries and boxed meals. Its philosophy of ‘anything is possible’ is regularly put to the test. Operating between Stellenbosch, Paarl, Cape Town and the Helderberg region, the team uses bicycles, scooters and bakkies to run a smooth service.

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