Ten things to do this autumn

On the cooler days of autumn, it’s a toss-up whether to be out enjoying the crisp fresh air or snuggled up near a warm fire. Whichever you prefer, Mirandi Nel has a suggestion for you.

1 WOORDFEES: 20 YEARS YOUNG

Taking place this year from 1 to 10 March at various venues around Stellenbosch, the SU Woordfees is celebrating emergence from its teenage years with a packed
programme that has as one of its themes the Earth as our dwelling place in the
universe. It issues a plea to protect our planet and the humans inhabiting it – after all, if we do not care about each other, we can’t care for our planet – and also reflects on questions of faith.

Programme highlights include Antjie Krog’s MI(SA), a South African mass (similar to the Congolese Missa Luba and the Latin American Misa Criolla), with music composed by Antoni Schonken and directed by Marthinus Basson. Afrikaan, a musical theatre piece written by Deon Opperman with music composed by Janine Neethling, celebrates the shared heritage of South Africans by portraying the long way that Homo sapiens has come. And in Katrina: Die dansende taal, music and dance tell the story of Ouma Katrina Esau, one of the last speakers of the San language N/UU.

Cape Town Music Academy (CTMA) will be presenting four exciting productions at the US Woordfees in Stellenbosch between 1 and 9 March 2019, and these are all well worth checking out.

For details, visit the Woordfees website.

2 SPA DAY

From mineral scrubs and aromatherapy massages to hammam treatments and facials, there is a spa experience in the Winelands with your name on it.

Delaire Graff Spa. Hovering at the top of Stellenbosch’s Helshoogte Pass, this spa exudes tranquillity. It’s open daily from 9am to 6pm and its facilities include a 22m infinity pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna, as well as a panoramic retreat for resting between treatments. Call 021 885 8160 or email info.spa@delaire.co.za for more information.

Babylonstoren Garden Spa, like everything else on the estate, taps into the ever-changing seasons. In its bamboo grove setting with flowing water all around, you can’t help but feel serene. It’s open daily from 9am to 5pm and has a hammam where a traditional Turkish cleansing treatment is offered. Call 021 300 3929 or email spa@babylonstoren.com for details.

Lanzerac Spa boasts state-of-the-art amenities in a bright and airy space, with beautiful vineyard and mountain views. It’s open every day 8am to 8pm from 1 September to 31 March, closing two hours earlier between April and August. For more information, call 021 887 1132 or email spa@lanzerac.co.za.

3 SEE YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR

What better way to stay in shape than by putting your best foot forward? Dance classes offer a wonderful alternative to the treadmill or gym sessions. All ages, fitness levels, shapes and sizes are invited to express themselves and delight in movement at the following studios:

Jazzart Dance Theatre at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town. Dance teacher Ananda Fuchs, together with the company’s artistic director Sifiso Kweyama, encourages you to explore movement as a means of getting fit. For pricing options and booking, email dance@jazzart.co.za.

Dance Domain in Stellenbosch. For social dancing, you can learn a wide variety of dances such as waltz, tango, cha-cha, samba, salsa, two-step and, of course, the home-grown loopdans. For pricing options and booking, email info@dancedomain.co.za.

The benefits of dance classes include building core strength, firming muscles and improving balance, co-ordination, flexibility and even mental health. You’ll also learn something new, lose weight and meet new people.

4 COOK UP A STORM AT TAMATIESTRAAT

Are you tired of the same meals every week? Or looking for a different kind of challenge? Tamatiestraat offers cooking experiences with a wide range of themes in the heart of Stellenbosch. The classes include a relaxed and fun demo cooking experience with a small group around a kitchen counter – and you can take all the recipes home with you. Foodie couple Reineé and Deon Brand never fail to keep participants engaged and totally inspired. They concentrate on recipes that anyone can prepare at home with fresh and seasonal ingredients, but they also hope to
inspire you to experiment and rediscover how much fun it can be to cook. The classes, held at 27 Jan Frederick Street in Onderpapegaaiberg, last three hours and cost R500 to R750 per person.

For more information, email info@tamatiestraat.com; www.tamatiestraat.com; www.facebook.com/tamatiestraat; Instagram: @tamatiestraat

5 GLASS AT GLENELLY

Glenelly Estate has re-opened its glass museum so visitors may experience and appreciate the unique private collection of Madame May de Lencquesaing. Having had a lifelong passion for rare and contemporary glass, Madame de Lencquesaing started collecting pieces in 1981. In 2003, she bought Glenelly Estate in Idas Valley and brought her whole precious collection all the way to South Africa. It includes Roman, art nouveau and art deco items, a Salvador Dali creation entitled Cross Leibniz, a masterpiece
by Italian glassblower Lino Tagliapietra and works by contemporary South African glassblowers such as Liz Lacey, David Reade and the late Shirley Cloete. Madame de Lencquesaing’s extensive glass collection and the Glenelly Glass Collection range of wines it inspired together pay tribute to her lifelong passion for both beautiful glass and fine wine. The Glenelly Glass Museum is home to 480 glass pieces, some of which date back to the 1st century BC. It is open from 11am to 6pm from Wednesdays to Saturdays and from 10am to 3pm on Sundays.

6PARKRUN STELLENBOSCH

Every Saturday morning, about 35 000 people at more than 120 venues across South Africa come together to walk or run a well-mapped 5km route. In Stellenbosch we are fortunate enough to have not one, but two beautiful Parkrun venues. One is at Root 44 on Audacia Wine Farm, among the vineyards (be warned: there is a steep little hill along the route). The other starts at Hulett Street, Plankenbrug in Kayamandi and offers Parkrunners some of the best views of the Winelands. The organisers encourage participants to bring along an old pair of running shoes to give to a local runner as  many of the kids run in flip-flops.

Remember to register before the event. You will receive a barcode, which will be scanned at the finish line so you can track your times and progress. The Parkruns at both these venues start at 8am every Saturday of the year.

www.parkrun.co.za; Instagram: @parkrunsa and @kayamandiparkrun; Facebook: www.facebook.com/parkrunSouthAfrica

7 SHORT COURSE, LIFELONG SKILL

Subjects and landscapes to photograph in and around our beautiful town are endless. Why not sharpen your photography skills
or learn a few new tricks? Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography hosts a number of interesting short courses throughout the year.

Basic digital photography. This one-day course will provide you with a basic overview of photography, helping you to understand your camera and its basic functions.

Date: 25 May. Cost: R1 595.

Comprehensive digital photography. This course lasts five days and will equip you to move from a basic understanding of photography to the next level.

The focus will be on technical aspects and improving your skill in mastering them.

Dates: 1–5 April and 6–10 May. Cost: R5 490.

Visit www.stellenboschacademy.co.za/short-courses or send an email to info@stellenboschacademy.co.za; Instagram: @stellenboschacademy; www.facebook.com/StellenboschAcademy

8 DAY AT THE MUSEUM

Stellenbosch has some museums so fascinating that you can lose all track of time – and even of which century you’re in.

Toy and Miniature Museum

Among the exhibits of antique teddy bears, dolls and china tea sets, you’ll find two tiny, true-to-life replicas, one of the Blue Train and the other of Uitkyk Wine Estate. The museum is open Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 4.30pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. Entry is R15 for adults and R5 for children 3–16 years. You’ll find it in Market Street.

Stellenbosch Village Museum

View four restored village houses and learn how Stellenbosch changed over time.

Schreuderhuis. Built in 1709, this is the
oldest documented townhouse in South Africa.

Blettermanhuis.This house represents homes constructed between 1750 and 1790.

Grosvenor House, which dates from 1782, is a typical double-storey home.

OM Bergh House.This gabled building has wallpaper and furnishings from the mid-1800s.

The museum is open 9am to 5pm from Mondays to Saturdays and on Sundays 10am to 1pm (April to August) and 10am to 4pm (September to March). The entrance fee is R35 for adults and R15 for children. You’ll find it at 18 Ryneveld Street.

9 VILLIERA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

The Wildlife Sanctuary at Villiera was founded in 2009, in conjunction with neighbours the Cape Garden Centre and Wild Clover Farm, when 220ha of land was set aside as a home for wildlife. On a two-hour game drive through the vineyards and wildlife sanctuary you will see numerous bird species and antelope like springbok, kudu, eland and gemsbok. Keep your eyes peeled for giraffe, black wildebeest, bushpig, and Burchell’s zebra. Cool fact: the sanctuary’s staff grow indigenous trees in old milk containers and plastic water bottles. When the trees are a year old, management buys them to be planted out. The Cape Garden Centre has donated thousands of indigenous trees; to date more than 100 000 have been planted. An outing consists of a game drive, a glass of MCC and a tasting of Villiera and French Domaine Grier wines.

Bookings are essential; call 021 865 2002 or email wine@villiera.com.

10 PIZZA AND WINE

Some things just work better together, like pizza and wine. Whether you like your base thin, your crust crispy or your pizza doughy, spoil yourself at these exciting venues.

Muldersbosch.The farm on Polkadraai Road offers tastings of the full range of Mulderbosch wines. There’s comfortable seating on chairs and couches, and a big fireplace with roaring fires if it’s chilly. To complement the wines, wood-fired, thin-based and deliciously topped pizzas are on offer between noon and 4pm.
www.muldersbosch.co.za

Café Blanc de Noir. Located on the Brenaissance Wine and Stud Estate on Devon Valley Road, Café Blanc de Noir overlooks vineyards and mountains. The rustic-chic decor creates an atmosphere for happy and relaxed enjoyment of a menu focused on fresh, simple and quality ingredients – and the rustic wood-oven pizzas are a must! http://www.brenaissance.co.za/cafe

España,on the R44, is a family restaurant that serves ‘food with attitude’. The team focuses on European/Mediterranean food with a South African twist and the pizzas are a firm favourite: wood-fired and full of flavour. http://www.espanarestaurant.co.za