Ready to try something new? See what MIRANDI NEL has in her basket of ideas for autumn, from planning an escape to connecting with marine life and awe-inspiring art to aquarium explorations and an interesting take on the koeksister. Here’s five super things to do this autumn.
#1: Bring the children
SPIER: The Elemental Garden, a new outdoor play area at Spier, is perfect for children. Conceptualised by landscape architect Ed Brooks and local landscape architect Danielle Croly, it comprises mostly indigenous plants. The garden is divided into quadrants representing the elements water, air, fire and earth, and intersecting all four is a spiralling waterway that symbolises the Fibonacci Sequence. Its features include a slide landscaped into earth mounds, a tunnel to crawl through, a Charl Conradie wind sculpture and a swing bridge. The water in the water quadrant has been treated and is safe to splash about in, making it perfect for autumn days. The Elemental Garden is open daily until sunset and entry is free.
BOSCHENDAL: Youngsters enjoy an authentic outdoor farm experience filled with acorn hideouts, slides, walkways, platforms, mushroom pods and pyramids, all of which are open to the young guests. All the necessary precautions have been taken to ensure this outdoor play area is safe, as it is not supervised by the Tree House team. However, parents should understand their children are their own responsibility and that they permit them to play here at their own risk.
TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM: Situated in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, this world-class aquarium provides a home for aquatic creatures of all kinds and offers youngsters a chance to meet them. Children can spend time finding many colourful Nemos (or clownfish), watching African penguins or marvelling at sleek sharks as they weave their way among other fascinating marine creatures. Interactive activities have been set up that will keep the kids occupied for hours in this safe and family-friendly environment. More than 8 000 marine animals in the aquarium are cared for by employees and volunteers who not only keep the wheels turning, but also promote research, conservation and environmental education programmes.
#2: Wine with a view
BARTINNEY: On the slopes of Botmaskop alongside the Helshoogte Pass and overlooking the picturesque Banhoek Valley, you’ll find Bartinney that was established in 1912 and has been in the Jordaan family since 1953. The family’s credo is that all aspects of the farm must work in harmony: agriculture with nature, people with animals, sustainability with excellence. This is no better illustrated than by renowned sculptor Dylan Lewis’ magnificent sculpture Elevage, which resides in the farm’s fynbos garden and resembles the winged figure of the Bartinney logo.
DELHEIM: High on the slopes of the Simonsberg lies Delheim, where the Sperling family has been making respected wines for many decades. Providing breathtaking views, the continuity of ownership ensures that visitors feel welcomed. This extends into a holistic approach to community and land, to winemaking and to good business practices. The family’s aim has always been to nurture a strong culture of sustainable development on the farm and within the community that grows up and works together on the Delheim estate.
HIDDEN VALLEY WINES: A gem to be discovered, situated on the northern slope of the Helderberg, where its vineyards are planted in ancient soils of decomposed granite. The farm itself has a rich history and today, as a proud WWF Conservation Champion, is committed to working with nature. With breathtaking views, a world-class restaurant and delicious wines, what’s not to love?
#3: Rupert Museum
At the bottom end of Dorp Street you’ll find the Rupert Museum, home to a superb collection of South African and international art collected by the late Dr Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte between 1940 and 2006. On the last Saturday of every month, visitors can look forward to a full programme of activities. Each month’s line-up will include talks by artists, walkabouts, art workshops and wine pairings, as well as live music and a special menu at the café. Each Saturday’s programme is posted on the Rupert Museum’s website and social media platforms two weeks before the event. Certain items on the programme have limited space and booking is essential.
#4: Special treats
PINK VALLEY: A Dom Pedro koeksister is a must on your next visit to Pink Valley. A milkshake for adults, it’s handmade from koeksister ice cream, rooibos butterscotch sauce and Amarula and is topped with a soetkoekie and caramel popcorn.
KLEIN JOOSTENBERG: Café Au Lait is the Klein Joostenberg team’s rendition of the old-fashioned French breakfast coffee bowl, specially designed to allow the easy dunking of a croissant. Finally, a cup of coffee that’s big enough!
MAN’OUSHE: Lindt chocolate or rose (think Turkish delight) cappuccino anyone? Then head to Man’oushe in Andringa Street. For something a little stronger, its Arabic coffee is definitely worth a try.
#5: Explore underwater with Tintswalo
The waters of False Bay are rich with marine life and Tintswalo Boulders’ Marine Exploration Experience offers guests a chance to explore this fascinating world during a three-day adventure. The package includes a range of activities and a two-night luxury stay with breakfast. Sea activities will take place in the marine protected area of the Table Mountain National Park. Snorkellers will glide through the mystical kelp forests to encounter reefs, fish and other marine creatures. A two-hour kayaking excursion will include gentle paddling in the clear, turquoise sea to watch the antics of the endangered African penguins and other seabirds.
The cost for South African residents is R5,250 per person sharing, which covers accommodation, coffees and teas, daily breakfast, one brunch, one lunch, one dinner and two water-based activities, as well as afternoon snacks on day one and canapés and a cocktail at sunset on day two. The offer is valid until 31 March 2021.
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