Springtime Adventure

As the vibrant colours of spring paint Stellenbosch’s landscapes, there’s no better time to embark on a getaway with your best friend. Karla de Bod and Irene Paul embark on an unforgettable spring weekend, tailor-made for two besties.



While making our way to DeMorgenzon Wine Estate, we are captivated by the sweeping scenery unfolding before us as the estate’s vineyards flow down the slopes of the Bottelary hills. On arrival, we are greeted by Danie de Waal, viticulturist and estate manager at DeMorgenzon, who takes us on a tour of the estate and explains how it lives up to its name – ‘the morning sun’. Thanks to its high altitude, he says, it is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof to catch the sun’s rays.

He then describes how DeMorgenzon exemplifies the harmonious union of viticulture and nature, before ending the tour at the Garden of Music where classical music resounds from elevated speakers across the vineyards to improve the quality of their grapes and health of their vines. Danie shares that, while measuring the music’s impact on the plants is difficult, it makes DeMorgenzon proud to know they are doing something more personal and different to nurture their plants.

After the tour, we step into an elegant tasting room and embark on a sensory adventure through DeMorgenzon’s exceptionally diverse range of cultivars, including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah. Expertly guided by friendly and knowledgeable staff, we explore the nuances of each wine, discovering the distinctive characteristics that make DeMorgenzon wines so renowned, all while enjoying a delicious cheese platter and overlooking the estate’s enchanting garden.


Just down the road from DeMorgenzon we visit Canettevallei, a wine and lavender farm tucked away in Stellenboschkloof, and meander through its purple fields. We meet the farm’s owners, Ingrid and Daniël de Waal, who tell us its history and their hopes for the future. After their travels to Provence in France, Ingrid came up with the idea of planting lavender in front of their house on Canettevallei. Today, visitors are invited to ‘pick your own lavender’ in fields of the fragrant plants. They can make up their own bunches of lavender as they forget about the busyness of life and refresh their souls in purple. Using organic practices, Ingrid grows the lavender and develops various products from it, including soap and dry lavender products. Making creative and natural soap, though, is her favourite.

“I love making the soap, it stimulates me,” she says, her eyes laughing. “I can make soap for days on end.” We explore the farm’s charming lavender shop and choose a Lavender and Rose Geranium soap to take home with us.


As the afternoon meets us, we head to Kunjani Wine Estate, the latest addition to the Bottelary Hills sub-route, to enjoy our second wine tasting of the day – because when in Stellenbosch, once is never enough! Kunjani’s tasting room assistant, Grace Mampofu, greets us with open arms and a genuine smile as we enter, taking us to a table in a cosy corner surrounded by local African art. We explore six wines in the Kunjani portfolio, including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, rosé, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. During the tasting, our wine knowledge is tested by sommelier Eddie Nyamhondoro, who challenges us to guess the wine cultivar before he presents the name.


Upon our arrival at Du Vin Restaurant on Kanu Wine Farm, the enchanting and elegant ambience lures us to take a seat at the table next to the fireplace. As yet, we have no idea of the culinary journey we are about to embark on.
By pairing quality wine and food, Du Vin’s Asian fusion menu combines flavours of the East with the produce of the Winelands, creating a dining experience where every flavour tells a story. The menu is designed in the Japanese style of izakaya, which presents a variety of dishes and snacks to accompany Kanu’s wines and encourage sharing among guests – and share we do!

We start the evening with a tasting of five Kanu wines, each awakening our taste buds for the culinary adventure we are about to embark on. As a surprising gift, our wine tasting includes an enchanting bottle of Angelina Gold Cap Classique – crisp, refreshing, and flecked in gold – a bottle so beautiful, we keep it to display at home.

Along with the Kanu wines, we enjoy Korean fried chicken and pork bao buns from Du Vin’s ‘Taste of Asia’ menu. Throughout the evening, we can’t stop talking about how delicious the Korean fried chicken is – the bursts of sweet and tangy flavours keep popping up in our conversation – and while we try to savour it as slowly as possible, it’s not long before our plates are empty and we make our way home to rest and reminisce.



In the heart of Dorp Street, Casa Cerveza restaurant’s lively spirit of Latin America fuels us for the day ahead. For breakfast, we enjoy the hearty mushroom bowl, consisting of creamy button mushrooms served with bacon, poached eggs, basil pesto and toasted ciabatta, and the classic Casa mince on toast with parmesan shavings and rocket – all prepared by the multi-talented Chef Thomas. The hospitality and friendliness of the staff start off our morning on a beautiful note, and after acknowledging that it was one of the best breakfasts we’ve ever had in town, we promise to come back soon.


Along with delicious food, Casa Cerveza offers guided mountain biking, wine and art tours with guides from the local community in Kayamandi. After breakfast, we enjoy a tour of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Photography Exhibition around town, which showcases eight large-scale fine art photographs by master photographers from the African continent. Along with the friendly guides, we stroll around town talking about the history and art that can be found in Stellenbosch. The tour allows us to embrace the beauty of the town, immerse ourselves in the artistry of photography and reach our goal of 10 000 steps for the day! After viewing all the photographs, we make our way back to the centre of town to enjoy some bubbles.


Newly opened in Herte Street, the Petites Bulles Champagne Lounge welcomes us into a world of sparkling luxury. With copper finishes, soft lighting, vintage art and a stylish bar that showcases the bubbly gems on offer, the lounge has an old-money atmosphere and we can’t wait to indulge in it.

Serving as a haven for Champagne connoisseurs and sparkling wine enthusiasts, Petites Bulles offers a collection of Cap Classique wines from renowned estates in and around

Stellenbosch. Each bottle tells a story of tradition, craftsmanship and elegance, inviting us to savour the wonders that have made these wines a symbol of celebration and luxury. After asking our waitron to surprise us with a bottle of their choice, we enjoy a L’Ormarins Cap Classique and raise a glass to memorable moments in Stellenbosch.


As long-time lovers of Lanzerac’s award-winning wines and esteemed restaurants, we know we are in for a treat when we arrive for the Manor Kitchen’s Afternoon Tea. As we enter the foyer, we are greeted by soft melodies played on the piano, along with warm smiles from hospitable staff. Taking a seat next to the dining area’s large windows overlooking a garden, we admire the sunbeams pouring through the oak trees.

Our friendly waitron provides us with a tea chest containing French Earl Grey, rooibos, black tea, green tea and more – any tea connoisseur’s dream! – and then presents us with the classically reimagined dishes that make up Lanzerac’s Afternoon Tea menu. An appetiser of crispy smoked salmon sushi is followed by a savoury selection that includes snoek mousse on charcoal Melba toast, gooseberry compote, a glass of caprese salad, and a bocconcini parmesan puff pastry with sirloin steak. Then there’s a smoked brisket croquette, a selection of finger sandwiches and, of course, a variety of sweet delights to finish: red velvet cake, hot chocolate and marshmallow cupcakes, rose macaroons and Lanzerac’s renowned scones with fresh clotted cream. After polishing it all off, we take the last sip of our French Earl Grey and stroll out onto the lawn, taking in the beauty of Lanzerac.


Chef Bertus Basson is known for his contemporary and inventive approach to traditional South African cuisine, blending local flavours and ingredients with modern techniques. At Spek & Bone, this blend of flavours is presented in a curated tapas menu, where tradition meets simplicity.

We order two gin negronis – beautifully pink, perfect for our girls’ weekend – and enjoy the restaurant’s earthy atmosphere as we admire different artworks of pigs on the walls. (The restaurant is named after the pets of Bertus and his wife: a pig, Spek, and a dog, Bone, who, surprisingly, are best friends.)

The menu consists of nine small plates, along with two dessert options. As this tapas-themed menu is designed for sharing, we order three small plates to enjoy for dinner and start with a kale salad. Deliciously green with a peanut dressing, soya onions and pumpkin seeds, it’s light while still packing a flavourful punch. Next, we indulge in lamb wontons that test our chopstick skills and melt in our mouths. While Spek & Bone’s menu is seasonal and changes regularly, one dish is constant: the famous gnocchi. With mushrooms, Huguenot cheese and breadcrumbs, it leaves us speechless and the creamy taste lingers, making us wonder if we should order another.



As the sun kisses the vineyards of Kunjani Wine Estate, we savour our last morning on the villa’s terrace, knowing that we will soon bid farewell to this enchanting retreat. Before leaving for our final spring activities, though, we indulge in a Kunjani breakfast of eggs Benedict and buttermilk waffles with crispy bacon, caramelised banana, maple syrup and fresh cream.


Nestled within the picturesque Stellenbosch landscape, Spier Wine Farm beckons visitors with its rolling vineyards and rich history. Beyond the renowned wines and stunning scenery lies a hidden gem: the Spier Food Garden. On arrival, we are greeted by a vibrant patchwork of vegetables and herbs. Curiosity sparked, we embark on a self-harvest experience and venture into the rows of green abundance.

Equipped with a basket and a pair of scissors, and with guidance from Spier’s knowledgeable staff, we carefully snip herbs and gather vegetables. Enriching our understanding of the farm- to-table journey, the self-harvest experience brings us a lasting connection to the earth and its offerings.


Making our way back from the Spier Food Garden, we follow the estate’s scenic pathway and pass geese, ponds and beautiful sculptures on our way to the Werf. The lush green lawn invites us to roll out a blanket beneath the trees and breathe in the fresh farm air as we enjoy a picnic basket of locally sourced, natural and organic products from the Farm Café. A hearty sweet potato soup with baguette banishes any chill, while a selection of cheeses with lavash, a grilled East African spiced chicken breast with a lentil and herb salad, and roasted baby vegetables with white bean hummus and feta provide plenty to savour. A Vadas pastéis de nata rounds off the meal on a sweet note.

With good wine, good food and good company, our picnic on the Werf is the perfect ending to our colourful getaway. As we open our bottle of Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir, we raise our glasses and toast an unforgettable spring weekend in Stellenbosch. V