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Ten things to do this spring

Spring is all about new beginnings, new adventures and new discoveries. Celebrate the turn of the season at a luxurious lagoon lodge, attend a cooking masterclass, book a scenic horse ride and diarise a novel garden week.

Take a horse ride

Experience exquisite views of the Cape Winelands while exploring wine estate Boschendal on horseback. Boschendal’s scenic horse rides are available for children seven years and older, as well as adventurous adults. Note that riding times differ for riders with different levels of experience: novice riders can book their spot at 10:00 or 14:00, while the 12:00 and 16:00 slots are reserved for experienced riders. For guests between ages four and seven, the estate offers weekend pony rides at The Werf’s picnic area from 12:00 to 16:00. Bookings are recommended: email reservations1@boschendal.co.za or call +27 (0)21 870 4211 to secure your seat in the saddle. Take note that all riders should report at the estate’s trail centre 20 minutes prior to their selected booking time. And don’t forget to wear closed shoes and long trousers for comfort.

Boschendal, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING

Birdies in the winelands

Few Cape Winelands destinations offer as impressive a golf menu as Stellenbosch’s Hazendal Wine Estate. Earlier this year, the estate unveiled its brand new 18-hole par-3 golf course, set to impress the most discerning of golf aficionados. To create the perfect setting, the construction team behind the new course moved more than 200,000m³ of soil – enough to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools – to bring the course’s contours and shaping to life. In addition, more than 300 indigenous trees were planted across the course to create scale and character. The 18 holes range in length from 60m to 145m, ensuring a challenging and diverse round. And for those wanting to perfect their swing or simply learn more, make sure to talk to one of the expert coaches at the state-of-the-art Hazendal Golf Academy, or head to the 300m The Burrow driving range and its 32 open-air and undercover bays. But what about the kids? Parents, the Kleine Hazen Putting Park, with adjacent picnic areas and jungle gyms, features a 27-hole Putt-Putt course with all equipment provided. “The ongoing development of Hazendal is all focused on creating a holistic lifestyle. Whether you’re a foodie, art lover, outdoor enthusiast or keen golfer, Hazendal offers something for each and every member of the family,” says Hazendal managing director Shlomi Azar. For bookings or enquiries, send an email to golf@hazendal.co.za or call +27 (0)21 206 8537.

Have bike, will cycle

One of the oldest and most iconic Stellenbosch farms, Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, will play host to this year’s Fedhealth MTB Challenge. The individual one-day mountain-bike event was launched in 2015 and is suitable for mountain bikers of all ages and capabilities, with routes boasting manicured singletrack and even better views. A kids’ event on 11 September – for youngsters aged 1–13 with 500m, 1.5km or 5km track options – will precede 12 September’s main event, when older riders will brave the approximately 15km, 28km or 60km routes. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that it is a privilege to be in good health and able to exercise. Doing so in a picturesque setting out in nature is a bonus,” says Jeremy Yatt, Fedhealth’s principal officer. Entry fees vary from R100 to R425 and include timing chip, medal, on-route experience, water points, T-shirt and post-event entertainment.

Fedhealth MTB Challenge, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING
Picture by Tobias Ginsberg

Wilderness wonders

Make this spring a season of untamed discoveries with Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Known as a premier wildlife destination in the Western Cape, Sanbona offers a diverse wilderness experience. Dwyka Tented Lodge, one of three luxury lodges, forms part of the reserve’s 58,000 hectares of sculpted mountains and boundless plains. Aside from the Big Five, historic rock art, boat safaris, stargazing, birdwatching and wilderness walks, Sanbona also boasts an abundance of floral species. Dwyka’s nine luxury tents – all with private decks and heated Jacuzzis – are set in the horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine that encapsulates striking rock formations and weathered landscapes. At R4,550 per person sharing per night for a two-night minimum stay at Dwyka, the discounted rate for South African residents includes all meals and non-alcoholic beverages, morning and evening nature drives with drinks, and guided wilderness walks. Email reservations@sanbona.com for bookings or call +27 (0)21 010 0028. Offer subject to availability and valid until 16 December 2021.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING

Fall in love with cooking

The Chef’s Studio, a unique and recently revamped concept space located in the heart of Cape Town, is any foodie’s dream. Here, founder and chef patron Matt Manning heads interactive cooking classes combined with a stellar dining experience for those not only excited about creating culinary gems, but also eating them. It’s no secret that Matt can cook; he perfected his trade in London’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants under the tutelage of some of the best in the business. Did we mention Gordon Ramsay? After relocating to South Africa, Matt worked at La Colombe before opening his first restaurant, Grub & Vine, in December 2018, followed by Culture Wine Bar two years later, all located in the same 220-year-old building as The Chef’s Studio. “How it works is that guests explore their cooking abilities under the guidance of a professional chef before sitting down to indulge in a multiple-course meal that showcases the best that fine dining has to offer. In addition to the cooking area, there is a communal table for social dining, as well as an elegant private dining room,” says Matt. The Chef’s Studio also offers cooking classes for children, private classes, corporate team-building experiences and an array of special celebrations from birthdays to bachelorettes. Send an email to events@mattmanningchef.com for enquiries.

The Chef's Studio, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING
Picture by Tegan Smith

Toyota US Woordfees vanjaar op TV

Die Toyota US Woordfees vind vanjaar dwarsoor Suid-Afrika en Namibië plaas – op TV. Ja, vanaf 1 tot 7 Oktober 2021 word die Toyota US Woordfees op DStv-kanaal 198 aangebied. Alle DStv-intekenaars met Premium- en Compact Plus-pakkette sal toegang tot dié opwipkanaal hê wat ’n verskeidenheid van genres sal dek: boeke en skrywers, toneel, kontemporêre en klassieke musiek, komedie, leefstyl, diskoers, visuele kuns en dans. Vir die musiekprogram snoer sanger Karen Zoid en die Filharmoniese Orkes vanjaar hul kreatiewe kragte saam en verskeie kunstenaars vier die legendariese David Kramer se 70ste verjaarsdag met ’n spesiale huldigingskonsert. Veelbekroonde teatermakers Jason Jacobs, Jaco Bouwer en Sylvaine Strike se deelname is reeds ook bevestig. Programinhoud en uitsaaitye sal in September 2021 bekend gemaak word.

Toyota US Woordfees, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING
Picture by Stefan Els

Choose sustainable fashion

“In the past decade, fashion has taken a new turn,” says Denise Alcock of The Retro Rendezvous, one of Stellenbosch’s most popular vintage markets. “People have become more conscious of their carbon footprint and the harm that fast fashion does to the environment. Vintage clothing is unique; the chance that you will bump into someone wearing the same piece is very slim. It also means you will get an item of high quality that has stood the test of time. Buying vintage means you support a circular industry, sourcing from charities and supporting small businesses. Best of all? It’s affordable and you can look fabulous on a budget.” Fashionistas can look forward to a variety of fabulous finds. “We usually have 20 vendors who offer a vast selection of curated, special pieces of vintage clothing and accessories from as early as the 1920s. It’s a one-stop shop for anything your vintage wardrobe requires, from dresses, ensembles, coats, jackets and knitwear to shoes, handbags, purses, belts and costume jewellery.” Don’t miss the next market on 18 September 2021 from 09:00 to 14:00 at De Meye Wine Estate, situated on Muldersvlei Road, Stellenbosch. Entrance is free and most traders accept credit cards.

The Retro Rendezvous, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING
Picture by Kelda Lund

Gardeners rejoice

Inspired by the celebrated Girona Flower Festival in Spain, Stellenbosch has launched its very own multi-layered event encompassing all things green and gardening. Garden Week Stellenbosch, taking place from 1 to 10 October 2021, will not only see open gardens of the known varieties such as Oude Nectar, Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden and Rustenberg, but 20 previously unseen private gardens. The programme includes talks at the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, workshops to be held at the Rupert Museum, Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, Jordan, Spier and Babylonstoren, and botanical drawing workshops presented by the Stellenbosch Arts Association, while Adventure Shop will keep guests moving with adventure walks and hikes. The week will be introduced by a flower parade on 30 September 2021 so wear something special and you could win one of many exciting spot prizes. “Personally, the land art exhibition, curated by our very own world-renowned land artist, Strijdom van der Merwe, is something I will not miss for the world. At this much-anticipated outdoor exhibition you will see works by 10 of South Africa’s best land artists – what a treat,” says Stellenbosch Visio editor Francé Beyers. Due to Covid-19 regulations, booking is essential.

Garden Week Stellenbosch, Babylonstoren, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING
Picture courtesy of Babylonstoren

A night with the stars (under the stars)

This spring, The Galileo Open Air Cinema brings some of your all-time favourite flicks to picturesque venues in and around Cape Town. Experience the magic of cinema under a starlit African sky at beloved venues such as the lush Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, trendy V&A Waterfront, magnificent wine estates and more. Think The Notebook, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bohemian Rhapsody, to mention but a few blockbusters. Pair your picnic experience with tantalising treats and goodies from food vendors to be purchased on the night. Whether a couple looking for romance, a bunch of friends seeking something different or a family making new memories, The Galileo’s picnic nights will enthral. Book online or send an email to hello@thegalileo.co.za for more information.

The Galileo, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING

Medicine for the soul

Nestled between ocean and towering mountains, Mosaic Lagoon Lodge will take your breath away. Some 13 minutes outside Stanford, Mosaic is a five-star ecological gem with heart. For owner Maryke de Villiers, personal and intimate service is at the core of Mosaic’s success story. “For me, it’s about the whole experience. Yes, the location is incredible with the Klein River Lagoon and majestic mountains as backdrop, but it’s that soulful service that seals the deal. With only five safaristyle suites hidden among a grove of ancient milkwood trees, our staff can provide each guest with a magical experience.” While one of the forest- and mountain-view suites offers a private wood-fired hot tub for romantic nocturnal dips under starry skies, the family suite accommodates two adults and two children. A myriad outdoor activities include guided walks with expert head guide Vitalis Chingo, quad bike tours, boat tours and kayaking on the lagoon. More relaxed guests may want to grab their binoculars for some birdwatching or perhaps enjoy a relaxing treatment at the lodge’s Milkwood Spa. All in all, Mosaic Lagoon Lodge is a treasure chest waiting to be opened. For reservations, send an email to reservations@mosaicsouthafrica.com.

Mosaic Lagoon Lodge, TEN THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING
Picture by Daniela Zondagh

Get in touch

Want to feature on our THINGS TO DO pages? Send an email to digital@stellenboschvisio.co.za.