It’s winter and time to curl up with a book, find a cosy spot with a glass of red wine, try a hand at a new skill and go paragliding, says MIRANDI NEL.
Curated experiences with Culture Connect
Offering both private and public tours, Culture Connect SA is the only South African art, architecture and heritage specialist of its kind in southern Africa. It selects the best galleries, landmarks, collections and studios to put together a tour expertly tailored to the clients’ taste and available time, often taking them to places typically closed to the public and arranging meetings with curators, creatives and experts from different walks of life. The tour itself may be supplemented with research sent in advance and Zoom lectures on the company’s YouTube channel. “We not only take you on tours,” says founding director Kate Crane Biggs, “but also talk about the context and social history that manifest in South African art, design and culture.”
Visit their website to find out more about street art in Salt River, a Cape Town history tour, the art and architecture of Leeu Estate, Franschhoek (24 July), the house and garden of Vergelegen (7 August) or Boschendal (22 September).
For the kids
Wonderdal is Hazendal’s state-of-the-art edutainment centre for children aged five to 13. It combines advanced virtual reality technology with physical elements to create innovative indoor and outdoor play areas. Enthusiastic ‘Wonder Pals’ lead them through hands-on crafts, lively group discussions and engaging multimedia to bring each topic to life. Topics are all pitched at an appropriate level to challenge curious young minds.
Koelenhof Farm, on the R304, is the home of the Winelands Light Railway, which offers train rides in addition to the general park facilities. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets (no alcohol permitted). Food vendors also provide a selection of products. Open Friday to Sunday, long weekends and public holidays from 09:00 to 17:00.
At Rush Indoor Trampoline Park this venue in Claremont, Cape Town, you’ll find adventure, fun, excitement and challenges … like slack-lining over a foam pit or bashing your friends on a battle beam. There are interconnected trampolines, a dodgeball court, a hydraulic slam-dunk basketball hoop and much more. And when you need a breather there’s free Wi-Fi, excellent coffee, hot chocolate, healthy snacks and a cake bar.
Most bookshops encourage browsing, allowing you to flip through the pages before you buy, but some go the extra mile by providing comfortable armchairs and a cosy atmosphere that make a rainy day among the shelves a real pleasure.
Stellenbosch Books: With lots of greenery and pops of colour, this bookshop exudes relaxation. Its comfortable reading nooks with a view of Andringa Street invite you to curl up with your chosen reading material. Or you could browse among its other offerings which include beautiful stationery, vinyls and even Fjällräven backpacks and accessories.
Bikini Beach Books: A little further afield, this landmark is on the beachfront at Gordon’s Bay. Entering it is like opening Aladdin’s Cave of novels and non-fiction, children’s stories and self-help guides, books on history, geography, space travel, Africana … the list of subjects is endless. This literary treasure trove can be found at 41 Beach Road.
There are several welcoming locations in and around Stellenbosch where you can spend a rainy day in front of a fire with a glass of wine…
Kunjani Wines: Kunjani means “Hi, how are you?”, which is exactly how friendships start. The team at Kunjani knows all about that. “When it’s a rainy day in the Winelands, our hospitality is warm,” they say. The restaurant also has a fireplace to keep the chill at bay while you wine and dine.
Cellar Door at Delheim: Charming beyond measure, the Cellar Door at Delheim is snug, with low ceilings and rustic, candle-lit tables. Upon arrival you’ll be greeted with a glass of piping hot glühwein and you can order a cheese or meat platter to accompany your wine tasting.
De Warenmarkt: In an 18th-century building at the corner of Ryneveld and Plein streets, you’ll find this crossover between an artisanal market and a restaurant. A perfect spot to select your favourite bites with a glass of red close to a fireplace.