It’s winter and time to enjoy wholesome and nourishing nibbles around Stellenbosch, paraglide high above the Cape Winelands, book yourself a spa spoil, and learn how to make decadent chocolate truffles, says social editor MIRANDI NEL.
Eten Health Bar: Founder Carmen Moller and her team at Eten have made it their mission to prove that delicious food can be good for the body and for the Earth. “We wanted to create a space where people feel happy,” says Carmen. Anyone who has sat under the trees in the bar’s courtyard, with dappled sunlight kissing the skin, would say they’ve succeeded. Come rain or shine, this small space in the De Wet Centre offers fresh food in comfort and style.
Hygge Hygge: Carmen also founded Hygge Hygge, a longstanding dream of herself, and also her family, who love food and cooking together. The team’s goal is to bring fresh, seasonal and comforting food – including banting and gluten- and sugar-free options – to Stellenbosch. ‘Hygge’ is a Scandinavian concept that means to live well and feel content in the space you’re in, to be happy with the small things in life. Elevating small moments and making them special is what Hygge Hygge is about; you’ll find it at 11–13 Church Street.
Paragliding in the Winelands
Fly tandem with the Winelands Paragliding team to experience the thrill of free flight over Paarl, Du Toit’s Kloof, Franschhoek or Sir Lowry’s Pass. After just a few minutes’ preparation, you’re off, gliding through the air and taking in the stunning views.
Mias de Klerk started the company in 2013 and has completed more than 5,000 flights in 15 years. “All our staff are passionate about what they do and receive continuous training to ensure we stay at the leading edge of our industry,” he says.
Winelands Paragliding is registered with the South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and the South African Civil Aviation Authority. “Our focus is to showcase the best paragliding has to offer and the only way to do so is safely and responsibly,” adds Mias.
Spa day indulgence
Majeka House Spa: With its own hydrotherapy pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, the spa at Majeka House can offer such a wide range of treatments that guests are encouraged to tailor their own packages with the aid of well-trained and experienced therapists. A special ‘pick-and-mix’ offer includes a selection of three out of seven treatments, such as massage, facial, hot stone therapy, body wrap and scrub. The treatments include lunch and there are a few couple massages to choose from. All packages includes complimentary use of facilities.
The Hydro: Located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch overlooking Idas Valley, The Hydro offers breathtaking views of mountains, orchards and vineyards and, closer to home, stately trees and manicured lawns. So it’s no surprise that, in addition to massages, wraps and cleansing treatments, it specialises in mindfulness and retreats. This holistic wellness destination has facilities and treatments for every requirement, whether related to health, rejuvenation or simply a need to escape.
MTB shops, rental and gear
With a network of more than 500km of trails, Stellenbosch is justifiably regarded as the mountain-biking capital of South Africa. For those visiting the town and wanting to test this reputation, various companies offer rentals and/or guided tours that explore the mountains and vineyards:
- Ride In: This bike-friendly café and B&B in the Jonkershoek Valley offers bikes for hire and guided rides, as well as shower facilities when you return.
- Bikes ‘n Wines: The company’s Winelands tours last half a day or a full day and combine mountain biking with exclusive wine tastings.
- Stellenbosch Trail Fund (STF): STF can supply all your mountain-biking needs, from renting a bike to hiring a guide.
Winston & Julia workshops
The team members at this small artisanal chocolate company which is based in Stellenbosch say: “We are dedicated to producing quality chocolate and chocolate products. We use ingredients found in nature so we know where they come from.” And they are quite happy to share their knowledge of chocolate making. Two of the numerous workshops they present are the Chocolate Workshop and the Alcohol-infused Chocolate Truffle Workshop.
Participants at the Chocolate Workshop sample various types of chocolate before beginning to work with thick melted chocolate, getting creative with different moulds and decorating their creations with toppings. Then they test their taste buds by combining some unlikely flavours – chocolate and biltong, anyone? After the hour-long session, they go home with their creations. The cost is from R140 per person.
What better treat for friends or colleagues than a workshop where they learn to make alcohol-infused chocolate truffles by adding a favourite tipple? Get in touch with the Winston & Julia team to discuss which Western Cape product you’d like to experiment with in your chocolate truffle workshop: red wine, brandy, botanical gin or craft beer.