Why The Winelands Aren’t All About The Wine!

By Sibongile Mafu

Stellenbosch is a slice of heaven in the Western Cape. This small town has made its mark as the go-to getaway spot for locals as well as travellers from faraway places. It is known for its wine, university and just general beauty. There are some hidden and not-so-hidden gems in this Western Cape town that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.

This is probably one of the best markets in the province. I visited it on a particularly wet morning, and it didn’t dampen the experience whatsoever. There is enough coverage to keep you dry and enough food to keep your belly full and warm.

The market is great for families and there’s plenty of space for kids to run around and explore. You can buy both food and drinks and local arts and crafts from vendors.

Visit on a Saturday morning for great breakfast. Stick around for some mussels and bubbly.

It opens Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

We love our wine. A lot. But Vergenoegd has taken the wine experience a bit further by offering blending experiences. If wine is not your thing, you will not be shunned. You can blend olive oil, coffee or tea.

The experience included a guided demonstration and a personally labelled bottle of our blended wine. It was really special. You can watch the parade of ducks as well while you’re there which happens a few times over the course of a day.

I love adventure and quad –biking was top of the list of things to do in and around Stellenbosch. Just a short drive from Stellenbosch is Rhebokskloof, a beautiful piece of land where you can hire quad-bikes and explore the property.

The quad biking is quite relaxed, with no racing involved, but very thrilling. You can book a 30 minute or one hour session with Quad Bike Trails. You can also book a horse-riding session with them while you’re there.

There are not enough adjectives to describe the dining experience that is terroir. This restaurant is one of the top 10 restaurants in the country and the moment you step inside, you understand why.

Located on Klein Zalze, Terroir is a cosy little restaurant packed with talented chefs. Try the prawn, corn and basil risotto for a starter and Confit pork belly for your mains and everything for dessert.

So good, So very good. Schoon de Companje is an institution in Stellenbosch. Tucked away in the middle of town, this glorious bakery and breakfast spot is a must for anyone who is in the area.

Great coffee and great pastries you’ll love everything about it. Try the croquet madame and thank me later.

This is a treat. The people in Stellenbosch are all about the great outdoors. You’ll see cyclists everywhere you turn, and people walking everywhere, all the time. One of the most beautiful places to walk is Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve. For just R40, you can enjoy a walk around the nature reserve.

It is wonderfully calming, and a good place to find a little perspective.