There is no better time to visit the glorious towns of Paarl and Wellington than during the cold winter months. From winter-warming menus to wine tastings, loads of fun activities and incredible winter offers, Paarl and Wellington should definitely be pencilled into your travel itinerary this winter.
Visitors can enjoy the incredible scenery and great tourism offerings in these charming towns by day and cosy up in front of a fire with a glass of award-winning wine at any of the fabulous accommodation facilities by night. Accommodation choices range from ultra-luxurious stay-overs to upmarket glamping.
Several restaurants are offering special winter menus with real comfort food such as curries, slow-cooked oxtail and nourishing soups. Both towns have thriving coffee shop cultures with shops in the heart of the towns or located on nearby wine farms. Visitors can enjoy tasting galore from whisky to wine, coffee or tea and even ice cream tastings available.
SOME NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK TO ADD TO YOUR LIST
Villamar, translated as house of the Marra`s, transports visitors to the heart of Italy with simple, yet sophisticated Italian inspired cuisine. Both Villamar Eatery and Coffee Roastery, situated between the olive groves on Oudeburg Farm en-route to Wellington, have a strong sustainable farm to plate philosophy. Chef Lucar and his team make use of a minimalist and elegant approach in designing dishes. Enjoy a coffee tasting with an introduction to coffee and the roasting process or even an ice cream tasting with new and limited edition flavours added regularly. Villamar Extra Virgin olive oil is cold-pressed from a vast variety of hand-picked olives including Mission, Koroneiki, Frantoio, Leccino and Manzanilla. Breads, cakes and pastries are baked daily for the best quality experience and taste. Open daily from 08h00 to 17h00. Visit their website for special tasting experiences www.villamargroup.com.
Venture off the beaten track to the historic Alkmaar boutique vineyard located in the Blouvlei area at the foothills of the Hawequa mountains and known by locals as the horseshoe or “Perdeskoen”.
Cultivars planted on the farm include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Mourvèdre, Pinotage and Chardonnay vines. The nine hectares vineyard has the perfect terroir of shale and granite producing award-winning wines of Rhône and Bordeaux style, as well as the proudly South African Pinotage, which has earned a four-star rating in the authoritative Platter’s Guide. A visit to Alkmaar will not be complete without trying the limited edition unsurpassed quality of Alkmaar Méthode Cap Classique. Tastings (R30) by appointment only: 021-873 0191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marvel Bistro & Bakery in Paarl Main Road is the perfect place to start your journey. The family-style bistro seats 24 people with a homely ambiance. Friendly staff, home-style cooking with free range, locally sourced produce and freshly baked breads and pastries will make your meal a memorable one. Trading hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 09h00-17h00 and 08h00-13h00 Saturday and Sunday. Booking is advised. www.marvelfood.co.za.
Karoo Craft Breweries opened their taproom at Simonsvlei Wines last year and is proving to be a popular stop for brewery tours, beer tastings and pairings with brewer Paul Bosman. The Kudu, Oryx, Jackal and Impala craft beers are noteworthy and the pending release of their Conservation Lager in support of the anti-poaching initiative Boots on the Ground is keenly awaited. Trading hours are 10h00-17h00 Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays, with extended hours till 19h00 on Fridays. Closed on Sundays. Visit www.kcbrew.co.za as well as www.simonsvlei.com for more on this family destination where people come together for a variety of fun experiences and quality wines.
A visit to the bistro-style student restaurant at the internationally recognised HURST Campus in Paarl, is worth the effort. The service is excellent and the food top class. Students gain great practical experience in-house as they are taught by dedicated chefs and an exceptional front-of-house team. Short cooking courses are also available to members of the public, so explore your inner chef. Visit www.thehurstcampus.co.za for details.
Find your creative mojo at Eve Art Studio where owner Madeleine Eve shares her creative experiences in a variety of workshops and classes. Madeleine has been a creative artist for many years and has taught art internationally in Dubai, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia before returning to South Africa in 2014. The studio shopfront and workshop are a source of inspiration and creativity. Find upcoming workshops on www.eveart.co.za.
Zomerlust Gastehuis, a heritage site in the historic centre of Paarl at 193 Main Road, has an ambience that is finely attuned to its French Huguenot and Cape Dutch roots with the easy comfort of English country estate living. Zomerlust has been witness to a lavish lifestyle of people living and entertaining in the very best and most elegant manner. Today this unique guesthouse, beautifully restored to its former splendour, still reflects all these proud traditions. The restaurant is open to the public Monday to Saturday for breakfast, light lunches and dinner – www.zomerlust.co.za
Tucked away in the Du Toitskloof Pass, Amberg Art and Kitchen offer with breathtaking views of the Paarl valley. Owned by husband and wife team Klarisa, originally from Paarl, and Austrian chef Peter, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a strong Austrian and international culinary influence. On cold winter days, the rustic interior and crackling fireplace create a fabulous atmosphere with Klarisa on hand to welcome guests. Open for breakfast and lunch in winter from Tuesdays to Sundays from 09h00 to 17h00. Bookings are advised. www.ambergartandkitchen.co.za.
Keep up to date with events in the area by following Visit Paarl and Visit Wellington on social media or visit www.paarlonline.com and www.wellington.co.za.
MORE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
- Winelands Suites
- Africamps at Doolhof Wine Estate
- The G Restaurant at Au d’Hex
- Aantafel at Diemersfontein
- Wellington Wines Bovlei Conference Venue
- Wellington Wines Bain’s Park
- SA Leather Academy
- Andrew Murray Spiritual Centre