In the mood for cheese? Who isn’t! From the 26th to the 28th of April this year, Sandringham just outside of Stellenbosch will play host to one very cheesy festival. The event was named the 2012 best Trade and Consumer Exhibition for events 12 000m2 and larger. With the focus on all things cheese, it annually attracts more than 30 000 cheese fans from around the country.
It is estimated that there are a staggering 800 or so wine farms in Stellenbosch and the immediate surrounding areas. However long you might be looking to stay in the area, even the most hardened drinkers will be hard pressed to get through just a fraction of these. So with so many options, how to narrow it down to something more realistic at the outset? Our advice would be to start with some of the oldest and most historic of the bunch as these generally retain the highest prestige and boast the most interesting wine experience even today. Many of these estates would have played a role in laying the very foundations of Stellenbosch as far back as the late 17th century. If it wasn’t for these pioneers, Stellenbosch may well never have been born.
28th February 2013, Posted in History
Founded in 1679, Stellenbosch is not only renowned for its good wine, delicious food and academic brillianc but also played a major part in the history of South Africa. Dorp Street is lined with old buildings dating back to the 19th century, each holding its own interesting fact about Stellenbosch. Parking might be problem in Stellenbosch so it’s recommended to rather leave your car at the Guesthouse and walk into town. The Stellenbosch Botanical Garden on the corner of Van Riebeeck and Neethling Street is a hidden gem in the middle of this busy town. See glass houses filled with Tropical– Succulent- and Karoo flowers as well as a herb garden and koi fish pond. A light mid day snack can be enjoyed at the katjiepiering Restaurant.
14th December 2012, Posted in Things to do
We often forget how beautiful the world is around us and it sometimes takes a bit of encouragement to explore an area’s natural beauty. There is a lot to be seen and done in Stellenbosch and the surrounding areas that will take you back to nature.
7th November 2012, Posted in Things to do
The oldest residential street in South Africa is a highlight when visiting Stellenbosch. Lined with buildings dating back to the 19th century, a few to look out for are No.116 Voorgelegen, containing original Batavian tiles, a military museum housed in the Kruithuis and the homestead of Libertas Parva which is now a Rembrandt van Rijn Gallery. Dorp Street has the typical Cape Dutch architecture with their prominent features being the rounded gables as well as the H – shaped houses. A good example being the Burgher House which is also a national monument. The Ackerman House, number 48-50 Dorp Street, used to be the residence of South Africa’s former Prime Minister, Jan Christiaan Smuts, who was a boarder here while attending the University. Here he also met his future wife. (more…)
Described as the food and wine heartland of the country – Franschhoek is a mere 30 minutes’ drive from Stellenbosch. Nestled between the mountains, lies the beautiful town with its French influence, brought by the Huguenots over 300 years ago. Between the award winning restaurants and the world class wine cellars, there is something to do for everyone and every budget. The main street is lined with craft shops, galleries and restaurants – ideal for a Sunday stroll. A place worth visiting is the Huguenot Fine Chocolatier, selling hand crafted Belgian chocolates. They offer a half hour program where guests to this chocolate wonderland can view demonstrations; learn about the history of Chocolate and most importunately, have a tasting.
Stellenbosch has a variety of cultures which can be viewed throughout the many art galleries located in town. The SMAC – Gallery (Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery) is located in the De Wet Centre on Church Street. It focuses on the significance of South Africa’s historical and contemporary art movement with well-established artists showcasing their art here. If you would like to view the University’s art collection, visit the Sasol Art Museum in Ryneveld Street. The building, declared a National Monument in 1979, has a permanent collection of paintings, graphic works and sculptures, with regular temporary exhibitions of artists on display.