Over the last few weeks, my husband and I have been making more of an effort to try new places and do something different over the weekend. It wasn’t really a conscious decision but we are definitely making the most of our time while it’s just the two of us 😊 While Saturdays are usually admin days, Sundays are all about being spontaneous! There are so many interesting and quirky spots in and around Cape Town that you can actually have a pretty long list of never ending ‘Sunday Fundays’ lined up. I’m sharing a couple places we’ve visited that are well worth a visit if you looking short on weekend plans.
Darling Breweries: Ok, so probably not the best place for a pregnant person to go to but my husband has been wanting to visit Darling Breweries forever and I’ve never been to Darling so off we trotted to this tiny blip of a town about an hour outside of Cape Town. This quaint little town has lots of antique and craft shops to visit as well as coffee shops and farmstalls where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and pastry on the ‘stoep’. A place I’m very keen to visit is Evita se Perron, the Home of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout (for those of you who don’t know, the hilarious socialite and self-proclaimed political activist played by Pieter-Dirk Uys) It’s definitely a spot to visit with a group of friends over a weekend where you can enjoy cabaret theatre and live performances by Pieter-Dirk Uys and enjoy traditional South African cooking and dishes from Evita’s Kossie Sikelela cook book. I’ll keep you posted on this one 😊
Back to Darling Breweries… even when not pregnant, I don’t drink beer but I do enjoy the whole concept of craft beer and love that the Cape Town craft beer industry has taken off the way it has. We decided to have lunch at the Tasteroom rather than do the beer tasting experience but my husband was still able to order the tasting tray, made up of five different beers of his choice. The restaurant is bright and airy with long wooden tables and had a really vibey atmosphere, even for a Sunday. Part of the restaurant overlooks the brewery itself and it’s great to see how the brewery has grown from when it started out with just a plastic drum and hosepipe! As a vegetarian, I always look at the menu before going to a new place and the website did say that there were ample vegetarian options available but unfortunately this was really not the case and while my husband’s burger looked quite phenomenal, my sweet potato fries and vegetarian spring rolls left much to be desired… They did have great looking cheese platters which could have been an option but I’m also fairly limited when it comes to my cheese intake at the moment. But, all that aside, it was well worth a visit and great to try somewhere new.
The Spice Route: This is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for ages and the weekend before our wedding anniversary, the weather was absolutely beautiful and so we took a drive out to Paarl. I loved it here! There was so much to see and take in and despite being rather busy, we were able to do all the things that we wanted to. First up, chocolate tasting 😊 De Villiers Artisan Chocolate make their chocolates from straight from the cocoa bean – Bean to Bar – and the chocolates are all hand-crafted from cocoa beans sourced from around the world. There are a few tasting options available, but we went with the chocolate and confectionery tasting where we could stroll around the circular bar and taste bites of chocolate until we were running on a rather strong sugar buzz! Included in the tasting are raw cocoa beans but a heads up – these are exceptionally strong and taste rather foul – don’t say I didn’t warn you! Before moving along, we made sure to purchase some treats to take home – I went for the Sea Salt and Caramel milk chocolate bar and my husband went with the Lime and Ginger dark chocolate bar.
We popped our head in at the Cape Brewing Company but it was really busy so we decided to move along. A spot that is well worth a visit, purely for the magnificent glass masterpieces is Red Hot Glass where you can browse (and purchase) spectacular hand-blown glass pieces but what really blew us away (no pun intended!) was watching the artisans making their creations – a skill that they made look ridiculously easy! The ease and speed at which they manipulate the glass to create beautiful little sculptures was mesmerizing and I could have watched them for hours. We strolled around for a little while before heading to La Grapperia Pizzeria for lunch where we sat on the deck overlooking the vineyards and mountains while we enjoyed delicious, ultra-thin base pizzas. The Spice Route is most definitely a spot I plan on going back to when I can enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon with a chilled glass of rose!
Franschoek: Franschoek is one of my absolute favourite places to visit, be it for an afternoon, day-trip or weekend getaway (for a really great place to stay, read my review on Chamonix here) Before heading out to Franschoek for lunch, we had a quick look on the Entertainer App for a spot for lunch – they had quite a few places for lunch but we settled on Rickety Bridge. We had been there previously for wine and cheese tasting (also add this to your list) but had never eaten at the restaurant and as their views are so beautiful, we decided to give it a try. The food was fantastic and my deconstructed mushroom lasagne was the perfect pick for a chilly Sunday spoil. Even without the Entertainer App, the prices were very reasonable as far as Franschoek goes and it’s well worth a visit.
We headed into town to walk off some of our lunch and picked up the cutest little doorstop from a quirky little shop that is the perfect addition to our Bean’s nursery J Despite rolling out of the restaurant with our very full bellies, no trip to Franschoek is complete without a visit to Huguenot Fine Chocolates for some sweet treats. I love looking at their display of hand-made delectable delights and deciding which chocolates to pick (we each get to choose five so it’s a process!)
Matroosberg: This one is quite adventurous and not an easy one for everyone to do but if you can, the views and experience more than make up for the long drive. Matroosberg is a well-known spot for Capetoniens to get a glimpse of real winter and see some snow. When the snow is low enough, you can walk up from the reserve reception but once it has melted and moved higher up the mountain, the only way to get to the top is by 4X4 – and it is most definitely not a route for the faint hearted! There were more than a few hairy moments and I was quite pleased by the time we made it to the top – an hour and a half later! Despite being bundled up like and Eskimo, I do not do well in the cold so I managed all of about 15 minutes in the snow before I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes and hopped back in the car to thaw out. As there is only one road up and down the mountain, once at the top you have to wait until 1pm before they allow cars down again so coffee and snacks are a must. I think this is something that everyone needs to see or do at least once and I’m so glad I’ve now been but don’t think I’d go again in a hurry – unless it’s summer time!