The second oldest town in South Africa, Stellenbosch is known for its natural beauty and oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch architecture, history and culture, and its wine routes.
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes – the largest and oldest in the country – encompass more than 200 wine and grape producers in the region, divided into five sub-routes: Greater Simonsberg, Bottelary Hills, Stellenbosch Valley, Stellenbosch Berg and Helderberg, each with unique wines, climates and charm.
Stellenbosch is only 50km from Cape Town and is the perfect destination for a weekend away. On previous occasions, I have visited some beautiful hotels in Stellenbosch but never explored the town, history and some of the most beautiful wine farms.
If you plan to visit Stellenbosch, here are some recommendations on places to stay, things to do and where to dine.
WHERE TO STAY IN STELLENBOSCH:
Suppose you are looking for a place to immerse yourself in the real history and hospitality of South Africa; I would recommend you visit the award-winning Eendracht Hotel that is situated in Dorp Street, in the core of the oldest part of Stellenbosch. This village hotel is within walking distance of more than 60 excellent restaurants and coffee shops, all the major museums, more than 6 art museums/galleries, theatres and sports grounds. It is also part of the Cape Country Route which offers you fascinating attractions, quality accommodation and memorable holidays.
Upon entering the foyer at Eendracht Hotel, you are welcomed by a gentle, unpretentious fusion of contemporary design and classic approach. I was incredibly impressed with how the reception staff followed every single COVID protocol from the moment they meet you.
The Eendracht Hotel enjoys a rich history – the building dates back to the very beginnings of Stellenbosch when Governor van der Stel first explored the Eerste River Valley, and the original building – a small two-roomed cottage – was built in 1710.
Senobia – Eendracht Hotel’s restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch daily to all residents and the public. If you love traditional, wholesome South African food, as I do, then I would recommend you pop in for lunch.
After enjoying a delicious Homemade Roast Chicken and Mushroom pie with fresh salad and a glass of crisp white wine, I was taken back to my childhood when my mom used to make a similar meal for us on a Sunday afternoon. Senobia offers daily specials, seasonal food, and traditional South African dishes. A two-course lunch will cost you R95.
Majeka House is the epitome of tranquil luxury. I have previously shared about Majeka House on my blog, so if you follow me for a while, you will know that I absolutely love this award-winning small boutique hotel. This owner-managed hotel features a range of luxury accommodation options, a sophisticated bar, a magnificent spa and an award-winning restaurant.
WHAT TO DO IN STELLENBOSCH:
Stellenbosch offers its visitors a great combination of beautiful wine estates, outdoor activities, fine restaurants, and breathtaking scenery.
During a recent stay in Stellenbosch, we decided to learn more about this beautiful town via a guided tour through Stellenbosch and the surrounding Winelands with Adventureshop. They ensured that we experience the best what Stellenbosh has to offer. We opted for an e-bike that started at 9:00 until 12:00 at the Adventureshop.
We have cycled through some interesting historic sites in Stellenbosch Town. I especially enjoyed cycling through the winding road through oak and poplar forests that took us through one of the most beautiful suburban areas and mountain biking trails where we started our first wine tasting at Stark-Conde wine estate. We travelled back to the valley, where we stopped at Lanzerec wine estate with its beautiful grounds and historic Cape Dutch architecture. Here we enjoyed Chocolate and Wine pairing that made our taste buds tingle.
After the tasting, we head back into Stellenbosch Town via the famous Stellenbosch University before ending the tour at Adventureshop’s offices.
DINING IN STELLENBOSCH:
Stellenbosch is home to many of the Western Cape’s top restaurants, mostly on wine estates. My recommendations for dining in Stellenbosch are:
DE VRIJE BURGER:
De Vrije Burger by Bertus Basson, is the home of great burgers and fries in Stellenbosch. It’s been a while since I tasted one of the most delicious burgers. De Vrije Burger keeps it simple but impressive. So amazing that the restaurant won the Eat Out Everyday Eatery Best Burger Award in the Western Cape for 2019.
Overture restaurant, Bertus’ first restaurant, is situated on the Helderberg Mountain’s foothills, where it found a Hidden Valley Wines home. In my opinion, this is one of the best fine-dining locations in South Africa and get 10/10 for food, service, decor and COVID protocols.
Tucked amidst vineyards and giant Oaks, Lanzerac Deli is the perfect place if you are looking for great food. Famous for its all-day breakfast, which we recently enjoyed, the Deli offers a wide selection of homemade bread, pastries, gourmet sandwiches, locally sourced cheese and charcuterie platters, all of which can be enjoyed in a cosy indoor setting or outdoors on the terrace.
The best time to visit Stellenbosch is between September to April, which marks the summer period with temperatures reaching into the 30’s.
For more information and videos about the beautiful Stellenbosch, visit my Instagram page.