Stellenbosch became my hometown circa 2007 straight after highschool. I fell in love with its surrounding peachy mountains, open vineyards and uninterrupted landscapes and spaces. The town was founded in 1679 and have since managed to maintain and preserve its historical buildings and heritage sites. Something I can highly respect and appreciate. Walking down the infamous Dorp - or Church Street on a hot Summer night will bless you with the most beautiful views, sounds and smells of food from surrounding restaurants.
Every corner is nestled with bespoke coffee shops, sit-down restaurants, art sculptures- and galleries; and at night there’s fairy lights and a warm cheerish atmosphere that blankets the air. If you are a day visitor, be sure to grab a take-away coffee from Häzz; or fresh croissant from SCHOON and have a lovely stroll through the Botanical Gardens (R15 entrance fee per person and it also has a little restaurant inside - Katjiepiering). Definitely make your way to Le Chocolatier in Church Street too. You can thank me later. Winefarms, winefarms, winefarms everywhere but if you are looking for the art of cooking - look no further than Tokara up on the scenic Helshoogte pass.
The Winelands stretches quite vastly around Stellenbosch including other historical towns like Paarl, Franshhoek, Montagu and Worcester right up to Tulbagh. I recently took a drive up to Ceres and found myself some beautiful waterfalls just off the main road. Gems around every corner. I have a little weekend tradition here at home currently. A fresh breakfast smoothie and coffee from Root44 market followed by a walk in the woods with Shadow. We often head up to ***Paradyskloof since it’s mapped out with mountain-bike and running tracks; quite well-known and safe. Do pack enough water and snacks because you might end up hiking quite a bit up the foot of the mountain to enjoy a beautiful scenic sunset over Stellenbosch. Do be mindful of the troops of baboons that live in this area and always keep your dog on a leash. I have encountered a lazy Sunday graze before and it’s truly magical to witness and quietly be part of.
***Paradyskloof is open to the public and does not restrict admission. Ladies, pack that pepper spray. Safety first x