Constantia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful part of the Cape. It’s green, perfectly manicured, has the perfect combination of residential feel and lively town, with wine farms, restaurants, galleries, stores and more. What makes it even better, is it’s not too far from the Cape Town CBD – a mere 15 minutes by car, in fact.
Whether you’re visiting Cape Town or are a local, we’d highly recommend you spend some time in Constantia and enjoy all it has to offer; but before that, you may be interested to know more about the town before making a turn!
The background of Constantia
The name ‘Constantia’ comes from Simon Van der Stel’s farm ‘Constanza’, which he named after the daughter of his benefactor. He clearly fancied her!
An elite neighbourhood
Constantia has seen many famous faces come in and out of both its wine farms, restaurants and even homes! Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother owns a home there, and his daughters are believed to still live there. Orlando Bloom was also seen wining and dining in the town, as was Katie Holmes and more. You see – it’s a tourist must-do!
It produced Napoleon’s favourite wine
Even Napoleon was a fan of the wine produced in Constantia and there’s no wonder why – it’s some of the best in the world, and has won many world-reknown awards. In 1815 Napoleon ordered for his home to be fully stocked with Constantia Wyn. But just because he ordered this particular one, doesn’t mean all the rest aren’t absolutely magnificent!
‘Constantia Wyn’ is mentioned in literature
Esteemed authors Charles Dickens and Jane Austen mentioned the ‘Constantia Wyn’ dessert wine, produced by Groot Constantia, in their literary works. Of course, after this, it raked in a pretty penny during auction, and it was this wine Napoleon had stocked in his home.
Home to the oldest wine-producing farm in the country
Groot Constantia wine farm is the oldest wine producing farm in the country at 327 years old; and still to this day it remains a firm favourite. It now also has an exquisite restaurant headed up by top South African chefs and the views are absolutely to die for!
Now that you know a little more about Constantia I’m sure you’re packed and ready to visit! It’s fascinating, beautiful and there really is no reason not to at least spend a few nights in the town.
Where to stay: We’d recommend you rent a house in the town – staying in your own ‘home’ makes it feel more relaxed and of course, homely. Constantia is a suburb and it’s important you don’t just feel like a visitor but a local! Places like Villa SA provide incredible Constantia accommodation with all the bells and whistles needed for a comfortable, luxurious stay.
Wine Farms to visit: Of course Groot Constantia is a must-do, seeing as it is the most well-known of the wine farms; produces amazing wines, and was even the favourite of some of the world’s most well-respected people. Steenberg is another fantastic wine-farm with a truly remarkable restaurant of the same name. Make a turn by Klein Constantia, Beau Constantia (home to Chefs Warehouse), and Constantia Glen.
Places to eat:
Steenberg 1652 is a phenomenal gastronomic experience located on Steenberg Wine Farm, and comes highly recommended especially during the summer when you can sit out on the virander surrounded by the beautiful water features.
Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia
Chef’s Warehouse is a Cape Town favourite, founded and run by award-winning chef Liam Tomlin. You can expect small plates/tapas of very pretty food with exotic flavours – and don’t worry, you will leave feeling full and fulfilled! Again, this is the ideal lunch spot during the summer time as you can sit on the balcony that overlooks a great expanse of greenery. Though if the weather is not overly suitable for an outdoorsy lunch, inside is just as fantastic – floor to ceiling windows ensure you get a front row seat to impeccable views.
Greenhouse at Cellars Hohenhort
The Greenhouse restaurant is located in the Cellars Hohenhort hotel and never disappoints. The food is always consistent, tasty and the atmosphere is always lively, though casual. They also have one of the best afternoon tea’s in the city!
La Colombe was voted Cape Town’s number one restaurant. It’s ultra-gourmet and a culinary experience you may not have experienced before in your life time – yes it’s that unique. Every place looks like a work of art and a science experiment all in one. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, La Colombe is not the place, but if you’re looking for extraordinary, interesting flavour and an artwork for dinner, it certainly is!