Stellenbosch is a real hidden gem and there’s no wonder why locals and tourists are drawn to this quaint town, a mere 45 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town. It’s bursting with experience, both culinary, culturally, in its night-life and more.
Here’s our top tips on where to stay, where to eat and things to do while exploring magical Stellenbosch.
Stay in a guesthouse
Stellenbosch or ‘Stellies’ as it’s fondly known, is a beautiful town surrounded by mountains, vineyards and oak-lined streets. Stellenbosch is known as the University town because of the popular Stellenbosch University that stands proudly in the heart and brings a , young vibey atmosphere. There is so much to do in Stellenbosch, and if you’re serious about exploring all it has to offer you have to at least stay a few nights; there are many amazing guesthouses in Stellenbosch. We’d highly recommend staying at Villa Grande. Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa, it is filled with history and the guesthouses are often filled with ‘olde-world charm’. Many of the homes are dutch-inpsired, have high-carved ceilings, wooden floors, sash windows and decor that wraps you into the warmth of years past.
Visit the wine farms
When visiting Stellenbosch, you have not truly experienced it if you have not been
to the gorgeous wine farms. There are plenty of award-winning wine estates, our favourites include: Middelvlei, Tokara, Delaire Graff, Rust en Vrede, Remhoogte, Spier Wine Farm, Klein Dasbosch – though there are plenty more. Some of the wine estates have fantastic restaurants headed up by world-renown chefs. After walking the grounds, wine-tasting and purchasing your goods, (or finishing your spa treatment – yes some of the wine estates have spa facilities), spend the rest of the afternoon or evening feasting on the culinary delights with your friends and family. These estates are surrounded by natural beauty that totally creeps into your heart, and you’ll feel more than heart-sore to leave!
Eat at the Stellenbosch Kitchen
Spoil yourself and instead of eating in, go out and have a delicious dinner with your
loved one or friends. There is nothing like having a great evening out wining and dining and sampling some of the world’s greatest wines. There are many hidden gems when it comes to restaurants in Stellenbosch and the Stellenbosch Kitchen is one of them. It is a beautiful casual restaurant located at the Stellenbosch Hotel and offers an à la carte menu from starters to main dishes and desserts to die for. You will not leave this restaurant hungry as their portions are generous and the food is just so delicious you won’t know when to stop! Every weekend, Saturday and Sunday they offer a farm style buffet from 12:00 to 4:30pm, but to avoid disappointment booking is essential as it’s a town favourite.
Dance the night away at the many clubs
Stellenbosch has a young, trendy and vibey atmosphere and there are many night clubs
in the area where you can dance the night away – whether you’re young or old! The night clubs are not just for the University crowd but are frequented by many Capetonians that drive through from the surrounding towns – it’s true, anyone and everyone is welcome. The most popular clubs include The Catwalk, this is one of the largest clubs in Stellies and is made up of three levels, each with a different genre of music to suits different tastes. Tin Roof and Nu’Bar are known to play their fair share of commercial music which seems to attract the crowds. The night clubs in the area are generally well-priced, some offer free entrance for females and a low cover charge for the men. Alcohol prices are affordable as they are aware that most of their clientele are young students from the university. The night clubs are safe and just a great way to let your hair down after a full day of exploring the town, and a way to get to know the local towns-people.
Go for walks in nature
There is nothing like a walk in nature to just lift your spirits and clear your mind of worries
and tension. Stellenbosch is really a beautiful town and going for walks in the parks, wine estates, gardens or simply just being surrounded by exquisite mountain ranges, valleys and vineyards leaves you rejuvenated and energized. The oak-lined avenues with quaint shops to explore and the smell of roasting coffee beans will make a walk around town a real adventure.