End your year in good company, when Stellenbosch pulls out all the stops with bespoke Christmas celebrations and a host of New Year’s parties ranging from the more intimate and themed to the lavish and extravagant to toast to 2014 and ring in 2015 in high spirits.
As the country’s Gourmet & Wine Capital, Stellenbosch will be donning its culinary hat for families and friends to swap the traditional turkey and roast for a memorable Christmas meal at one of its numerous restaurants.
Herewith a few places that will be serving a joyful Christmas food and wine experience:
The new Bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards
R350 for a four course Christmas lunch. Munchkins 12 years and younger get a two course lunch at R100, which includes a gift from Santa. Child minders will be available during lunch. Email reservations@bistro13 or call 021 881 3044. (www.bistro23.co.za)
Makaron Restaurant at the magnificent 5 star Majeka House Boutique Hotel
Treat your loved ones to Makaron’s exclusive Christmas Eve dinner. This exquisite feast costs R550 per person and includes sumptuous creations such as Compressed Terrine of Christmas Ham, Goose and Cherries, and a decadent Milk & Cookies dessert of eggnog mousse and mince pie ice cream.
Email email@example.com or call 021 880 1549. (www.makaronrestaurant.co.za)
Spier will be offering a special Christmas picnic and dinner, but for some real Christmas magic, young and old should head out to the estate for its spellbinding Spier Festival of White Lights on 5 December. This evening is a performance arts procession across the farm, winding through heritage Cape Dutch monuments and led by Spier’s Angel of Light on stilts. It also includes a dazzling display of lights, ranging from fire dancers, sculptures, lanterns and artistic performances and end with a complimentary glass of wine and relaxed tunes at the Spier Hotel. Tickets cost R160 per adults and R60 for children. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or book via www.quicket.co.za. (www.spier.co.za)
More light will be shed at Stellenbosch’s annual Festival of Street Lights hosted by the municipality on 7 and 8 December. Bring the kids and be there when the mayor switches on the Christmas lights and pack a picnic and come sing along to your favourite songs during Carols by Candlelight on the opening night.
On 14 December, Father Christmas will be making his appearance on his tractor at Middelvlei Wine Estate’s annual Sunset Carols. As the sun sets over the Middelvlei dam guests will be singing carols while their famous Boerebraai is served and Father Christmas delivers the presents. This year’s event costs R175 for Adults and R60 for children and is hosted in benefit of Stellenbosch Youth Outreach.
Email email@example.com or call 021 883 2565. (www.middelvlei.co.za).
Other Christmas celebrations worth the drive out to Stellenbosch include the famous 96 Winery Road Restaurant’s Christmas Menu which will be served for dinner on the 24th and for lunch on the 25th at R475 per person (www.96wineryroad.co.za). The Lanzerac Hotel & Spa will also be pushing all the right taste buttons with their gourmet three course Christmas Day Lunch, served up in their elegant Governors Hall Restaurant or on the Terrace at R528 per adult and R265 per child under 11 years of age (www.lanzerac.co.za).
New Year’s Parties and Pleasures
Whether you want to spent your New Year’s Eve in a funny hat, or swanky cocktail dress, with all your closest family and friends or in a crowd of new faces, Stellenbosch adds pizzazz to the occasion with a variety of attractions to revel in when the clock strikes twelve.
Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa
Steering away from the ordinary dinner and dance celebrations, Erinvale in Somerset West will be hosting a unique ‘Under the African Sky’ New Year’s Party to dazzle guests with delicious appetizers, live cooking stations and a sumptuous array of authentic dishes served straight from traditional black pots. The local four-piece cover band, Shiraz, will add foot stomping entertainment to the evening. Tickets cost R750 person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 847 1160.
Usher in the New Year with a touch of farm-style magic in Spier’s Courtyard. A hearty three course meal will be served on platters at long communal tables for strangers to become friends while tucking into favourites from the fire, such as stokbrood and tender lamb on the spit. Mixed Flava, a six-piece band will serenade a happy crowd. Kids are welcome and will be entertained by friendly minders in the play area, a milk and cookie bar and a movie. Email email@example.com to book your spot.
Lanzerac Hotel & Spa
This historic hotel knows how to throw memorable party and on 31 December they will wow guests with a spectacular five course dinner indulgence, when Chef Stephen Fraser treats guests to a festive feast in their Governors Hall Restaurant. This evening of sheer gourmet excellence costs R950 per person and includes a welcome drink and bubbly at midnight. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 887 1132.
Another outing the whole family can enjoy is Delvera’s New Year’s Eve Sunset Hike. It trails from Delvera for 9.75 kms through a Greater Simonsberg Conservancy and Yellowwood forest to the top of Klapmutskop – just to make it in time for the postcard-pretty sunset over Table Mountain and a celebratory toast. There will be vehicles to transport kids and the not-so-fit to start from the halfway mark. Remember your torch, your picnic basket, something warm to wear and your hiking shoes – you are climbing a mountain after all! A pair of Hi-Tec hiking shoes will also be up for grabs in a lucky draw. This adventurous treat costs R100 per adult and R50 for kids under 10 years and snacks and cold drinks will be on sale at Delvera’s Trail Centre or book a backpack and picnic from their Simonsberg Café of you do not want to pack your own nibbles. Email email@example.com or call the Trail Centre at 021 884 4752.
Other spectacular New Year’s experiences in and around the City Of Oaks include a lavish, four course New Year’s Eve Dinner at Bodega Restaurant at Dornier Estate at R455 per head (www.dornier.co.za) and a royal six course Food & Wine celebration at Jordan Estate, with each course paired with an exceptional wine at R1250 per head. This memorable evening also includes oysters and bubbly on arrival and live music to dance the night away (www.jordanwines.co.za).
Although it is the season to be merry, Stellenbosch encourages the responsible use of alcohol for visitors to arrive home safely, so remember to book a taxi with Thrifty for the evening (www.thrifty.co.za).
For more information on the various Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Stellenbosch contact Stellenbosch 360 at Tel: 021 883 3584 or swing by at their information centre at 36 Market Street. Also visit the Stellenbosch Wine Routes brand new office at 47 Church Street, where free wifi, good coffee and wines at cellar door prices come standard. Or click on their interactive blog, blog.wineroute.co.za, for the latest festive happenings.