We live with over-stimulation. In the city we face the constant buzz of traffic, taxis hooting at potential passengers, hawkers advertising their goods on the street corners, billboards and flashing ads on every building, the hammering of nearby construction, and music leaking out of sidewalk restaurants.
I love the way that food can bring people together: when everyone is gathering around in the kitchen as you chop, stir, taste and season; when the rooms fill up with the comforting smells of bubbling stew and freshly baked desserts; and when everyone comes together at the table, clicking glasses and piling comfort food onto plates; when everyone is stuffed and lazy but still reaching into the pot for those last bits and pieces.
The South African Wine and Spirit Board has recently announced the approval of a new wine region, under the inclusive name Wine of Origin: Cape Town. The existing wards of Constantia, Durbanville, Philadelphia and Hout Bay will join forces under the Wine of Origin Cape Town banner, allowing visitors to experience these wines under one banner.
Winter might have been a long time coming to the winelands, but now the days have become shorter, if not colder, and our thoughts turn to cosy weekend breakaways. Our many wine routes offer a variety of indulgent experiences, from high end luxury spa packages, to a simple cottage stay with good friends, a roaring fire and a glass of wine.
Our Winelands have so many events, festivals and local specialities to explore, that it is often difficult to decide where to start. Do you look for something small and local, such as the Snoek and Patatfees near Piketberg, or join the francophiles at the Franschhoek Bastille Festival? We’ve scoured the web and come up with a few favourites of our own.
The signs have long been visible that global travellers are looking for more authentic travel experiences. The world wants meaningful experiences; they want to pause and not merely meet, but connect with the people behind the stories. They want to sit down and break bread with ordinary people. They want to go beyond the well-known and obvious attractions and find out from locals in the know what the real gems of the region are.