Not a lot of people choose Paarl and Wellington over Stellenbosch and Franschhoek for a day of out-and-about fun. These two popular Cape Winelands destinations are known across the world, and tend to get almost all of the shine. And as much as they deserve every accolade, in the shadows of these two prime tourism hubs you'll find the wonders of Wellington and the pleasure that is Paarl.
Both towns are known for being very warm during summer. Like, boiling hot.
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But Wellington, particularly, surprises you. It is not only more beautiful than I expected, but has a lot of special nooks and crannies to unearth. Wine. Got it. Wild boar sausage. Yes! Buchu-infused KWV brandy? Why not.
A bit more than an hour's drive from Cape Town, you reach Wellington. Visit Redemption Leather to shop some beautiful items that will last you a lifetime or pop over to the Old Tannery, which dates back to 1871 - well-worth a visit. Already home to The South African Leather Academy, a coffee shop, a flower shop and a few other businesses, it's now a 3 000 m² work in progress project promising upmarket industrial space with niche retail and office space. A market and a slick restaurant will soon be popping up also, so watch this space.
Then venture onto the small rose farm, Langkloof Roses. Roses, health workshops, accommodation and some ingenious carrot cake - it's the people that truly bring this place to life.
Francois who hosts the workshops speaks so passionately about natural remedies, the power of herbs and its healing qualities: lavender relaxes, fennel detoxes.
Walk away with a handful of herbs and a light-heart that sings with calm.
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Then drive to the Limietberg and go for lunch and a game drive where you can see eland, wildebeest, red hartebeest, blue cranes, springbuck, duiker, grysbuck, grey rhebuck, and even some Quagga walk among the fynbos at Bontebok Ridge Reserve.
Stay a night or two even, the wooden cottage accommodation sits right by the dam and makes for an excellent friend-cation spot.
Then grab the opportunity to see something quite special: wild boars. From the big, burly moms to the little babies, it's a sight for sore eyes to see them roam the reserve without a care in the world. Just keep as quiet as you can and don't approach them (no petting aloud!), as they are PROPER wild.
End the day with a bit of brandy. Buchu brandy that is. Sit yourself down at Imbuko Wines' tasting room which is situated across a hillside abundant in buchu. While indulging in some infused brandy or munching-and-sipping on the pie and wine pairing - a surprising but delightful combo of flavours - you realise that it's a view that's truly worth travelling for.
Even the dog agreed...
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