Some years ago, to celebrate the big three-oh, I visited Cape Town for a one week holiday. Like many Brits before and since, I based my trip around Cape Town – one of the most beautiful cities in the world without a doubt, and not a bad place to stay.
|Cape Town - From the Top of Table Mountain|
But although I knew about the great wines of Stellenbosch, my visit there was just a day trip from Cape Town. This was enough time to enjoy a couple of brief wine tastings, but nothing more before we headed back to the bright lights of the city.
|Glorious Autumnal Sunshine on Stellenbosch Wine Route - Jordan Vineyards|
With hindsight, I can see what a wasted opportunity that was, since Stellenbosch has so much more to offer than great wine, but more on that later.
|Morning Visit to Kayamandi Township near Stellenbosch with our Super Glam Guide Thembi|
And so I was chuffed for the opportunity to put this right after an invitation to join a bunch of international and local food and travel bloggers for the Stellenblog 2016 campaign, sponsored by the good people of Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch 360 and Destinate.
|Cape Town View of Camps Bay|
The third year of #Stellenblog, this is a campaign that aims to show the many facets of Stellenbosch life and its surrounding areas to the world.
|Wine Tasting and Brunch with a View at Jordan Vineyards|
There has never been a better time for Brits to visit South Africa and Stellenbosch – the very favourable exchange rate against the Rand (£1 to 21 Rand) makes Stellenbosch one of the most affordable holiday destinations right now.
|Wine & Cupcake Pairings for Pudding at Delheim Vineyards|
And unlike London, dining out here at some of the best restaurants in the country does not require a second mortgage – how refreshing!
|Stunning Dessert to End a Splendid Meal at Waterkloof Vineyards|
Founded in 1679, Stellenbosch is just 30 miles east of Cape Town, or about an hour’s drive, and is the second oldest town in South Africa. Stellenbosch is picture postcard perfect, with some fine Cape Dutch architecture, wide pavements, cafes with tables outside, and is one of the greenest urban spots I have visited. It reminded me of California’s Santa Monica or even Napa Valley, but prettier.
Stellenbosch is also home to one of the country's oldest established universities with over 25,000 students making for a vibrant town – you can feel the youthful energy as you walk through the place, with its many bars, craft beer and gourmet burger joints.
|Craft Beer Tasting in Stellenbosch|
With 6 out of the 10 best restaurants of South Africa in Stellenbosch and its neighbouring towns, you will be hard pressed to find a better foodie destination in the country, not to mention the hundreds of wineries along Stellenbosch’s wine routes.
|Amazing Lunch at Indochine Restaurant at Delaire Graff Estate|
As the saying goes, where there is fine wine there is good food, and this is so true of Stellenbosch. I had many memorable meals here.
|My 1st Taste of Vetkoek - "Fat Cakes" Deep-fried Dumplings for Breakkie at Kayamandi Township - dangerously addictive!|
In the coming few weeks, I will be sharing with you in more detail my Cape Town and #Stellenblog adventures, as well as my top recommendations for restaurants and wineries in the region. My fellow international bloggers will be posting their thoughts too, so do check in on Rob of Stop Having a Boring Life, Marvin Schoenberg of NiedBlog, Kiersten of The Blong Abroad, Twiggy Mollison of Sleepless in Soweto and Meruschka Govender of Mzansi Girl for further insights.
I flew with South African Airways from London Heathrow taking a connecting flight from Johannersburg to Cape Town. With two daily overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg, South African Airways offers flights to the largest route network within Southern Africa. To learn more, visit their website on flysaa.com or call 0844 375 9680.
The Stellenblog campaign was created and sponsored by the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch 360 and Destinate in partnership with iambassador. The London Foodie has however full editorial control over all content published.