Weekend Getaways close to Jozi & Pretoria

You don’t have to drive too far to escape the city lights of Johannesburg and Pretoria. A great weekend getaway might be closer than you think. Here are some ideas on how you can get away without spending too much time on the road:

Dullstroom

If you are looking for a relaxing, rejuvenating weekend away, the picturesque town, Dullstroom, is your answer. Dullstroom is South Africa’s favourite fly fishing village and offers something to interest every traveller, whether you wish to catch and release fish or to enjoy the calming scenic beauty and excellent, quirky restaurants.

Taste superb whiskey from the widest range of whiskies available in the Southern Hemisphere at Wild about Whisky, enjoy the scenic two day Steenkampsberg hiking trail located only 4km from town, or enjoy leisurely walks with fresh air, taking in the picturesque mountain scenery.

Pilanesberg

The Pilanesberg National Park offers a great bush getaway. Boasting the Big Five, Pilanesberg promises thrilling big game viewing and is home to more than 360 bird species. Enjoy a guided 4×4 game drive, take an exhilarating walking safari or enjoy a unique hot air balloon safari.

Hartebeespoort

For a getaway that offers fun, family-friendly activities to entertain young and old, Hartebeespoort is the place to visit.

Enjoy some extreme jet boat rides on the dam, do some exhilarating zip lining or visit the elephant sanctuary. For the best views of Hartebeespoortdam, consider trying the popular Harties Cableway. If you are keen on partaking in a romantic lunch, pack a picnic basket and a blanket and enjoy a picnic at The Strawberry Farm near Hartebeespoort dam.

Magaliesburg

For the perfect escape to the countryside, head to the Magaliesberg region.

The Magaliesburg village offers good shopping, art and crafts studios, working farms and excellent restaurants. For the adventurer, the Magaliesberg offers mountain walks, quad-biking, hiking and more.

With its beautiful mountains, rivers and indigenous woodlands, this scenic gem has visitors returning time and again.

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Lentevieringe by Gabriëlskloof

Gabriëlskloof, ‘n wynkelder buite Botrivier, wuif die winter vaarwel en vier fees met hul heel eerste Little Spring Market, want alles is vars, vrolik en nuut.

“Lente is dié seisoen van hergeboorte en vernuwing en dis wat ons graag terug verwelkom na die heuwels en valleie, wat ons pragtige landgoed omraam,” sê Nicolene Finlayson, proelokaal-bestuurder en die vrou van Gabriëlskloof se keldermeester, Peter-Allan Finlayson. “Dit is hierdie heerlike energie wat ons wil vasvang en met ons vriende wil deel by hierdie rooskleurige geleentheid.”

Die Little Spring Market nooi jou om op 1 en 2 September jou winterslaap af te skud en jou spens opnuut aan te vul met dit wat vars en vrolik is vanuit die die Overberg kontrei.

“Die hoofdoel van ons Little Spring Market  is om die lente in al haar gloeiende glorie te vier,” sê Nicolene.

Besoekers kan hulself verlustig in ’n eklektiese verskeidenheid plante en handgemaakte produkte, tot speelgoed en juweliersware en elke aanbieding sal hulde bring aan die seisoen se opgewekte varsheid. Lewendige musiek en wonderlike lente-geïnspireerde kos sal natuurlike pasmaats wees vir Gabriëlskloof se diverse en uitstekende wynversameling.

“Behalwe die lentefokus, sal Gabriëlskloof se Little Spring Market  ’n ontspanne wegbreek wees en daarom het ons die hoeveelheid stalletjies baie min gehou. Dit is ook die perfekte lusmaker vir ons gewilde feesseisoen mark in Desember,” sê Nicolene.

Die markie val oor dieselfde tyd as die Botrivier Lentenaweek (1 – 2 September) en skop Gabriëlskloof se trio van seisoen-geïnspireerde markte af.

Die landgoed se hoof jaarlikse mark, die Gabriëlskloof Favourite Things mark, keer vanjaar van 14 tot 16 Desember terug – net betyds vir daardie laaste minuut-Kersinkopies. Dit bied ’n viering van alles feestelik, heerlik, tuis- en handgemaak. Die eerste Herfsmark sal die naweek van 20 April 2019 gehou word. Hier sal alles wat knus is te koop wees – van droë vrugte, vye en gesmelte kaas tot heilsame soppe, geweefde komberse en leergoedere.

Die Little Spring Market is Gabriëlskloof se voortsetting van ’n trotse tradisie. Behalwe dat die Botrivier wyn- en olyflandgoed uitstekende wyne maak, het dit ook ’n baie goeie reputasie as gasheer vir uitsonderlike en intieme geleenthede, wanneer die grasperke rondom die moderne en estetiese wynkelder in ’n gesinsvriendelike kuierplek omskep word.

Vir meer inligting oor die jaarlikse Gabriëlskloof Little Spring Market, kontak Nicolene Finlayson by 028 284 9865 of nicolene@gabrielskloof.co.za.

Stellenbosch presents an all-new Celebration of Wine

Stellenbosch – A Wine Celebration, the latest innovation by Stellenbosch Wine Routes offers an unprecedented opportunity to re-discover the wines and wine people of the illustrious wine region over the course of a single weekend. From Thursday, 2 August to Sunday, 5 August, this top-drawer vinous show will toast excellence and diversity through a handful of intimate and exclusive, must-attend events.

The most famous legends of Stellenbosch will be brought to life through fantastic wine tastings and elaborate fine dining, pairing delicious food and wine with fascinating, entertaining wine personalities, all at one cosy location: De Warenmarkt, in the historic heart of the City of Oaks.

The weekend celebration will highlight the region’s winemaking heritage, premium status and internationally-recognised excellence. Among the events a special focus commemorates Women’s Month and the contribution of female winemakers, while another showcases the essential ingredient of family tradition entwined with the very DNA of Stellenbosch wine.

On Thursday, 2 August, Boutique Brilliance & Big Bottles opens the show. This walk-around wine tasting takes place from 6PM to 10PM and features a dozen of Stellenbosch’s boutique wine producers. Demonstrating that big is not always better, this is the opportunity to discover and stock up on rare and lesser known wine treasures. The entry fee of R290 per person includes access to a feast of delicious canapes and the harvest table with a special cheese fondue.

On Friday, 3 August, the Women-in-Wine brunch puts the spotlight on the region’s female winemakers. A three-course meal will be served from 10AM to 12PM, with bubbly and wines and the stars themselves taking centre stage. Tickets are R400 per person.

The formal dinner, titled In The Company of Legends, takes place later on Friday, 3 August, and offers the exceptional chance to meet some of Stellenbosch’s greats over a premier four-course, food-and-wine extravaganza. Among the luminaries who will attend are world-renowned winemakers and exceptional story-tellers. Tickets to the event, which starts at 6.30 for 7PM, cost R650 per person.

On Saturday, 4 August, Father & Son acknowledges the unique contribution of skill and knowledge that is passed from generation to generation, to Stellenbosch wine excellence. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, this dinner will feature some of the famous father-and-son winemaking duos, who will share their stories over four courses, paired with their wines. Tickets to the event, which also starts at 6.30 for 7PM, cost R750 per person.

The final event of Stellenbosch – A Wine Celebration will be a very special lunch at noon on Sunday 5 August. The Cabernet Long Table will underline the region’s leading prowess with the noble Cabernet Sauvignon cultivar – status that is held thanks to its incomparable concentration of local and international award winners. The four-course meal pairs vintages of the variety with every dish, including dessert and will see some of local Cabernet Sauvignon winemaking royalty in attendance too. Tickets are R650 per person.

Tickets to each of the Stellenbosch – A Wine Celebration events are very limited. To book, visit www.wineroute.co.za.

For more information, contact Elmarie Rabe on 021 886 8275 or info@wineroute.co.za.

There’s Magic in Bubbly

Love, romance, milestones, anniversaries, great achievements, deals signed and sealed – these all have one thing in common: It calls for bubbly! The effervescent bubbles magically create a joyful feeling of celebration and special moments.

There is always an occasion for some bubbly or a delicious cocktail. Even if it’s simply to reward yourself after a long day or to indulge your craving for your favourite bottle of Champagne in a gorgeous venue designed for magic and Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa‘s MUSE Champagne Room offers the ideal setting for celebration.

The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa has added a brand new MUSE Champagne Room, in collaboration with French Champagne House, Perrier-Jouët. The Champagne Room and adjoining Courtyard is a combination of elegance and contemporary chic, utilising nature as source of inspiration.

The adjoining courtyard is ideal for late afternoon sundowners, offering an eclectic range of designer cocktails, as well as a signature Casse-Croûte menu. This unique space goes beyond the sipping of champagne and draws you into an atmosphere that contributes to a fabulous event or a decadent do.

The MUSE Champagne Room is where Joburg’s hottest movers and shakers share their bubbles during a perfect date, anniversary, special occasion or friend’s night out.

“Only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason for drinking champagne.” – Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright and novelist

Hemelhuijs comes to Jo’burg

Jacques Erasmus and Hemelhuijs, the home of Cape Town’s most sophisticated explorations in traditional Cape farm cuisine, have finally brought some of their culinary magic to Johannesburg. Hemelhuijs and So Yum have collaborated to present Hemelhuijs x So Yum, a new offering anchored by Hemelhuijs’ famous breakfast menu served at So Yum’s Hyde Park premises.

Hemelhuijs x So Yum was prompted by So Yum’s recent move to a new, larger and more central position upstairs at Hyde Park Corner, the grande dame of Johannesburg’s boutique shopping destinations. Jacques and Ernst Fischer, owner of So Yum and various other Asian restaurants, had long joked about collaborating, and So Yum’s move presented them with the ideal opportunity.

While So Yum is offering a small Asian-inspired breakfast menu including little-known dishes such as soft Japanese rice porridge and a selection of Asian omelettes, the central breakfast offering is from Hemelhuijs.

Johannesburgers will welcome Hemelhuijs’ freshly crafted, gem-bright juices and its well-loved signature breakfast dishes. Favourites such as traditional soft “mieliepap” served with local honey and salted butter and toasted “mosbolletjie” loaf with cultured cream and hand-made jam or marmalade tease the palate with their nostalgic associations presented with contemporary refinement.

From lunch on, the menu’s emphasis tips back to So Yum, albeit with a selection of So Yum x Hemelhuijs salads which can be constructed on bases such as the delectable papino, orange and shaved fennel with fragrant leaves and honey-lime dressing, or raw shaved vegetables and pear, beetroot and Japanese dressing. So Yum x Hemelhuijs will also serve a selection of their Cape Town counterpart’s paradisal cocktails.

Hemelhuijs’ café-style home in the chic historic district of De Waterkant in Cape Town is known for its whimsical but exquisitely conceived interior decoration, beautifully presented conceptual seasonal menus and stylistic transformations. These aesthetic flourishes will find a more subtle expression in the interiors and menu at So Yum, not to mention in the insertion of a nook at the entrance of the restaurant stocking the sought-after Hemelhuijs Home Collection.

Hemelhuijs’ current seasonal menu and interior theme in Cape Town is inspired by the legendary 18th century Swedish botanist and naturalist Carl Linnaeus, drawing on the aesthetics of his horticultural taxonomy and the beautiful botanical illustrations, engravings and scientific diagrams he produced. Hemelhuijs’ lavishly produced menu is underpinned by the structure and aesthetics of Linnaeus’s work, with photographic imagery styled and presented by Jacques through three-dimensional overlays of seasonal ingredients over Linnaeus’s illustrations, capturing not only the freshness and vitality of the ingredients, but also their botanical genealogy.

We’ve subtly introduced the Hemelhuijs identity to So Yum with small details and gentle touches,” says Jacques.

The design and imagery on Hemelhuijs x So Yum’s menu card draws on the mothership’s production, and the table décor includes a delicate sprinkling of Hemelhuijs’ aesthetic DNA. Signature items from the Hemelhuijs Home Collection feature on the table settings, such as its gold ceramic spoons and Black Salt, and So Yum x Hemelhuijs breakfasts are served on Hemelhuijs’ original Sepia Collection stoneware crockery.

These items and more are available from the Hemelhuijs Home Collection. The shelves of the calming, graphite-painted corner dedicated to these wares are piled with other ranges such as Hemelhuijs’ Bone Collection, Gold Collection and much-loved Boerendelft. Scented candles, Black Salt and the Erlenmeyer laboratory flasks the juices are served rub shoulders with them.

In addition to our basic collection, we have what we call our evolved collections, which are more closely tied to and inspired by seasonality and the restaurants thematic and aesthetic transformations,” says Jacques.

The season’s horticultural inspiration also finds expression in a special range of linen printed with imagery drawn from the menu design, including tea towels and napkins.

A specially designed limited-edition iteration of a series of Hemelhuijs’ collaborations with ceramicist Ella Lou O’Meara celebrates the Asian flavour of Hemelhuijs x So Yum. She has hand painted a range of blue-and-white abstract Asian-inflected designs on beautifully oversized tobacco jars. This range complements a related series of large vessels she and Hemelhuijs produced in Cape Town combining classic floral illustration with its contemporary mythology, mixing the scientific and fantastical.

I am very excited to be introducing our first culinary foray in Johannesburg,” says Jacques, “and I’m delighted that we can collaborate with our old friends at So Yum to introduce our unique flavour to a new context.”

Hemelhuijs X So Yum breakfasts are served from Monday to Sunday 08h00 – 12h00.

www.hemelhuijs.co.za

KAAPSE WYNTOERISMEKONFERENSIE FOKUS OP INNOVASIE

The Business of Wine & Food Tourism-konferensie, nou in sy derde jaar, word op 17 Oktober op die Spier-wynlandgoed buite Stellenbosch aangebied en die indrukwekkende paneel plaaslike en internasionale sprekers sal die tema van innovasie aanspreek.

Die Amerika-gebaseerde wynspesialis, Cathy Huyghe, is vanjaar die hoofspreker. Huyghe is’n wynskrywer vir Forbes en het ook al vir die Harvard Business Review geskryf. Ander sprekers op vanjaar se konferense sluit in Suid-Afrikaanse innovasieleier, Peter Greenwall, die talentvolle Wandile Mabaso, ’n jong, Frans-geïnspireerde sjef wat reeds wêreldwyd gereis het en tans die Johannesburgse kostoneel aan die gons het, asook sjef Kobus van der Merwe wat ’n unieke eet-ervaring met bestanddele uit die Weskus omgewing geskep het, asook Khuthala Gala-Holten, adjunk-besturende direkteur van Joe Public en Tim Harris, hoof-uitvoerende beampte van Wesgro.

Kostes beloop R4 400 (BTW uitgesluit) per persoon. Studente betaal net R1 750 (BTW uitgesluit). ’n Spesiale afslag is beskikbaar vir SAACI-, SATSA-, SITE- en Kaapstad Toerisme-lede.

Vir meer inligting oor die konferensie of om aanlyn te registreer, besoek www.wineandfood.co.za.

Sleep out at Royal Chundu

It’s not everyday that you get to sleep in a secret lair – let alone along the Zambezi River. Experiencing nature this way, is unfathomable and an experience of a lifetime.

The award-winning Royal Chundu, camouflaged along the banks of the Zambezi River, is a tranquil hideaway for both the romantic and adventurous, with the Victoria Falls a mere 30km away. Royal Chundu is a member of Relais & Châteaux and consists of the River Lodge, with 10 exclusive suites disguised among the riverine vegetation, and the Island Lodge, with 4 spacious villas located on the Katombora river-island.

Royal Chundu also offers a Sleep Out Experience, which is is definitely not your everyday sleep out. Guests get to sleep outside and literally experience nature on another level. It’s the ultimate secret lair, sensitively designed to let guests experience nature firsthand.

Set out by canoe or on foot late afternoon and be welcomed to a romantic retreat high above the trees with sunset drinks and snacks. Here you get to properly soak up the sights and sounds of the Zambezi and to disconnect from the world below as you settle in to an idyllic hideaway, awaiting dinner which is served in a gourmet picnic basket.

While the night emerges under African skies, drifting off with the lull of the world renowned Zambezi rapids in the background is an experience to be remembered. The Zambian sunrise signals the delivery of morning tea and coffee and the start of a new day and new adventures along Africa’s greatest waterway.

www.royalchundu.com