Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Life is hard. And sometimes we all just to escape for a while… Even a few hours out of the normal routine can make all the difference, which is why I leapt at the chance to spend an night at The Stellenbosch Hotel with my husband…
Stellenbosch is one of the prettiest towns in South Africa, the second oldest and home to a world-renowned university, it’s tree-lined streets were in full leaf during our spring-time visit and it looked far more festive than our winter weekend stay a few months ago.
After dropping off our very excited kids at their cousins in Noordhoek for a sleep over, we headed off down Baden Powell Drive towards the winelands, stopping off for lunch at Hoghouse at Spier
There we spent some great quality time enjoying the peace and serenity of life without kids… seriously, how did we NOT realise how good we had it pre-kids. Don’t get me wrong, we adore our kids (and actually miss them when we go away) but, shew, the quiet, the calm, the conversation. It was brilliant to have uninterrupted time to chat about all manner of things – the US elections, wine, our dreams, parenting our kids, ambition & drive, the necessity of incessant extra lessons – music, sport, dance et al. All such necessary conversations that just don’t happen at home!
After lunch we headed into town and checked in to our hotel. We had every intention of hitting the streets of Stellies to explore, but the comfortable four-poster bed proved too tempting after our lunch… we opted for a nap instead!! What are weekends away without an afternoon nap? Right?
At around 5 we realised we would be losing the light and needed to get some pretty pics for this post so scrambled out the door for a stroll around town.
Thanks to the gorgeous heritage architecture, the historical town centre of Stellenbosch is so beautiful and with every step there was something new to discover. An adventure just 30 mins from home!
Italian ice creams from Fabio’s were followed by pastries in a quaint little French-style cafe once the temperature dropped and we’d walked a few blocks and back. I love Stellenbosch’s European flavour and on some streets you actually get a sense that you’re in a town in The Netherlands, Germany or France – complete with road-side cafes, canals (well, mini ones!) and foreign languages all around you! Yes, the tourists love this town and the town loves the tourists too!
After all our food indulgences of the day we weren’t quite up to a heavy meal or driving too far for dinner, fortunately The Stellenbosch Hotel has a great restaurant right next door, The Stellenbosch Kitchen. We walked the few steps across the courtyard to our table and opted for a light chicken caesar salad and glass of wine to round off our quick getaway.
The next morning we had to head home quite early (there’s only so much time you can leave 2 kids with another family of 4!!) so we weren’t able to hang around… but that’s ok, at least there’ll be more to discover on our return trip!
Disclosure: Accommodation – 1; Food – 0
Images: Kathryn Rossiter