Autumn must be the very best time to visit the vineyards of South Africa…. the incredible colours of golds, reds, oranges, and yellows, the crisp blue skies, the warm sunshine, the still days…
Nature is at it’s magical best during the changing of the seasons
A few weeks back I was invited to spend the day in Wellington, a part of the winelands that I’ve never ventured to explore, aside from the occasional drive over Bain’s Kloof.
I was to discover just how much I had been missing out…
What an incredible little pocket of the country. This secret spot is filled with beautiful wine farms, interesting people, delicious food and stunning scenery!
The morning started off at Linton Park Winery, tucked up a long and winding dirt road in a valley known as Slangehoek, this is a wine farm I had not yet heard of but I’m so glad I discovered.
We first headed off for a walk through the vineyards to see the beautiful vines at work, find out more about their environmental project to restore the original Renosterveld flora and enjoyed the magnificent views of the Drakenstein mountain range…
Then we headed back to the manor house to sample the wines as well as enjoy a bite to eat for breakfast on the terrace beneath the autumnal creeping vine.
If you love discovering new wineries that are slightly off the beaten track and producing great wines (I especially enjoyed their Cafe Cabernet), then make a plan to visit Linton Park when next you’re in Wellington, or plan a visit to the valley soon.
Our next destination was Aux d’Hex, a beautiful boutique hotel and wedding venue overlooking a dam and offering panoramic views.
A quick visit through the manor house (built in 1798) revealed stunning luxury accommodation decorated in a French-style.
Au d’Hex Estate would make a gorgeous wedding venue as it offers five-star catering, a range of venues and a romantic Bedouin-style tent located on a jetty which overlooks the Hawequa Mountain range.
Once again we sat down beneath the rambling vines of this picturesque valley to enjoy a delicious lunch.
I opted for the pan fried salmon trout with a pea puree, sauteed mushrooms and sweet potato fondant topped with vegetables and caper butter.
My fellow diners were all equally enthralled with their dishes which ranged from a delicious tagliatelle pasta to pork belly served with apple puree & mustard mash, lamb neck with biltong mash and beef fillet, roasted vegetables and crushed baby potatoes.
My mouth waters thinking back… this is definitely a great place to head for a Sunday lunch to remember!
The restaurant is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday (8:00 to 15:00, Sunday until 14:00) and offers gourmet breakfast and lunches with a French Flair.
Our next destination on our whistle-stop tour of Wellington was one of the most iconic restaurants in the Boland, Oude Wellington!
Known for it’s brandy offering, this well-established restaurant has an excellent reputation for phenomenal food and personalised service.
We were here to pair brandy with baked goods for a dessert with a difference… and we weren’t disappointed!
Welcomed warmly by the co-owner of olde worlde Oude Wellington Restaurant, Susanna Tecklenburg, we enjoyed a spread like no other for a mid-afternoon
tea brandy break!
Seated in the brandy distillery, we sampled 5 and 10 year old brandy, paired with gooseberry tart, classic cheesecake and the most impressive pancake stack of perfection!
If you enjoy country style contemporary continental cuisine with a South African twist then this is where you want to head when you’re spending time in Wellington. Expect traditional favourites such as beef marrow, various offals, venison, rabbit, pork belly, beef fillet, lamb dishes and curries.
This winter they’ll be hosting various themed evenings such as the Wednesday nights, “Kerrie Tafel” where guests will enjoy fireside dining and a table of shared self-serve dishes such as Cape Malay chicken curry, Egg plant & tofu curry and Punjabi Lamb & spinach curry for only R150 pp. A sure way to “spice” up chilly winter nights!
The final destination on our itinerary was Val Du Charron wine estate, with sweeping views across the valley, this is a great spot to enjoy sundowners as the mountains change colours in the sunset.
I wasn’t able to spend too much time at this stop as I had to head home to fetch kids, but I was pleased I managed to get a sneak peek of it’s offerings so that I know that it would be worthwhile to plan a return visit soon, with the kids in tow!
Linton Park Winey
Slangrivier Road, Wellington, 7655
33˚ 36’ 46.58” S ; 19˚ 01’ 57.28” E
Tel: +27 21 873 1625
Hexberg Road, Wellington, South Africa, 7654
Tel: +27 21 864 3074
33°38’811″ S 19°02’531″ E
Tel: +27 21 873 2262
Val du Charron Wine Estate
Tel: +27 21 873 1256
Images: Kathryn Rossiter