An easing of lockdown restrictions means that we can make the most of spring with a much-needed family getaway. So if you’re planning on hitting the road any time soon why not eat your way through the Western Cape for your next family vacay?
With a little planning and research, you could soon be enjoying family fun, spectacular sunsets and some of the Cape’s most mouth-watering cuisine.
Here are 4 options for a foodie family getaway to get your taste buds tingling:
If you find yourself wandering up the West Coast take it slow and be sure to stop at one of the many farm stalls dotted between Cape Town and Lambert’s Bay. The best part of any road trip is farmstall padkos so stock up on local mayos, mustards, relishes, and preserves – or indulge in tuisgebak rusks and artisanal bread.
Vygevallei Farm Stall on the R27 near Yzerfontein will keep the kids entertained with ducks, bunnies and pot-bellied pigs, while Moose Farm Stall in Hopefield is legendary for its fresh croissants (grab a breakfast croissant with scrambled egg, bacon, rocket and camembert), cakes and coffee!
Feeling brave? Introduce your family to droë bokkoms, sometimes referred to as ‘fish biltong’, this salty fish snack (essentially salted and dried mullet) is a local delicacy.
In addition to its spring carpet of wildflowers, the West Coast is also famous for its cheese, wine, roostekoek (served with lashings of butter and apricot jam) and an abundance of fresh seafood. Rent a cottage in the fishing villages of Yzerfontein, Jacobsbaai or Paternoster and indulge in scrumptious seafood platters, mussel pots or good ‘ol fish and chips up and down the coastline.
TikTok star Dirk Swart got mouths watering recently with his video review of Muisbosskerm near Lambert’s Bay, which he describes as a ‘secret restaurant in South Africa’. With thousands of views, the cat is now well and truly out of the bag, and how can you resist this family getaway? Sandy toes, fresh fish on the braai and views for miles.
Less than an hour from Cape Town, Stellenbosch makes for a great day trip. But you could always book a long weekend away and explore some of the 150 + wine farms making up the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, enjoying tastings, picnics, and some of the best restaurants in South Africa.
Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch, believes it is the perfect destination for a family getaway for foodies: “Firstly there is just so much to do with the kids. From horse riding to bike trails and eco-scooters, you can keep them occupied for hours on end – and they’ll definitely work up an appetite! Secondly, many of the farms accommodate children by offering grape juice tastings (while the adults delight in chocolate and wine tastings), generous platters, and picnics under the trees.”
Spend some time wandering through a collection of cellars and vineyards before tucking into the region’s finest pâté, olives, cheese and crusty bread. You can also use this as an opportunity to introduce your kids to the ancient art of Sabrage, practiced at Kleine Zalze, Villiera and The House of JC Le Roux among others. An exciting, memorable experience for the whole family.
Alternatively, jump on an open safari vehicle for a safari-with-a-difference on the 120-hectare Waterford Wine Estate. This three-hour adventure among the vines includes wine tastings, snacks and some of the best scenery in Stellenbosch.
The R62 is one of South Africa’s most celebrated road trips. Indeed, a 2017 CNN travel poll, as voted by tourists and travel journalists, declared the scenic and fun-filled road between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn as the top road trip destination in the world.
Dream Resorts and Hotels’ Avalon Springs in Montagu is a great option for a family getaway. Mum and dad can relax in the resort’s steamy hot spring pools while the kids head off to the water slides, putt putt, or play area.
Sharmila Ragunanan, Marketing Manager, Dream Hotels & Resorts, says that you’ll be well fed too: “Although Avalon Springs has fantastic self-catering facilities, Cogman’s Restaurant is a great option for those in the mood for our signature gourmet burger, crispy Vietnamese spring rolls, slow-cooked lamb shank and more! It’s an extensive menu for those too lazy after a day’s wallowing in the springs to light up the braai”
Once you leave Montague it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to Oudtshoorn – and onward to the Garden Route – just make sure to enjoy the R62’s smorgasbord of villages, galleries, arts and crafts shops and padstals along the way.
The Garden Route
Peter Dros, Sales & Marketing Director of Fancourt in George, says the beauty of a foodie vacay on the Garden Route, is not only the plethora of unforgettable excursions and family adventures available, but the quality of the region’s produce. “It is really is a garden,” says Dros, “brimming with fresh seasonal produce sourced from respected, ethical suppliers up and down the Garden Route.”
With four restaurants on the estate, Fancourt’s chefs spend a lot of time on neighbouring farms sourcing organic produce, including a delicious range of cheese, meats, vegetables, honey and olives. Their French-inspired bistro, Monet’s, is a popular choice, while The Club Lounge will keep the entire family happy with their selection of toasties, gourmet burgers, chicken strips and shoestring fries!
“The Garden Route also has a wonderful wine route,” says Dros, “So families can enjoy wine and grape juice tastings, platters of cheese and cured meats – surrounded by staggering views. Alternatively, do something a little different with your kids and take them on an oyster cruise on the Knysna lagoon. Knysna is world-famous for its oysters and you can learn more about this local delicacy, taste the difference between wild and cultivated oysters and find out why they go so well with sparkling wine”
If your kids love strawberries, Dros recommends making a beeline for Redberry Farm, located just down the road from Fancourt. “They can load their punnets with big, juicy strawberries, ride the Redberry Express and rally into teams to tackle the largest hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere, perfectly shaped like a strawberry!”