Looking to explore South Africa? Whether you are A local or international, South Africa is really worth exploring. There are so many beautiful hidden gems in the country and if I had all the time in the world, I would explore each place as deeply as possible.  

On our recent trip down to the Western Cape, Marc and I went to visit the beautiful town of Stellenbosch. Personally, I think February is the best time to visit Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The weather is perfect, the sunsets are magical and the summer holidays are over, so it means you won't have to spend your precious time waiting in queues at the top restaurants. 

Marc and I got to explore the town of Stellenbosch at it's finest this last week and I have put together the perfect itinerary for you guys!

There are two boutique hotels, I highly recommend staying at while in Stellenbosch. The first hotel is a little Victorian boutique hotel in the heart of Stellenbosch town called Bonne Esperance. Although to hotel has kept it's 1900's charm, the rooms are luxurious, modern and have spectacular views of the mountains. Bonne Esperance has recently opened their restaurant to the public, so even if you are not staying at the hotel, I highly recommend stopping over for a slice of cake and a hot cup of coffee. Whether you are a guest to a wedding in Stellenbosch or dropping off your kids at the University of Stellenbosch, Bonne Esperance is the perfect place to stay!

Our second hotel that we stayed at, while in Stellenbosch, was The River Manor Boutique Hotel. What a picturesque hotel opposite the Eerste Rivier. Entering the hotel was like entering my dream home. The french countryside feel that I got was overwhelming. Once again an über modern hotel with lush rose gardens and two swimming pools. The interior was exquisite and had we not been so busy with exploring the town of Stellenbosch, I would have spent my entire day in the lounge area reading books and getting inspired by home interior. A real elegant gem in Stellenbosch.  

In terms of eating out in Stellenbosch, there is no shortage of options. If you are looking for a luxurious fine dining experience, then I highly recommend visiting Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock. You can pick between a 3 course meal with wine pairing or a 5 course meal with wine pairing. As you may know, I am a big foodie so from the presentation, to the wine paring complimenting the food so well, the experience was nothing short of amazing. The Gåte Restaurant has stunning interior, design and magnificent art sculptures outside, making it the place for a perfect Instagram moment. Not only does Quoin Rock have an exquisite restaurant, it also makes for the perfect wedding venue. Quoin Rock is home to the most magnificent Manor House I have ever seen. Although Marc and I did not stay at the Manor House, it most certainly is worth passing by. The view at Quoin Rock is phenomenal and really makes for a dream wedding location. 

Another restaurant worth having dinner at is the renowned Fat Butcher. If you are a meat eater, of course, this is the restaurant to visit while in Stellenbosch. I think it may have been the best fillet prepared and the most delicious lamb shank I have ever tasted. I suggest going to the Fat Butcher hungry because the portions are decent and you want to order everything on the menu! Paired with a good Cabinet Sauvignon, you will have a really memorable dining experience. 

As we were in Stellenbosch, we had to go wine tasting! You cannot go to the heart of the winelands and not go wine tasting. I know there are so many wine estates on the wine route but, from my experience (and  I have done the Stellenbosch wine route a few times) I have nailed it down to the top 5 wine estates worth visiting. 

1.) Delaire Graff Estate - even if you do not have lunch there, stop over for a wine tasting experience and enjoy the magnificent art sculptures and picturesque views of the Stellenbosch mountains. 

2.) Ernie Els - although we are not related (kinda wish we were as we have the same surname), his estate is beautiful and of course the wine is superb too. I suggest passing by and enjoying the panoramic views of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. 

3.) Peter Falke Wines, is a beautiful location to enjoy what I must say are the best cheese boards and snack platters in town, paired with some divine and well chosen wines. This contemporary wine estate is perfect for a romantic day or to meet up with a group of friends. 

4.) Uva Mira is an estate worth visiting if you are interested in learning about the making of wine. It is a place where you can learn a lot about the process of making wine and what the various climatic conditions can have on the taste of the wine.

5.) Lanzerac Wine Estate is the closets wine estate from the town of Stellenbosch. It is such a beautiful wine estate that hosts accommodation, wine tasting and divine cuisine. The interior at the front entrance of the hotel is absolutely beautiful and the attention to detail at all areas of the estate is well thought.

For more on my trip to Stellenbosch, head over to my Instagram @fashionfundi



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