There is nothing more refreshing than enjoying family time in the great outdoors of the cape winelands. Fresh air, beautiful scenery and a homemade romantic farm-style picnic amongst the clashes of muted greens and yellows off in the horizon. Views of country manor houses scattered across the vineyards. Someone to whisk your children off to a kiddies‘ club they’ll never want to leave.
Now isn’t that the perfect day out…?
Our first stop is the gorgeous natural splendour of Stellenbosch, As we drive into the Polkadraai, we see rows of colourful scarecrows, sumptuous strawberries used to make scrumptious homemade jam. A kiddie’s paradise, equip yourself with container sizes of your choice at Polkadraai Strawberry Farm and let the little monsters cover rampage through the berry fields to their heart’s content. There’s also a variety of activities to keep the kids entertained whilst you recline in the sunlight with a glass of some famous Stellenbosch wines from the cellar.
It’s no secret that Stellenbosch has some of the Cape’s most magnificent vineyards. Plump and pretty amongst them are these strawberry fields dating back to the 1900s. There are few more peaceful weekends than strawberry picking and wine sampling – get your luscious strawberry loot weighed after your adventures and get stuck into the nuts , dried fruits and other tasty treats on offer from the farm stall.
For this part of the adventure, bring your berry picking extravagance to a close by sampling a range of private liquors from Wildebraam’s cellar. Also on offer is a delectable selection of liquored fruits, jams, dessert syrups, chutneys, relishes and pickles produced by the farm kitchen. Are you taste buds tingling yet? .
When we arrive on the Spier Farm, our first visit will be the Spier Eagle encounter. Founded in December 2001 by Hank and Tracy Chalmers, Eagle Encounters is a bird of prey rehabilitation, education, conservation and eco-tourism centre. As a self-funded, non-profit establishment, we rely on the income generated by tourism to drive our numerous programmes.
Eagle Encounters is not a zoo, their birds do not live in cages. we take a stroll through the ‘weathering area’, where you can openly view the largest, smallest, strongest, fastest and cheekiest.
Up-Close-&-Personal (interactive) display: Experienced handlers await you in the Touching Gallery, to facilitate your personal encounter with an eagle; then into the Owl Mews, where your active participation helps keep these fluffy-feathered cuties in flying shape!
If you decide to picnic here, you are allowed to Bring your picnic basket and tuck into your delicious goodies in a tranquil setting, while the children expend their boundless energy in the Eagle Encounters playground equipped with jungle-gyms, swings, towers and bridges..
Award-winning wine paired with innovative food is what you’ll find at the farms tasting room on the banks of the Spier dam. Here we take the chance to relax in the airy lounge area, and enjoy stunning views of the Helderberg mountains, or should you wish, take a glass outside onto the sunny patio and gaze across the rolling lawns.
While parents get up to more grown up activities (lunch or wine tasting, anyone?), the little ones can spend time at the Kids’ Clubhouse which has a programme packed full of fun activities – including arts and crafts, stories, baking and farm walks. Under the hotels trusted careers, the kids are sure to enjoy the company other others while parents relax.
For the young adults over the age of 10, while we are at the farm, you can take the opportunity to ride a Segway for the very first time. When asked what it feels like to ride a Segway,? the handlers at Spier had this to say:
“Riding a Segway feels like nothing you’ve ever experienced because there’s never been anything like it. Step on and your instinct will be to steady yourself, as you would on anything with two wheels. But almost immediately you’ll realize that the Segway is balancing for you, almost like it has become an extension of you. Just lean forward a little and you’ll see that the Segway isn’t moving you on its own; it’s moving in response to you and what you tell it to do. It all feels natural and really cool”..
A good picnic doesn’t require much more than a patch of grass, a shady tree and a lovely view – and it’s not hard to find a great picnic spot in the Cape Winelands, The Akeibo Travel team has chosen only one of the many options, The Spier Farm Picnic. Whats in it?;
Crispy baguette with farm butter and homemade hummus, Winelands cheeses with fruit preserve and homemade crackers, pasture-reared cold cuts with mustard and homemade chutney, Farmer Angus droëwors, Mediterranean marinated olives, Greek garden salad, wholegrain mustard potato salad, a fresh seasonal fruit salad and 70% dark chocolate brownie fingers..
The vegetarian option has a crispy baguette with farm butter and homemade hummus, Winelands cheeses with fruit preserve and homemade crackers, Mediterranean marinated olives, Rootstock vegetable crisps, Farmer John veggie wraps, a Greek garden salad, a tomato and basil pesto salad, a seasonal salad and 70% dark chocolate brownie fingers. There is also a gluten-free option.