• 36 Market Street
  • Stellenbosch
  • 7600

Picturesque Stellenbosch feels like an entirely different country

Posted by Ayanda Khuzwayo on 13 September 2018 1:00 PM CAT
Ayanda Khuzwayo photo

With more than 200 wine and grape producers within its boundaries, and a historic town brimming with wine bars, restaurants and coffee shops in oak-lined streets, Stellenbosch requires a few days, at the very least, just to skim the surface of all it has to offer visitors.

You can go back again and again, of course, whether to your favourite places or discover something new.

Either way, it’s a win.

Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Stellenbosch lies in a valley surrounded by the Papegaaiberg (Parrot Mountain, but it’s actually a hill), Stellenbosch Mountain, Jonkershoek, Draken- stein and Simonsberg mountains.

The vineyards and farmlands are ridiculously picturesque, and the charming town somehow always evokes in me a sense of being somewhere else entirely as in another country.

The streets feel safe, even after dark, and it’s relatively easy to get around without a car. As someone clever (comedian Steven Wright) once said: “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”

Make your life even easier by staying in a hotel right in town.

Oude Werf Hotel in Church Street stands where Stellenbosch’s first church once was, before the fire which all but destroyed the town in 1710.

To be fair, although only two or three houses were spared, 12 succumbed to the flames. Not to take anything away from the devastation, an “entire town” is all about perspective.

The church was rebuilt in 1723 on the outskirts of town so as to avoid a repeat of the disaster.

It was enlarged several times and still stands today at the end of - appropriately enough - Church Street and is known as the “Moederkerk” (Mother Church).

In the meantime, the original churchyard (Oude Werf means “old churchyard”) stood vacant for several decades before being subdivided into lots and sold off, which was considered an act of “religious desecration”.

An inn was opened in 1802, there was another fire a year later, and yet another in the last years of that century.

Now a national heritage site, below the restaurant at Oude Werf you can view the remains of its various incarnations revealed during archaeological excavations in 1981, and the hotel staff will happily give you a guided tour peppered with historical anecdotes.

The rooms at Oude Werf reflect a combination of old and new with accommodation in the original building as well as modern wings overlooking the garden and pool, or the courtyard.

Decor styles are different too, being either traditionally furnished with period-style pieces, or vibrantly contemporary. Whichever you opt for, all the comforts you expect - wi-fi, Nespresso machine, TV and so on - are provided.

Original Article can be accessed at Independent Online

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Recent Posts

Dress up in all shades of pink for family-fun in the Winelands Saturday, 26 January 2019 It's...
read more
Savour sensory ecstasy with Idiom's Wine & Macaron Experience Exquisite new summer pairing delights...
read more
Summer is for Stellenbosch street soirees
Festive feasting with locals in the City of Oaks November 2018 till March 2019 Toast with the...
read more
Conversation focus for WWF Champions in the South African Winelands
There are a number of wine farms who take conservation really seriously, some of whom are World...
read more
Picturesque Stellenbosch feels like an entirely different country
With more than 200 wine and grape producers within its boundaries, and a historic town brimming with...
read more
Stellenbosch the custodian of world-class Cabernet
When it comes to world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch has it all with its unique combination...
read more
Bid for the South African Airways 2018 Wine Selection Tender Now
Onboard any South African Airways (SAA) flight is a world of choice of select high-end wines for the...
read more
Lanzerac Fire, Stellenbosch
Devastated by a fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, 28 May 2017, the heart of the iconic and...
read more
Tuning the Vine
I love wine and when it comes to wine-tastings, I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to...
read more
Simonsig Road to Concours Mondial Gold Driven by Diversity
Simonsig Estate’s two Gold Medals won at this year’s Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is a tribute to...
read more

Go to blog