Originally owned by Simon van der Stel, Tokai Farm is one of the oldest in the Cape. Two owners later, the magnificent Manor House was built by French master architect, Louis Michel Thibault, a process that bankrupted the then owner, Andreas Teubes.
As the story goes, the house was picked up by a party animal and socialite, Petrus Michiel Eksteen, who threw lavish parties and kept a very well stocked pantry and (of course) wine cellar. During another one f his well attended New Years Eve parties, Petrus wagered his son Frederick to ride his horse up the staircase and into the dining room. The way up was filled with laughter, ubt on his return down the steps, his flair turned to folly and both horse and rider tripped, fell down the stairs and died.
To this day there are rumours and sightings of the horse and rider on the property, especially around New Years Eve
Even if you don’t encounter the restless spirit, go visit the manor house and surrounding property, it is incredibly beautiful, and once there you will be able to appreciate how a story of a spectral horse and rider could take root and flourish.
As you enter the Stellenbosch municipal district (along either the R44 or Baden- Powell Drive) you will see giant strawberries by the roadside announcing that you have entered the sweetest place in the area. The valley is perfect for the cultivation of Grade A export quality strawberries, and they are very open to entertaining you and your family.
You get a bucket and off you go, the buckets range in size from Junior Picker, The Harvester, The Professional up to The Ultimate Picker! Remember that what you pick is what you get (the berries do not ripen further after picking) and also to refrigerate your bounty when you get home.
This is a great day out in the sun, don’t forget t pick up the cream on the way home!
Lothian Vineyards is a family vineyard on the Palmiet River in Elgin, South Africa, producing Burgundian style wines like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The area is well worth the hour-and-a-bit drive required to get there from Cape Town, the wines and food are outstanding and it’s something a little different from the usual fare of the traditional tourist wine routes. For starters, the estate has been established incorporating its own private lake. This is a place where natural beauty is merely a glance away, with sightings of rare Cape Leopard, African Fish Eagle, Cape Clawless Otter and Cape Eagle Owl.
Indulge in the luxury wine tasting experience, or, for the more adventurous, go horseback riding or fishing (there are even jet-skis and a boat to take for a spin).
With plenty to enjoy, under amazing African skies, Lothian Vineyards is an absolute pleasure to experience.
With options to engage in this old sport of gentlemen at either Lourensford wine estate (which offers wine tasting and The Milhouse, Coffee roastery and the Lourensford market) or the Wild Clover Estate (which boasts The Brewery, The Winery and The Eatery) your runner up activities are already taken care of.
Personally, I can’t quite stomach the idea of hunting, but those clay pigeons are allegedly a huge pest that needs to be taken care of 😉 This allows you to enjoy the technical and marksmanship aspects of firing a shotgun, along with the sheer joy of watching a brightly coloured disc explode in mid-air.
Full instruction is given and you are supervised (closely) at all times by the experts ensuring that you do not cause harm to yourself (or others). There are a variety of packages with various options (such as automatic rifles, and the “sniper experience”), whatever you choose, this is guaranteed to be a fun day out.
“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind” – Humphrey Bogart
Ah the old locale, the corner pub, where many good stories and ill-fated adventures begin (no good story starts with “Well, I was having a salad, and then!”). The place where the beer is good, the food is hearty and the company is merry. Cape Town is lucky to have several such places, with warm hearths, warmer hearts and more history than you could shake a stick at. Comfy shoes on, time to head down to the old pub.
Evita Bezuidenhout aka Tannie (Auntie) Evita aka Pieter-Dirk Uys, is hailed far and wide as the South African doyenne of political incorrectness, and South Africa’s most famous white woman (a slightly more self-imposed moniker).
She has witnessed first-hand, railed against, performed about and been outrageously outspoken on issues such as apartheid, AIDS and the South African political system (then and now). She is a voice for the people, and you will rarely find such an insightful glance behind the petticoats of what is happening in South Africa, and what has happened, and what has yet to happen.
After discovering that a place called Darling existed, it didn’t take long for Evita to descend on this sleepy little Swartland town and paint it pink. She opened Boerassic Park, a wittily themed satirical garden and Evita se Perron, which was the local train station (perron in Afrikaans), a beautiful cabaret and theatre venue, all in her brilliant style.
Not only that, but she managed to get the local community involved, opening their hearts and doors to visitors coming for their now legendary Voorkamer Fest (where small intimate musical performances, theatre and poetry take place in people’s sitting rooms all over town). It is practically sinful to come within 100km’s of this spot without popping in, indulging in a show, and witnessing the beautiful, humorous and slightly wistful tale of South Africa.
Several things put Darling on the map, but most notably, it’s the most famous white woman in South Africa, Pieter-Dirk Uys, or rather, Evita Bezuidenhout (darling). Evita came to Darling and bought and renovated the local train station (perron in Afrikaans) into a satirical cabaret venue, Evita se Perron. The venue is also famous for its themed garden, called Boerassic Park and the unique museum/nauseum of apartheid artefacts, attempting to tackle remnants of the recent past with humor and gravitas in equal doses. Aside from these gems, Darling has a beer, a festival, a bustling local organic and farm fresh trade and a rustic back-to-the-land feel, perfect for a full day trip that allows you to take in some of the Western Cape scenery along the way.