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A hard truth you learn early on as a small-human guardian is that a lack of fun for the kids means an equally proportionate lack of fun for you. That’s why choosing a weekend lunch spot can be a bit of a challenge if you’re juggling your own culinary expectations with your offspring’s simultaneous need to be happily occupied.
The good news is that there are some fantastic wine farms near Stellenbosch that manage to straddle this divide! That’s right folks, there are, in fact, no less than five awesome Winelands destinations* where you can have really good food while the kids are thoroughly entertained at the same time. Here you go!
*Please note that some of these venues may be affected by varying levels of lockdown restrictions from time to time. So, it’s best to call ahead to see whether the place is open to you before you go on an outing.
The Greenhouse at Babylonstoren
Babylonstoren is one of those wine farms that just takes your breath away from the moment you drive through the gates, until the moment you leave again, well-fed and probably laden with plenty of goodies from the on-site farm shop. It also happens to be super kid-friendly and there are so many treasures to discover in the gardens!
The farm boasts a variety of eateries, including the famous farm-to-fork BABEL restaurant. But if you want to keep it low-key for the youngsters, the Greenhouse is your best bet. Tucked away beyond the sweeping fruit and vegetable gardens, the tea garden is open Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. There’s no need for a reservation, tables are allocated as they become available.
Seating is offered inside the vintage conservatory or outside under the oak trees. Food is served picnic-style in wooden crates, with a strong emphasis on honest, no-fuss fare. Think lovely bread and cheeses, salads, delicious home-baked treats, coffee, tea, fresh garden juices, and homemade popsicles.
Picnics at Boschendal
If the weather is fine, and you’re in the mood to sit in the dappled shade of a tree while enjoying a gourmet picnic, but you don’t actually want to pack this marvelous picnic yourself, Boschendal is where it is at.
The Werf picnics are booked in advance, which means you arrive at the time slot you indicated to find your gorgeous basket of ethically sourced, beautifully presented treats ready to go.
These al fresco feasts are available from Thursday to Sunday each week, with standard picnics on Thursdays and Fridays, and picnics along with live music available on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from September to April each year (lockdown measures permitting, of course).
The great thing about the lawn space is that it’s right next to The Tree House Playground and Pump Track, which is pretty much heaven on earth for kids between the ages of 5 and 14. Please note that parental supervision is required for these activities.
La Grapperia Pizza & Bistro at Spice Route Destination
Spice Route Destination is another Wineland’s spot that offers so many amazing things to see, do and taste that it can be a little overwhelming to decide where to settle down for lunch. Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down your kid-friendly options to La Grapperia Pizza & Bistro.
This stunning bistro serves a diverse and flavourful selection of wood-fired, thin-based pizza, flammkuchen and platters in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere under towering oak trees. There is a jungle gym right next to the restaurant, and another play area a short stroll away.
Tokara Delicatessen is in possession of what is arguably the most amazing jungle gym known to man. Plus, it’s within eyeshot of their beautiful deli, which makes it absolutely perfect for a family outing. The food is wonderful, the atmosphere warm and inviting, and the service impeccable. Highly recommended for weekend breakfasts and lunches with the brood.
Babushka Deli + Wonderdal + Kleine Hazen Putting Park at Hazendal
Yep, that’s right, Hazendal knocks it straight out of the park with no less than three kid-friendly destinations on a single wine farm.
Wonderdal is a virtual reality wonderland, where children between the ages of 5 to 13 are guided and supervised by trained WonderPals and colourful Amuki characters that introduce them to a world of wonder and knowledge underpinned by award-winning educational resources and world-class technology.
Then, there’s Kleine Hazen Putting Park offers golfing fun for all ages, with 27 holes of adventure golf and a range of family-friendly activities and attractions. And while all this is going down, parents can enjoy a Russian Tea Ceremony, take an art tour, indulge in a Sensory Experience, taste wine, or peruse a classic car collection.
Then, once everyone has had their fill of adventuring, the whole gang can meet up at the Babushka Deli, where the menu features a variety of uber-yum meals. Including a dedicated kids’ menu with healthy (and tasty) eats, as well as picnic options.
Now you know! Make your way to one of these five wine farms to experience the holy grail of Winelands lunches, top-quality food and wine, paired with a side of kid-approved fun. Check back soon for more insider insights on good things to eat and drink and pretty places to visit around the country.