Posted by: The Saffa Mom | March 23, 2011

My Western Cape Holiday- Part 5 is all about Stellenbosch

I know my holiday seems to be carrying on forever……. and if you have missed it you must read part 1; part 2; part3; and part 4….. but the reason why is that I have decided to take some advice from Sunshine in London. (Another one of my blogging gurus!!)  

She often talks about her little “red box”. A box that is filled with tangible items, from a place or event, that she puts into her box…. a memory box! (If you check in with her, you will see that all her “show” tickets go into the box). She inspired me to do the same. (Thank you). BUT then I got thinking about the whole box thing, and being incredibly scared of becoming my mom or dad….. and HOARDING things, I decided that this BLOG would be my red box! (I am a bad hoarder!!! Although I look at grans who pull a bag of their child’s toys out to admire and share- with such admiration and envy…. I just couldn’t do it.)

So, because this is now a part of my “RED BOX”, we still have a couple more days to live in the Western Cape.


My man being the Knight that he is, had an extremely important meeting to attend in Joburg scheduled for Wednesday. It was one of those that you really are too scared to move, because if you do- it may not happen again! His flight was to leave at 6:30am.

What does that mean in the big scheme of things?

That “kippie” (otherwise known as bokkie) would have to drive our chariot to the airport to drop him off at 4:30 am. Have you ever? It was very early!!! (Especially for a holiday!) I was not jumping with enthusiasm, in fact I rolled out of bed still sleeping. My knight- bright eyed and bushy tailed drove to the airport.

Climbed right back into bed an hour and a half later……. just for a little while.

My plans for the day were to explore Stellenbosch. I remembered it from years back, and it just seemed like one of those places I could be alone quite comfortably. I found my way there, thanks to my Blackberry, and literally drove and drove.. and drove some more… looking for a parking space. Okay, I was a little fussy…… I didn’t want to park in a place that seemed like I had rather come for a hike then a meander around the town.

The drive there

When I found parking, I decided not to chance losing my car, and I saved it as “Stellenbosch parking” into the gps on my blackberry. I know what it feels like to lose a car.

Once upon a time, my EX (husband at the time) and family spent the day having lunch and a walk around the Emerald Casino on the Vaal river. Stunning afternoon. A band played at the restaurant we lunched in, which completely knocked us all into relax mode. While walking around the market, we bought two steel 4 metre tall African mask like art pieces. The intention was to put them on the pillars outside our driveway. (They were gorgeous, and still remain at the house after we sold). My EX had a bakkie (double cab) and they would be able to fit in the back.

On the way out, masks in tow, My Princess on my hip, and family chatting while walking- my EX states that his car is gone! Yes, gone! And he did not have the keys with him!In a state we all start looking- in the place that we OBVIOUSLY parked it. I rushed to the restaurant to see if they were still on the table. Now convinced (All of us) that someone had found the keys, and literally walked up and down the parking lot until a car opened. He contacted the tracking company, who said that it was still in the Emerald Parking…… in a state ALL of Emerald’s security was stopped and informed not to let the grey double cab Nissan out of the parking lot. It had been stolen!!!

It turned out, after a little while, that we had all been looking in the wrong place. He had not parked where we were all convinced that he had parked. His keys were still lying on the material of the canopy of the back of the truck. Can you believe it? We laughed forever about that.

So yes, today in Stellenbosh, with no one to cry to if I lost the car, I saved the exact co-ordinates on my phone.         

With no real aim to my trip, except finding a perfect spot to sit down and enjoy some food and some ME (reading) time, I started browsing around the little town. No rush to my day. Had hours before I would need to get back to the airport…. hopefully in a much better mood than when i left that morning.

There were so many little restaurants, in fact, I was scared to just stop at one and miss out on all the rest. I went into awesome little shops… stores, clothing and leather goods. The only thing that bothered me was that this place was made for European money. It was all about the tourists. Or at least that was what the prices on the beautiful things I found basically stated. Expensive.

I then walked into an art gallery streaming with light. Die Dorpstraat Gallery. One of those with white walls, and pieces that just seemed to be calling out for you to take them home. The artist that I was really drawn to, had a number of wooden pieces in the gallery. Rough stuff! The type I like. His name is Kobus La Grange. (


To the back of the gallery I noticed that a number of shops were joined together and in the centre was a quaint little restaurant. It was filled with pieces made from beach wood, and iron. Book shelves all around, and above a sky light that streamed sun light through. I had found the place I wanted to spend the next few hours in!!!

The cappuccino came in a porcelain and wooden cup, wooden and stainless steel spoon, and a wooden saucer.  It was almost an artpiece. (They were for sale- the cups and saucers- however too much for a cup and saucer in my budget.)

If I ever had a restaurant, it would be like this one! (Just saying…..)

The menu was a rustic, handmade piece. Initially I had to figure it all out. When I did, I was so excited. I almost wanted to call someone and have them invest in creating the idea in Joburg. The menu was made of certain sections. Breads. Condiments. Cheeses. Meats. Vegetables. It was all about creating your own “local produce platter”. Under each section was a list of different food items- in season- that you could choose from. From the baguette, to the butter, to the marinated brinjals.

My platter was one with Ciabatta, Pesto, A balsamic reduction,  rocket, Mature Cheddar and Parma Ham… oh yes, and the marinated cherry tomatoes. It was delicious. It came on a wooden board, with a knife….. and YOU assembled lunch. Just enough of each thing to make a perfect portion.

(Now seriously- If anyone is out there and keen on investing in a spot in Johannesburg, I am willing to take it on.)

Wednesday was wonderful. Stellenbosch was stunning. It was awesome having my own little moments that I know only I could appreciate, the way I did! I do enjoy my own time. So very much!  




  1. There’s a place at 44 Stanley that does a similar menu-style, as does Service Station in Melville.
    I lost my car in the parking lot of Hyde Park Corner on Friday, almost cried 😦

    • I can just imagine the feeling…

      Thanks for that bit of info. Will do a “google” and get some more details. The only place I seem to visit in Melville these days is a place called Bambanani…awesome for kids, and moms!

      There we go- all excited about food again! Better think about sorting out my lunch. Mmwaah. X

  2. I love go along on your vacation Kippie, (my new name for you) I have never been there and so this has been really cool.



    • You loving it so much because there is sun!!! (Sorry about all the snow.)
      Yes, kippie!!! Hopefully you will come.

  3. Always good to go somewhere alone and with time to yourself! No hurries, no worries, relax and enjoy. Now, having money to buy what you find…. Oh well can’t have it all. But no lost car! All’s well that ends well.

    • Working on the money bit!!
      No lost car….. my phone has come in handy. Shame, i remember cursing it to no end when i initially got it… now i am happy. Love it.

  4. I just love how you say “I’m on holiday” instead of a vacation like we do. Lol…always sounds so cool to me! Looks like you had a great time!

    • That sounds “odder”. Haha.
      Had an absolutely awesome time, thanks.

  5. Sounds like a fun day (once you got moving)! …Forgive me, what’s rocket?

    • I think you call it arugela? Something like that? Sound familiar? Leafy bitter plant.

  6. […] reading post. If you missed all the days before- please see part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; and part 5. They may just help you decide on where to spend a holiday? I promise to meet you […]

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