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 The old manor house at Boschendal

The old manor house at Boschendal

Over the holidays, and knowing that it was too busy to start visiting distilleries, Zoze and I had been relying on Biff and Julie for transportation, and it worked fine. They offered us the old Merc, a classic, but with the air conditioning not working and it being as hot as it was, we decided to rent a car. 

This was the day to pick it up in Stellenbosch. Fortunately, Biff had a doctor appointment there so they dropped us off in the middle of town and we made our way home - after coffee, a rummage at Oom Samie Se Winkel (Uncle Samie's Store) and lunch at Boschendal Estate Winery.

 Oom Samie se Winkel in Stellenbosch

Oom Samie se Winkel in Stellenbosch

Oom Samie's is a household name in the area and it is jammed with kitch! And some interesting stuff, too. Walking in, a weird overpowering smell enveloped us and we discovered the salted, dry fish hanging by the cash register!

Surprisingly, they have a wonderful selection of bulk spices and herbs, alongside bags of candy, candles and a weird assortment of just "stuff." No photos allowed, so it's almost impossible to imagine what it's like in there! Narrow aisles, if you can call them that; things hanging from the walls and ceiling and stuff stacked on random tables. I think it's more a tourist attraction than a place to buy anything meaningful!

We managed to navigate our way out of the town and headed home in the little air-conditioned car, very grateful for coolness surrounding us. 

lunch on the lawn

Boschendal Estate is one of the best-know vineyards in South Africa. Nattie, Zoze's old school friend use to run the place but she has since retired. But we stopped for lunch anyway, as it such a beautiful place. Tt is also one of the oldest, dating back to the mid-1600's and was originally part of an original Huguenot land grant.

The original buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being brought into the 21st century. They have been repurposed into farm stay cottages, restaurants, gift stores, a wedding venue and much more. Definitely a full-service destination, but always keeping their award-winning wines as the main focus.

We chose a deli for lunch and sat out under the trees (and the misters to keep us cool!) It was quite crowded, but it is a multi-generational, international place and little kids were running around stark naked, playing in the designated water play area. So cute, and so unaware and I thought of the horror they would have created in the States where naked is naughty! But those kids were the only cool people there!

Next come the Distilleries. Six selected in the area, all at least an hour from home, so plan to put down some miles.