Hi, I’m Olga Backberg from Constantia in Cape Town.
Constantia IS BEST KNOWN FOR its stunning natural beauty and as the birthplace of the wine farming industry in South Africa.
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT Groot Constantia, the oldest and probably the most famous wine estate in South Africa, with several well-preserved original buildings representing some of the best examples of the Cape Dutch architectural style, for which this area is renowned.
THE BEST panoramic landscape pictures overlooking the Constantia Valley and False Bay CAN BE TAKEN FROM the slopes of the Table Mountain chain, when hiking on one of the many paths between Constantia Nek and Cecilia Forest (no need to be extremely fit to go on these hiking trails!).
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT world-renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, which is home to over 22,000 indigenous plants.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO go for a walk or run with my family and our dog. Nowhere in the world will you see such a clear blue sky on a sunny day surrounded by such natural splendour!
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO enjoy a glass of wine from one of the many excellent wine estates in the valley in front of our warm fireplace.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS any time of the year – springtime brings out the beautiful display of flowers which our fynbos region is famous for; the warm summer months are free from the south-easter winds; during autumn, the golden colours of our vineyards in the valley are very special and in winter, the rainy season brings out the lush green colours of nature in all its glory.
MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS River Cafe at Constantia Uitsig. Try ‘River Benedict’ or ‘River Florentine’ at a table in the courtyard area.
FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Constantia Uitsig Restaurant. Try ‘Grilled Springbok Loin’ or ‘Roasted Karoo Lamb Noisette’, while enjoying the views over rolling hills and vineyards.
MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS the award-winning restaurant, ‘La Colombe’ at Constantia Uitsig wine estate. You will always remember the special taste of Veal ‘La Colombe’ or ‘Duo of Duck’ and will especially appreciate the wide selection of wines on the wine list.
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM Peddlars on the Bend with its unique ambience in the restaurant, garden and bar.
MY FAVOURITE picnic SPOT IS Jonkershuis Restaurant at Groot Constantia, offering picnic baskets to enjoy under the old oak trees.
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS (and their dogs), GO for a walk on the Alphen Greenbelt on a Sunday afternoon.
Constantia’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS Wild Peach Cottage! Once you have stayed here, you will always long to explore again the many pleasures of Constantia.
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS to listen to live Jazz played at the Sunday buffet luncheons at “Catherina’s Restaurant” at Steenberg Wine Estate.
FOR A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE OF LIVE MUSIC, I LIKE TO GO TO the summer open-air sunset concerts at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Whilst listening to the music, you can enjoy your picnic and be amazed by the picnic culture of Cape Town.
TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO HAVE my treatment at Constantia Uitsig Spa. Try the unique ‘Kalahari Rolling Sands” massage, based on the ancient secrets of the Kalahari Desert or ‘Les Arômes du Vin’ body treatment, based on the aromatic components of fine wines.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY climbing up Nursery Ravine from Kirstenbosch, follow the path all the way to the top of Table Mountain. If you’re lucky, you will make it to the cable car station in less than 7 hours. Just bring enough money to buy the tickets to enjoy the easy ride down on the cable car.
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS a gentle stroll through the vineyards at Groot Constantia.
MY FAVOURITE SHOPPING CENTRE IS Constantia Village, which has well over 50 shops to make my shopping experience a breeze.
MY FAVOURITE golf course IS the 18-hole championship course at Steenberg Golf Club, renowned for having the best greens in Cape Town.
IF YOU’RE HERE IN October, JOIN IN THE FUN AT the ‘Spring it on Constantia’ festival, a fest of food, wine and warm hospitality.
MY FAVOURITE MUSEUM IS Groot Constantia Manor House, which is part of the South African Cultural History Museum. CHECK OUT THE collection of artefacts, including furniture and art, offering a fascinating glimpse into the Cape’s colonial past and reflecting the rich cultural tradition of the Cape.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS Groot Constantia Manor House and the buildings grouped around it, FOR ITS unequalled examples of Cape Dutch architecture, both in majesty and simplicity.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? On a Saturday morning, start your day with farm-style breakfast at ‘Porter Estate Produce Market’ near the Tokai Manor House, with lots of activities for the little people. Then proceed to ‘The Barnyard’ close to the entrance to Steenberg Golf Club, patting the farm animals and having a ride on the pony. Whilst your little ones are playing in the large sandpit, you can enjoy your cup of tea.
If your kids still have any energy after this, they will easily burn this by running, climbing, swinging and jumping on soft padded obstacles at ‘Bizzy Bodies’ indoor play-gym, just around the corner in Westlake Business Park. Finally, you can enjoy family-friendly lunch at ‘Little Creek Spur’ in Tokai Main Road, which offers fun area, games and balloons for the little ones.
BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS a day on the beach at Llandudno Beach, a short drive from Constantia over Constantia Nek.
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO combine a round of golf with a relaxing Spa treatment, followed by lunch at Steenberg Hotel and Golf Club.
THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS the occasional baboon, crossing the road on the way to Constantia Uitsig. Best not to feed them and to stay away from them. They were here before us anyway!
WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I support the charitable (and fun) events at the South African Riding for the Disabled Association.
I Love Constantia BECAUSE there is simply no better place on Earth!
Groot Constantia – +27 (0)21 794-5128
River Café – + 27 (0)21 794-3010
Constantia Uitsig Restaurant – +27 (0)21 794-4480
La Colombe – +27 (0)21 794-2390
Constantia Uitsig Spa – +27 (0)21 794-0433
Peddlars on the Bend – +27 (0)21 794-7747
Catharinas Restaurant – +27 (0)21 719-2222
Useful Constantia Links:
- Constantia Accommodation
- Constantia Attractions
- Constantia Guest Houses
- Things to Do in Constantia
- Western Cape Accommodation