Wellington IS BEST KNOWN FOR beautiful mountain scenery, authenticity, great organic produce and its generous and friendly people.
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT at Doolhof Wine Estate with stunning mountain views all around. Go down to the river walk and take your picture next to the mystic labyrinth.
THE BEST sundown PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN following an afternoon game drive at Bontebok Ridge – sit at the lapa overlooking the dam with the mountains turning red in the background.
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT one of the historical sites – like the Anglo-Boer War Block House, this is the most southerly relic of the Anglo-Boer war. It was one of a number of fortified Block Houses built by the British to protect the railway line from boer commandos, or the Lady Loch steel bridge, the very first all steel bridge built in [link_sa]South Africa[/link_sa] and is still in use today.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO go for a hike in the Limietberg Nature Reserve. A range of short ambles to full day or overnight hikes are available. Some 102 000 hectare of fynbos-covered mountain slopes, challenging cliffs and indigenous river valleys make up the Limietberg Nature Reserve. The area is an important water catchment for the Breede and Berg Rivers. Small antelope, dassies, baboon and the occasional caracal and leopard do occur. You may also be fortunate enough to spot endemic birds such as the Cape Sugarbird and the Protea Canary, as well as the majestic Black Eagle. Or choose to take a dip in one of the many rock pools in the reserve and just relax!
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO stay in front of the fireplace with a bottle of award winning red wine from the Wellington valley. Try the Malbec from Doolhof or the Shiraz from Andreas. Alternatively visit the famous Wellington Brandy Route or go for a tasting at Jorgensen’s Distillery – the delicious vodka and Absinth will warm you up in a flash!
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS all year around, BECAUSE there is always something to do and see and the Wellington valley is blessed with lots of sunny and warm days throughout the year.
MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS The Stone Kitchen on Dunstone Wine Estate.
FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Oude Wellington Restaurant; guests are seated either outside on the patio or on cooler days inside in front of the fireplace.
MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS Pescali (a small fish restaurant behind Wellington Fisheries), TRY whatever is on the black board!
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM Gecko Lounge on Main Road.
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY the Zu Bar in Church Street, expect students as Wellington is a fast-growing student town!
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, have dinner at our very own Township Restaurant “Chippa’s Place” in Mbekweni or join the Church Street “festival of lights” taking place on the first Friday in December each year.
Wellington’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS “real” Buffalo Mozzarella produced by Buffalo Ridge just outside Wellington. There are only two farms in the southern hemisphere producing the original Italian Mozzarella from original Italian water buffalo, one being in New Zealand and one in Wellington, South Africa.
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS go for lunch at the open days at Lazanou Organic Wine Estate. Or we join the Wellington Wine Walk, apart from walking and tasting wine the well informed guides tell you anything you need to know about the history and culture of Wellington.
FOR SOME CULTURE head to the Breytenbach Center, a multi-dimensional cultural center offering various art exhibitions and a book shop, as well as some interesting classes, from yoga to language courses.
TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO visit any of the Spas in and around Wellington, for example the spa at 5 Mountains Lodge or the Vineyard Beauty at Diemersfontein Estate.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY hot air ballooning in summer, the launching site is just outside Wellington. Or get on your mountain bike and follow the well marked trail on Welvanpas Wine Estate.
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS the vineyard walk on Doolhof Wine Estate.
MY FAVOURITE SHOP IS Arabesque on Church Street which is filled with gifts and goodies.
IF YOU’RE HERE IN March, JOIN IN THE FUN AT the Wellington Harvest Festival.
MY FAVOURITE MUSEUM IS Wellington Museum because it teaches us so much about the history and the people of this beautiful town. Check out the unique collection of Egyptian artefacts dating back to the time of King Akhenaten (± 1375 BC).
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS Cummings House, dating from 1896, This beautiful sandstone and granite building served as both residence and classrooms for the training of teachers. It still serves as a residence for students at the teachers training college.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS to the Florida Nursery, next to the Nursery there is a farm shop and a little zoo with farm animals. Also fun and a bit more educational is a visit to “Die Vonds Snake Park” between Wellington and Paarl where Danie Malherbe teaches visitors passionately about the reptiles.
BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS spent playing a round of golf at the Wellington Golf Course which was established in 1908 and is the oldest 9-hole golf course in the country. The club is well known for its warm hospitality, casual facilities and beautiful mountain views and is so much more affordable than the more popular courses in Paarl and Stellenbosch.
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT treat yourself to a few days at the 5* Grand Dédale Country House, spend your days lazing by the pool with a glass of wine, enjoy a treatment in our spa, go for a wine tasting at Doolhof Wine Estate or for a more active break discover the valley on horseback or on a mountain bike.
THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS definitely the labyrinth on Doolhof Wine Estate. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tool. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind.
MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS a two day hike in the Limietberg Nature Reserve.
WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY … we use mainly local products at Grand Dédale (you can find almost anything in Wellington such as free range eggs, pork, venison, organic cheese, a wide range of “handmade” spirits, mushrooms, nuts and much more!). In addition we employ and train farm workers and empower them to further their career in the hotel industry.
I Love Wellington Because it feels like home.
Grand Dédale Country House
The historic Manor House on Doolhof Wine Estate, dating back to the early 1700s has recently been restored to its former Cape Dutch elegance and now houses 6 individually designed and appointed en-suite bedrooms, offering 5 star luxuries and service. Our free standing thatched cottage forms the 7th bedroom and is ideal for honeymooners or guests seeking additional privacy. Situated in a long valley just below the Bainskloof Pass, the Estate not only offers a wide variety of outdoor activities but is also an ideal base from which to explore the Cape.
Doolhof Wine Estate: +27 (0)21 873-6911
Bontebok Ridge: +27 (0)21 864-1169
Limietberg Nature Reserve: +27 (0)861 227 362-8873
Jorgensen’s Distillery: +27 21 864-1777
The Stone Kitchen: +27 (0)21 864-2451
Oude Wellington Restaurant: +27 (0)21 873-2262
Pescali: +27 (0)21 873-5100
Gecko Lounge: +27 (0)21 872-6010
Chippa’s Place: +27 (0)82 454-0585
Buffalo Ridge: +27 (0)82 375-0977
Lazanou Organic Wine Estate: +27 (0)83 265-6341
Bartholomeus Klip: +27 (0)22 448-1820
Wellington Golf Club: +27 (0) 21 873-4762