An incredibly well-known wine farm in Stellenbosch is Spier Wine Estate… which used to be home of Cheetah Rehabilitation Outreach (now at Paardvlei) & Moyo Restaurant – but things have changed… and new activities are now available alongside the remaining attractions (Owl & Eagle encounters, African crafts on sale, hotel accommodation, spa, picnics & of course wine tasting).
One of these activities – which HIM and I received as a Christmas gift – was the opportunity to tour the property on Segway… For those who are not aware – Segway is a two-wheeled, self balancing, battery operated vehicle & Wikipedia provides more information, explaining that “Computers and motors in the base of the device keep the Segway PT upright when powered on with balancing enabled. A user commands the Segway to go forward by shifting their weight forward on the platform, and backward by shifting their weight backward. The Segway detects, as it balances, the change in its center of mass, and first establishes and then maintains a corresponding speed, forward or backward”
Was it fun? Hell yes…
Was it easy? By the end of the 1hr tour – I definitely felt more confident and could have continued, but when I first hopped on… I was sceptical and little nervous… learning however was not that difficult & our group was soon on its way (after completing a little obstacle course, which included an incline, maneuvering through beacons and going through a dip)…
Would I do it again? In the blink of an eye!
The only negative thing (other than the fact that 1hr is way too short) is that the tour doesn’t really show you anything (other than the gorgeous vineyards)… We were promised the opportunity to see the Protea Garden & the wastewater treatment plant… the latter, we just “drove” by without being given a single fact. We did stop at one point to rest & were given details on the vineyards and their organic-ness (is this a word?)… So I would rather have marketed it as a great way to zip across Spier and take in the gorgeous scenery of the winelands…. Plus – there were times that I was more focused on bending my knees for the dips & bumps and keeping a safe following distance for the speed-demons who were trying to take selfies (crazy tourists :)) to fully take in everything that surrounded us!
After this wonderful experience – HIM and I were thirsty & starving….
So we went to the restaurant on the property which is called EIGHT and managed to secure a table outside. There is also seating available indoors – but like I said – we were fortunate enough to grab one of the last available tables outside under the trees…. the perfect way to enjoy a Western Cape Summer! (At the time, I was under the impression that this was the only restaurant available on the property, but have subsequently seen on their website that the Hotel also has a restaurant/bar.)
I am not going to lie – it took a while to get served… even though we waited to be seated and staff were fully aware that we had been placed at the table … it still took more time than usual to get menu’s & finally place our order (and don’t get me started on the wait for the drinks to be served…)
But I reminded myself that we were on holiday – it was the day after Christmas – the weather was amazing & I should just sit back & relax! Which is what we did…
When drinks did appear – I was super impressed by Frankies Cloudy Lemonade… I blame the reason that I didn’t know about this awesome brand on the fact that I am out of the country for 6months at a time! Thirst quenching at its best!
The food menu is somewhat limited (as you can see from the image loaded above) – but more than sufficient… with HIM ordering the hamburger (with brie cheese & carmelized onions) for R105 served with hand cut chips
while I had the chicken & pineapple salad for R95 (you can’t see it – but the chicken is hidden under the lettuce)
Both of which were good … but the real winner of the day was the freshly baked homemade bread that was delivered to the table just before our food arrived… Still warm from oven… and oh so good smeared with butter…..
Would we return? Maybe… I wouldn’t specifically go to Spier for the Eight restaurant… but if I was there and there was a table under the tree’s, then yes. I would however recommend checking out their deli (but not on a busy sunny vacation day when the queues are out the door) as the food in here looked AMAZING!
address: Spier, R310 Baden Powell Road, Stellenbosch, SOUTH AFRICA
telephone: +27 (21) 809 1188