On a recent Erasmus conference in Stellenbosch, I had the pleasure of spending a night at the four star Spier Hotel, Vineyard and Spa. Comfortably nestled within the Stellenbosch Winelands, Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms with a proud history that was established somewhere in 1962.
With ancient grape vines all round, beautifully shaped houses still reminiscent of Dutch-style architecture and South Africa’s first wine cellar dating back to 1767, it’s no wonder Spier seems like a world away from the hustle and bustle of reality.
After checking in and talking to the wonderful reception desk who gave us a first-hand verbal tour of all the wonderful things we could do, we knew time was going to be of the essence. With just a few hours before our alumni dinner, we quickly dropped the luggage off in our personal rooms located on Wisteria Lane. Seems they knew exactly where we wanted to be! The rooms were cozy yet spacious with terracotta tiling and double doors that either open onto a quaint Dutch style balcony or shaded patio with beautiful green lawns.
Each room is equipped with a fireplace for those cold winter nights.
The bed was positively huge.
As tempting as it was to kick off our shoes and relax on the patio after an early morning flight, we decided against it. We had a few hours to spare and a complimentary wine tasting waiting for us. So off we went, exploring the grounds and in search of some lunch before indulging in delicious cape wine varieties.
There are three main restaurants at Spier – the Eight Restaurant, Eight-to-go-Deli and the Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery. You can also opt for an all famous picnic collection that allows you to pick your goodies from the deli and have them prepacked in a Spier picnic basket.
We opted for the Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery simply because the delicious wafting aromas, chilled music and cool Stellenbosch breeze created one of the most relaxing atmospheres that we hadn’t had in a while.
We settled for delicious Pimms cocktails with refreshing orange and cucumber slices.
Nachos and two mac ‘n cheeses.
After lunch we headed over for a complimentary wine tasting of some Spier-made wines. The Spier tasting room is located on the banks of the dam and surrounded by one of the most picturesque views I’ve ever seen. There are three main wine tasting options that can be enjoyed with or without a food pairing. These include the Spier Tasting, Chocolate and Wine Tasting and the Frans K Smit Tasting.
The Spier Tasting consists of your choice of three wines: one of each from the Signature, Creative Block and Gables collection. A delightful lady explained how these wines were made and what they should be paired with before leaving to discuss our own thoughts in the afternoon sun.
Soon it was time for dinner, reunions and alumni talks at the Erasmus Plus Event hosted at the Wallenberg Research Center.
After a long and inspiring dinner filled with more wine, we headed back to a room that had been cozied up for bed. Some sweet soul had come in and fluffed our pillows, drew back the duvets and lovingly placed a small bar of candy and the TV guide on the bed! It’s the little things really, that make ones stay a memorable one. After slipping into our PJ’s and faffing around with the fireplace, we decided it best to call reception to help us. As someone came in to start us a fire, we made up some hot chocolate and snuggled down for some serious bonding time. Nothing could be cozier!
The Spier Hotel has just over 150 rooms available, originally built to reflect the Cape diversity. Equipped with mini bars, hairdryers, irons, Wi-Fi, safety deposit boxes and tea and coffee stations… you’ll want for nothing more. Yet, they give more. More back to society in the form of sustainable and responsible tourism. Spier is well known for its organic agricultural farming methods that allow from farm to table production.
You can learn more about the Spier Hotel, Vineyard and Spa here.