January 1

Wining and Dining: A Romantic Guide to the Cape Winelands

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January 1, 2024

The Cape Winelands in South Africa is a fairytale setting for romantic getaways. Whether you're popping the question, tying the knot, celebrating your honeymoon, a milestone anniversary, or just some quality time together, there's a dreamy setting for you lovebirds. Here's our guide to romance in the Cape Winelands...

A couple walking in the vineyards at sunset with the mountains in the background.

Walk hand-in-hand through the most romantic Cape Winelands settings 

Fall in Love with The Cape Winelands 

Imagine hearing nothing but the swooshing of the breeze through the trees and vineyards, clear blue skies stretching endlessly above, and the morning sun kissing your face as you gaze out across the valley flanked by mountains. You turn to face your significant other, clinking flutes of ice-cold bubbly. 

This should be you. The Cape Winelands is home to internationally acclaimed wine estates, enchanting towns with a rich history, luxury accommodations, and some of the best fine dining culinary experiences. It's the ultimate opportunity to spend a romantic break away with your loved one. 

Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands offers a spectacular array of tastes and sights, Image Credit: Delaire Graff

Romantic Experiences in The Winelands

You can't really go wrong when choosing a romantic setting in the Cape Winelands, as they're all pretty picture-perfect! However, as Travel Experts who know the Cape Winelands inside-out, we've compiled a curated shortlist of our favourites for a romantic rendezvous...

1. Franschhoek

This glamorous little town is a kaleidoscope of chocolatiers, picturesque wine estates, fine-dining restaurants, more down-to-earth pizzerias, art galleries, boutiques, leather shops, and so much more. If you plan to spend your day here, we recommend parking your car on the main road and walking your way through. It's a small town and most of the attractions are on the main road, so you won't get lost.

Le Lude Estate

Le Lude Estate is located at the end of town, close to the Huguenot Memorial Museum. Tucked away, you will find their exquisite restaurant, Organgerie. The décor is classic French, the service is first class, and your dining experience is a true feast.

The presentation of each dish is a work of art, while the different ingredients create a symphony of flavours. We'd recommend making a reservation for either lunch or dinner. Please note that a reservation fee could apply.

Tucked just around the corner from the cellar, you’ll find the Orangerie Restaurant

Just around the corner from the cellar, you’ll find the Orangerie Restaurant, Image Credit: Le Lude Estate

La Petite Colombe

La Petite Colombe is one of the best restaurants in South Africa and has a string of impressive accolades on its apron! The entire experience at this fine dining restaurant is magical. The Chef and his team pay close attention to each hand-selected ingredient in their various tasting menus. 

Furthermore, the presentation of each dish is something surreal. Their inspiration from nature is very apparent, not only in the ingredients but also in how they transform raw materials from the earth into beautiful three-dimensional art.

Three-tiered fine dining dish by La Petite Columbe in Franschhoek

A fine-dining experience at La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, Image Credit: Andrea van der Spuy

Boschendal

We've found the perfect Friday date night setting that's more relaxed but still intimate. Say hello to Boschendal's Night Market! It's a lovely environment set under age-old oak trees, twinkling lights, and offering amazing food, fantastic wine, and live music. 

Food options cater for every palate, and the menu ranges from savoury to sweet. You can also get a meal or create your own platter of various snacks from different stalls. In addition, we'd recommend getting a bottle of wine and finding a spot to your liking, either on the lush lawn relaxing on oversized pillows or at an intimate wooden table underneath the trees. Their deli and farm shop stay open for your convenience. 

Unwind beneath the historic oak trees twinkling lights

Unwind beneath the historic oak trees' twinkling lights, Image Credit: Boschendal Wine Estate

Grande Provence

If you'd like something more laidback, we'd recommend a classic, country-style picnic at Grande Provence. Between October and April, you can soak in the beauty of nature on a lush lawn and under majestic oak trees as the vineyards stretch before you.

Your picnic basket includes a blanket, and there's an option of scatter cushions to choose from. From the menu, you have the option of the standard or vegetarian basket. And, of course, they'll include a bottle of wine from their Angel Tears range. It's an enchanting experience and a lovely time to connect with your loved one. Be sure to make a reservation!

picnic basket, wine, delectable treats, and cushions under oak trees on a lush lawn

Relax under the oak trees with fine wine and delectable treats, Image Credit: Grande Provence

2. Stellenbosch

Steeped in history, Stellenbosch is the second-oldest town in South Africa, dating back to 1679. The central Stellenbosch streets are lined with oak trees, bakeries, wine bars, delis, ice cream shops, restaurants, bookstores, and art galleries.

We're very fond of grabbing a cappuccino to go and strolling through the streets, popping in at boutiques, enjoying an authentic Italian pizza at a small wooden table on the sidewalk, and having deep, meaningful conversations. There are a few hidden gems to discover on your love and luxury getaway just outside of town as well.

Delaire Graff

Delaire Graff is a favourite among local and international travellers. Enjoying an al fresco lunch at the Delaire Graff Restaurant is a treat. As you sit back and relax with a glass of wine, you'll look out across the majestic Simonsberg Peak and surrounding lush green vineyards that look like a blanket draped over the hills.

The à la carte menu is seasonal and inspired by the surrounding Cape Winelands. The team takes pride in creating "flavoursome, colourful and immersive dining experiences".

Sit back and treat your senses, Image Credit: Delaire Graff

Waterford Wine Estate 

The setting and architecture at Waterford are immaculate and will make you look like an award-winning cinematographer just by recording a simple Instagram reel. All the details together create a stunning setting fit for romance, from the fountain in the middle surrounded by oak trees, small tables and comfortable chairs with enough space between them to create a sense of exclusivity.

Their menu is world-class, and the dishes will leave you wanting to order a second round! We'd opt to pair your dish with the recommended wine, and if you have the time, taste their flagship wine, The Jem. This award-winning red blend is truly a gem!

Waterford Estate is situated in the Blaauwklippen Valley on the rolling slopes of the Helderberg Mountain.

A royal setting for your romantic getaway in the Cape Winelands, Image Credit: Waterford Estate

Warwick Wine Estate 

Another favourite would have to be picnics at Warwick. Relax on a sunny day on the lawn overlooking the dam by settling down on the oversized pillows, or opt for a semi-private picnic pod under the shade of the trees.

Enjoy the excitement of opening your picnic basket and discovering the delectable treats put together for your date. For example, freshly baked rustic baguette, trio jar of cream chees, basil pesto, sweet chilli sauce, mouthwatering steak sandwich, carrot cheesecake, and many more! They offer a vegetarian option as well. Remember to make your reservation in advance.

Warwick Wine Estate Picnics

Indulge in a picnic platter, Image Credit: Warwick Wine Estate

Where to Stay in The Cape Winelands  

Where you stay matters when looking for a romantic hideout in the Cape Winelands. Here are some of the best places if you want privacy and romance. 

Clouds Estate

Perched on a hill just behind Delaire Graff, you'll find Clouds Estate, a luxurious guest house with only seven rooms and six villas. It's small, intimate, and modern, with each room offering picturesque views of the mountains from its spacious balcony. 

The staff are attentive and ready to make your stay comfortable, with no request being too much trouble for them. At breakfast, feast on the buffet of fruit, pastries, and charcuterie, or order from their à la carte menu. They can also arrange dinner for you lovebirds upon request. 

Relax in luxury and enjoy panoramic views of the Banghoek Valley, mountains, and vineyards. Image Credit: Clouds Estate

Enjoy panoramic views of the Banghoek Valley, mountains, and vineyards, Image Credit: Clouds Estate

Leeu House

Leeu House is a boutique hotel where your romance will blossom. They offer bespoke furnishings, beautiful architectural designs, and pure elegance. It's located in the heart of Franschhoek but does not feel like it as it's a serene space. 

There are 13 unique rooms, from the Classic Rooms to the Deluxe Suite, each offering privacy and sheer luxury. Leeu House is close to La Petite Colombe for a romantic fine dining experience.

Leeu House is right in the heart of this fantastic Franschhoek village scene.

Right in the heart of this fantastic Franschhoek village scene, Image Credit: Leeu Estates

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

Nestled in the lush embrace of Franschhoek, Akademie Street Boutique Hotel is a romantic haven crafted from five stately buildings. This family-owned gem ensures personalised service, whether you reside in the Cape Dutch-style main house, the 1860s cottage, the terraced boutique hotel, garden suites, or the upstairs suite with mesmerising views of the Franschhoek mountains. 

Wandering through Akademie Street Boutique Hotel, lush garden paths guide you to the heart of the Cape Dutch-style main house, where mornings begin with breakfast. The rooms are adorned with tasteful décor, en-suite bathrooms, thoughtful amenities, and access to shared or private pools, creating an intimate backdrop for your romantic escape.

Located in a private and tranquil part of Franschhoek

Located in a more private part of Franschhoek, Image Credit: Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

Angala Hotel

Set between Franschhoek and Paarl, you will find the enchanting Angala Hotel in the heart of South Africa's culinary capital. The stage is set to celebrate the love of food, wine, and each other. Angala offers a tranquil atmosphere where rejuvenating spa treatments and a relaxing poolside await. 

There are a range of elegant room options, depending on your desires. Enjoy the luxury of an en-suite bathroom, an open-plan bedroom and lounge, a private verandah, and a secluded garden offering breathtaking vineyard views against the majestic Boland mountains. 

Eco pool with lillies, sun beds, umbrellas, and trees at Angala Hotel

Connect with your loved one as you enjoy the sun and mountains next to the eco pool, Image Credit: Angala Hotel

Discover Romance in The Cape Winelands

Savour the finest wines, dine on delectable cuisine and revel in moments of intimacy. The Cape Winelands offers the ideal romantic getaway to remember for a lifetime.

Contact our Travel Experts to plan the perfect Cape Winelands retreat. They know Africa and our Cape Winelands better than anyone else and will make expert recommendations on what to do and where to stay. Let's start planning! 

Featured Image Credit: Delaire Graff

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About the author 

Hanli Matthee

After her studies, Hanli decided to call Cape Town home and enjoys that every corner is Instagram-worthy, combining mountains, ocean and city. When she's not living it up in Cape Town's nature, she likes escaping to Central Drakensberg, where she's been going for her family vacations for over 20 years now. It's her happy place, where she feels enveloped by valleys and high-rising giants and secretly hopes she'd get lost here where no one will find her...

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