With Easter weekend and the first school holiday for 2021 around the corner, Paarl is the perfect destination for a quick break. Within an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the town is renowned for its scenic beauty, wide open spaces and an array of tourism attractions. These factors definitely contribute to making Paarl a safe travel choice during COVID. The various wine estates, restaurants and tourist attractions have enough space to comfortably allow social distancing, while product owners are highly aware of COVID protocols and promote strict adherence to the guidelines.
FUN FOOD EXPERIENCES
As autumn approaches food lovers should head to Paarl to discover some of the best kept foodie secrets in the Cape Winelands. Faber, Noop and Grand Roche Restaurant offer diverse taste experiences that are all worth a visit.
The menu at Faber is undeniably a celebration of the bounty of Mother Nature. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the valley, Table Mountain and Paarl Rock from the terrace of this graceful Cape Dutch building. Chef Dale has created a contemporary farm-to-fork menu that is both innovative and impressive.
The stunning scenery from Grande Roche Restaurant makes it the ideal spot to while away the day – from breakfast on the patio next to the pool to oysters and champaign at sunset or sundowners on the terrace. The global culinary experience chef Kevin has gained at amongst other’s Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s Michelin starred JAN restaurant in Nice is evident in the menu. He prefers using local produce and creates authentic South African dishes with an international flair.
For a delightful outing and delectable country cuisine, Noop is just the ticket. Chef Zian has created an informal bistro in this heritage building under two magnificent oak trees along Paarl’s vibey main road. The unpretentious seasonal dishes are created from local produce and are served with top quality wines from an extensive wine list. Her charming hospitality ensures an unforgettable eating experience.
Fairview Cheese and Wine Estate is without a doubt one of the most iconic destinations in the Cape winelands. The farm was established in 1963 and offers a variety of tourism experiences including a fresh produce deli, bakkery, tasting venue, tasting classes and of course, the ever popular Goatshed Restaurant. The goat tower has been home to Fairview’s mischievous herd of goats – beloved by young and old.
The tasting venue has been named in honour of owner Charles Back’s late mother and captures her warmth and hospitality. The elegant Beryl Back tasting venue is run by highly experiences tasting managers, who offer exclusive in-depth tastings. Every master tasting is a meticulous pairing of Fairviews cheeses, freshly baked breads and olive oils from the farm.
Visitors can enjoy delicious breakfasts, light lunches, charcuterie platters and picnic baskets from the magnificent Manor restaurant at Nederburg. Tantalise your taste buds with the adventurous Five Senses pairing that offers a food and wine experience par excellence. The Vintage Vault is home to an exquisite tasting of extraordinary wines across four vintages. Bookings are essential.
Another stop that should be included on the itinerary is a visit at Ridgeback Wines. The upmarket tasting venue presents a selection of awarded estate wines that truly reflect the character of the Paarl wine region. The lush garden, adjacent dam with its flock of swans and a terrace restaurant creates a relaxing ambience where guests can enjoy fabulous country cuisine. There is a guesthouse on site should you like to extend your stay.
FESTIVE FAMILY TIME
Pack up the family and explore the winelands. Perdeberg Cellar is a family-friendly destination with ample space, which makes social distancing easy. There is something to appeal to the entire family with seating inside and outdoors, wine tastings for adults and tasting boxes for kids. Youngsters can play outside in the garden, while their parents enjoy a glass of wine. Enjoy farm cooking at Eat@Perdeberg or order a sumptuous picnic basket – the braai basket is particularly popular. Enjoy a variety of great wines or craft beers. For a different taste experience, try a wine pairing with chocolate or dried fruit.
For animal lovers a visit to Alpaca Loom is a must. Feed the alpacas or get to know these cuddly animals during a guided tour to the alpaca shed with the owners. This affordable outing allows parents to relax in the coffee shop, while keeping an eye on the kids in the play area. The light menu offers home-made cakes, croissants, pies and sandwiches. Observe how the gorgeous scarves, blankets and carpets are woven on the looms.
Lockdown has definitely created a new appreciation for the outdoors and Paarl offers some several adventure-filled trips. Explore the network of hiking and cycling routes of Paarl Paarl Adventure Trails, which connect the farms around Paarl mountain. Visitors can enjoy awesome views, natural scenic beauty and delicious food and wine. Options range from a family-friendly 3km hike to a more challenging 35km route. Starting locations include Rhebokskloof, Spice Route and Knus Karoo Kombuis.
Download the Voicemap mobile app and go on a self-guided heritage tour: Paarl Heritage Route – a story of pearls and wine. Discover the historic attractions while an expert virtual guide relates interesting stories that capture the history and heritage of this Boland town. The voice guide is available free of charge in English, Afrikaans and German.
You might need more than a day to explore Paarl. Pop in at the tourism information centre for recommendations on overnight facilities or find accommodation specials on the website. Contact +27 (0) 21 872 4842 of firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Visit the website www.paarlonline.com or follow @Visit Paarl on the various social media platforms.