THE World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) has issued Paarl and Wellington with its “Safe Travels” approval. This means the two destinations adhere to the strict guidelines and protocols set by the global industry representative and travellers can visit the region and its tourism attractions with confidence.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a devastating effect on the international travel industry, the council and its members, governments, health experts and other industry associations developed specific recovery protocols. The implementation of these protocols will ensure that people feel safe to travel, although safety cannot be 100% guaranteed. The protocols allow the private sector to align with collective standards to ensure the safety of its workforce and travelers as the sector shifts to a new normal and travel restrictions are relaxed.
According to Annelize Stroebel, CEO of Paarl and Wellington Wine and Tourism (Drakenstein Local Tourism Association), the Safe Travels stamp is vitally important to the recovery of the sector. “South Africa moved to Level 2 lockdown, which now allows for inter-provincial travel. This globally recognised stamp of approval will give operators the confidence to promote Paarl and Wellington as travel destinations again. Visitors are now able to enjoy our superb offerings, including fine dining with some of our valley’s best wines or taking a trip to a wine farm for wine tasting and to stock up home cellars.”
As a member of the WTTC, Paarl and Wellington can use the stamp worldwide to promote the various attractions in the area as the country slowly opens from lockdown. One such attraction is Spice Route, on Suid-Agter Paarl Road, a 40 to 60-minute drive from Cape Town. Strict social distancing rules apply – but luckily the farm has ample space for you to explore, wander and experience. Here are the artisans that have reopened.
LA GRAPPERIA BISTRO AND PIZZERIA
Enjoy a diverse selection from the German/Italian inspired menu including wood-fired, thin-based pizza, flammkuchen and platters. Situated in the same building as the Wilderer Distillery, La Grapperia Bistro and Pizzeria offers a relaxing, unpretentious atmosphere. Guests can sit under the trees or wrap-around porch and experience the panoramic views of the Cape Winelands that stretch as far as Table Mountain, almost 70km away.
Trading hours: Mondays to Thursdays 11am till 6pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11am till 8pm, Sundays 11am till 6pm. Bookings are advised: call 021 863 4367, email [email protected]
SPICE ROUTE WINES
The new age of the Swartland commenced in 1997, when Charles Back stumbled across an old Tobacco farm, called Klein Amoskuil. Bewildered by the quality of grapes in a region better known for its wheat and rolling fynbos hills, the potential was obvious. Charles set forth to acquire the farm and study its soils and extreme climate. Hence, Spice Route Winery was born. The hand-crafted wines were brought from the Swartland to Spice Route Destination in Paarl, to be enjoyed by all. With its recently added natural wine range, Obscura, guests can enjoy a fine wine tasting paired with a charcuterie platter in a rustic underground tasting room, or outside under the pergola, while enjoying the panoramic views of Table Mountain and the Simonsberg mountain range.
Trading hours: Fridays to Sundays 10am till 5pm (last orders at 4.30pm).
As you enter the deli, the smell of spices envelops you to evoke images of bustling North African souks, markets, and aromatic dishes such as a Tunisian tagine and Moroccan teapots. Mix your blend of spices and create “flavour adventures” for your next dinner party. Brenda’s Deli products and preserves are additive-free and made from fresh, natural ingredients.
Trading hours: Mondays to Sundays 9am till 5pm.
DE VILLIERS CHOCOLATE
Chocolate-making was initially a hobby that took off in a garage with machines built from recycled home appliances. It then led to the discovery of the richness and diversity of single-origin chocolate. The De Villiers Chocolate team’s journey soon developed into a chocolate obsession that continues to this day. The team’s passion for artisanal and handcrafted food led them, almost naturally, to making coffee and homemade ice cream as well. Guests are welcomed with a complimentary homemade hot chocolate upon arrival and can purchase their selection of unique chocolate bars and gluten-free ice cream.
Trading hours: Fridays to Sundays 9am till 5pm.
THE TRADING COMPANY
The Trading Company is an eclectic store with décor featuring talented local artists’ elements, filling the space as a trendy pop-up shop filled with a melange of colourful, fresh and artistic items. With an array of carefully selected bespoke homeware and handpicked local jewellery – with pieces that have a spiritual message and are perfect for gifting – the store is a celebration of local design.
Trading hours: Fridays to Sundays 10am till 3pm.
HERO ADVENTURE MTB TRAILS @ SPICE ROUTE
Fill your walk, trail running and MTB riding routine with Spice Route Destination’s sporting addition, its Hero Adventure Trails. Get active with mountain trails ranging from a basic 2.5km to more complex 35km tracks. The tracks provide safe guidance in between checkpoints and are an ideal excursion to discover new pathways at the beautiful Paarl location. A single-day pass (priced at different rates for adults and children) guarantees access to all trails and can be purchased from Brenda’s Deli. Individual annual passes and group passes are available on request. SnapScan and honesty box services are available, making it easy for keen riders to take on the tracks anytime during trading hours. Bike rentals and guided tours can be coordinated.
For more information, updated rates and operating times (seasonal changes), call 083 384 2976 or email [email protected]
CAPE BREWING COMPANY
The CBC brewery produces a broad range of beers using only the finest ingredients, state of the art equipment and is brewed by master brewer Wolfgang Koedel, and his passionate team of brewers. When visiting the modern brewery, even the most casual observer will recognise the CBC team not only lives but celebrates beer. Beer enthusiasts and curious visitors are invited to discover internationally renowned beers — brewed independently without compromise at the foot of the Paarl Mountains.
Trading hours: Mondayss to Thursday 9am till 5pm for purchases only.
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