Support Stellenbosch is a winning campaign

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STELLENBOSCH was the first destination in South Africa to be awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to identify destinations and businesses around the world which adopted its health and hygiene global standardised protocols.

And on September 5, 2020 the winelands town launched its Support Stellenbosch campaign, which is simply marvellous as it rewards you for visiting and eating out – with almost real money – thereby giving restaurants and other tourism businesses a much-needed shot in the arm as they trudge the long road to recovery from Covid-19.

How it works: use SnapScan to pay for your meal, drinks, wine or whatever to the value of R200 or more and you’ll get half of what you spend back (in your Snapscan wallet, within 48 hours) up to a maximum of R400. The only catch, if you can call it that, is that you have spend it in Stellenbosch, at a participating venue, within two weeks. Thus, the funds stay within the local economy and the full amount of the SnapScan transaction will be transferred to the restaurant, and the reward portion will be claimed from the Restaurant Recovery Fund by SnapScan.

How cool is that? It would be wonderful if it was implemented everywhere, but it means there’s never been a better time to visit this beautiful place, plus locals benefit too. September is tourism month and now also Support Stellenbosch month (#supportstellenbosch), although it could well go on a bit longer if it does well for everyone.

Find more information here.

While accommodation places might not be using SnapScan, do look out for lots of attractive special offers, like 50% discount at Bonne Esperance where I stayed last week. I visited quite a few places while I was there, and will be posting individual stories about all of them. But being pressed for time as I head off to my next staycation, here’s a preview of what’s coming…

Bonne Esperance Guesthouse is on the outskirts of the town, which makes it a convenient locale if you want to walk to the shops, restaurants and bars – and get an Uber back.

Yonder Hill was my first stop, for a wine tasting with wine maker Oom Abe. I took this photo while lying on wet grass and disturbing the ants.

The next morning, I went to Rozendal for a vinegar tasting – a happy accident for a farm which previously produced wine.

Glenelly has one of the most beautiful cellars I’ve ever seen, with ceiling to floor glass. You can’t see it that well in the pic at the top of the page but you’ll find out when you get there.

There’s a glass museum, a bistro and a lovely wine tasting room. It was one of many visits for me, and the hospitality is consistently superb – as are the wines.

I had dinner the first night at Fat Butcher, which had been open for sit-down dining a mere five days. Love this place and it will always hold special memories for me. It’s a block away from Bonne Esperance.

Bartinney wines are made on a mountain, and you can taste at the farm or at the Wine & Champagne Bar in town. Brilliant reds.

Middelvlei does a traditional boere braai every day for lunch, wine blending, wine and braaibroodtjie pairings, and there’s lots of space outside for children to stay the required distance away from intolerant adults like me.

PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©

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