Spice Route Stamps
If you want to spend a day on a gastronomic journey while surrounded by natural beauty during this holiday season, Spice Route Destination in the Western Cape is ideal.
I was gifted with a passport that would take me around Spice Route Destination, so I made my way to Paarl with the purpose of gaining as many stamps as I could.
This new option from Spice Route Destination is perfect if you are planning on spending a day experiencing all that the Destination has to offer, or if you plan to take multiple trips. Visitors pay once for the passport, and the booklet allows for standard tastings at Spice Route Wines’ Tasting Room, Cape Brewing Company (CBC), De Villiers Chocolate, Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats, and Wilderer Distillery – this gives a taste of the different artisans that make Spice Route Destination such a success.
Passport in hand, my first stop was the Spice Route Wines’ Tasting Room. Walking into the Destination, one of the first things you see is the large, tiled world map on the wall of the tasting room, showing the name sake of the Destination: the route ships took during the 15th century to acquire exotic spices from the East. The day was sunny, so I opted to sit outdoors under one of the umbrellas, basking in the breathtaking views of the Paarl Mountains. The Spice Route wine host took me through five wines made from grapes around the Western Cape region. Tasters are able to look through the menu, and choose which five wines they would like to try. I highly recommend the Chakalaka – a recipient of Double Gold at the 2017
This new option from Spice Route Destination is perfect if you are planning on spending a day experiencing all that the Destination has to offer, or if you plan to take multiple trips.
National Wine Challenge, this wine is the flagship of the winery, and pays tribute to local cuisine.
With my first stamp applied to my passport, it was time to swop grapes for hops at CBC.
A standard tasting at the brewery will get you a taste of four craft beers – Pilsner, Lager, Krystal Weiss, and Amber Weiss. Held in the onsite brewery, the tasting is done around a bar with the beers on tap, while the beers are being created in the range of contraptions behind you.
Opting to indulge in dessert before lunch, I followed up my beer tasting with a chocolate tasting at De Villiers Chocolate. The extensive range of chocolate delights from De Villiers was arranged along the circular bar, with a product displayed and a plate of bitesize testers on offer. De Villiers is proud of the fact that its chocolate is “from bean to bar”, meaning that every step of the chocolate making process is done by the chocolate maker. The historic building where De Villiers Chocolate is situated at Spice Route Destination is where chocolates are hand-crafted from cocoa beans sourced from around the world. From sea salt and caramel, peppermint and macadamia, and chili flavours, to chai milk and coffee and cardamom, the range of chocolate slabs is extensive and delicious. After I had been around the bar once, I chose a few slabs of my favourite artisanal chocolate I had tasted to enjoy at home. De Villiers offers a gift box containing six of the different chocolate flavours – a great gift for the chocoholic in your life.
After receiving my De Villiers Chocolate stamp in my passport, I was off to La Grapperia Pizzeria and Bistro. This lunch time hotspot’s claim to fame is its wood-fired, thin base pizzas and Italian/ German inspired menu. If you are with a group, order some of your favourite drinks along with a few of the pizzas (the flammkuchen is a winner). Sit back and enjoy this feast under the massive oak trees, with gorgeous views of the Paarl Valley stretching into the horizon.
Besides these experiences, there is so much more to explore at Spice Route Destination: visit Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats for a charcuterie tasting, and gin, grappa, schnaps, and other spirits tastings are on offer at Wilderer Distillery (the Fynbos infused gin has established itself as one of the finest in the country) also included in your passport.
Not included with the passport, but definitely worth the visit, is Barley and Biltong Emporium for delicious CBC beer, biltong offerings and “larger than life burgers”. For those wanting more of a fine-dining experience with a classic, traditional twist, award-wining chef Bertus Basson’s restaurant of the same name is a fantastic choice for lunch; and for dessert, get a sugar cone topped with either caramel, coffee, vanilla, or chocolate ice cream from DV Café, just around the corner from Bertus Basson at Spice Route.
Bringing together some of the premier food artisans in South Africa at one destination, spending a day winding along Spice Route Destination is an ideal way to spend a Summer day.
For more information, please visit www.spiceroute.co.za.