Best winter hotspots for red wine and fireplaces
Ah, winter. We often have such a love-hate relationship with the chilly season. Rain, cold, early sunsets, late sunrises – the negative-list goes on. But let’s be honest… when there’s red wine and the options of cosying up next to a crackling fire involved, what’s not to love?
The Cape has an endless list of top spots to help you forget your winter blues. In no particular order, here are our personal favourite spots with fireplaces and good food and wine.
Situated on the Helshoogte pass on the R310, just a few minutes outside the town of Stellenbosch, is Tokara. A wine and olive farm with a contemporary yet cosy feel. Relax in the tasting room’s lounge with a glass of delicious premium red in hand while you warm yourself next to the crackling fire.
The Cape Grace’s Bascule Bar is described as a slice of Cape Town’s social energy. Boasting a prime spot on the water’s edge of the V&A Waterfront yacht marina, Bascule is a lively bar with warm wood interior as well as a fireplace. They host exclusive whisky tastings and you can also book a private dinner. What else do you need to warm your heart this winter?
Well-loved by locals, Societi Bistro sits on Orange Street in Gardens and is a cosy Georgian house that’s been converted into a place to wine and dine and catch up with friends. Winter is the perfect time to hang out here, thanks to the original house’s rooms that now make up the various dining areas, as well as – of course – the three fire places making magic with the atmosphere. Another bonus about Societi Bistro is its Labia theatre deals on a Monday and Tuesday: Buy two Labia theatre movie tickets and get two pastas at Societi for only R110.
Even though it’s a perfect spot for an ice-cold Mojito on a warm summer’s day, Kloof Street House’s mystical magic is magnified in winter. Having an intimate dinner with good wine and good friends next to the fireplace in this twentieth century Victorian house is all you need this rainy season.
Moving on the splendid south peninsula, another favourite is the informal Toad in the Village in Noordhoek. We’re not sure if it’s the wooden touches when it comes to the interior or the fact that you feel snug as a bug in the rustic village of Noordhoek with horses roaming about and waves crashing in the background, but we just love the vibe, the fireplace, the beer, pizza, and mouth-watering ribs – especially when there’s rugby on.
Offering world-class cuisine and wine, as well as a fireplace and views of the Kalk Bay harbour, crashing waves below, False Bay, and the Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance, this is fine dining at its best. You’ll have to take along quite a few blue buffalo’s but it’ll be so worth it.
Tucked away in the eastern slope of Table Mountain, close to Kirstenbosch, Cellars-Hohenhort is a top choice to check out this winter. The hotel offers three dining experiences: The Greenhouse where cuisine focuses on South African ingredients with modern interpretations, The Conservatory, serving simple beautiful fare and a selection of owner Liz McGrath’s favourite dishes, and The Cape Malay Experience, an interactive evening showcasing Cape Town’s unique culture through its food.
The Martini bar is warm and inviting – especially with a glass of good red enjoyed by the fireplace.
What’s your winter recommendations?
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