My favorite season travelling to the Boland is in Autumn. The weather is mostly mild compared to the Summer’s explosive heat waves. When in Paarl, the locals like to ‘joke’ amongst each other saying that; “If you break a raw egg over your car bonnet on a really hot day – you will have fried egg in seconds.” An accurate description of its soaring summer temperatures. This historic city marked our first stop in the Boland and is best known for its extravagant wines, rolling vineyards, bustling coffee bistros and exquisite cuisine. Might I add, the local musicians and artists alike are hot and happening! Without even knowing it you have probably listened to Paarlite, Triveno Smith on a number of national radio stations and loved his lyrics. His stunning wife Christelle, an incredible artist paints with the most vibrant colors. Uncovering the Boland secrets can simply be found in discovering the legendary locals and listening to their stories. Such as the one told by Reckless Love. A company formed by friends, whose passion it is to see parents pray intentionally for their children. Read their story: www.recklesslove.co.za
Going nowhere slowly, is a great description for exploring the dusty, gravel, back routes of the winelands. Our next winding road led us to Spice Route, found in the foothills of Paarl Mountain – a mere 45-minute drive to Cape Town. Taking a seat at La Grapperia Bistro, we ordered from the Wilderer Distillery’s award-winning gin and tonic menu while watching the sun go down, quite an extraordinary way to end an eventful day of travel.
Another jewel on our list was Wellington, a stone’s throw away, is home to some big household names like – Hennie van Loggerenberg, an artist in a league of his own. He is not only an extraordinary artist but also a foodie, photographer and friend. We were lucky enough to sample some of his famous pecan chocolate salami on our trip and I am sorry to say… there is none left. (Sorry, not sorry.) Support local brands – www.octa5.co.za If you don’t find Hennie behind his easel you will find him at Die Wax Café, cooking up a culinary storm. This lekker, local hangout is a great hub to wind down and catch up on the towns happenings while enjoying a much-needed caffeine fix for the next adventure!
The Boland is a treasure trove of artisans. If you dig deep enough you will find gems tucked away in the valley, such as Upland Organic Wine and Brandy Estate. An organic farm nestled in Wellingtons’ woodland. Here, a world of wonder awaits, as you enter a quiet emporium which shuts out the hustle and bustle and calls on nature for nurture.
Whether you are in the Cape or in Cairo, local music is all around us. Their lyrics, tell us of personal stories, struggles and triumphs. Two more of my personal favorites from this region are Carlyn Ganz and The Invitation Band, their music can be found on all digital platforms. The best way to traverse through this much-loved area of the Western Cape is to make enough time to mingle with the locals.