The beauty of Cape Town, aside from the fact that it's a gorgeous place to live, is what it offers locals and tourists alike. It has a unique proximity to blue flag beaches, magnificent mountains, botanical gardens, forests, and, those places where we all love to linger longer, wine farms, the jewels in the crown of the Cape. There's no denying it, we have the best of everything in the Mother City and our surroundings are just beyond.
Laborie Wine Estate where I recently spent a day and a night is a mere 45 minutes from town. Situated in the lush Paarl Valley it was named after the La Bri district in France. You of course always have me at the mention of France, one of my best travel destinations and the first place I ever travelled to as a 14 year old ballerina-in-training.
Lateral Paul and I stayed in the fabulous Jonkershuis with its 3 bedrooms, enormous lounge, kitchenette (fyi the fridge overflows with the best in the wine and bubbly universe) and a private patio with comfy sofas that leads onto a pool area that is shared with other guests on the property. Free wifi is available too, which is music to my ears as we all know I'm an Instagram addict.
Laborie is a great weekend escape. What's to do you might ask? Well aside from lazing poolside with a book or taking an amble through the estate grounds and vineyards, the obvious thing staring you in the face is fine wine, bubbly and, more recently, craft beer on tap. Not sure if you've noticed, but more and more women are drinking beer these days and moi is no exception, so the tasting at the new Bar di Bar went down a treat. Cloudy cider, honey blonde light beer, pilsner, lager and weiss eased us into the afternoon. I would've ordered from their enticing menu but we had another tasting date around the corner on the newly built deck at Taste, overlooking rolling vineyards. What a view! Our amazing waiter brought us four Laborie wines paired with charcuterie, salty crisps (best ever, I had 3 helpings), olives and more. My fave vino? The Lazy Days rosé, "perfectly balanced with some sweetness on the palate…aromas of strawberries, and spices…" and as delicate as its soft pink hue.
As the sun started to dip we sipped on award winning Laborie bubbly, smartly paired with strawberry, pistachio and lemon macarons, a fab touch. FYI, their MCC Brut 2010 won the Top MCC Award at last years Paarl Wine Challenge.
Dinner at Harvest, a Klink award winner for Great Food and Excellent Wine, was exceptional. Chef Shirene served contemporary South African cuisine full of flavour and completely delish. Portions were generous and prices excellent (at Taste as well by the way).
After a fab nights sleep buried underneath a divine puffy duvet, breakfast was served in the ye olde Manor House that dates back to 1750; the building is a true example of a Cape Dutch farm homestead- both posh and homely at the same time. Oh, and breakfast was in grand style, with fine silverware and a backdrop of Cecil Skotnes artwork.
Other than the sheer beauty of the estate, what stood out for us was how welcoming everyone was, wherever we went. Nothing beats great service and the staff at Laborie have it down to a fine art.
I'm looking forward to my next visit with a group of friends… a sleepover at Jonkershuis is in the diary!
For all info: www.laboriewines.co.za | Twitter & Instagram: @laboriewines