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THE BEST FOOD AND DRINK EXPERIENCES IN SOUTH AFRICA

  • SEP 10, 2019
  • CATEGORY: LISTICLES
  • WRITTEN BY: Alex Mullen

South Africa is well known for its fantastic food and wine, but with so much goodness to take in, where do you even begin?

The first vineyard was planted in South Africa back in 1655, setting in motion the country’s reputation for fine wine. It’s also become very well-known for its amazing seafood, at an advantage because of its straight-from-the-sea freshness. Although meat is a major player in South African cuisine, veganism has also recently become popular. Many South Africans argue that this is simply a return to their roots, as for generations their ancestors have lived off the land, their diet consisting of mainly plant-based foods. With so many cultures all in one place, it’s no wonder that South Africa is a melting pot of cuisines from all over the world. There’s so many different things to try, it’s almost overwhelming! This is where Experience Days comes in. We’ve rounded up all our favourite culinary experiences into one tidy list, so you can easily find the perfect gift for the foodie in your life who wants to try something new.

 

1. Oyster Farm Scenic Boat Cruise in Port Elizabeth – R 500



Who’s it for? This Oyster Farm Scenic Boat Cruise in Port Elizabeth is the perfect romantic gift for your partner, combining the aphrodisiac qualities of the humble oyster with the unbeatable scenic views of Port Elizabeth. (We’re ignoring the fact that oysters may not actually be an aphrodisiac. Let a foodie dream!) This gift voucher is valid for 1 participant.

What will you do? Indulge in the ultimate sophistication with this scenic oyster farm boat cruise in Port Elizabeth. Oysters may be an acquired taste, but if you know, you know.

This cruise departs from the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. Once on board the catamaran, you can take in gorgeous sunset views of the harbour, heading towards the Zwembesi Oyster Farm for a truly educational (but not in a boring way, in a delicious way, we promise) boat tour. Once at the farm, you’ll learn about oyster cultivation and harvesting as an industry, as well as the history of the Zwembesi farm – one of the oldest oyster farms in South Africa! Don’t worry, you won’t just be learning about oysters; you’ll obviously get to indulge in these fascinating little morsels as well. Once you have journeyed to Port Elizabeth beachfront, you’ll be treated to six fresh oysters with all the trimmings. Authentic seafood experiences don’t get much better – or fresher – than this. Absorb the gorgeous scenery while you tuck into your fresh seafood dinner, and even bring a bottle of your own to go alongside it if you’d like a little tipple! You’ll then conclude your trip back at the harbour, where you’ll be free to explore the bustling bars and restaurants. A perfect end to a perfect night.

Why is it special? Oysters. Beach views. Catamaran. BYOB…. Need we say more?

 

2. Taste of Yeoville Food Tour for Two in Johannesburg – R 920



Who’s it for? Great for out-of-towners and locals alike, this Taste of Yeoville Food Tour for 2 in Johannesburg is the perfect gift for those looking to expand their culinary horizons, and discover the very best in pan-African cuisine.

What will they do? During this 4-hour walking tour, your giftee will visit Yeoville, a suburb of Johannesburg, to discover fascinating innovations in food and drink. A mixture of relaxed village life and Bohemian attitude, Yeoville is the perfect place to spend an evening discovering new cuisine. Guests will begin their night with sundowners at Ponte Tower before setting off on their tour. Featuring Congolese dishes, Cameroonian-style fish fresh from the Braai, and complimentary drinks at each location, this tour will leave its guests feeling relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to dance the night away.

Why is it special? This tour is a great way to meet new people and explore the nightlife and culinary offerings of Yeoville!

 

3. Elgin Valley Wine Tour with Lunch, Olives and Craft Cider -R 4900



Who’s it for? Perfect for foodies with a sophisticated palette, this Elgin Valley Tour is a great solution to the ‘What do I get Mum / Dad for their birthday?’ quandary.  For parents who have been working hard, a full-day expedition full of great food and drink is just the ticket. (And obviously, it’s just the ticket for anyone - hardworking or otherwise!) This voucher is valid for 1 participant.

What will they do? During this full day, 8 hour Elgin Valley tour, your lucky giftee will explore the treasures of Cape Town, indulging in a delicious lunch and all the best delicacies this region has to offer, from craft ciders, to Elgin Valley Wines, to fresh local goods from Peregrine Farm Stalls.

They’ll start their tour by getting picked up from a pre-arranged spot, before starting out towards Elgin Valley. The adventure begins! Here they’ll sample a huge variety of red and white wines, grown in Elgin’s cooler climate. This is where the wine snobs (sorry, we of course mean connoisseurs) will be in their element. For those interested in flavour profiles, the next stop will prove an interesting comparison: from grapes to olives, they'll head over to one of the oldest farms in Somerset West for the most incredible olives and olive oils produced in the region. 

After this, they'll go to Peregine Farm Stall, where they will discover the spectacular coffee and rusks on offer, plus take a look at the seasonal fresh goods in the area – including honey, cheese and fresh fruits. After this, they’ll visit another wine farm in the Elgin Valley before they enjoy a lunch at The Pool Room consisting of all locally sourced foods. The cherry on the cake (not to add another food into the mix) is a visit to a local family-run craft cider farm, where they’ll have the chance to sample their magnificent ciders. Cheers!

Why is it special? This full day exploration of great food and drink covers so much ground, there’s bound to be something for everyone, no matter their tastes.

 

4. Cape Town Fynbos Tasting Experience – R 1200



Who’s it for? This unique Cape Town Fynbos Tasting Experience is perfect for that hard-to-buy-for person, or anyone interested in a more holistic approach. Introduce them to the unique new hobby they didn’t know they needed. This experience is for 1 person. 

What will they do? During this Fynbos Tasting Experience in Cape Town, your giftee will spend a soothing 2 hours learning all about the medicinal properties of Mother Earth!

This unique tasting experience takes place in the historic Company’s Garden, Cape Town: an idyllic setting, and the perfect place to get immersed in nature. This experience will teach them how the natural vegetation of Cape Floral Kingdom can bring healing properties and delicious aromas to those in the know. With a range of tea infusions, oils, cordials and tinctures to try, guests will be taken on a botanical exploration like no other! Guests will take part in a laboratory-style tasting featuring Rhino bush, Cancer bush and Buchu amongst others. To compliment these unique flavours, they’ll also be treated to sweet treats and digestives. Each guest will also receive a Fynbos Tasting Booklet to continue creating their own blends at home.

Why is it special? This is a truly one-of-a-kind experience, connecting guests with nature in the course of an educational and delicious-smelling afternoon!

 

5. Cellars Hohenort Hotel Classic High Tea for Two - R 490



Who’s it for? This Cellars Hohenort Hotel Classic High Tea for 2 is the ultimate sophisticated indulgence, perfect for grandparents looking for an afternoon of relaxation and great food. Although high tea tends to draw an older crowd, innovations to this sought-after meal have taken place over the years and made it accessible to people of all ages. A great gift for anyone who loves food, and lots of it.

What will they do? When it comes to afternoon tea, you really can’t beat high tea at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel.

A welcome antidote to the 4 o'clock stomach rumbles, afternoon tea was invented in England in 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford because she needed something to keep her hunger at bay between lunch and dinner. Well, we empathise with that! We're more than happy to carry her somewhat glutinous tradition into the 21st century (a tradition's a tradition after all, and who are we to argue?)

It seems only fitting, given high tea’s regal beginnings, that your giftee should indulge in three tiers of freshly baked goods fit for royalty, relaxing in plush surroundings while they look out on breath taking mountain views. Served daily from 3pm – 5pm, High Tea at Cellars-Hohenort can be taken at one of three opulent venues: the Palm Arch, Sun Lounge, or the Conservatory Terrace. Whichever they choose, your giftee is sure to be blown away by the high level of service and sophistication delivered by this experience. They’ll need to make sure they arrive with an empty belly – as they may not have the same appetite as Anna the Duchess of Bedford! During their afternoon tea, they’ll enjoy a selection of classic finger sandwiches, savoury tarts, sosaties, and sweets including fresh fruits pavlovas, cupcakes, and Madagascan chocolate cake. The menu changes depending on the seasons and the chef's inspiration, so there's plenty of excuse to come back again!

What makes it special? This opulent experience combines amazing views of nature with plush interiors and incredible views, making it the ultimate sophisticated outing.

 

6. Vegan Pop Up Dinner Experience in Cape Town - R 399



Who’s it for? If you have a plant-based friend in your life and you’d like to treat them to a special evening out, this vegan pop-up dinner in Cape Town is the way to go. This experience is for 1 participant. 

What will they do? Your lucky vegan pal will be greeted by their friendly hosts, Patrick and Karen, at their welcoming Green Point Village residence. Seated at their communal dining table, they’ll be treated to a series of courses in what is sure to be an unforgettable meal. While they tuck into their food, they’ll get chatting to the other guests at the table, and may even come away with a few new friends of their own! The menu will vary depending on what seasonal ingredients are available, but typically includes both savoury and sweet dishes, a welcome drink, vegan cheeseboard and tea or coffee. Past menus have featured chilled pea and mint velouté, vegan lox, apple crumble with almond cream, caramel panna cotta and handmade chocolate truffles.

Why is it special? This informal, relaxed vegan dinner combines new faces and friendly conversation with delicious, hand-prepared food. What more could you ask for?

 

7. Unlimited Bubbly Brunch Cruise Cape Town - R 295




Who’s it for? If you know someone who’s got a special birthday coming up, or who has been working hard and deserves a good time, this Bottomless Brunch Cruise at the V&A Waterfront is the ideal gift. After all, what’s better than brunch? Only bottomless brunch, of course. This experience is valid for 1 participant. 

What will they do? On this bottomless brunch boat cruise, your special giftee will climb aboard a glass-enclosed vessel for a truly unforgettable dining experience. During their experience, they’ll enjoy unlimited bubbles, a delicious hot and cold breakfast spread, and sprawling views of Table Mountain! Departing from the pierhead promptly at 9am, the cruise will begin in the best way possible: with a glass of sparkling wine. The friendly waiting staff will then show guests to their tables. We’ve already established that afternoon tea is King (or Queen, or Duchess) so you’ll be pleased to know that this brunch is served afternoon-tea style on a 3-tiered breakfast platter. Guests can expect cold cuts of meat, bread, fresh fruit and cheese, plus their own choice of hot breakfast including flapjacks, scrambled eggs, croissants and more. Of course, a bottomless brunch wouldn’t be bottomless without fizz, so breakfast will be served with ice cold sparkling wine which will keep flowing until the end of the two-hour cruise. Amazing views will pass by outside while brunch is served, making this experience scenic as well as delicious!

Why is it special? Panoramic views of gorgeous scenery, delicious food and bottomless fizz – the best way to spend a morning!

 

8. Full Day 4x4 Mountain Tour in Elgin - R 1580



Who’s it for? Do you know an adventurous foodie who loves to combine the great outdoors with food? Then this is the experience for them! This voucher is valid for 1 participant. 

What will they do? This Full Day 4x4 Mountain Tour in Elgin will take its guests on a journey through history, nature, and food. The tour starts at the Adventure Centre in Elgin where the knowledgeable and friendly guide will greet the guests. They’ll then travel uphill in a comfortable, air conditioned 4x4 to the mountains. Your adventurous giftee will enjoy a short hike to the historic wagon wheel tracks that overlook Sir Lowry’s Pass all the way to Somerset West. Table Mountain is even occasionally visible from the lookout, so participants will experience a real slice of scenic adventure! Next, the tour goes through Giants Washbasin Falls via a picturesque mountain road for a cooling dip in the clear water. Nothing beats doing some laps in nature’s own swimming pool. After all that walking and swimming, what’s the next logical step? FOOD, of course! That’s what we’re all here for, after all. Next comes a three-course picnic lunch, cheese platter, dessert and wine tasting.

Why is it special? Experiencing fantastic views and adventures provided by the great outdoors can only be made better by following it up with delicious food – this 4x4 Mountain Tour ticks all the boxes.

 

9. Franschhoek Hop on Hop off Tram Tour for Two - R 480




Who is it for? This wine tour is the perfect way to show the wine lover in your life that you care! This experience gift is for 2 people.

What will they do? During this fantastic Winelands tour, your lucky giftee will curate their own hop-on hop-off tram experience in Franschhoek. The only thing better than a wine tour is a wine tour you choose yourself, so give someone the gift of their own self-curated trip!

The Valley is rich with fascinating history, sprawling wine estates and unparalleled views, making for an unforgettable day trip. Your giftee can decide which line to book onto, choosing from the pink, grey, orange, purple, blue, green, red and yellow routes. Each line takes guests to a variety of estates with their own unique advantages and features. For example, a ride on the blue line will take them to Mont Rochelle, where they can enjoy wine tasting and picnicking. If they have kids, they may want to choose the green line heading to La Bourgogne, where there is a jungle gym to entertain the little ones. Whatever their tastes and specific needs, there’s bound to be a line that caters for them.

Why is it special? This tram tour puts the power right in the giftee’s hands, giving them the option to choose their own special route. Not to mention the beautiful views!

 

10. Eco Wine Safari and Tasting in Paarl - R 300



Who is it for? The adventurous wine-lover in your life is sure to love this opportunity to expand their existing knowledge, and explore the world of wine even further. This voucher is valid for 1 participant. 

What will they do? Treat them to a day full of wine, exploring vineyards and touring cellars with this eco wine safari at Avondale Wine, Paarl. Avondale Wine work hard to focus on producing wine with organic and sustainable practices, using modern technology and a deep understanding of the natural environment to produce wine that is both ethical and incredibly high quality.

The tour will begin in the tasting gallery, where guests will receive an introduction to the Estate over a glass of Methode Cap Classique. Next, it’s into the tractor train for a tour of the vineyard! The guide will talk through the various methods Avondale farmers use to revolutionise the wine-making process. In the vineyard, guests will enjoy another wine tasting before moving underground to the gravity flow cellar. There, they’ll embark on an insightful tour of slow wine production. Back at the tasting gallery, they can take in the Klein Drakenstein mountains, or simply wander through the artwork on display.

Why is it special? Sustainable and organic practices make this wine tour stand out from the standard fare.

  

Happy gifting!


… And that concludes our list of top food and drink experiences in South Africa! We hope you’ve found something perfect here to surprise a foodie loved one. If you’re still looking, feel free to browse ourfull range of culinary gifts here.

Whether you're looking for a gift for someone else, or want to treat yourself by exploring your favourite neighbourhoods with your tastebuds, food and drink tours are a great way to curate the day. Food can tell us so much about our own culture and that of others, how better to experience a place? 



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