Now that we have lived in the Cape Winelands for some time, we are starting to get to know where we can go for a good lunch and a glass of wine. One of the questions that we have from our friends and guests is where we could go to have lunch with our families in the Winelands Since we have had so many requests I have thought to put together a short resource on the places that I would recommend and give a brief idea of what the child-friendly facilities are so that you can see if you want to go before you load up and roll out. To the left is our test group; my three and four-year-old daughters.
I hope that this becomes a community-owned document, so if you know of other places for families, please do share your experience and photos if you have them. I also invite the wineries in the region to contribute by contacting us.
Bodega at Dornier
Bodega has it all. Amazingly friendly staff, really good food and wine, and interesting food activities for kids from 2-12. There is a climbing frame for children 3 years and up and a two-year-old will be able to either play in the sandbox by the tables or in the grass that runs along the patio. A note about the kids’ food – the kids’ portion is large enough to satisfy two kids, especially because their focus seems to be on playing more than the food. If you are looking for a place where parents can relax and eat a meal and watch the kids have fun, then this is really worth checking out.
Somerbosch is a simple and special little restaurant with simple facilities for the kids right next to the table – a sandbox. Perfectly suited for kids from 2-6. As parents with small kids know, it is often too much to have a climbing frame around when you are trying to focus on eating a meal, for fear that the kids are going to end up hurting themselves without active supervision. This sandbox keeps the kids happy and allows parents to relax and have a glass of wine and a meal in the shade.
Phone Number: +27 21 855 3615
Email: [email protected]
The Long Table at Dombeya
About 10 minutes drive south of Stellenbosch you have The Long Table. While many wineries brand themselves as child-friendly, there are often some who seem to be more accepting of those younger among us who have a harder time staying seated.
Activities away from the table are slightly limited at the Long Table for the youngest of kids. Facilities are limited to a climbing frame that is slightly out of view of the patio restaurant. If you have kids who are 4-8 years old this is a perfect place to go for a great meal and to be in an environment that truly accepts your kids.
A very relaxed eatery providing fairly basic food with a modern twist, and all kinds of juice available for the kids. While the food is not the best and arguably overpriced slightly, this still is a great place for kids to play. The back patio that recently was extended to seat more, has benches that seat families. The new owner is even clearing a couple rows of his vines in order to be able to put all the kids’ things together. Kids’ activities include a bouncy castle (which on occasion will be hosed down to keep the kids cool), a large lawn next to the patio for children to play on, and on the weekends a large pool is set up for the kids on the lawn. If that is not enough, a jungle gym for 4-year-olds and up is about 30 meters (but out of direct sight) from the restaurant.
For the parents – the food is nothing to rave about, the wine is good, and you can relax and eat your meal knowing that your kids are welcome to run around, have fun and enjoy the afternoon too.
Only 15 minutes outside of Stellenbosch, find yourself relaxing under the trees at Warwick’s. Their Forest Courtyard tables or picnic spots on the lovely lawn overlooking the dam, where umbrellas and cushions are provided is the ideal place to spend quality as a family. There is a great climbing frame for children 4 – 8 years old, which is in close proximity to where parents will be seated and with plenty of open space for the kids to run around, healthy appetites will follow shortly. These spots are popular over weekends so be sure to book early.
Warwick’s offers a wonderful picnic lunch, great selection of wines for the adults and special picnic boxes for the kids with some lovely snacks. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful to keep an eye on the little ones on the climbing frame. You should consider Warwick if are looking for a beautiful, child-friendly environment that will provide for a lovely day out, good food and fun for all.