If you are looking to do many activities at a single venue, then the Spice Route is the ideal place for you. The Spice Route is a farm situated in Paarl that brings together numerous artisans in one place. The farm area is rather large and there is ample parking available which makes it an ideal location. There are currently fifteen different artisans at the Spice Route. So, there is definitely something for everyone. There are maps of the farm available all over. You will find all the artisan within walking distance of each other. Therefore, you can stop by at any of the artisans at your own time. Here are my top five things to do at the Spice Route.
1. Wine Tasting
It would not be an authentic Cape Town experience if a wine company was not present. This is where the Spice Route Wines come in. They are situated at the entrance and have seating inside as well as on the lawn.
There are three different wine tasting options available:
- Swartland Wine Journey which consists of the tasting of five of their daily selection of wines. And it costs R50.00 per person.
- Wine and Charcuterie Journey which consists of four of their daily selection of wines together with four cured meats, fresh seasonal fruit as well as accompaniments. And it costs R85.00 per person.
- Malabar Tasting which consists of their flagship red blend and costs R40.00 per person.
We chose the Swartland Wine Journey consisting of the tasting of five wines. We also chose to be seated on the lawn as it was a lovely sunny day. The five wines that we tasted were the Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Saffron Rose, Pinotage and Chakalaka. Our waiter Chris was extremely knowledgeable. During the introduction of each wine, he provided us with the background and flavour composition for each wine. All the wines were remarkable, and it set the tone for the rest of our journey.
The Spice Route Wines is open Monday – Sunday: 09:00 am to 17:00 pm with tasting concluding at 16:30 pm. Contact number: 021 863 5200
2. Chocolate Tasting
There is nothing more indulgent than tasting different flavours of chocolate. De Villiers Chocolate provides this tasting experience. These are artisanal and handcrafted chocolates with a single origin. This ensures that you are aware as to the origin of the cocoa bean.
There are two different tasting options available:
- Single Origin Chocolate Tasting which consists of a tutored tasting of five single origin organic 70% cocoa dark chocolates. And it costs R35.00 per person.
- Chocolate and Confectionary Tasting which consists of tasting a selection of dark, milk and blonde chocolates as well as other confectionaries. This tasting is conducted at your own pace. And it costs R25.00 per person.
When given the option of tasting just five chocolates or as many as is available, which would you choose. Well, I chose the Chocolate and Confectionary Tasting to taste as many as I could. I also chose this option because I am not an enthusiast of dark chocolate. I prefer milky sweet chocolate, each to their own.
For R25.00, it was an absolute steal. We were able to taste several different flavours of chocolate. We tasted the following chocolates:
- Intense Cocoa which was a 70% dark chocolate and made from Ugandan cocoa beans.
- Orange Peel and Vanilla which was a 68.5% dark chocolate containing the zesty flavour of orange and flavour and made from Ugandan cocoa beans.
- Cinnamon and Chilli which was a 70% dark chocolate containing cinnamon flavour at the beginning and ending with the chilli at the end. And is also made with Ugandan cocoa beans.
- Skinny Cappuccino which was a 51% milk chocolate and made with skim milk solids and Ugandan cocoa beans.
- DV Thins Snacking Chocolate which was a 55% dark chocolate containing toasted coconut. These were similar to a chocolate bark cut up into smaller pieces, a perfect snack.
- Delicious Dark which was a 55% dark chocolate made with Ugandan cocoa beans. It is also a dairy free chocolate bar.
- Chai Milk which was a 35% creamy milk chocolate infused with chai spice. It was one of my favourites and we ended up purchasing a bar of this.
- Sea Salt Caramel which was a 35% milk chocolate made with Ugandan cocoa beans, homemade caramel and sea salt.
- Crunchy Biscotti which was a 35% milk chocolate made with Ugandan cocoa beans and homemade bits of crunchy biscotti.
- Creamy Milk which was a 35% milk chocolate made with Ugandan cocoa beans.
- Chocolate Nougat which was in a roasted hazelnut flavour.
It was a lovely tasting experience, you can taste whichever chocolates you please, from what is on offer. And you are able to do this at your own pace whilst reading about the process of how it came to be. All the chocolates you sample are available for purchase there. We were extremely impressed with the Chai Milk chocolate as well as the Snacking chocolate. As a result, we purchased both of those as well as a Honeycomb Chocolate Bar.
De Villiers Chocolate is open Monday – Sunday: 09:00 am to 17:00 pm with tasting concluding at 16:30 pm. Contact number: 021 874 1060
3. Ice-cream Tasting
Another tasting option on offer is that of ice-cream tasting which is available at DV Cottage Café. De Villiers Chocolate also make artisanal ice cream as well as sorbets. As a result, they opened a café on the farm to showcase these. You can either purchase the ice-cream in cones or cups as well as the sorbet. Or you can indulge in an ice-cream and sorbet tasting.
There are two different tasting options available:
- Ice-Cream Tasting which consists of a tasting of five different ice-creams. The selection of the ice-cream’s changes. And it costs R60.00 per person.
- Sorbet Tasting which consists of the tasting of five different sorbet flavours and it costs R65.00 per person.
When given the option of tasting I chose the ice-cream tasting whilst my husband chose the sorbet tasting. This enabled us to indulge in both the ice-cream as well as the sorbet.
The ice-cream tasting flavours included amongst other, chocolate and salted caramel. Of which the one I enjoyed the most was the salted caramel. It was delectably creamy, with just the right amout of saltiness.
The Sorbet Tasting consisted of the flavours of berry, lemon, mango, litchi and a 55% chocolate. All the sorbets were yummy, rich and flavourful. These are definitely something that you can enjoy cooling you down on a hot day.
Also, the portions for both the ice-cream and sorbet tastings were particularly large. And we ended up taking the balance with us to relish at home.
Other options available at the Cottage Café are coffee, iced shots and various cakes and tarts.
DV Cottage Café is open Monday – Sunday: 09:00 am to 17:00 pm with tasting concluding at 16:30 pm. Contact number: 021 874 1060
4. Gin Tasting
Wilderer Distillery offers Gin Tasting which is a liquor that is distilled with botanicals, predominantly the juniper berry. Wilderer Distillery is located on the upper deck of the La Grapperia pizza and bistro.
There are three different tasting options available:
- Craft Gin Tasting which consists of a tasting of three available spirits, being the Grappa, Schnaps and Gin. These are neat tasters and it costs R30.00 per person.
- Grappa Tasting which consists of the tasting of three vintage Grappas, being the Muscato, Pinotage and Shiraz. And it costs R50.00 per person.
- Fynbos Gin Tasting which consists of a tasting of one neat taster, two unique mini gin and tonics, and one classic gin cocktail. And it costs R80.00 per person.
We chose the craft gin tasting and had three neat tasters each. Although when we chose this option we were unaware that they were going to be neat. So, it was a rather surprise. The three tasters we had were of a Beer Schnapps, Gin, and a Fynbos. It was an enjoyable albeit “strong” experience and I am thankful we endeavoured to do this after we had lunch. The only note about this place was that there was not a lot of seating at their venue. This meant that you had to stand whilst you tasted.
Wilderer Distillery is open Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 18:00 pm with tasting concluding at 17:30 pm. Contact number: 021 863 4367
There are three restaurants available on the farm as your eating options. There is the Bertus Basson who prepare traditional South African meals. Another option is La Grapperia Pizzeria and Bistro who amongst preparing bistro dishes also serve up wood-fired pizzas. And finally, there is Barley and Biltong Emporium who dish out gourmet burgers.
Being that we were going to partaking in many of the tastings, we didn’t want to have a large meal. Therefore, we chose Barley and Biltong Emporium to indulge in burgers. Their menu includes main courses of burgers, ribs and pap and wors. Also, they specialize in biltong and you can choose a platter or just pieces of biltong.
Peri-peri chicken burger
I chose the peri-peri chicken burger which contained a chargrilled chicken breast, peri-peri sauce, aioli, tomato, rocket and coriander. The burger can be accompanied by either hand cut double fried chips or a side salad. I chose the chips, it is my natural inclination. The chicken breast was soft and succulent and very flavourful. My only critique was that I didn’t find it to be peri-peri, perhaps I have a higher tolerance for spicy food. It was a good burger nonetheless. The double fried chips were delicious and hot sauce accompanied in the enamel mug made it more indulgent. My burger cost R112.00.
My husband, on the other hand, chose the Drakensburger which contained a beef patty, jalapeno, tomato, coriander chutney and aioli. He was also looking for something spicy and chose this because it contained the jalapeno. His burger was spicy, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He chose a side salad to accompany his burger. The salad contained avocados, feta cheese, lettuce and carrot and worked well with the kick of the burger. It cost R124.00 for his burger.
Barley and Biltong Emporium is open Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 17:00 pm. Contact number: 021 863 5200 E-mail: [email protected]
Other things to do at the Spice Route
There are other activities available at the Spice Route which include:
- Indulging in cured meats at Richard Bosman;
- Shopping for home Décor at The Trading Company;
- Treating yourself to the spices and preserves at Brenda’s Deli;
- Purchasing glass sculptures at Red Hot Glass;
- Tasting craft Beer at Cape Brewing Company;
- Participating in hiking at Hero Adventure Trails;
- Viewing or acquiring diamond jewellery at Sirenia;
- Trying out pilates at Pilates for Life
If you liked this, why don’t you check out my post on Tiger’s Milk at their restaurants in Muizenberg, Cape Town and Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Spice Route Contact Details:
Tel: 021 863 5200
E-mail: [email protected]
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* Please note that all prices and contact information are correct at time of publication. Please check the venues websites as prices may change without notice. *