We all tend to turn our lives inward and stay in more during winter, but there are really a few wonderful gems out there that are perfect for this time of year. With the turn of the season upon us, my focus has slightly turned to places that have great entertainment on offer for this cooler time of year. After our recent, wonderful visit to Spier as a family, with our godson in tow, I realised that this farm was one of them.
Surrounded by beautiful Cape Dutch buildings, Spier’s historic farmyard – the Werf – has been meticulously restored and lends itself to countless hours of unstructured play for children underneath its giant oak trees. Or, in their wonderful natural play areas, kids can easily be enchanted by a magnificent winter wonderland. It’s the perfect place to spend time as a family, with something fun for everyone.
If you haven’t been to Spier before, you really should! Even more so during Easter! Here are 5 things you can do with your kids at Spier this long weekend:
- Join the Good Friday Feast: Inspired by the wonderful bounty of the ocean and the richness of Cape Malay cuisine, you’ll feast on braaied snoek, mouth-watering mussels, seasonal salads and more.
- Indulge at the Easter Spit Braai: On Saturday, 20 April, enjoy a wonderful dinner buffet complete with Farmer Angus’s pasture-reared specialities. Think fire-roasted pork belly, delicious chicken kebabs and tender lamb. There will also be deliciously inventive seasonal salads, freshly baked breads and cinnamon buns. Go with an empty stomach!
- Hunt for eggs: The annual Spier Easter Egg Hunt takes place at 11:00 on Sunday, 21 April. Hunters can explore the beautiful lawns, boulders and buildings or search the food garden for hidden delights. Kids under 5 pay R50, while those between 6 and 12 pay R100. Children who are joining their parents for Easter lunch hunt for free.
- Easter Sunday lunch: At Spier, choice is the name of the game. Families can enjoy a hearty, farm-to-table lunch at Eight, with fresh ingredients and decadent desserts on offer. Look out for the specially-designed kiddies menu on offer.
- Have a family picnic: Enjoy a hamper crammed with delicious Easter-inspired dishes on Sunday, many of them made with ingredients from the farm itself. With the Easter Egg Hunt and supervised games and entertainment on the day, it seems like the perfect outing.
Ps: Don’t forget to stock up on a dozen or two freshly-baked hot cross buns from Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery – they’re only available in April!
The Stellenbosch Mom Stamp of Approval
- Safe: There’s ample space for the kids to play on the farm, underneath oak trees and on the never-ending lawns. It’s also perfectly safe to stroll in the peaceful gardens with the kids running freely or to visit the River Walk on the Eerste River’s south bank. However, due to the sheer size of the farm, I’d advise adult supervision at all times.
- Sustainable: Spier is committed to running a sustainable and ethical business. Their various accolades and eco-friendly projects are testament to this vision. The farm is certified as organic and was awarded Conservation Champion status by WWF-SA. The hotel was one of the first in the country to receive Fair Trade in Tourism (FTTSA) accreditation. They’re also a member of the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) and the winery is Fair Trade accredited. The farm also runs a centralised wastewater treatment plant that recycles 100% of their wastewater. The water is treated in an environmentally-friendly way and the recycled, clean water is then used to irrigate the garden and grounds.
- Socially responsible: Spier believes in making a difference to the community through learning. Their Growing for Good initiative consists of a range of learning initiatives that empower communities to support positive social and environmental change. One of the initiatives, Tree-preneurs encourages the planting of trees in exchange for essential goods, while there are other programs that offer work experience, training and mentorship to young people in hospitality, agriculture, wine and art.
- Soulful: There’s just something magical about indulging in delicious and locally-sourced food, lingering on the farm’s kitchen stoep and overlooking the Werf or sipping a glass of wine and relaxing under one of the giant oaks. Spier is steeped in so much history that you can’t help but feel it’s vibrant and conscious energy from the moment you arrive.
Nice to know
- Kids who are having set lunches or a picnic with their parents on Sunday 21 April, can join the Easter Egg Hunt for free.
- The produce used in Spier’s restaurants are either grown on the farm or sourced from trusted, nearby farmers. Natural and organic ingredients are preferred and combined to create nourishing, healthy and delicious meals. Spier’s wines are also among the most awarded in the country.