Riebeek Valley is famous for its annual olive festival and quaint coffee shops and farm stalls that attract a steady stream of weekend wanderers wanting to get out of the city and experience this peaceful countryside. We met up with family for breakfast in the valley on a Saturday morning and afterwards went on an impromptu wine tasting at Allesverloren in Riebeek West.
We stopped in Riebeek Kasteel to have breakfast and it started to drizzle as we got out of the car. Soon we were dashing around in the rain with kids in tow trying to find a somewhat-child-friendly coffee shop in town. The first place we found did not have space for us so we had to run around the corner to another coffee shop. After a truly amazing breakfast at Wicked Treats the rain had passed and we decided to go for a scenic drive along the foot of Kasteelberg.
While driving around someone had the whim to go wine tasting at Allesverloren. Allesverloren is one of the older wine estates that is set at the foot of the mountain and both the tasting room and restaurant have a stunning view over the valley. The wine estate has been in the Malan family for 140+ years and is renowned for its red wines. It is a magnificent old estate dating back to 1704 when the settlers owning the farm found the house and farmed burnt down upon their return from the Cape (hence the name Allesverloren, or “All is lost”). The beautiful old manor house overlooks the valley and we were delighted to see four impalas grazing in front of the house.
As we drove into the estate the idea was for the men to go into the tasting room for a quick taste while the women in the group kept the children busy. Anyway, that was our expectation as we had never been there before. So when we got to tasting room we were pleasantly surprised to see that the tasting room overlooks a stretch of lawn with a jungle gym and swings. This meant that we were able to play with the children outside while the men tasted and purchased some wine. The tasting room itself is not really what I would call “child-friendly” but if you are visiting Allesverloren on a warm, sunny day you can sit outside on the veranda overlooking the lawn, swings and jungle gyms where the kids can play while you taste the estate’s wines.
Not only does the tasting room have a jungle gym but there is in fact another jungle gym on the estate at Pleasant Pheasant, the estate’s restaurant. We did not eat there (seeing we just had breakfast), but we are always on the lookout for child-friendly restaurants and this restaurant is definitely one. Outside tables are adjacent to the jungle gym and you can enjoy a meal at the restaurant while the kids play next to you under the shade of the oak trees. The restaurant serves meals ranging from steaks, burgers, pizzas, chicken, ribs to bobotie and it has a kiddies menu for smaller patrons. Menu available on the website. Pleasant Pheasant is open for lunch daily (closed on a Monday) and for dinners from Thursday – Saturday.
Photo credits: Pleasant Pheasant website 2015
Our morning in the Riebeek Valley literally flew past, but the little we experienced very much exceeded our expectations and we will definitely be back for a weekend visit to the valley to explore more child-friendly places.
Pleasant Pheasant | 022 461 2170 | www.pleasantpheasant.co.za
Allesverloren Tasting Room | www.allesverloren.co.za