It was time of the year when people flock to the Cape Winelands in abundance for one single event: the renowned South African Cheese Festival. This is one event of the year that you not only have to go to, but cannot for the world miss. So with my two closest friends, Bronwyn and Ryno, we set off on our little adventure to Stellenbosch where we booked into our Stellenbosch guest house, Villa Grande, before heading off for our first day at this beloved event. stanovi za izdavanje
What to expect…
When you first get there you are met by queues and queues to not only get in, but to be helped. This is not a place for sissies. You have to put on your patience-gear and know that you are going to bump into the odd impatient idiot. But luckily the people of the Western Cape, for some undeniable reason are quite peaceful people. So let’s move on, next the three of us decided that in order to make sure we get a taste of all, we should start at the one end, and work our way through. Sure this sounds like a great plan, but somehow you always get distracted or people tend to wander off in the wrong direction.
After about four hours of cheese tasting, meeting the makers, learning exactly why it is that certain cheese just goes better with olives and other with bread, we headed in the direction of the wine. I made it my personal duty to not only teach the very little knowledge that I had of wine to my dear friend Bronwyn, but to try and persuade her to learn and love it as much as both me and Ryno do. But we only got as far as Rosé, which although a very good one, was not yet where I would’ve liked to have been with this stubborn friend of mine. So while she kept to her rosé, Ryno and I shared a very delicate bottle from the Paarl region. Such is the taste of earth’s nectar, so sweet and full of joy.
A night in…
It was getting later, so we decided it a good time to head back to our guest house and have a good night’s rest before coming back for seconds (Yes, greed is a sin, but so is missing out on this festival). So when we arrived at the guest house with our day’s shopping, we basically fell into the chairs in the luxury room, pure exhilarating exhaustion. And thanks to the day’s cheese tasting none of us had much of an appetite, so we spent the rest of the evening in front of the fireplace chatting about the day’s events and quarrelling about which cheese is the superior one. Quite sad really how people can quarrel about silly things like cheese, but it’s more about personal taste really than to prove a point. Eventually after our nightcaps, everybody was ready to turn in for the evening, and we all set off to our separate rooms.
I woke up the next morning feeling quite tired still. Amazing how a day of so much fun and eating can leave you feeling so tired and in some actual physical pain. My legs were killing me, but not enough to stop me from going back for more. So after a quick shower I went downstairs for breakfast with Bronwyn and Ryno. Both looking as exhausted as I was feeling, we ordered some of the Villa Grande’s special breakfasts. A cup of freshly brewed coffee was exactly what the doctor ordered.
As I finished up my breakfast, I sat back to looked at the view from the patio and came to realize that Stellenbosch truly is beautiful. With its surrounding majestic mountains and winelands, you come to understand why the people of Stellenbosch are all so friendly and laid-back. This very old town has the atmosphere of youth and happiness, and as we were on our way back to the cheese festival, I paid more attention to scenic drive. And in that moment all was full of bliss.