Travel like a local: Your neighbourhood Guide to Constantia
One of the oldest areas in Cape Town, and South Africa, Constantia doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. From the incredible wine farms, to the unrivalled beauty of the valley as a whole, Constantia has a story to tell.
Distance from Cape Town to Constantia: 18.3km (around 25 minutes)
WHERE TO EAT AND MAKE MERRY: RESTAURANTS AND BARS:
THE CONSTANTIA WINE ROUTE
We have already mentioned the wine farms, but it deserves a second mention, a third, and a fourth… you get the idea. Right on the city’s doorstep, the Constantia Valley is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious farms in the country.
All the farms are close together, meaning you can hop from one to the other with minimum fuss, but we would recommend taking two to three days to really explore the area properly. Each farm has its own unique selling point and charm, but one thing they all have in common is fantastic wine and superb attention to detail. Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Steenberg Vineyards, Constantia Glen Wine Estate, Beau Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, Eagle’s Nest and Silvermist all await you in the valley. For help in unpacking it, contact Constantia Wine Route.
Of course, Constantia has more on offer than the wine farms, with a huge amount of restaurants and bars to choose from.
PEDDLAR’S AND CO
Recently renamed from Peddlars on the Bend and undergoing a major menu overhaul, Peddlar’s is as popular as ever – if not more so. The Volaré Ristorante offers contemporary Italian cuisine and a warm, relaxed setting, while The Oak Terrace provides a sunny, outdoor setting and casual eating for family and friends. Then there is The Local “the valley’s amiable, vibrant, local pub. Real beer, great food, the place to meet friends.” Peddlar’s may have undergone something of a transformation, but it is still an institution in the valley.
PRIMI BUZZ – CONSTANTIA
Part of the popular Primi Piatti franchise, the Constantia branch is a staple in the Old Village Square at Constantia Village. Serving pastas, pizzas, burgers and more, the food is wholesome and well-priced and the restaurant is very family friendly.
CONSTANTIA NEK RESTAURANT
The oldest restaurant in Cape Town, the Constantia Nek restaurant sits at the summit of the Constantia Nek pass. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can feast on sumptuous fare while taking in some of the best views in the city.
SILVERMIST WINE ESTATE
The Silvermist Wine Estate has two restaurants on its grounds – the Silvermist Eatery, which is the more casual of the two and the La Colombe Restaurant recently moved further up the estate. The views from the eatery are pretty spectacular and even more so at La Colombe. The Eatery is cosy and exudes natural warmth making it a great option for cosy winter lunches, while La Colombe is fine dining at its very best with a gourmet menu and some of the finest wines on offer.
WANG THAI CONSTANTIA
Serving traditional Thai Cuisine in an intimate cellar setting, Wang Thai in High Constantia is an experience from start to finish. The food is incredible – try their chocolate spring rolls! – and the service is top-notch.
Unwind with a glass of wine and scrumptious French cuisine in front of a blazing fire at the quaint brasserie, Pastis, in Constantia. Situated alongside the vineyards of Groot Constantia, it exudes warmth and an informal vibe.
5 ROOMS RESTAURANT
The 5 Rooms Restaurant at the historic Alphen Hotel is fine dining with a difference. Open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and for lunch on Sundays, the menu offers simple, but sophisticated meals, with meat, fish and vegetarian dishes available. House within the old Manor House, 5 Rooms lends itself to an intimate and luxurious experience.
STEENBERG WINE ESTATE
One of the most beautiful settings in the valley, Steenberg Estate boasts two world class restaurants. Catharina’s – named after Catharina Res who founded the farm – offers “contemporary comfort food” using fresh produce and prepared by Executive Chef Garth Almazan. Bistro Sixteen82 first opened in 2009 and has since become a favourite for its tapas and bistro style dining. With Breakfast, Lunch and late-afternoon Tapas menus to choose from, the Bistro provides fine dining with an inimitable contemporary spirit.
The restaurant at the Cellars Hohenort uses fresh produce from the gardens, which are then incorporated into its seasonal menu. Having been built around a 200-year-old oak tree and with a backdrop of Table Mountain and the camphor trees at its foot, The Conservatory exudes a comfortable and laidback ambience, which is paired wonderfully with its sophisticated menu.
THE GREENHOUSE RESTAURANT
Another of Cape Town’s most impressive specimens housed in the valley, The Greenhouse has a number of awards on its shelves thanks to three sensational tasting menus alongside the a la carte menu, expertly paired with some of Cape Town’s best wines.
One of the most beautiful locations in the valley, overlooking the splendour of the estate’s vineyards with the Constantiaberg Mountains in the distance. It has long been considered one of the city’s best fine dining restaurants. Chef Edgar Osojnik’s Austrian roots are evident in his retro-style dishes, which are divided into four categories, Light & Easy, Rustic Affairs, Indulge and Desserts, catering for relaxed and deli style lunches / dinners, but also offering a limited selection of fine dining dishes.
One of the oldest estates in the country, Groot Constantia boasts two top-notch restaurants – Jonkershuis and Simon’s. These two beautiful restaurants also offer the perfect setting for any event – from a wedding to a conference. Jonkershuis is situated next to the historic Homestead and surrounded by ancient oak trees. Here you will find food, wine and a fire to warm body and soul. Simon’s restaurant offers gorgeous al fresco dining on the terrace with panoramic views of the vineyards as well as cosy fireside meals in winter.
LITTLE STREAM RESTAURANT
This great little spot is perfect for families – big and small – serving wholesome meals, with generous portions in a quaint setting with a shaded veranda and sun-kissed lawn area. Little Stream Restaurant is the perfect spot for a laidback breakfast or chilled lunch.
THE BAY SPORTS BAR
Something of a hidden gem, just hiding in plain sight, the Bay Sports Bar calls the False Bay Rugby Club home. Still relatively new on the block, the restaurant serves a simple menu boasting impressive portions at even more impressive prices. It is perfect for the family with a great outdoors play area for the kids and is a perfect place to watch the rugby with a number of flat screens inside and a marquee often put up for Test matches.
WHERE TO PLAY:
Situated in the heart of the Constantia suburb, Constantia Village has all the convenience of a mall, but its wide, open spacing creates the ambience of a village square. There are a number of high quality restaurants and coffee shops, high-end boutiques and big-name shopping chains. Whether you are looking for an intimate dinner for two or nappies for the little ones, you will be well served at Constantia Village.
WESTLAKE GOLF CLUB
Westlake’s 18-hole Golf Club sits at the foot of the Silvermine mountains in a beautiful setting abundant with bird life and is only 25 minutes from central Cape Town.
STEENBERG GOLF ESTATE
Described as a ‘Green Haven’, Steenberg Golf Estate 18-hole course is situated at the foot of the Constantiaberg Mountains on a working winery, amidst five-star restaurants, a spa and a two-tier driving range. Close to town, Steenberg Golf Club is known to the golf elite for its great service and overall memorable experience. The course is not too challenging and typically in good condition.
SA FOREST ZIPLINE
There is arguably no better way to absorb the splendour of Constantia Valley. The SA Forest Adventures zipline at Silvermist Wine Estate, near Constantia Nek, combines adventure and sight-seeing into one unique experience. The 2.3-kilometre course is one of the longest in Africa with the lines differing in distance and speed. Once you’re done, be sure to quench your thirst by visiting Groot Constantia, which you more than likely got a bird’s eye view while zipping your way across the valley. Read our own Kelly Lodewyk’s review of the adventure HERE.
Another one for the adrenaline junkies. Take on your fears on one of Acrobranch Cape Town’s action-packed aerial courses. Each course is specifically designed to test your limits – good fun for both young and old.
The Constantia Valley was made for trail junkies. The Constantia Green Belts provide a number or relatively easy routes for runners. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can head up Constantia Nek for some tough climbs and single track. Just make sure somebody knows where you are. And take a map! You can find these at our Visitor Information Centres.
One of the best ways to take in the Constantia Valley is on horseback. There are a number of companies that offer outrides through the vineyards as well as pony rides for the kids.
WHERE TO STAY:
The five-star hotel boasts luxurious accommodation including striking heritage suites, contemporary premier rooms, family rooms and the charm of sunny barn rooms as well as those in the original Manor House. Add two world-class restaurants, an 18-hole golf course and an award-winning winery and you have your home away from home!
Located in close proximity to the area’s restaurants and with easy access to all major attractions, Constantia Cottages has been endorsed as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by the AA Quality Assured Accommodation Program.
This luxury guest house accommodation borders the beautiful Constantia Green Belts. It is surrounded by eight vineyards, friendly pubs, superb restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets, golf courses and the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens. What more could you possibly ask for? How about world class accommodation and business facilities? Done.
Paradiso is a family run guesthouse and self- catering cottage, offering guests friendly and personal service is set in a tranquil treed garden with sweeping views of the distant Constantiaberg Mountains, Constantia valley and its wine farms.
THE ALPHEN BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Escape to a wonderland of contemporary glamour and sensual pleasures where charm and character of classical heritage merge beautifully with modern finishes and surprise design elements.
The Cellars-Hohenort is ideally situated as a central point from which to experience the diversity of activities, including Cape Point, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Constantia Valley Wine Route and the famous beaches of Boulders and Camps Bay. All 48 rooms and suites boast panoramic views of the iconic mountain or over the 9.5 acres of beautifully manicured gardens.
SILVERMIST MOUNTAIN LODGE
Situated on the forested Southern slopes of Table Mountain and within the Table Mountain National Park, this rustic luxurious 60 acre lodge is just minutes away from Cape Town’s wonderful beaches, Constantia wine lands and restaurants and boasts 22 self-catering cottages.
ASK A LOCAL:
Nobody knows Contantia better than a local. When you’re in town be sure to visit the closest VIC at Kirstenbosch where staff can help you really uncover the magic on offer in Constantia and surrounds. Also be sure to visit www.constantiavalley.com for all the ins and outs on what is on offer in the Constantia Valley.
SPECIAL THANKS TO CONSTANTIA WINE ROUTE FOR ALL THEIR WORK IN HELPING US UNCOVER THE AREA.
We will be unlocking two neighbourhoods every month to make sure you get to travel like a local – or live like a tourist – in the Mother City. Keep an eye out for these awesome guides!