When we visited Napa Valley, Beringer was one of the few vineyards where tasting was free.
The tour of the vineyards was very interesting, especially when comparing the US and French wine drinking habits which were brought out in a light hearted way.
Most Americans don't seem to taste the wine, and the every day range is very palitable. When we got talking to the girl who did the tour, we were taken to the private tasting room to taste the superior wines.
2000 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574
A beautiful setting to sit and relax tasting some of the best wine in South Africa. My wife is not normally a red wine person but she loves the Three Cape Ladies, a delicious red wine, while my preference is for the Trilogy with its richer more complex flavours.
If you join the Warwick Wine Family, they will arrange to send you a mixed case of wine every six months in the UK, and you get invited to their Garden Party in December, where you can get very drunk on the finest white and red wines for free. Another benefit is the 20% discount on buying wines at the estate
On the R44 between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts/Paarl
Nestling in the hills, with False Bay and Table Mountain in view, a very pleasant place to have a very good and cheap lunch and drinkable wine starting at around 30 ZAR/bottle, which is almost cheaper than water.
The food is simple, with Cape Malay dishes the speciality.
Booking at weekends is recommended
Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa
One of the more relaxing places to enjoy a variety of cheap to expensive wines, normally eight to 12 wines are tasted.
Waterford is known for its chocolate and wine tasting, where you get three pieces of different chocolate with three different red wines
Cellar: Blaauwklippen Rd, Helderberg, Stellenbosch.
Tel no: 021 880 0496
A rustic restaurant with great food and wine. The resturant is next to the Ken Forrester Wine Estate, but they do wines from the Helderberg area. Wines outside Helderberg are in the rest of the world section.
They cater for both small and large parties of people with surprising ease. The steaks melt in your mouth, and if you have a sweet tooth, the duck & cherry pie is very good. For dessert I've never got past the creme brulee, but they all look very good
Surprisingly on Winery Road!! From Cape Town take the N2 to Somerset West, and take the R44 towards Stellenbosch. Winery Road is 3-4 miles on the left hand side. 96 is on the right about 0.5 miles down the road
One of the larger guest houses, set in the hills above Amanzintoti, with glorious views of the Indian Ocean. On a clear day, the ripples in the sea are dolphins swimming up and down the coast.
The accomodation is split over several houses/bungalows each with their own character. All the rooms are very comfortable.
Due to the steps down to the lower levels, the infirm need to be careful.
The laundry services is a bit on the pricey side compared to other guest houses
The quiet town of Amanzintoi springs to life on a Friday and Saturday night as all the young seem to congragate around this club. During the week the place shuts at 9PM, but its party, party at the town's only night club.
Don't let FMG put you off this otherwise sleepy resort, known for its beaches, the location is near the N2 away for the residencial areas
Follow the Ne south from Durban to Amanzintoti, and turn onto Kingsway, the clubs is by the main shopping centre.
We booked the hotel on the hotel's webpage, far cheaper than going via an agent. Look for the special rates, we got a room for US$129 Mon-Thurs, and US$159 for the Sunday. I mentioned that it was a wedding anniversary and got a room upgrade to a fountain view, and free gifts for both of us. The room was fabulous. The resturants are over priced, and the coffee shop where the chocolate fountain is was grossly over priced and very weak.
This hotel was referenced in some article in the Guardian. It lived up to expectations. We had the Rudolf II room, which is featured on the website.
Large and spacious, with a superbly comfortable six-foot bed to help you relax after a day's walking around Prague. While not in the town centre, it is close to the castle, and plenty of restaurants nearby, if you can't face the walk back up the hill.
A delightful restaurant overlooking the Ponte Vecchio on the south side of the river. A meal for two including a reserve bottle of wine and three courses costs around 90 euros. Would recommend booking a table by the window for clear views of the bridge and the Arno.
Via dei Bardi, 58r (near Ponte Vecchio); tel: 055 214 502
While expensive for NYC (circa $150 for two people for a three-course meal with a great Italian wine) the food is tremendous: the buffalo mozzarella melts in the mouth, the pastas are great and the creme brulee is one of the best I've had. One advantage of the price is the service you get. Unlike the usual rush of most restaurants, you have the table until you've finished, so its worth booking at least 1-2 days ahead.
Allegedly Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas eat there, but I've never seen them on my three visits.
7 East 54th St; tel: (212) 688-1999
On a warm sunny day, enjoy one of the best beaches in South Africa. The sea is warmer than Cape Town, and often less choppy than the east cost resorts of Durban, Balito etc.
Beware of the blue jelly fish that sometimes get washed up on the beach, they give a nasty sting that can be painful for a couple of hours
Each night there is live jazz, with a 20R cover charge for a stage view or 10R elsewhere. The bands tend to do 20-30 minute sessions, usually starting at 8pm and finishing in the early hours of the morning. The music is never so overbearing that you can't have a conversation.
The food is wonderful; the fresh seafood is always top notch and the steaks so tender they melt in the mouth. It's always difficult to decide between a starter or a dessert.
The house wine selection is very drinkable and goes with the main course, plus it's reasonably priced.
Arcade Pier Head
021 421 7471
Excellent Indian food and a great atmosphere. Most tables have a view of the kitchen, and all the food is prepared fresh. Be prepared to wait when it's busy, which is most of the time.
Two irritations are the lack of parking nearby and the fact that they try to squeeze larger groups onto a smaller table; for example, a party of six would be squeezed onto a table for four. So when booking always add a couple of people to the party size.
35 Church Street, City Centre, Cape Town, 021 424 0000
The accomodation is chalet style, but comfortable. Each room has a separate theme, and overlooks a golf course. It has a decent restaurant with a fair selection of wines, and the locals use it, so it's not overpriced.
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