Last week I snuck out of Cape Town on Thursday afternoon to spend the night at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel in Stellenbosch. I hadn’t been for years so was pleased check it out again. The pretty views over their damn and the mountains are still the same but so much had been built since I was last there.
We enjoyed a tasting in their chandelier lit barrel maturation cellar with their wine-maker Danielle Le Roux which was special, and being mid harvest, were able to see a little of the goings on in a busy cellar. The wines impressed me but their top-of-the-range ‘Avalon’ – in their speciality selection blew me away. I highly recommend stopping at Asara for a tasting on your next trip to Stellenbosch.
They also have a gin bar, I mean this is a wine estate right? Not just any gin bar either, but biggest in South Africa – with 275 gins and big seelction of tonics. We got carried away with the unbelievable and rare gins on offer and I loved tasting unusual ones prepared by their expert mixologists. A gin made with mescal and another made from seaweed stood out. The Sansibar Gin Lounge & Bistro is open from midday with indoor and outdoor seating. A fabulous way to chillax in the Winelands
Their newish fine dining restaurant ‘mise en place’ opened in October last year and I thought it was lovely. Housed at the bottom of their hospitality complex building it looks over the water from a wide patio and is only open in the evening. Touches of old-school silver service are in play, which made me feel nostalgia from my Hotel School days. The service was impeccable and the menu impressive. For the wine aficionado this is a must-visit spot as the restaurant accesses a 5000 bottle vinoteque cellar.
My room in the 40-roomed 5 star hotel was huge and extremely comfortable with a top-notch bed. I didn’t want to get up the next day. I also managed to squeeze a swim in their solar heated outdoor pool and wish I could have lounged around there for a day.
We had breakfast at Raphael’s and they offer big buffet and a la carte breakfasts. Once again with lovely views inside and out if you prefer.
Asara also has their own deli, which sells home-made pastry, bread, confectionary and ice cream.
I cant wait to go back and so should you when next you’re in the area.
*Discalimer – I stayed as a guest of Asara for the night
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