Spice Route: The 13 Best Things To Do at this Paarl Estate

Spice Route: The 13 Best Things To Do at this Paarl Estate

This boutique wine village is home to some excellent restaurants, a deli, glass-blowing studio and an art gallery, making it the perfect day trip into the country.

A mere 45-minute drive from the city, Spice Route’s delightful village set-up in Paarl is the perfect day-trip destination for the whole family. Aside from fabulous restaurants, there’s a smorgasbord of tempting things to do, see and taste. Here’s our round-up of where to eat, shop and play.

Do you know of any other attractions at this colourful mecca that you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments below.

1. Jewells

Jewells: The Best Things To Do at Spice Route in Paarl

Chefs Warehouse maestro Liam Tomlin has joined forces with charcuterie whizz Neil Jewell and baker extraordinaire Tina Jewell to open a farm-to-table eatery in the Paarl Winelands – at Spice Route to be exact.
The new restaurant has taken over the space formerly occupied by Bertus Basson at Spice Route and opened in May 2019. As you’d expect, only the best-quality ingredients are used in the dishes: vegetables and herbs from Spice Route’s surrounding farmland, and organic Red Angus beef from Charles Back’s herd.
The experimental winelist comprises a Spice Route selection, including a new range of natural wines, produced in clay vats from Georgia (in Europe, one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions).
With three talented chefs at the helm, a beautiful winelands location, and farm-fresh produce – Jewells is already shining bright like a diamond.
Opening May 2019
Book through DinePlan
Contact 021 863 5200, info@spiceroute.co.za

2. Collect Ceramic Studio

Collect Ceramic Studio: The Best Things To Do at Spice Route in Paarl

Feted South African ceramicist Anthony Shapiro’s new shop is a welcome addition to the creative offering at the Spice Route. In addition to being able to shop for exquisite hand-made pieces (by Anthony himself and a handpicked selection of other artists), visitors will also get a peek into the mind of the master potter who has been perfecting his craft since the ripe age of 13.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 082 853 0988, anthony@anthonyshapiro.co.za

3. Hero Adventure Trail

Hero Adventure Trail: Things To Do at Spice Route

Known for creating some of the best adventure trails in the country, the Hero Adventure Trail brings 50km of track to the Spice Route. Located on the southern slopes of the Paarl Mountain the trails boasts views of vineyards, olive orchards, citrus plantations, and more. Ideal for keen mountain-bikers, runners, hikers and explorers, the trail even has a 100-metre Choc-o-Trail, especially designed for youngsters!
Please note In order to use the trails you must register and purchase a day permit at the Hero Trail Centre or Information Centre at Spice Route.
Opening times Summer, 6am – 6pm
Winter, 7am – 7pm months:
Contact 083 384 2976, info@hero-adventure.co.za

4. La Grapperia

La Grappaeria: Things To Do at Spice Route

Enjoy a selection of wood-fired, thin-based pizzas, German and Italian-style platters, and more, with a glass or two of Wilderer’s award-winning gin and tonic at this casual eatery. Our jovial party of 10 enjoyed a light lunch under the trees, sharing a variety of dishes from the menu followed by several delicious pizzas with different toppings. Our pizzas took a while to arrive, but the friendly hostess explained that on busy days the restaurant serves over 400 covers. It’s the ideal place to linger longer, if you don’t have to rush back to town.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 10.30pm
Contact 021 863 4367, grapperia@wilderer.co.za

5. Barley & Biltong

Barley & Biltong: The Best Things To Do at Spice Route in Paarl

The beer garden on the top level of the farm village has arguably one of the best views in the Boland. The outdoor seating at long wooden tables and benches on a peach-pip floor is ideal for large groups. Indoors, there’s a long wooden bar counter under a reed ceiling, with several TV screens strategically placed for big-match days.
The restaurant is reputed to serve some of the best gourmet burgers in the area – thick juicy patties with mature cheddar and homemade tomato sauce served on a sesame bun with chips. Specials and light lunch options are chalked up on the blackboard daily.
The spacious area is a perfect place to while away a few hours while enjoying an ice-cold pint or two of Cape Brewing Company (CBC) craft beer made next door with a selection of beef, kudu, eland and beef biltong served in artisanal-looking brown paper bags.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Book through DinePlan
Contact 021 863 5200, info@barleyandbiltong.co.za

6. DV Cottage Café

DV Chocolate Cafe: Spice Route

For a delicious sweet treat and a cup of the good stuff, head to this coffee shop for freshly roasted cup of coffee, a tempting array of gluten-free cakes (made with De Villiers Chocolate), and home-made ice cream.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 874 1060, info@dvchocolate.com

7. Spice Route Tasting Room

Spice Route Tasting Room

As its name implies, Spice Route recalls the ancient mariners of the 15th century who braved the Cape of Storms in search of exotic spices. Charles Back, who owns the highly successful Fairview Estate just 800 metres up the road, opened the winery in 1997, which was considered to be a bold move at the time. Today, however, his bold spirit seems to have paid off, with the new destination attracting flocks of locals and out-of-towners.
When it comes to wine-tasting, there are four options: Malabar Tasting (R40), Swartland Wine Journey (R50), Winemaker’s Journey (R75) and Wine and Charcuterie Journey (R100). If it’s chilly outside, head to the cosy underground tasting room, but if it’s a beautiful day, enjoy your wine under the pergola, or on the expansive lawns, where newly planted plane trees and umbrellas provide shade.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 5200, tasting@spiceroute.co.za

8. Wilderer Distillery

Wilderer Distillery: Spice Route

Building on the legacy of master distiller Helmut Wilderer, whose award-winning grappa and eau de vie (schnapps) paved the way, this enchanting distillery still produces world-class spirits. In the safe hands of his son Christian Wilderer, the distillery caters for pop-ins as well as tastings at R30. Look out for Cape Healing Herb Bitter, a naturally produced local liqueur using over 30 fynbos herbs including buchu, betulina, rooibos, devil’s claw and African wormwood. It has won a gold medal and costs a princely R305!
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Contact 021 863 4367, spiceroute@wilderer.co.za

9. The Cape Brewing Company

Cape Brewing Company: Spice Route

Opened in December 2012, the Cape Brewery Company (CBC) produces a wide range of craft beers – under the watchful eye of skilled brewmaster Wolfgang Koedel – who insists on using only the finest ingredients and state-of-the-art equipment. Aficionados can view the facilities, watch the entire production process and taste it immediately after – either on tap or at the tasting stations. There are four core brews: pilsner, lager, Krystal Weiss and Amber Weiss made using crystal-clear water from a nearby spring in the Paarl mountain, which gives the beer its unique flavour. Choose between tasting four beers (R40) or seven (R60) before you decide which (and how many) crates to take home with you! Check out all CBC Beer Tasting details here.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (last tasting at 4.30pm)
Contact 021 863 2270, info@capebrewing.co.za

10. De Villiers Chocolate

DV Chocolate Studio: Things To Do at Spice Route

There’s more to chocolate than meets the eye at DV Artisan Chocolate – one of the few bean-to-bar micro-chocolatiers in the world. The factory and shop are situated in a charming historic building on the farm where chocolates are hand-crafted from cocoa beans sourced from all corners of the globe. The shop also sells medium-roast Arabica coffee beans and drinking chocolate.
Daily tastings are available and vary from a simple chocolate and confectionary tasting (R25) to a tutored explanation of all six single-origin dark chocolates, including a sampling of the delicately roasted cocoa beans, and an insight into the bean-to-bar process (R35, booking required) to the chocolate truffle workshop for connoisseurs (R145).
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 874 1060, info@dvchocolate.com

11. The Trading Company

Trading Company: Spice Route

No visit to Spice Route would be complete without popping into Abigail Bisogno’s gorgeous Trading Company. A former retail director at Foschini, Abby (who happens to be the sister of Charles Back and co-owner of Spice Route) has created a shop filled with exciting treasures – from handmade, limited-edition pieces by well-known local artists to bespoke homeware, exotic
Cushions and table linen, jewellery, stationery, and much, much more. Most of the products are made from natural materials and all the décor in the store has been handmade locally or spruced up by local craftsmen. With its mix of old and new, it’s a quirky treasure trove where you’re sure to find the ideal gift for anyone and everyone you know. Tourists can pick up all the gifts they need to take home to loved ones in this one-stop shop.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.
Contact 021 201 6917, contacttradingco@gmail.com

12. Brenda’s Deli

Brendas Deli: Spice Route

Foodie extraordinaire Brenda de Jager has turned her passion for all things edible into a business that makes preservative- and additive-free jams, preserves, pickles and glazes. Find her deli at the entrance to the Spice Route and stock up on one of her fragrant jams, the perfect accompaniment to a slice of buttery toast or a fluffy scone.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 3392, info@brendas.co.za

13. Red Hot Glass

Spice Route Paarl Red Hot Glass

Situated next door to Liam Tomlin and Neil Jewell’s restaurant is one of the few Venetian-style glass-blowing studios in the country. The glass pieces in the gallery are exquisite – from hand-blown perfume bottles to interior artefacts lighting and abstract sculptural artworks. From the gallery you can observe watch the craftsmen going about the business of glass-blowing.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm
Friday, 9am – 4.30pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 0330, info@redhotglass.co.za

Researched by Francesca Gransden

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 29 May 2019

6 Responses to “Spice Route: The 13 Best Things To Do at this Paarl Estate”

  1. Avatar

    Laetitia Weakley

    What a beautiful place to visit

  2. Avatar


    I would like to receive your news.

  3. Avatar

    Louine Pretorius

    Please send map of route from Simonstown. Thanks.

  4. Avatar


    I would like to do an enquiry regarding a full day trip at Spice Route for a staff function end November (30th November 2019)
    We are a group of 10 people and how about can we book for the 13 best things to do at Spice Route?

    Can someone contact me with a day plan and prices per person.

    Thank you
    Nicole Engelbrecht

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Nicole

      You’re through to The Inside Guide. You’ll need to contact Spice Route directly. Good luck.

  5. Avatar

    Sheva Lan

    I would love to receive your newsletters
    Best wishes