Taking your toddler to the Cape Garden Centre N1

I recently discovered that there is indeed another Cape Garden Centre… I had a sneaky suspicion that the one on the R44 en route to Somerset West wasn’t the only one – a suspicion that was confirmed in a chat to another mom. She told me that as she lives in Welgevonden she often finds it easier to skip all the R44 traffic lights and just go to the Cape Garden Centre on the N1 which feels much closer to her home.

I decided that it was well worth trying it out. The Cape Garden Centre N1 can be found right next to the N1. As you drive from Stellenbosch, turn onto the N1, drive past the Engen filling station and take the first off-ramp (Lucullus and Maroela rd), turn right on the off-ramp and drive over the highway and voila! the Cape Garden Centre is found on your right hand side.  In distance on a map it is about the same distance from Stellenbosch as the garden centre on the R44 but in real driving time it was definitely quicker getting there for me. This will, however, depend on where you stay in Stellenbosch and how many traffic lights you have to pass.

When we got out of the car I couldn’t believe how I could have possibly missed this garden centre all the previous times I drove along the N1 as it is right next to the highway and besides that – it is HUGE! Lugging around all the baby accessories it took us a while to find the Bamboo Restaurant inside the Cape Garden Centre as there are a couple of other little shops/ stalls inside the garden centre as well. So when we finally walked through the doors of the restaurant I was very disappointed to not see a spectacular jungle gym like the one at the R44 Garden Centre. Although the restaurant does not sport the biggest jungle gym mankind has ever seen, the restaurant’s play area will keep toddlers and smaller ones entertained as it is basically made up of one big sand pit. The restaurant itself, on the other hand, is much larger than the R44 Cape Garden Centre’s. But back to the play area:  It consists of a sandpit, toys to play in the sand with, a playhouse, swing and a smallish jungle gym (one of those ones that looks like it’s made of tree branches). Like I said, perfect for toddlers. My daughter immediately grabbed hold of one of the plastic toy wheelbarrows and started whisking down the aisles between the restaurant tables with it.

The restaurant is more of an outside venue than an inside one: A small part of the restaurant is inside and the rest of it is outside with tables that are shaded by umbrellas. I am told that it is a popular venue amongst mommies from the surrounding area for holding baby showers. Take note that the play area is open air so this is not a good hangout if it is raining. For more info visit the Bamboo Restaurant’s website or check out the Bamboo Restaurant on the Cape Garden Centre’s website.

Why the Bamboo Restaurant is kid-friendly?

  • High chairs for babies
  • Kids’ menu
  • Kiddie-sized toilet and washing basin in the Ladies bathroom (so cute!)
  • Baby changing area in the Ladies’ bathroom
  • Small play area with sandpit

thestellenboschmom

5 Comments

  1. All the spectacular jungle gyms are at Buggz, the big tent you drive past as you enter the Garden Centre!

  2. I collected my child from school today, as usual, at 3 pm, and since daddy is in Jhb and mommy therefore didn’t particularly have to cook, I decided to take my child for a mommy daughter outing to a restaurant for some playtime. I grabbed the iPad and started looking for something with firstly, REAL food (not chips and crumbed….anything), secondly a play area that still makes you feel like part of the restaurant, thirdly, IN Stellenbosch, so we don’t have to drive back to far in the dark (not to much to ask?!) and lastly, open for meals between 3 and 6 pm. I found nothing…

    I was more than disappointed, with HUNDREDS of restaurants in this town known for its eat outs, barely any cater for parents. WE ALSO EAT. I’m guessing there are thousands of parents living in Stellenbosch, where do you go to have a proper culinary experience with your children? Let me know ASAP

    • Liezel,

      You had me scratching my head! After chatting to my husband, we have decided that you are… completely RIGHT!

      Let me start from the beginning:
      Firstly, REAL food for kids – I truly suspect that the only restaurant where you’ll find healthy food to eat for kids is Eat Well at Die Boord Spar. (They do have a small jungle gym on the grass area!)

      Secondly, grown up space – try Bodega @ Dornier Wines, Delicatessen @ Tokara (not open till late but a recent management change may bring about changes in trading hours) and 96 Winery Road. For more relaxed and light lunches – Joostenberg, Skildpadsvlei and Hudsons.

      The hunt is on to find venues with REAL food for our kids…

      I will post this on Twitter and hopefully I can get back to you with, well, something!

  3. Moms with youngsters between three and ten should really give BUgz, next to Cape Garden a try

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