We wanted to take lo out to run about on a Friday afternoon and was planning something like the Garden Centre on the R44, but then we thought about what the Friday traffic in and around Stellenbosch could look like on a Friday and we quickly discarded that idea. “Why don’t we go to Spier?” I asked. Plenty of open space to run around and ducks on the pond to watch and feed – what more does a child need?
My husband and I have been to Spier and Moyo a couple of times before the baby was born, the last time being somewhere in the year…. ooh… I have to think hard now… can’t remember… probably 2010/11? (Yikes! Doesn’t time just fly when you have kids?) Back to Friday afternoon. We went to Spier knowing what to expect and when we arrived there it was nothing like we expected. Things have certainly changed since our last visit. It seems like management has done some renovation. We were looking for the spot where you could once pick up picnic things and instead found a wine tasting room. When we asked one of the staff members about it we were directed to walk a bit further down the path to find the new coffee shop and picnic pit-stop.
The new picnic shop called Eight to Go is much more stylish and bistro-like than the old one, but is almost a third of the size of what it used to be. The variety of snacks is also much smaller – we wanted some Simba/ Lay’s crisps for example and couldn’t find any. The one thing that they did upgrade is the coffee/ tea stall with a barista waiting to make you a fresh cappuccino/ laté. We got two cappuccino’s – one decaf and one not – and got outside again where we wanted to be in the first place. The outside area is also a huge improvement as the space seems much bigger than it used to be. We spend the afternoon drinking coffee, watching lo playing on the jungle gym and reading newspaper under the trees. A very relaxing time for all three of us.
What is so nice about Spier for me is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Yes, their picnic goodies are expensive but if you just get coffee and tea for two it comes down to just short of thirty bucks and you do not have to pay a tip as you are not sitting down like in a coffee shop. So I think it could be a bargain depending on what you choose to buy at the shop. If, however, you do have some money to spend, go check out their website for their delicious picnic hampers that one can pre-order.
Last piece of advice from my side is to take your toddlers’ snacks/ chips/ cooldrink with as there aren’t that many kiddie-friendly food and drink (for young kids anyway) options in the shop.
Why Eight to Go is kid-friendly?
- Changing facilities in the bathroom
- Large, open spaces for kids to run around
- A jungle gym
- You can take your own blankets, toys, prams…