Although easily accessed via Baden Powel Drive off the N2, the Spier Estate feels like a world away.
With some hotels suites overlooking the Eerste River and all set in beautiful gardens with onward views of the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains, Spier is the kind of place where you might want to get away from it all. But, with so much to do within the estate’s white-washed walls, even the cosy gas fireplaces in your suite won’t keep you away from exploring.
Spier Artisan Studio
Firstly, there’s the art. Not just the cookie-cutter decoration on the walls of many a hotel but a collection of contemporary South African art that is collected and curated rather than simply displayed. Strolling through the Spier hotel and nearby conference centre public areas is like a booster injection of contemporary South African culture. And, with the recent opening of the Spier Artisan Studio, next to Eight Restaurant, visitors can watch and participate in the art-making process.
“The opening of this space demonstrates the depth of Spier’s commitment to supporting the visual arts,” Spier family owner Mariota Enthoven says in a press release. “We believe the arts are a powerful tool for transformation – sparking new insights and inspiring us to engage with our world in new ways.” She adds: “The Studio, along with the various outlets that grace the Werf, including our Farm Kitchen and food garden, is a way of reconnecting the heart of our farm with its past so that it is once more a hub of artisanal activity – where agriculture, food and creativity find expression.”
Many of the pieces the artisans create are interpretations of works from the Creative Block project which supports both established and emerging artists through purchasing work that is then sold to collectors. Creative Block also inspired the name of Spier’s range of premium, award-winning blends. Original Creative Block artworks are also on display and for sale in the studio.
Spier Farm Kitchen
Foodies will love the Spier Farm Kitchen, which bolsters the cuisine offering of Eight and the Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery. Although a separate business unit, Farmer Angus’s pasture reared eggs, chickens, and meats are also grown and raised on Spier Estate.
Spier Farm Kitchen is also from where the estate’s famous picnics are ordered and collected even though picnics can also be ordered online, especially for vegetarians, children, or for other dietary limitations.
Executive Chef Lolli Heyns and her team use seasonal produce grown organically in the Werf Food Garden, just a stone’s throw away from the Kitchen, as well as ingredients from other trusted local suppliers, like Farmer Angus, to create nutritious, farm-inspired food.
The Spier Farm Kitchen allows guests to customise their picnic with a wide range of freshly-prepared options to choose from – including rotisserie chicken, handcrafted pies and sandwiches (try the roast vegetable and pesto, or Farmer Angus roast beef with aioli) made with wood-fired Hoghouse bread. Guests can choose a freshly-made salad or create their own at the Salad Station. While Spier’s famous organic 70% Couverture chocolate meringue and other decadent treats are on offer, Chef Lolli has also developed a range of healthier sweet products which substitutes refined sugars with natural ones – think fig balls and citrus almond cake. To drink, there’s a selection of Spier wines, Juicebox juices, cider, and beer as well as delicious coffee to go.
While there don’t miss an opportunity for a 4x4 Segway Tour or visit Eagle Encounters for a wildlife experience that is as educational as it is memorable. spier.co.za