Food Routes fired up with tasty winter travels

Avid foodie travellers can now turn their winter hibernation into a culinary exploration at the click of a button as Food Routes – an online expressway to an amazing array of ‘wine, dine and recline’ adventures across South Africa – offers a smorgasbord of exclusive winter attractions en route to shake of the chilly blues.

“As if providing access to some of the country’s finest accommodation offerings and most memorable gourmet experiences via our interactive website and effortless online booking system is not enough, Food Routes goes the extra mile this season by offering its ‘visitors’ added winter-inspired adventures to perk up the palate and mood during their winter travels,” shares Riaan Kruger, co-founder of Food Routes.

The bespoke winter pleasures – which are on offer at some of Food Routes’ most prominent destinationsrange from soup and sherry stops during game drives and a winter indulgence up the West Coast; to an art drive in the Mother City and a private cooking class in the beautiful Cape countryside. If you book any of these winter deals via Food Routes’ website you get an additional 5% off your stay.

From über-cool city spaces to unspoilt country retreats, Food Routes’ establishments are all cocooned in comfort and luxury, but are as diverse as their menus. Listings are by invitation only and each of the chosen accommodation partners has been carefully vetted and has an excellent reputation when it comes to culinary prowess.

Food Routes Winter Specials include:

If it is a safari that gets your engine revving, then Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, a sophisticated Big Five safari experience set on 22 000 hectares of private wilderness in the heart of the Eastern Cape, is a must stopover this winter. This pristine destination, which flanks both the north and south banks of the Great Fish River and comprises four small Relais & Châteaux accredited lodges, offers hearty soup and sherry stops during their game drives in winter.

Think wholesome homemade soup served with traditional treats such as vetkoek and roosterkoek and sips of sherry…right there in the veld. Or get cosy by the fire during a famed Kwandwe bush dinner, when Chef Quintinn Van Rensburg sizzles up a traditional South African braai with a twist.

If the untamed beauty of the West Coast is your thing, then you will be in warm company at Abalone House & Spa, a 5 star boutique guest house in Paternoster. Their Winter Indulgence package is inclusive of 2 nights’ bed and breakfast, an hour’s spa pamper at the Healing Earth Spa each day and a delectable 2 course dinner at Reuben’s Restaurant in the evenings. Celebrity chef Reuben Riffel has conjured up a mouthwatering winter menu, fuelled with exquisite, seasonal tastes and flavours such as Tandoori baked linefish, Malay curried fishcakes, braised pork belly and sticky Malva pudding.

If you are flocking to Cape Town this season, then opt for Ellerman House’s Journey Promotion. From its commanding position on the slopes of Lion’s Head in the prestigious Bantry Bay, lovers of the finer things in life can revel in unsurpassed sensory indulgences over and above Ellerman House’s signature spa and culinary experiences. This include a bespoke cheese and wine tasting with the resident sommelier in its new cutting-edge wine gallery as well as an awe-inspiring Art Drive to all top art galleries in and around the 2014 World Design Capital.

Or sign up for a private cooking class with Chef Louise Gillett in the farm kitchen at Bartholomeus Klip – a gracious Victorian homestead nestled on one of the biggest wheat and sheep farms in the Western Cape that includes a 10,000 hectare private nature reserve in the Riebeek Valley. This bah-bah-licious breakaway allows one to unleash your inner chef and soak up country bliss at its best. The thrill of an evening game drive and the excitement of the daily operations of a working farm add to this unique winter escape, not to mention the free copy of Louise’s award-winning cookbook, Life on a Cape Farm.

Should your winter sojourn include Stellenbosch – the Wine and Gourmet Capital of the country where exceptional wine and food are par for the course – then Majeka House is the perfect palace of pampering. This private boutique hotel – with its luxurious accommodation; a professionally run spa; its renowned restaurant, Makaron, a member of the prestigious club of Eat Out’s Top 10 restaurant winners, and prime location close to all hot spots – is one of the most stylish boltholes in the Cape Winelands. Its exclusive winter offerings range from a 2 nights’ Wine & Dine package which includes a Cape Malay Cooking Course with the popular Bites & Sites Food Tours to a deluxe Soul to Sole Detox package.

To plan and book your winter culinary travel adventure simply visit the Food Routes website for a fusion of some of the finest accommodation and gastronomic experiences in the country – all available at the click of a button. In addition to its handy map and route planner; chef chitchats; a blog, and its laser-beam focus on the best festivals and markets, the website also features a nifty Culinary Sensibility Identities (CSI) tool – an online evaluation process in which the traveller can compare and match his own unique culinary personality profile to that of a compatible destination.

For more information on the Food Routes winter attractions and a detailed list of participating destinations, or to plan and book your ideal, tailor-made trip, visit www.foodroutes.co.za.

Booking requests can also be emailed to reservations@foodroutes.co.za or contact Tel: 082 5427566 or 023 626 3498. Follow Food Routes on Twitter @foodroutescoza and Facebook.