Festivals and events

The bohemian in me loves festivals. The kind where you go away for a weekend with a group of mates, camp in a field with thousands of others, spend the day swimming in a river and the nights dancing to bands under the stars.  Then there are events that have you out and about for a a few hours (or an entire day) where you enjoy doing something new.  Here are some festivals, events and exhibitions that I would definitely go to again (and some that I may not).

The Nuy Valley Festival
The people who live in the Nuy Valley are passionate about their wines and local produce and they also know how to have a lot of fun! Here are my five favourite things about the festival. Read more

Pet-friendly Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival
The Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival may be the most pet-friendly festival with many of the participating wine farms allowing dogs on a leash. Hereís a list of the wine farms that were pet-friendly so you can make a note for next year. Read more

SA Cheese Festival
The SA Cheese Festival is not only about cheese (thereís a lot of it!) but thereís all sorts of other great stuff to discover and enjoy too. Here are my 15 favourite finds, along with some practical advice on what to expect. Read more

Gin-Making Experience at 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town
If you love gin and fancy starting off your weekend in style, then The Conservatory at the swish 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is definitely the place to be on a Friday evening this summer!  Read more

Oyster and Champagne Festival
If you love oysters and bubbly, along with swanning about with the well-heeled at a beautiful venue, then donít miss this. Just make sure you take plenty of extra cash with you as you will need it. Read more

Die Groot Plaasproe! - Agri-Expo Livestock
Farm animals, cheese, wine, craft beer, braais and roosterkoek await you at the Groot Plaasproe on Sandringham Farm outside Stellenbosch. Everyone from townies to farmers are welcome and kids will love it! Read more

Asparagus Workshop at Babylonstoren
Babylonstoren hold regular workshops on a variety of topics related to gardening, including vegetables, herbs, beekeeping and more. These full-day workshops are inspiring, educational and excellent value for money. I attended the asparagus workshop and here's what the the day entailed. Read more

Unplugged62 Festival
An intimate music festival with a more refined edge! An older crowd (many with children) enjoying a relaxing weekend of camping on the lovely Joubert-Tradouw wine farm in Barrydale, with good music, home-cooked food and plenty of wine. It's a bit like Up The Creek in the good old days! Read more

Bot River Spring Weekend  
If you are looking for some good old-fashioned and affordable farm fun with a lot of wine and merriment thrown in, then the Bot River Spring Weekend should definitely be put into your diary for September. Read more

6 savvy survival tips for Tuning The Vine
Exploring the #InnerCityWineRoute the only time you are going to be able to walk through the streets of The Mother City with a glass of wine in your hand and get away with it. Itís also a good opportunity to try new wines and possibly go to venues that youíve never been to before. But itís gotten very popular, which means you are going to have to get savvy if you want to get the most out of your evening without losing your sense of humour, or your place in the tasting queue. Read more

Table Mountain Blues Summit
A gathering of some of South Africaís best blues bands at a venue that is out of this world, where you will feel like you are at a music festival miles away, when in fact you are very close to home. Plus itís kid-friendly (with under 12ís getting in for free) and with all that space and water to play in, they will have a ball. Read more

Robertson Wine On The River  
This wine festival makes for the perfect day out for everyone, where you can taste wines from over 40 wineries, enjoy a laid-back picnic along the banks of the Breede River, take a boat cruise and enjoy live music throughout the day. What's more, it's extremely affordable too! Read more

PIWOSA Wine Car Boot  
This year saw the very first Wine Car Boot in South Africa, held at Journey's Rest in Somerset West. The result of this novel car boot sale was plenty of wine loot in the boot and less junk in the trunk! Along with wine-tastings and sales, there was a fantastic collection of classic cars, games, live bands, food trucks and a trebuchet that chucked wine barrels and cars through the air. Read more

Fork & Cork Wellington Wine Festival
This new wine festival on the block (only in its second year this year) provides a casual and family-orientated day out in Wellington for those who prefer a relaxed environment in which to enjoy good wine and food with family, friends, kids and even your dog. Read more

Indie Karoo Film Festival, Prince Albert
South African independent film-makers, film buffs and those who just enjoy a good movie and buckets of popcorn take over the charming Karoo town of Prince Albert for a weekend of movies, documentaries and experimental films. Read more

Winter Wonderland, Gordonís Bay
Winter Wonderland takes place over two weekends and itís when Gordonís Bay lights up and opens its doors and its heart to everyone. If you miss it this year, make sure you go next year. Itís like Christmas in July and itís the best mid-year gift youíll give yourself and the Gordonís Bay community. Read more

Solms-Delta  ATKV Oesfees, Franschhoek
A completely unpretentious festival where you can expect to be dancing with a farm worker one minute, then rubbing shoulders with a wine farm owner the next, while scoffing snoek en patat and listening to a local farm band. Read more

Making Peace exhibition, The Company's Gardens, Cape Town
This exhibition is stark portrayal of where the worldís at and reminds us of what needs to be done in order to fix it (if we ever can).  Take a break from your desk this lunch hour and go for a walk. It will be a walk that could change the way you see the world, hopefully change the way you consume things and remind some of you of just how lucky you are.  Read more

Muratie Summer Concerts, Stellenbosch
Spend an afternoon in the company of good friends at this historic wine farm in Stellenbosch, enjoying award-winning wine, good food and talented local musicians in a relaxed and shady setting. Read more

Cherry-picking at Klondyke Farm, Ceres
Itís cherry season at Klondyke Farm just outside of Ceres, which means you get to go pick as many cherries as you can carry. Itís a fun day trip from Cape Town that is likely to turn out to be rather, er, fruitful.  Read more

Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival Ė The Magic of Bubbles
Think ďJ&B Met comes to FranschhoekĒ, where the well-heeled swan about drinking bottles of Champagne that cost the same as the average personís wine budget for the month. MCC tastings cost between R10 to R40 and the only way you are going to taste Champagne is if you buy the bottle. Read more

Songs We Made Famous
A live concert series that celebrates classic rock and pop where musicians from various local bands get together for a night to play cover versions of songs we all know in an intimate, casual environment. Read more

Galileo Open Air Cinema
A novel way of watching a movie and the closest you are going to get to re-living the days of going to a drive-in. From romantic dramas to timeless classics and action movies shown at various venues, including the winelands.
Read more

Doran Vineyards Sheep Derby, Paarl
A family-fun day out where you get to cheer on a group of hand-reared sheep as they race for a bucket of food. It's also got a feel-good factor as all proceeds go to the Wellington SPCA. Read more

Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells Rockabilly Festival
Classic cars,  custom bikes, roller derby girls, rockabilly bands, tattoos, food and beer - with a lot of polka dots and red lipstick! The 50's have never been so much fun ... Read more

Elgin Open Gardens
For two weekends in November, homes in the Elgin, Vyeboom and Bot River region open their carefully tended gardens to the public over two weekends. Along the way you can stop at various places to grab a bite to eat, do some wine-tasting or take in art from local artists. Read more

Elim Food and Wine Celebration
A fantastic day out (or weekend away) Ė laugh with the locals, drink delicious wine, scoff wholesome (and interesting) food, take photos of yourself on vintage tractors and oggle at archers on horseback. Read more