A Taste of Stellenbosch: Exploring South African Wines and Food

Stellenbosch is the dramatically beautiful, wine-producing region in South Africa. No visit to the country is complete without a Stellenbosch wine tasting (or two). Pair the wine with a food tour and learn about South Africa’s favorite foods, like biltong and bobotie.

Driveway flanked by foliage at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, offering South Africa wine tours

What waits at the end of this dramatic driveway? A wine safari at the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase.

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Why You Should Hire a Tour Guide When You Travel: Part 2

Kirstenbosch-Gardens-flowers-mountain

My second day in Cape Town happened to be my birthday so I was keen on having a fantastic day touring the peninsula. But I was still bothered by the nagging dilemma about whether it’s better to guide or not to guide?

When I returned I asked my travel agent, Yvette De Vries of African Portfolio, if she arranges tour guides for all of her clients or if I was projecting some type of weird “help me” vibe during our planning stage. She assured me that she encourages guides for guests visiting Cape Town. “It’s the best way to optimize the limited time available in a 150 square mile city that’s spread out around a 3,600 ft mountain.” Continue reading

Fork It! Eat Your Way Out of Winter Weather Blues.

I suspected this winter had reached record suck levels, but it wasn’t confirmed until I saw “Northeast” and “Siberia” in the same headline. There was no January thaw, so the accumulated snow trapped us in a polar prison. Even if you were lucky enough to book an escape, you suffered airport delays, cancellations, reroutes, and the really fortunate ones skidded off a runway at Laguardia last week.

So what’s a poor, frostbit survivor to do? I recommend making a reservation at a destination restaurant and then eating and drinking to excess.

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This is my garden. Martha Stewart says I should plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day. Fat chance. (Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC)

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