I’m sure many of you can relate to me when I say that South Africa is a great place to return to at the end of one’s travels. One element in particular is, of course, the food. We just know how when it comes to gastronomical delights. Whether it’s Italian food, seafood, fresh produce, Cape Malay or traditional ‘boerekos’, we’re pretty good at getting it just right.
So to indulge in these amazing talents and enjoy the best of the best, here are 15 food festivals around the country to keep your appetite satisfied the rest of the year.
24 to 25 August 2012, Calvinia
Vegetarians, stear clear, because this is sheep country. Calvinia is known for it’s fine sheep meat and the Hantam Vleisfees strives to celebrate just that. Expect all kinds of meaty festivities, such as tasting different mutton and lamb dishes while listening to ‘regte boeremusiek’.
Durban Good Food and Wine Show
23 to 27 August 2012, Durban
Cost: Depends on event
The Durban leg of South Africa’s premier food and wine show offers all the excellence, variety and top class entertainment that can be expected from such a renowned gourmet feast. You can look forward to seeing MasterChef Australia judge, George Calombaris as well as our very own Benny Masekwameng whipping up their signature dishes in the theatre.
Ballito Prawn & Jazz Festival
28 to 30 September 2012
Even though it falls together with the Mr Price Pro Surfing Weekend, a celebration of everything prawn is reason in itself to book a weekend in Ballito. The many food marquees will bring you flavours like peri-peri, lemon butter, plain and curry, to name but a few, while the kids entertainment, stage and craft markets will keep you busy as you prepare for your second, third and fourth rounds of prawn.
Taste of Joburg
27 to 30 September 2012
Cost: R60 for a standard ticket and R150 for a VIP ticket
Bringing together the city’s most acclaimed restaurants and carefully selected exhibitors; this renowned festival attracts Gauteng’s most dedicated and sophisticated foodies.
Food wine & design
23 to 25 November 2012, Johannesburg
This celebration of a good quality lifestyle takes place on the rooftop of Hyde Park Shopping Centre and is the first of its kind in South Africa. Browse at leisure through this boutique, outdoor market and enjoy exhibits from only the finest furniture crafters, artisan producers, wine labels and micro breweries. Indulge in speciality foods and watch the top chefs perform on site.
Vrede Paddadors Fees
30 August to 1 September 2012, Vrede
Cost: R80 for adults, R40 for children
The dry land on which the town of Vrede was established was originally called Paddadors, meaning “frog thirst” in Afrikaans. When peace came to the land, it was renamed Vrede and his festival celebrates the peace annually. It’s also known as the ‘Roovleis en Kultuurfees’, meaning that you’ll be offered lots and lots of red meat and traditional food as well as culture, in the form of live singers, bands and children’s activities.
Ficksburg Cherry Festival
15 to 17 November 2012
This renowned festival of all thins cherry promises an even more impressive rogramme this year. Celebrating its 44th year, this is the longest running crop festival in South Africa. Expect anything from cherry bake-offs to cherry mampoer making and don’t forget about the live entertainment such as the Soweto String Quartet and the Joburg Lipizzaner Horses.
Robertson Slow Festival
10 to 12 August 2012
Cost: Varies from event to event
Who wouldn’t enjoy a weekend dedicated to taking things slow and enjoying the finest cuisine and wines offered by the Robertson Wine Valley? Wine farms and guest houses across Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson will be presenting a series of intimate, gourmet events as well as all-day tastings. Activities like wine tasting on horseback and by river cruises should keep those who feel the need to be active satisfied and the festival will culminate into the Regional Food Market on Sunday morning, where you can purchase the freshest, and most delicious, local produce.
Hermanus wine and food fair
9 to 11 August 2012, Hermanus
Cost: R95 a day, R200 for a weekend pass
Wine farms from Elgin all the way to Elim will be featured at this premier food and wine show and you’ll have the opportunity to taste over 250 different wines while indulging in delicious cuisine in between. All wines will also be available for purchase at cellar prices
Gourmets & Gourmands Culinary Festival
25 August 2012, George
Chefs from 15 top-class restaurants will each prepare a four-course meal for 180 guests and present it to them on the Carpe Diem School grounds. Naturally, meals will be paired with the wines from the surrounding wine farms. Every year sees a different theme, and this year, guests can dress up in the style of the ‘Roaring Twenties’.
Citrusdal local food festival
1 September 2012
Celebrate spring with a get together of farmers, restaurants, local foodies and delicious wines and discover the best of the area’s country style cooking and baking. Watch live cooking shows and taste a range of beers and wines as the kids have fun in the play area or watch some live entertainment.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CitrusdalFoodWineFestival
McGregor Food and Wine
1 September 2012
Known as one of the most affordable and unpretentious food and wine festivals around the country, spring day in McGregor promises to be a truly relaxing and enjoyable experience. Restaurants throughout the village will offer special weekend menus to enjoy after a day of festivities in the church hall.
22 to 23 September 2012, George
Enjoy a day of family fun and fresh air on the Redberry Farm as you stroll through the many food stalls, hang out in the beer tent or let the children enjoy the miniature steam train. Indulge in everything from local wines and cheeses to fresh veggies and herbs.
Spier Secret Festival
27 to 28 October 2012, Spier Wine Estate
Cost: R1500 for the weekend
During this weekend, you’ll be exploring the latest in food and wine trends. Secrets of all kind will be revealed – from secret ingredients and family recipes to South Africa’s best-kept wine secret, Chenin Blanc. The festival includes art installations, talks, presentations, workshops, tastings, Secret Home Dinners, a Saturday food and wine market, mini cookbook fair and Sunday braai-off.
Crayfish & Seafood Festival
3 to 4 December 2012, Paternoster
Cost: R130. Includes a salad, crayfish and 500ml bottle of wine
If there’s any one place in South Africa that truly know its seafood, it’s the West Coast. And what better place to indulge in all things salt water than the beautiful fisherman’s town of Paternoster? Choose your own crayfish from straight off the boat for a braai or try seafood potjiekos and snoek. Relax in the beer garden or browse the craft market while your kids have their faces painted.
If you’re planning to travel to any of these destinations for their food festivities, visit Getaway Accommodation to make your booking process that much easier.