constantia

Grape run

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The Constant winelands

Last Sunday was one of my favorite races in Cape Town. The Grape Run is a half-marathon (21.1k) race through the vineyards of the Constantia wine farms. The scenery is spectacular, and for a total elevation of over 420m, for a half marathon it’s a pretty tough run. Note I say run and not race. While of course you can race it, this is an opportunity to enjoy the route, take a few photos, and of course stop for the mid-race wine-tasting. Yes you heard correctly. There is a 10k wine table, serving Klein Constantia wines.

While you almost never get wine on a race, this particular wine-tasting is a Grape Run tradition, it wouldn’t be quite the same without it!

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Running around one of the farm dams

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At least the farm dams still have water, so if we run out of water in Cape Town we can still drink Constantia wine

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Mid-race fuel

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Because its on the farm roads, there are almost no supporters, except for the occasional overprotective cow and calf.

2000km running

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I just hit the 2000km running mark this year, and what better route to celebrate than a run though the trails of the Constantia Green belts up to the mountain and back?

This bridge was just about at the 2000km mark. Although strangely enough I have never crossed it – my route turns left at the bridge to continue down towards Alphen.

More good news on the running front is that the West side of Silvermine has been reopened after the devastating fires last year, so a recon run is definitely in order.

Finally I hope you all had a great Christmas, see you in the new year.

Grape Run

The Grape run will be on October 18.. It is an amazing but tough 21km trail run, and a rare opportunity to run through the Constantia Vineyards (there is also a milder 14k and 5k race). I have completed the past 2 runs, but I will miss this year because I will be on holiday in Greece, which I think is a pretty good excuse!

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The view from the top

If you are a runner it is an amazing run to do. Groot Constantia (the oldest wine farm in South Africa) even have wine at the water tables!
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Me and my friend Steve having a refreshment at the “water” table – trail running is hard work

Burgers at the River Café, Constantia Uitsig

I seem to be eating out awfully often at the moment, and try as we do to stay at home, there always seems to be a really good reason to go out.

Today, it was lunch at the River Café with my good friends Nick and Jeanne, who are at the moment sitting on a flight back to the UK, so it was out last chance to see them in a while.

The River Café is a lovely restaurant at the entrance of Constantia Uitsig Wine farm. Although I have not been there in a while, the service and food were fantastic. The staff managed to maintain the fine balance between being there when they were needed, and not quite getting in the way. While they have a simple and small menu, there is a good variety of tasty and interesting foods.

I started with Won-ton parcels, with a side-salad of veges stir-fried in peanut oil. While the parcels were a little oily, they were tasty and firm; and the veges were fantastic. You could have  ordered just the veges as a main course (they were that good!).

Now I know that a burger for main course sounds really boring, but in this type of restaurant you can be assured that you will not get a boring burger, and I was not disappointed. It was succulent, juicy and tasty. The home-made tomatoe relish was wonderful, and this was definitely one of the best burgers that I have had in a long time.

Lois had Gazpacho, which she proclaimed as very good, and both Nick and Jeanne had the fish, which was equally praised. On the downside, the restaurant is not the cheapest place to eat, but the food and service are good. While there are a few vegetarian options (for Lois), the selection is not huge.

However, if you want to go somewhere for a really good meal, this is a place to consider.

No doubt I will be blogging about another restaurant next week :-)

Constantia Vineyards

The vineyards in Constantia are looking beautiful at the moment; the landscape is green as far as the eye can see. This is not really surprising considering that the earliest of the grapes will be harvested in less than two months.

Constantia is the oldest wine region in South Africa, and this particular vineyard is on Klein Constantia, home of the famous Vin de Constance, the wine of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Napoleon Bonaparte.

It is a privilege to live in Cape Town; it takes me two minutes to get to the beach, and 10 minutes in the opposite direction to be tasting wine in Constantia.  So grocery shopping this morning, followed by a quick winetasting. A very civilised Saturday.

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