Spending time in the lush green belt of Constantia is soothing balm for the soul. And if you’ve exhausted the front side of Table Mountain, or looking for a hiking trail that’s a little less strenuous, then this is the ideal spot to spend a leisurely morning.
While Table Mountain is veined with countless trajectories on the Constantia side, most begin at Constantia Nek- conveniently located just off the Constantia Circle car park where we began.
Armed with our water bottles, hats, and a shared spirit of adventure, we set off! After consulting the helpful Constantia Nek map poised at the foot of the mountain we chose our route: a 2-hour circular venture that lead us up and along the Forestry Road towards Kirstenbosch, before cutting back down through parts of Cecilia and Newlands Forest. Shady and cool, the Constantia trails are popular with families, dog walkers with bounding companions and zooming mountain bikers, all of whom shared our enthusiasm for the dirt track and many sensory delights we encountered on our foray.
We discovered bubbling streams thick with fallen mulch and logs, and passed under the skeletal canopies of the remaining Cecilia Forest trees –cleared to make way for our recovering indigenous fynbos – as the dappled sunlight illuminated our tracks and the shrouded mountain loomed behind us.
The zenith of our walk ended in a vista point from which we admired the valley of Constantia below, home to some of the oldest winelands in the Cape, but, more importantly, a great spot from which to select a restaurant for breakfast. While there is a plethora of options from which to choose, we opted for Steenberg’s Bistro 1682, not the least because of their outstanding bubbly.
Lured by the promise of hot coffee and a steaming plate of eggs, we clambered downwards, pausing only to snap a few obligatory selfies when the views proved too lovely to pass up.
The superb breakfast at Bistro 1682 is enough to make you weep with joy (especially after working up a well-earned appetite).
We began with their perfectly crafted flat whites, served with homemade brioche donuts drenched in honey; then had the onerous task of choosing from their delectable breakfast options that include the likes of Eggs Benedict, Eggs Royale, Mushroom Rostis and even freshly shucked oysters.
I opted for their scrumptious Smoked Trout & Crème Fraîche that came served with a char-grilled red pepper coulis that had me tempted to lick my plate keen while my fellow hikers declared their Eggs Benedicts with a thick slice of pancetta style bacon the best they’d ever had!
With sighs of contentment, we strolled off to their wine tasting room where we sampled their brand new Steenberg Brut 1682 Pinot Noir 2015 MCC, a delightful addition to their award-winning range of Sparkling Wines and Méthode Cap Classique.
Should you not be in a rush, why not use the opportunity to explore some of Constantia’s other wine farms, including the lovely Silvermist Estate that you can read about here.
Book at Steenberg’s Bistro 1682
Bring: More water than what you think you’ll need, hats, sunscreen and good walking/hiking shoes.
Our meander was just over two hours in total, enough to raise heartrates without breaking into any heaving gasps. However, should you feel in the mood for a longer escapade, we can recommend the continued route to Table Mountain’s historic Woodhead and Hely Hutchinson dams, built over 100 years ago!
Blog post by: Tarah Darge
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