Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Mystery Tour

 Zomato. Sideways. Do you know what I'm talking about? You should. These are apps that you should be very familiar with especially if you're into food, wine and discovery.

Zomato
They are an online restaurant review service that provides data on eating locations as well as wineries. It's great for reading real, honest reviews and for finding places to nosh at as its sectioning (Banting, High Tea, Sharing etc) means you can find the right place to suit any mood.

Sideways
In their own words, " Sideways is the simple, but powerful, solution we created to make the winelands more accessible to everyone, to help you instantly find the perfect adventure, and to boost the winelands profile as a world class destination to local and international tourists."

A clever marketing exercise to draw attention to both apps (they are now in partnership and it's a heavenly match) came in the way of a competition to win a spot on the first ever Mystery Tour - a secret trip to discover hidden gems in the winelands.
Invited as part of the media, I was super excited to discover where we would be heading which would be revealed throughout the day via clues that the whole team, using the Sideways app, could decipher.

We started the day with breakfast at Gusto Cafeteria - a gorgeous spot along Hatfield street which serves the most scrumptious french toast, bacon, berry compote and cream cheese croissants. Their fresh juices are just what the liver needs to set you up for a big day.
After breakfast (an essential for any wine trip), we were given the first clue & silence ensured as we madly scrambled on our phones to locate the answer.

Jumping onto the Mystery bus, we headed for Swartland and A.A Badenhorst - an absolutely epic winery with an epic leading man (winemaker).
Look how happy everyone is!
It's a family affair on the farm and it's all about making great wines with what they can afford. It's the kind of place that I want to move to, a heady mix of the natural, the rustic, the loud, the vibrant and a couple of swear words and random historical facts - not too sure about the accuracies of the latter.
The best part about the day was sampling their vermouth and tonic water. FABULOUS. I'm still looking for it in Cape Town.
Hetvlock Kasteel was our second stop and then we headed into Riebeek Kasteel for something to eat.
Lunch was a Nose-to-Tail affair at Bar Bar Black Sheep - the quaintest eatery with the warmest hosts. I ate sheep's hearts. And it was nice. And I feel like I might be going to hell for saying that. 
This baked cheesecake was unbelievable!

With full stomachs we headed to the last spot, Riebeek Cellars to make our very own blends - the best would win a prize. The concentration was immense, the mess was even greater.

With a lot of wine and some of the best memories, we sadly said goodbye to the Swartland and headed home. What an absolutely magical day spent with killer people, using two apps that revolutionise the way you talk and experience food and drink. The entire day was incredibly clever and the partnership between the two is spot on. 
Now to hold thumbs that I can get on the next tour....Tulbagh or Botriver perhaps?

Join Zomato here
Join Sideways here