Cameron Ewart-Smith: Totally Wonkarish Constantia Uitsig

By , 6 September 2018

The bike park at Constantia Uitsig

The bike park at Constantia Uitsig.

There are many things to be discovered wandering the winelands, but it’s safe to say I didn’t expect a gap in the English dictionary to be one of them. The thought occurred to be deep into one of the inclined hairpins of the Constantia Uitsig Bike Track, just before I became unceremoniously airborne.

Mountain bikers in the region have for years now been blessed not only with world class mountain biking trails – many of which traverse glorious wine country (think Meerendal, Rhebokskloof and my personal pick of the bunch Paul Cluver), but have also been spoiled with Constantia Uitsig’s constantly evolving bike park.

For city dwellers and visitors alike, it’s the ideal way to blow the cobwebs out your single-track technique or take a new bike for a burn (did I mention there is a bike shop and repair facility on site). All that being said, this post is not actually about mountain biking – but the English language (or the lack thereof in this case).

What struck me moments before my bike and I struck terra firma, is that English is not well endowed with words that describe a property that has everything your heart desires.

Open Door restaurant

Open Door restaurant.

Take Constantia Uitsig as an example. I’ve already described the bike park … but a short way off is the estates Open Door restaurant, where less energetic (or stupid depending on how you ride) members of your party can laze back over boozy lunches and cluck about “how silly your father is”.

The heritage market at Constantia Uitsig.

The heritage market at Constantia Uitsig.

A little way further off is the heritage market – in the restored Cape Dutch cottages at the foot of the property. This relatively recent addition offers Sushi, fine chocolate, slow-churned (is there any other way?) ice-cream, craft beer and the perfect coffee/deli for lighter lunches. Throw in wine sales from the estates vineyards … and well yes there you have it … a property containing everything your heart could desire – sushi, beer, coffee, wine, chocolate and ice-cream.

The Sushi Box
The sushi comes thanks to chef Christo Bornman’s Sushi Box  (of which there are six outlets including this one across Cape Town). Open daily 12:00 to 20:00, contact 021-204-3132,,

Alexander Avery Fine Chocolate
Alexander Avery marries Alan Clegg’s passion for choccies with his European-based chocolatier training brining you some of the very finest filled chocolates you can find in the region. Open 10:00 to 17:00 (closed Mondays), contact021-204-3135,,

Kristen’s Ice Cream
Made from scratch you’ll fast develop a taste for this (as their website puts it) ‘kick-arse, small-batch, hand-churned ice cream … in a range of ever-evolving flavours.’ Open Monday–Tuesday 09:00 to 17:00 Wednesday to Sunday 09:00 to 20:00, contact 021-204-3134,,

Aegir Project Ale House
So possibly I’m jumping the gun here as this is still a work in progress (early September 2018) but by the time you visit, this’ll in all likelihood be on stream. Contact 021-204-3136,,

Nest Deli
Offering the finest single-origin coffees, breakfasts, cakes, light lunches … and did we say cakes suitable for the entire family. They also have a range of produce available and gifts … but truthfully come for the coffee and, if you’ve been good – i.e. have been on the track, cake. Open Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday 08:30 to 16:00, contact 021-204-3133,

Constantia Uitsig’s Wine Shop
Last but not least pop into the Wine Shop for a tasting – with pairings of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 to 18:00, contact 021-204-3137,

So there you have it, one hell of an offering even by the Cape Winelands’ extravagant standards. Therefore, in my quest to expand the utility to my mother tongue, I give you (with all due respect to the work of Roald Dahl) the term – Wonkarish.

/wonka rishh/

1. property or destination containing all that your heart desires…
2. individual in state of possessing all that their heart desires.

  • Cameron Ewart-Smith is a freelance film and television producer/director, writer and photographer and describes himself as “platform agnostic”. A conservationist, he is a former editor of Getaway magazine. He loves good food and wine that doesn’t cost the earth.  


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