The annual Waterblommetjie Festival in Paarl is back on Saturday, 2 September, and visitors can expect a jam-packed day filled with fabulous wines, live entertainment and obviously this amazing local gourmet treat.
The waterblommetjie (little water lily) is one of South Africa’s most popular ethnic foods and can only be harvested from dams in the Boland region during the winter season. These little flowers will be the culinary stars of the day and will be served in several innovative ways ranging from traditional potjiekos, stews, pastas, pizzas and even ice cream!
This year, the festival has expanded to include four Paarl wine producers located within a five kilometre radius. Each participating venue will present its own fun-filled programme and the close proximity ensures easy access to allow visitors to experience the unique offerings at Boland Cellar, Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, Under Oaks and Windmeul Cellar.
Boland Cellar will be offering waterblommetjie tapas, a pop-up shop with waterblommetjie-inspired arts and crafts, special kiddies’ entertainment, henna tattoos and great wine promotions. Local artist Ivan van der Merwe will be performing from 10h00. Festival trading times: 09h00 – 16h00.
Amazing activities for younger visitors will definitely be a draw card at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate. The latest addition to their programme is a Super Hero Adventure Race, where participants can tackle the fun obstacle course dressed as their favourite super heroes. Register at Hero Adventures on the farm on Friday, 1 September, between 15h00 – 17h00. Entry fees are R30 for kids aged 6-12, while tweens over 13 pay R60. Free entry for toddlers and kids under five. Other fun activities include face painting, pony rides, jumping castles and Zorbing. Adults can enjoy live music and the gourmet offerings at the pop-deli, including waterblommetjie ice cream and stews as well as oysters and bubbly. Wine lovers can join Shiraz tastings and take advantage of the incredible wine specials. Open from 08h00 – 17h00.
At Under Oaks, the traditional waterblommetjies will experience a culinary transformation and can be tasted in muffins, pastas and even as a pizza topping. Savour the special Waterblommetjie & Wine pairing at R100 per person. Or join winemaker Bertus Fourie and well-known charcutier Richard Bosman for the Canapés for Kings pairings at 12h00 and 14h00 to learn more about the art of making wine and charcuterie. This highly entertaining and informative sessions take place in the private cellar at R150 per person. Stock and seating are limited, so pre-bookings are essential.
Windmeul Cellar is the ideal start for early birds and will be serving a delicious farm breakfast. Visitors can browse at the farmers’ market for fresh local produce and home-made treats. Fitness fans can enter the 5km or 10km Run the Vines trail run, while kids can bounce around on the jumping castle or have fun in the designated play area. The winemaking team will present a tasting session featuring a Windmeul wine with a waterblommetjies dish between 10h00 and 12h00 as long as stocks last with special wine offers as long as available. Watch the experts in action during a potjiekos competition and stock up on some fresh waterblommetjies to try your own recipe at home. Open from 08h00 – 16h00.
The Haven Night Shelter in Paarl is once again the official festival charity and festival goers can obtain entry to all four venues by donating one tin of canned food per vehicle. Collect a stamp from all four participants in the festival passport to qualify for amazing prizes such as gift vouchers and product hampers.
For more information or to make reservations for special tastings and demonstrations, contact the individual participants.
Boland Cellar: 0218721766; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate: 021 869 8386; email@example.com
Under Oaks: 021 869 8045; firstname.lastname@example.org
Windmeul: 021 869 8100; email@example.com