Are you looking for something a little bit different – well the Spier Secret Courtyard might be exactly what you’re after. When the organisers of the popular Spier Secret Festival discovered an empty courtyard in the heart of Cape Town, they pretty much catapulted themselves forward as forerunners to transform this space – at least temporarily – into a spot where people can relax, drink wine and embrace the creative energy of the World Design Capital 2014.
The Spier Secret Courtyard opened its doors in February and is set to close at the end of April. Arriving at 64A Wale Street, it is almost impossible to realise what is in store as geometric patterns conceal the windows. Head inside and you’re in a long room, where Capetonians (and tourists in the know) are happily catching up over a glass of wine. Carry on walking and then you’re suddenly in the courtyard itself, surrounded by rugged brick walls and with storied tiles underfoot. You might be content to sit down on one of the stools designed by Thingking, which, like the light fittings, show Spier’s commitment to sustainability through the artful redeployment of old wine boxes. But, if you head on further, you’ll encounter the cosy bar – the engine room of this establishment, which dispatches Chenin Blanc slush puppies to thirsty patrons, and offers seven of Spier’s wines by the glass at cellar door prices.
For those feeling summery, Creative Block 2, a crisp white Sauvignon blend (R25) or the rich and ripe 21 Gables Chenin Blanc (R30) will most certainly do the trick. If you’re in a cosy mood, try the Spier Creative Block 3 or Creative Block 5 – both award-winning red blends – or Spier’s flagship 21 Gables Pinotage. Luckily beer drinkers don’t have to feel left out in the cold – enjoy an icy First Light Golden Ale or King’s Blockhouse India Pale Ale from local brewery Devil’s Peak. There’s homemade ginger beer too.
If you’re feeling peckish there’s a nifty list of snacks, all ranging between R35 and R45, dreamed up by nearby Dear Me brasserie’s Vanessa Marx – who is well known for her commitment to ethical cuisine. Munch on biltong (from beef raised on Farmer Angus’s pastures at Spier), a scotch egg with homemade aioli, or more-ish chilli and buchu salted candy peanuts, among other things.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, they’ve planned some relaxed live music sessions. Food Jams with Jade de Waal puts you in the apron as you collaborate on creating a mouth-watering meal. If sitting back and being served something scrumptious is more your style, then the Secret Dinners (between R200 and R300 per person), hosted by leading members of the Cape creative community, are for you. It’s important to book for these events in advance, as spaces are limited and they quickly get snapped up. You can do so (in addition to viewing the full programme) on spiersecret.co.za.
The Spier Secret Courtyard runs till the end of April. In the meantime, it’s open from 16.00 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Live music begins on Fridays and Saturdays at 18.30.
64A Wale Street, Cape Town, spiersecret.co.za, #spiersecret