Spending time under the ancient oaks at Spier’s Werf is something special.
Once a bustling farmstead, it dates back to a time where artisanal food and drink was not a trend, but a lifestyle. The farm itself was established back in 1692, and not long after that its two structures (Jonkershuis and the Slave Quarters) were built on the fertile land. These historic buildings are rich in cultural heritage and one can only imagine a time when life was simpler and beautiful while sitting on the lawn under the oaks.
Fast-forward a few hundred years to when the restaurant Moyo (opened in 1998 and located in the Slave Quarters) closed its doors last year. An exciting plan was hatched at this point – a permit was recently granted by Heritage Western Cape to restore this historical piece of the land and reconnect it to its past so that it once more becomes a hub of activity, where agriculture, artisanal food and creativity find expression.
The old rose garden that was present at the Werf has now been transformed into a vegetable and herb garden that uses organic and biodynamic growing principles – no pesticides or any other nasty chemicals are used here. Beans, squash, peppers, tomatoes, spinach and a whole lot more will ensure that Eight restaurant can rely on the freshest produce for their diners for years to come.
Jonkershuis is currently the home of the Decor-Z exhibition by Liza Grobler, a trip into an imaginary world that blurs the lines between fact and fiction.
The Werf is now the ideal place for local daytrippers and tourists alike – steeped in history with a broad focus on cultural heritage for the future. We spent a wonderful day exploring this renovated part of Spier and would recommend a day under the oaks with a picnic basket and blanket. Read more here.