A Winery Wedding at Boschendal with Thandi Maqubela

Beautiful scenery, great friends and amazing wine. Why wouldn’t you have a Winery Wedding?

Before we start, tell us a little about yourself. Many people may know you as a commercial lawyer, who happens to have incredible style. What has your journey been to date? 

Thank you, that’s really nice of you to say! I’m a South African and I’m very lucky to say that I grew up in Cape Town which I think is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – no bias whatsoever! I moved to London just under 10 years ago, having settled in East London which is where I’ve lived in the time I’ve been here. I decided to move to London after meeting a friend on a tiny island off the coast of Rio over 10 years ago, we really clicked and I started visiting her in London over the years, enjoying the festival season in the Summer while doing so. I immediately fell in love with the city and after a few years I decided to just move here, I figured if it didn’t work out I could always go back home. Happily for me it did work out! After a couple of years I met this amazing man in the wee hours of the morning in the kitchen at an after party who, a few years later, I married. It’s true what they say about kitchens at parties!

It’s great to see you’re a fan of VIND! I assume you have a passion for wine and travel?

I think a love of wine is one of the key defining characteristics of anyone who calls Cape Town home given the amazing winelands surrounding the area, I was really spoilt for choice! I’m partial to a robust red but I definitely can enjoy a variety of other good wines. In terms of travel, I absolutely adore it – it’s something that was instilled in me from a young age and I’ve been very lucky to have been able to explore different parts of the world from backpacking in earlier years to a more discerning travel experience – as much as I enjoyed backpacking I don’t see myself staying in a hostel any time soon!

Onto to your Boschendal wedding. Did you always want to get married in South Africa, and at a winery? 

Being honest, I’d never really thought about weddings before ours – I very much enjoyed being a guest at one but thinking about it from a personal perspective only seemed to happen once it was a very real thing to consider. That being said, when the time came, getting married in South Africa was a no-brainer. I have quite a large family so logistically it made most sense. My husband fell in love with Cape Town when he first visited the city (naturally) so he was very keen on the idea. We also thought it would be great to have a destination wedding to experience with all our friends. As soon as we saw the Olive Press venue at Boschendal we knew it was the one! The incredible mountain views, the beautiful barn-like reception area spilling out onto a vast lawns and patio, their sensational wine and food which they rear and grow on the farm and the fact that we could host our friends and family in their beautiful onsite cottages made it a really easy decision to make. Hot tip: make sure you have an amazing wedding planner to take as much stress as possible out of the organising and to take the pain out of the managing the logistics that flow from inviting a few international guests, we worked with a local boutique travel firm who were amazing at sorting out the accommodation in Cape Town both before and during the wedding weekend as well as the safaris some of our guests went on after the wedding. They’ve worked on a few destination weddings which made it all the more easier, they’re called MyChoice Travel.

Talk us through the few days leading up to the wedding and the day itself. 

We’d arranged a few social events in the week leading up to the wedding as we thought it would be nice for people to get to know each other before the wedding, to lend to a more relaxed vibe on the day before and of the wedding. Unashamedly the social events were purely centered around food, drinks and the beautiful beaches. The first event really set the tone as we all met at The Grand Beach Club in Cape Town where lots of fun was had. It really was incredibly special to share this time and my city with friends from the UK and the US who thoroughly enjoyed themselves which was key for us.

Are there any other wineries you love in SA and were tempted to tie the knot at?

We only viewed a few venues over the course of a day, I really wasn’t keen on spending loads of time on this so I’d whittled down a few options based on a bit of research I’d done. All the venues had something about them in their individual ways. The sprawling grounds at Molenvliet are beautiful, friends of ours living in New York got married there early last year and it was gorgeous! Johannesdal is a dream of a venue as is Babylonstoren, the latter of which is where we’re thinking of hosting a dinner party to celebrate our next ‘big’ birthday – that’s in a few years’ time though! If you’re looking for a more modern feel then Cavalli Estate would tick all the boxes.

What other countries and wine regions are next on your list for visiting?

 I’m very keen on exploring the French winelands, surprisingly enough I’ve never been! I’m also quite intrigued by English Sparkling Wine which is something I’ve only started drinking in the past couple of years so I think a visit to one of the estates would be lovely!

Yes, you have visit the various regions in France! All are unique and beautiful in their own way. I would recommend planning a road trip using VIND. There are also many English vineyards popping up and some great Sparkling wine is being produced in the UK.

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