We thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite things to do in and around the Swartland. Spending a weekend (or any few days) in the region can really relieve you of the stresses of the city. I mean there is no traffic, the few taxis in the towns are driven by polite law abiding citizens, the ratio of shining retail window display to real things made by locals are in your favour and the landscapes are wide open and unobstructed.
So, if you are planning to spend a few days in our (or any other local) accommodation (note, ours is the most instagram worthy and my gosh that linen!) here are a few of the things we like to do within 30mins drive of the farm.
So many options; you can start on the farm and walk into the Paardeberg (ask Semma); drive to the Riebeek Mountain and take the newly reopened route from Pulpit Rock or take a super easy walk up the granite hill outside Malmesbury (see slideshow below).
Alternatively drive through Wellington and into Bain’s Kloof Pass (gorgeous views of everything the light touches) and stop off to sit next to the river (ask Helena for tips). For all of these we can provide guides on request and at a small fee.
Most of these routes are also mountain bike friendly!
Shopping and eating like a local:
On your way to Bain’s Kloof you will pass my favourite leather shop. Redemption Leather is a local factory / shop where you can buy hand made shoes, bags, belts and so much more. Worth a visit. I should go back but the boots I bought in 2016 are still going strong!
For farm fresh food you have plenty of options… as you should in the country side.
In Riebeek you can get great produce at The Biggest Little Market (previously Crisp) opposite Beans about Coffee (yes, another coffee is a great idea!) and something to braai straight from Delico Meat, a farmstyle family butchery.
For meals we always recommend Mama Cucina (great specials on the blackboards but the Sophia Loren pizza never fails) and make sure to look into King Olaf Furniture across the road. We also like drinking cocktails at The Alchemist, buying wine at The Wine Kollective and checking out art at the various galleries.
In Malmesbury you should stop at The Swartland Street Market where the Bill&Co Deli and Wine Shop stock all things local and Marvel Bistro and Bakery prepare good food daily. There is also a lovely urban food garden, created by Buurtvrug, and lots of space for city kids to stretch their legs. They have monthly winetasting dinners, market days and more.
Wine (and other) tastings:
Most small producers are only open by appointment (like us) so make sure to enquire in advance. Check out the Swartland Wine and Olive Route’s site or that of Riebeek Valley Tourism for details on cellars that have open doors and active tasting rooms.
We’ve set aside a few dates for tasting days on the farm (click click) so try coming out on those weekends! And we have started to put together a sort of “menu of experiences” that friends and neighbours can offer so ask Semma about that when you book and get the most out of a weekend in die platteland.
Ok, this post is getting long. I will do a follow up story with nurseries, horse riding, local festivals and other things, soon.