• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, 5 March 2014

What I love about the Overberg: from a City-Bowl-expat

Send to Kindle

I’d been visiting the Overberg for twenty years by the time I made the decision to pack everything up and move my little family out to the country, beyond the city smoke, traffic and frenetic pace, to a quieter place over the hills. Raised in Sea Point and residing in the Cape Town City Bowl as a young adult, I had never stumbled across a lifestyle that was so family-centric and influenced by the great outdoors.

Saturday beach expeditions with children made for a refreshing change compared to the social whirl of weekends in the city – and lush, languid Sunday lunches replaced being seen at the newest hip spot in town in a designer frock and heels. The soul-stirring beauty of the Overberg seeped into my heart and inspired me to traverse the region that must surely have inspired many poets, writers and painters in the past.

 

Cape Overberg

 

Country life in the Overberg is unashamedly abundant, mirroring the fertile farmlands, riverbanks and verdant scenery that drew me to the change of lifestyle in the first place. In summer, figs drip off trees, ripe for the picking, rambling roses spill over fences and gooseberries beckon under hedges. When you live somewhere, you have time to absorb details you may never have discovered during a short stay, and I’d love to share some of my favourite finds with you.

If you’re after a great big dollop of country charm, then you’ll fall head-over-feet for irresistibly cute Stanford and Greyton, which are both only 1.5 hours drive from Cape Town. Greyton boasts a wealth of wonderful restaurants (perfect for foodie explorers like me), picture-perfect quaint architecture, verdant valley scenes and a pretty river. Searle’s Trading Post invites talented South African musicians to perform there regularly, and most establishments have their finger on the pulse when it comes to culinary trends.

 

Cape Overberg

 

Stanford was recently voted ‘Best Village in South Africa’ by SA Destination Awards, and is has certainly become a destination village, owing in part to its preserved vintage charm and natural beauty. With a river running through it, Stanford has a romantic appeal during all four seasons, best suited to those who love storybook country cottages with fireplaces, delectable slow-food and river swims.

This small town is fast becoming an Overberg ‘culinary hot spot’, with award-winning Marianas having established itself as a ‘must-visit’ country restaurant (you can’t call yourself a proper foodie unless you’ve ‘lunched’ there!) over the past decade, along with the popularity of Havercrofts and Graze, which both require booking ahead. Kleinriver Cheese pack a gourmet picnic seven days a week, while Beloftebos’ recently launched Sunday buffet (under the trees in their sublimely serene setting), is yet another reason to linger longer on Sundays before returning home.

 

Cape Overberg

 

Newer venues such as The Tasting Room at Stanford Hills and Madre’s Kitchen are very popular with locals and visitors alike, while Farm 215 and Grootbos, which are outside of Stanford, offer the discerning foodie top notch nosh. If you’ve booked a self-catering cottage, remember to treat yourself to locally-grown produce at the Wednesday morning market at Graze, and the Saturday Morning Fresh Goods Market at The Stanford Hotel for the best flourless tortes, lemon curd, fresh vegetables, artisan breads and fig tarts you’ve ever laid your eyes on.

If you’re craving an escape from the city and love the ocean, then De Kelders, Franskraal and Struisbaai are coastal destinations with a somewhat rural feel. When you’re in De Kelders, be sure to spend some time in Die Plaat reserve, which offers kilometres of relatively untouched beach, reminiscent of the Wild Coast. Franskraal is a sweet family escape near to Gansbaai, while Struisbaai is an authentic fishing village, peppered with original fisherman’s cottages and colourful boats bobbing in the bay. Take the family to Panorama in Franskraal for a fun expedition – just be prepared for free-range ponies who may want to nibble at your lunch!

 

Cape Overberg

 

Elim and Baardskeerdersbos are both tiny villages which are well worth visiting. Elim was originally a mission village, and its history is preserved in the historical architecture of its cottages and authenticity of its residents. I’d recommend a visit to the Elim museum, before a sumptuous lunch at Black Oystercatcher restaurant and winery. For a rustic dinner experience, try Mariekies in Baardskeedersbos for heavenly fish ‘n chips and cold ales, while the kids play outside in the flourishing garden.

BBos, as it is referred to by locals, is a tucked away hamlet located a mere twenty minutes drive from Stanford, boasting some of the Overberg’s most prolific resident artists. The thrice annual BBos Art Route attracts visitors from far-reaching places, to experience the artists in their homes, in the spirit of a sort of ‘open stoep’ art celebration. Bodhi Khaya Retreat is hidden away amongst over 200 hectares on the way to Baarskeerdersbos, and was recently voted one of the top 8 ‘Awesome Wellness Retreats’ you didn’t know about, by Huffington Post.

 

Cape Overberg

 

The Overberg is a feast for nature-lovers, as it is so rich in natural attractions. Whatever takes your fancy – whether it’s paragliding, dune-boarding, kayaking or hiking (or just lazing on beautiful beaches) – this beautiful region offers you more than your money’s worth. With so many interesting towns offering the traveller a different experience every few kilometres, the Overberg is also day-trip Mecca, therefore I’d highly recommend basing yourself in one place and exploring the various surrounding towns during your sojourn.

Wind your way home via the coastal route and stop in at Hook, Line and Sinker in Pringle Bay for just about the best melt-in-your-mouth fish ‘n chips you’ve ever eaten, between drinking in the intoxicating beauty of the ocean from Clarence Drive. The region offers so much more than whale-watching (which is, of course, an absolute must); it is a world in one place – a paradise within reach.

Fall down the rabbit hole and I’m almost sure you’ll tap into the magic, leaving with a richer soul and an incurable case of wanderlust for the Overberg.

Destination Links

Cape Overberg Accommodation
Cape Overberg Attractions
Things to do in the Cape Overberg
Cape Overberg Restaurants

Thaya Bedford

About 

Thaya is a travelling photojournalist, local music lover, mother and country-dwelling Impresario, living in a tiny village in the magnificent Overberg region. A love of capturing the soulful essence of a place has led Thaya to seek out lesser-known places, from folk music haunts, circus-themed restaurants, hidden beaches and crystal pools, to hot springs and all those overlooked places that hold their own brand of magic. When not out frolicking in rivers and embarking on adventures with her 11-year-old son, Thaya hosts music evenings in her town, cooks from her vegetable garden and has her nose in classic literature.

Related Posts: