A weekend in Witzenberg can be quirky, adrenaline-fuelled, traditional, tasty, spicy, romantic, budget-friendly, luxurious and more. And it's always breathtakingly beautiful.
From the mountains to the flowers, plants, vineyards, rain, heat and aromas in the air, just a short drive from Cape Town lies a relatively undiscovered hub of pleasures.
What to do, eat and drink:
WATCH: Tulbagh Remembers: It's been 50 years since South Africa's worst earthquake
The gardens at Bosjes: not just a side dish. Indigenous plants grow here in perfect harmony along with plants from Biblical times, creating a diverse vegetation that hugs the winged chapel - one of the property's biggest design features.
Walk the garden path up and up and beyond to a viewing spot, which allows you to take it all in from this elevated point. It will not only give you perspective, it will give you life.
Part of the Breedekloof Wine Valley, Bergsig Estate is a big operation. Sitting pretty at the bottom of the Drakenstein and the Hex River Mountains, it's a wine-lover's ideal pitstop. The road leading here is speckled with Proteas, larger than most human heads.
Do a pairing, or request a barrel tasting from winemaker, Chris. Go behind the scenes and watch the labelling of bottles, a process that'll truly make you appreciate the craft of winemaking, but also the people behind it.
A small Wolseley beekeeping operation in high demand has Phirdy at its helm. She is the area's only female beekeeper and says that "Yes, I have been stung many times."
Her honey is diverse. From grainy to floral, to toffee-like to fynbos. Drop by for a honey tasting, and shop some of this premium quality honey.
WARNING: The honey is so good you might just find yourself late at night eating straight from the jar. (Never happened...)
The historical town of Tulbagh has, perhaps, one of the most beautiful centres. Church street is dedicated to heritage buildings which survived the 1969 earthquake. Many opt for one night in town and one in a cottage situated in the mountains for the views, serenity and remoteness.
If you're keen on a a farm stay, Manley Wines offers comfy stays which reflect the French Huguenot homes of the late nineteenth century.
Own the rope as you zip between eight slides, totalling a length of 1.4km, surrounded by the rock formations, valleys and river that runs through the Skurweberg Mountains. Don't hesitate, just slide!
The only winery is Ceres has a name that rolls of the tongue. Translating a 'cool fountain', it's undoubtedly an oasis in an area known for its high temps. Even in spring.
Sip on award-winning, crisp and chilled Chardonnay, paired thoughtfully with dried pears. Koelfontein arguably produces some of the valley's best dried fruit - so good it's even served on the Blue Train.
By booking only, this is a tasting not to be missed. I never liked Chardonnay. Much less wooded Chardonnay. And I would drink glasses and glasses of Koelfontein's wooded Chardonnay if you gave me half a chance.
Baba's Jem Restaurant
What started as a hobby, a side hussle, Baba started with jam-making. Now, her home is open 6 days a week for much more than just buying 'jem'.
This Ceres in-home dining experience is sublime. She serves curry and warm rotis. Add her spicy fig sauce, and you are basically in curry heaven. Eat with your hands, and when you come up for air, sip her homemade ginger or cherry beer to refresh.
The quirky exterior matches the interior. It feels personal, undeniably homey, and Baba's (the youngest of many, many siblings), R60 a plate of food could easily hold its own amongst the gastronomy giants who charge over R200 a curry in Cape Town. (Call to book: 023 312 3545)
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