I’m always keen to throw a bag together and get away for the weekend. I’m not particularly picky; I’m into camping on the beach as much as I’m into five star hotels. Here in Cape Town we are spoilt for choice when it comes to special spots for weekends away. But sometimes, we’re looking for something a little different. Something a little more memorable. Here’s a look at 7 quirky spots in the Western Cape.
1. Old Mac Daddy, Elgin
On the slopes of the Elgin Valley, surrounded by fruit farms and tall pines, 13 vintage Airstream Trailers nestle together at Old Mac Daddy.
Each trailer has been individually decorated by some of Cape Town’s most interesting artists from a variety of fields. Booking at random, you could find yourself in the colourful and delicious-looking Love Cake, decorated by the Charly’s Bakery crew. Or you could be sleeping in a wrestling ring in the Dirkie Sanchez trailer.
The Brinny Breezes restaurant serves delicious and hearty meals and has a fully stocked bar where you can taste ciders, wines and beers from local producers.
It’s the ideal base from where to explore the Elgin Valley’s wine farms, mountain bike tracks and hidden gems.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 844 0241
2. Daddy Long Legs, Long Street, Cape Town
Right in the heart of Long Street, Daddy Long Legs Art Hotel has 13 individually decorated rooms, where you could end up sleeping in The Emergency room, complete with nurses outfit, or beneath a wall papered with gorgeous sunset photographs.
If you’re looking for an affordable place to base yourself in the pumping heart of Cape Town, this is it. Within walking distance of Long Street’s bars and restaurants, trendy Kloof Street and uber-trendy Bree Street, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the food, wine and nightlife department. Although you might find yourself wanting to stay in...
Telephone: +27 (0)21 422 3074
3. The Beach Camp, Paternoster
No electricity. No luxury rooms. Just a beautiful, rustic tented camp right on the beach in Paternoster on the West Coast.
At The Beach Camp you sleep within a few feet from the ocean and you wake up to the sound of seagulls. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, but with no electricity you’ll be cooking on a gas stove. It’s easier (and much more enjoyable) to braai next to sea at the big fire pit. If you’re looking for a place to really get away from it all, you’ll love The Beach Camp.
Get your hands on some local mussels and cook with them in a potjie with white wine. Or head into the town for a long lunch at the popular Noisy Oyster.
This is a no-frills camp, with communal outdoor showers and a rudimentary toilet facility. Just the thing to shake up those of us who tire of being city-slickers.
4. Lord Milner Hotel, Matjiesfontein
There’s almost nothing about the small town of Matjiesfontein that isn’t quirky. If you have the time, jump onto the train in Cape Town (the train leaves on Wednesdays) and spend the weekend in the (rumour has it, haunted) Lord Milner Hotel.
While you’re there, take one of the world’s shortest tours on the town’s old red bus. The small local bar is a great place to meet fellow travellers and the hotel pool is a welcome escape from the heat in summer. There’s a great history to the town, which you can learn about at the museum, or get a couple of bicycles and ride off into the sunset before a delicious dinner at the hotel.
Stepping into Matjiesfonetin feels a lot like stepping back in time.
Telephone: +27 (0)23 5613011
5. Wild Spirit Lodge, Tsitsikamma
With magnificent views of Nature’s Valley, a private waterfall and crystal clear pools and a steady stream of djembe-drumming hippies, there’s loads of quirk at Wild Spirit.
Choose from a shared dorm room, private room or safari tent and wake up early for some yoga or a run down to the waterfall.
The lodge is not far from the Bloukrans Bungy, so make sure you are stocked up on adrenalin.
In the evenings, the lodge staff prepare a veggie dish and meat dish to choose from, and guests all eat together around the fire or on the deck while some strum on banjos or start up the drum circle.
Tel 1: +27 (0)44 534 8888.
Tel 2: +27 (0)44 534 8751
6. Majeka House
This luxurious hotel in the Stellenbosch winelands is famous for something quirky: pigs. The hotel is decorated with many pigs of different colours and sizes and guests can’t stop themselves from photographing their way around the property.
But besides for this porky quirk, there are also the beautifully decorated luxury rooms, sparkling blue pool and fantastic restaurant.
Their Chef’s Table dinner offers just 2 diners the opportunity to dine right in the heart of the kitchen and their daily breakfast spread is a thing of beauty, with homemade yogurt, butter, breads and cheeses with a selection of warm dishes to choose from.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 880 1549/880 1512
Where are your favourite weekend escape places?
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