A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves overnighting at the Merry Widow in Hopefield as part of our whirlwind flowers in the West Coast National Park adventure.
Needless to say, these days Hopefield is but a fraction of its former size (and glory), and in terms of things to see – well there isn’t all that much.
However, two sights do stand out. The one being the very informative Simply Bee bee farming/product business and the old Dutch Reformed church that dominates the town (it is after all, the very reason that the town originally exists in the first place!).
Simply Bee is in the beeswax products business, specializing in all manner of natural skin and fragrance products, actively managing thousands of bee hives.
Their base of operations happens to be in Hopefield and their public premises are split into two parts, namely the shopfront which caters to all manner of bee-related products (Chantelle was in heaven), and the bee observation centre which hosts a gigantic amount of bee information, features a glass observation bee hive that allows you to view the bees going about their normal everyday business, and also a small museum room that features all manner of historic items from the surrounding farms on a display.
Informative, interesting and well worth a visit!
The Hopefield Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk) was built in 1879, and is home to one of only 10 Forster and Andrews Organs imported into South Africa. The organ, which was installed in 1911, is still used every Sunday, and can be viewed by appointment.
Because I was wandering about Hopefield on a Saturday, I couldn’t exactly stroll inside, but as expected from these farmland towns, the church is a beautiful and imposing structure, surrounded by a beautiful garden and featuring some gorgeous stained glass artwork.