Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Smelling the Roses at Chart Farm in Wynberg (2019-03-17) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 08 OCT 2019

Understandably, Chantelle was a little miffed that she still hadn’t been to visit the charming Chart Farm in Wynberg, despite my blog having already loudly exclaimed what a lovely place to visit it is. Obviously this then needed to be rectified, and seeing as we were off to traipse through the gardens of Kirstenbosch for the day anyway, I carved out a little piece of time for us to also stop and smell the roses. After all, happy wife, happy life.

As I mentioned last time around, Chart Farm (situated right across from the bustling Wynberg Park) is known for cultivating all manner of fresh produce across its 18 hectares of land, but is especially known for its robust rose growing operation.

Home also to the famous Ludwig’s Roses, Chart Farm grows an amazing array of rose varietals in their rose garden, all of which can be ready picked for special orders, or if you feel like using your own hands (and the secateurs and buckets supplied down at the farm stall out in front), snipped straight off any bush that is looking at you funny.

The farm stall itself stocks a dainty selection of preserves and other produce produced on the farm, and then there is The View @ Chart Farm, a charming coffee shop that serves a mix of delicious home-made cakes and light lunches while offering up a spectacular view over what is a very lush Cape Town greenbelt area.

Although this particular visit wasn’t ever going to show off Chart Farm in its best light (at the end of rose season, loadshedding affecting the kitchen), it nevertheless did more than enough to charm Chantelle, meaning a return trip is now definitely on the cards! And so, a fan is born…

...

Onion Rings and Fries at Wooden Barrel in Hermanus (2019-08-25) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 05 OCT 2019

This year’s annual outing to Hermanus in the hopes of spotting some Walker Bay whales was unfortunately a bit of a flop. The day started out promising enough, with blue skies, excited family, and a nice scenic drive out to the area, but that shine soon rubbed off as the clouds pulled in, the drizzle stopped by to say hi, and the whales made it abundantly clear that either they weren’t actually in the bay yet, or if they were, today was simply not going to be the day that they reveal themselves to a more than slightly dejected wife sitting next to me.

We started the day’s adventure first with a drive up to Fernkloof Nature Reserve to have a bit of a look around, then on to Grotto Beach to start the whale watching hunt, followed by stops at Voelklip Beach, Kammabaai Beach, Langbaai Beach, Kwaaiwater and finally Sievers Point.

Roman Rock and Kraal Rock didn’t turn up any sightings either, so we gave up at this point and went off in search for a spot of late lunch instead. At this stage the clouds were quite threatening in terms of rain, so after some milling about (i.e. I was sneaking in some sights), we settled on the menu at the Wooden Barrel bistro, opposite The Cliff Tops Piazza and sitting in the space which if I remember correctly was Europa (an old favourite of ours).

Surprisingly, lunch was rather nice, but still, it wasn’t enough to lift the mood of our by now very disappointed whale enthusiast. Plus it was getting progressively wetter, so we called it a day and headed back home.

So a bit of a soggy, unrewarding outing this one.

...

December Holiday Family Fun in Mossel Bay (2018-12-29) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 03 OCT 2019

So the last term of school has just kicked off, meaning that we are now happily barreling towards the end of the year again. I’m not entirely sure what we’ll end up doing for the holidays this time around, but last year certainly saw us repeat what has become a bit of a tradition over the last couple of years – i.e. spend a chunk of the December school holidays with family on Pinnacle Point Estate in Mossel Bay.

Having now well established that December in the Mossel Bay/Hartenbos area is absolute chaos because of the hordes of people that make their way down to this popular coastal resort town for the holidays, we much better tailored our holiday expectations and managed to miss pretty much all of the crowds.

That’s not to say we just stayed in the estate and didn’t have any fun. Besides the swimming, exploring and enjoying of the natural fynbos beauty of Pinnacle Point, we also indulged in plenty of ice-cream fuelled strolls at The Point and Cape St. Blaize Cave in Mossel Bay, silly fun at Tuinplaas in Albertinia, cotton candy and wine at Jakkelsvlei near Herbertsdale, a walk through the ferns and forest in the Garden of Eden outside Knysna, fresh farm produce at Wild Oats market in Sedgefield, coffee and sliders at Getafix in George, and of course marvelled at the lions and jaguars of Jukani and the pigeons and parrots of the Birds of Eden at The Crags near Plettenberg Bay.

We tucked into donuts in Hartenbos, ambled down the beach in Dana Bay, took a bite at the Nibbling Squirrel in Riversdale, enjoyed refreshments at Pure Craft & Foods in George, admired the lagoon and Heads of Knysna, watched the sunset in Buffalo Bay, and sipped on milkshakes from Milk & Sugar in Buffeljagsrivier.

My mom and dad, my sister and her family, Chantelle’s mom and dad (who were also holidaying in the region) – in other words a proper big family December holiday experience!

...

Walking alongside Dogs at Radloff Park in Somerset West (2019-05-05) Nature and Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 01 OCT 2019

Lying in the Helderberg Basin, surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains, and squeezed in between the Cape Winelands and False Bay, Somerset West is naturally a beautiful space. A great way to get a taste of its natural splendour is by heading over to the green grass of Radloff Park and indulging in a lazy stroll along the banks of the Lourens River.

A number of sporting codes call this greenbelt home, including the local cricket, croquet, squash, and baseball clubs, and there is even a small skateboarding park for those less interested in playing with balls.

The park with its wide open space, grass fields, tree-shaded paths, and refreshing river water is an especially big hit with dog lovers – so much so that locally the site is pretty much exclusively referred to as the Radloff Dog Park. (Basically, go there expecting to come home with at least one big slobbery wet kiss and a butt sniff under your belt.)

Dogs and sporting code fields aside though, the area is green, tranquil, full of trees, teeming with bird life, and comes with amazing views combined with a lazy river walk to enjoy. In other words, impossible not to recommend!

...

Gourmet Gelato at Coco’s Ice Cream in Barrydale (2019-07-03) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 30 SEP 2019

A scoop of well made ice cream is a wonderful thing. Especially if it is gelato, and especially if you are grabbing it on a nice and sunny day. So then we were rather pleased to spot the pinup style board beckoning us over to Coco’s Ice Cream Shop down main road Barrydale during our earlier June School Holidays trip.

Sandwiched into a small shop space that is part of a larger orange hued pumpkin-themed business complex, Coco’s Ice Cream Shop serves up a colorful array of gelato scoops, with the ice cream appearing in all manner of delectable (and interesting) flavours.

If you have kids or adults with a sweet tooth in your adventuring party, then you may as well give in already, grab a scoop or two, sit down on the shaded deck, and watch Barrydale main street life pass you by while you attempt to drip as little as possible.

Which really is kind of impossible if you understand the physics of ice cream and kids.

...

Steam Train at the Elgin Railway Market in Grabouw (2018-12-16) Markets | Photo Gallery 25 SEP 2019

An excellent addition to the Grabouw/Elgin Valley tourism scene is without a doubt the fantastic Elgin Railway Market. Residing in an old apple packing warehouse right on the Elgin train station, this Art Deco/Art Noveau styled market is an absolute must visit come weekend time – especially on days when the steam train comes rolling in!

With a carefully curated list of stall vendors, the market has a little taste of something for everyone, with flavours from all over the world, including proper South African market fare, on offer. A few well made arts, crafts and designs are on show, and of course there is local craft brewed gin to be had. (Seriously, gin is everywhere at the moment).

And don’t forget to admire the fantastic metal and wood work that has gone into crafting the ornate Art Deco styling of the building itself!

Then there is the innovative Liberty Books bookstore parked outside, showing off the second addition to their book-bearing fleet, the Liberty Books Brigade – a 1970s Provincial Library Bus! (I’ve mentioned their Burning Books fire engine on these pages before.)

But of course, the star of the show for me is whenever the Ceres Rail Company comes steaming into the station with one of their classic locomotive and coaches combination. On this particular visit pictured below, it was Jessica, a Class 19D-3321 steam locomotive from the 1940’s that chugged into view bearing its load of market visitors!

So yes, trains were admired, food devoured, and photos taken:

...

Fish and Chips at the Struisbaai Sea Shack (2019-03-23) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 24 SEP 2019

Having rolled through Napier, breakfasted and wandered around a shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp, peered up at a lighthouse and visited the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas, it was time to round off our day trip with a late lunch in Struisbaai – on South Africa’s longest beach of all places.

Set right on the shores of Struisbaai Main Beach, Sea Shack Struisbaai is an immensely popular seafood restaurant with the twist being that you dine with your feet in the sand! It’s a very communal experience with simple, long rows of benches under bright yellow and blue strips of shade-cloth, paired an almost incessant level of chatter, music and laughter all around.

Orders are placed at the front, drinks are snatched up from the bar, you grab a seat, and then eventually some runners pop around to deliver your food to your table before disappearing again. People are constantly streaming in and out and on a whole, I have to say it feels like a very streamlined operation given the size of the crowds that seem descend upon the shack.

Generous portions of fish, chips and calamari are generally the order of the day, and for those in need of a sweet after treat, then the soft serve ice cream stall out in front has you more than covered. (Or at least that was what the queue was telling me!)

A thoroughly enjoyable seafood in the sand experience!

...

Hertzoggies and Fruit Cubes at Algerynskraal Farm Stall near Ladismith (2019-07-04) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 20 SEP 2019

The first half of our holiday over, the girls and I were driving from Barrydale to Mossel Bay via the Garcia Pass and through Riversdale, when about 15 kilometers outside of Ladismith (just before we needed to turn off the famed R62 and onto the R323) we spotted a giant metal coffee pot sculpture beckoning us to pull over. The marketing stunt worked and so we discovered Algerynskraal Farm Stall, a Klein Karoo farm stall in the middle of nearly nowhere.

Situated on the farm Algerynskraal, originally a farming outpost purchased by Phillip Lodewyk Le Grange in the mid 1860’s, the Algerynskraal Farm Stall lives in a classic, renovated old farm house, with each and every room brimming with all manner of vintage Klein Karoo curios, gifts, arts & crafts, and little bits of history scattered about.

There is a small restaurant onsite that produces a wide variety of light meals, home bakes and the odd traditional Sunday roast or two, and the front reception is stocked with all manner of delicious nibbles to pack in for the road ahead.

Ample space, farm animals, interesting bric-a-brac, the tranquility that comes from a farm in the Klein Karoo, and friendy staff – a lovely (and unexpected) little discovery indeed!

...

Jenga, Go Fish, and Colouring Books at Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay (2019-07-04) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 15 SEP 2019

The June school holidays this year was split into two distinct parts, the first a little time soaking up the warm waters of Warmwaterberg whilst exploring Barrydale, the second some nice downtime in Mossel Bay. And by Mossel Bay I do of course mean the fabulous Pinnacle Point Estate (as always).

Chantelle wasn’t with us for this part, and so my girls and I joined my mom and dad, two of their friends, and Riley plus the boys for a couple of decent days of relaxing, late night walks (often in search of stray golf balls), ice creams, strolls and dassies at the Point, copious amounts of Jenga and colouring in, the odd braai or two, and of course a lot of riding up and down in the golf cart. (The girls like that.)

Oh, and a fun drive up to Jakkalsvlei just to round things off. (No golf this time around though…)

...