Tag Archives: montagu

Lemon Meringue at Die Kloof Padstal in Montagu (2020-10-26) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 16 MAR 2021

Also known as Route 62 Restaurant and Farm Stall, Die Kloof Padstal is probably one of the more famous farm stall stops in the Langeberg area. Literally the first building that you encounter on the left as you enter Montagu via the Cogmanskloof tunnel side, this is a proper never-say-die institution, having survived countless floods, veld fires, the seemingly never-ending roadworks that have defined the area for so many years now, and now of course the recent decimation of the tourist industry that Covid-19 and all its accompanying lockdowns have wrought.

Die Kloof Padstal is situated on the banks of the Keisie River, and its large, tree shaded outdoor area features picturesque views of Bloupunt and the Langeberg mountains. This spacious garden area is filled with stuff for the kids to play on, making it a very family friendly space, and if the weather is say not so great on the day of your visit, they also have a very comfortable, cozy interior section under their quaint thatched roof. Free wi-fi happily keeps you connected while you wait on your food and drinks to arrive, and given their rather extensive menu, you are pretty much guaranteed to find something to your liking.

The farm stall itself is packed with all manner gifts, crafts, handbags, hats, and books to browse through, as well as a plethora of locally produced dried fruit, nuts, jams, biltong and preserves to indulge in. We tend to try and pay at least one visit to Die Kloof Padstal whenever we find ourselves staying in the Montagu area, and last year’s lovely little between lockdowns stay at Badensfontein was certainly no exception.

The kids stretched their legs, we ate our lemon meringue and they their waffles and ice cream, and then we all went down the road to spend some time watching the mass of sacred ibis birds that roost at the Leidam, Montagu’s old leiwater dam. Tranquil.

Lemon Meringue at the Rambling Rose in Montagu (2020-10-28) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 08 MAR 2021

It is funny, but when we did finally manage a Covid-19 escape to Badensfontein in Montagu, I was so in need of a break that we didn’t actually do a heck of a lot while away on holiday – which as anyone who reads this blog would know, is a rather strange thing for us indeed. So although we did drive around the town for a bit of sightseeing, fulfilled an order for Monty at Drie Berge Winery, poked our noses in at Capedry home of the Cape Dried Fruit Packers, petted the bunnies at Guano Cave Resort, and watched the nesting sacred ibises from the Leidam bird hide, most of our holiday time was spent back in the cottage, sitting on the stoep and admiring the view.

That’s not to say though that we didn’t nip out for a treat to eat every now and then, and on the day that Chantelle left us to go back home and bake, we finished off her stay with a little sightseeing jaunt around the town, followed by some coffee and lemon meringue at Tripadvisor darling, the Rambling Rose. Situated in an old building along the main road (technically part of the R62 route) that runs through the small town of Montagu, the Rambling Rose describes itself as a country kitchen – a mix of a coffee shop, a farm shop, a bakery, and given the amount of curios and gifts on offer, a little dose of treasure shop as well.

We sat down to tuck into our lemon meringue, chocolate brownies, coffee, and waffles with ice cream treats in the comfortable courtyard, where the girls immediately busied themselves playing with the various cats walking between the tables. While we were suitably impressed with Rambling Rose’s Covid-19 protocols, we did unfortunately hit them on a day when the baked goods were unfortunately a little on the old/dry side of the scale, which was a pity because overall the setting was cozy and very welcoming.

In any event, it did get us out of the house and allow us to bid a fond farewell to Chantelle as she hit the long road back home to Gordon’s Bay, leaving the girls and I to pick up supplies and head back out into the hills to Badensfontein, so that I could set up yet another evening braai while the girls entertained themselves with a refreshing splash in the splash pool.

Klein Karoo Fynbos at Badensfontein in Montagu (2020-10-25) Accommodation | Photo Gallery 28 FEB 2021

Clearly last year with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic raging across the globe was not the year to do much going away in. In fact, with the various rules, regulations and lockdowns in place, nipping out for a holiday was not exactly possible for the longest of times anyway, which is then probably why when the gap did finally open to do so, we seized the opportunity to zip out for a quick week long holiday at the very nice and quiet, pretty secluded and thus social distanced, Badensfontein farm, situated on the outskirts of Montagu on the edge of the Klein Karoo.

A beautiful family owned farm nestled in the Baden Valley, Badensfontein is situated a mere 5 km outside Montagu (just past the famous Montagu Springs) and apart from its array of vineyards offers both camping and self-catering accommodation on its ample grounds. Managing to have cultivated a large lush lawn of green grass in the very semi arid surrounding environment, Badensfontein has crafted a perfect spot for people with tents, though it does also offer luxury tent accommodation plus of course the self-catering cottages which we were by far the most interested in.

Our cute little cottage was called Duiker, and nestled in among the fynbos on the slopes of a hill, it had exactly everything that we were looking for. Tranquility, views, an outdoor braai, a stoep, excellent WiFi, trails to walk, a host of giant geckos living behind all the paintings, and down at the bottom of the camp site a small but very refreshing splash pool which my girls basically lived in for the duration of our stay. (That said, when we first lifted the cover off the pool we had a good giggle – the girls had to share the tiny pool with a rather large frog!)

As it turned out, we were the only people staying at Badensfontein for the majority of our stay, and while Chantelle wasn’t there from start to finish (as always the Helderberg Cake Company had cakes to bake!), as a family this getaway from the confines of our little home back in Gordon’s Bay was exactly what we had needed. Lots of braais, games of Jenga and Go Fish!, colouring-in, walking, and splashing in the pool was very much the order of the day.

Feeding the Animals at Montagu Guano Cave (2015-07-10) Photo Gallery 05 AUG 2015

Finally, we had come to the end of our week in Montagu. It had been a good trip thus far: springbok pie in Ashton, birds in Robertson, a river cruise on the Breede river at Viljoensdrift, a nature garden in Montagu, a historic stone tunnel, and a fantastic farm stall – not bad for only a handful of days’ worth of leave! :)

IMG_20150710_125917 chantelle lotter with the kids in front of the montagu guano cave tractor

Our final little excursion (after packing up and saying goodbye to Rainbow Glen) was out to the Montagu Guano Cave guest farm, with the intention of enjoying a nice breakfast followed by feeding all the animals and of course a visit to their every so fluffy Rabbit World enclosure.

(We were originally planning to do the tractor drive up the famous guano cave with the kids, but in the end decided against this, feeling that the trip is a little too long and a little too rugged for little Emily.)

IMG_20150710_121215 emily lotter feeding rabbits at montagu guano cave resort

And that is exactly what we then did.

We ate breakfast, the kids played in the playground, and then everyone took a stab at feeding the animals – from bunnies to fish to ponies and all the way through to camels!

IMG_20150710_124822 camel investigating emily lotter at montagu guano cave resort

In other words, the perfect end to our kid-centric Montagu adventure! :)

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(P.S. We’ve actually been to Montagu Guano Cave before – last time around though, it was us, our friends, and tents! As to be expected, that experience was… in tents. :P)

Related Link: http://www.montaguguanocave.co.za/

Die Kloof Padstal in Montagu (2015-07-09) Photo Gallery 02 AUG 2015

If you are out and about in Montagu and are looking for a great kid-friendly place to take the kids while you sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, or perhaps something more substantial, then look no further than the excellent Die Kloof Padstal.

IMG_20150708_153824 chantelle lotter with jess and emily at die kloof padstal farm stall in montagu

This farm stall is the first building on your left as you enter Montagu through Cogmanskloof and has been in the Zilverentant family for the past 10 years. There are three distinct parts to the business, namely a small little nursery, an interesting arts/curio gallery, and then of course, the restaurant. Outside is a large kids playground, with loads of tables and chairs dotted for those interested in getting fresh air or to keep a watchful eye on their children running about!

Needless to say, we ended up there more than just once on our recent Montagu holiday trip! :)

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Related Link: Die Kloof Padstal

Things to See in South Africa: Old English Fort and the Cogmanskloof Tunnel to Montagu Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 28 JUL 2015

The Cogmanskloof Pass connects the towns of Ashton and Montagu. Its entire 6.5 km stretch through a majestic landscape of towering rock formations. Renamed after Cape Colony secretary, John Montagu, the town’s original name of Cogmanskloof is where this pass took its name from.

IMG_20150708_135549 Cogmanskloof (R62) Tunnel to Montagu

The original route through the mountain included two fairly dangerous river crossings (Kingna River), and so following a few disasters, famed road and pass builder Thomas Bain was commissioned to build the pass through Cogmans Kloof in 1877.

Using a combination of dynamite and gunpowder (gunpowder because dynamite was apparently relatively new and they quickly ran out of supply), Bain and his team ‘dug’ (fine, blasted) through the Kalkoenkrans and opened the route in 1879.

IMG_20150708_135919 Cogmanskloof (R62) Tunnel to Montagu

The unlined tunnel is 16 metres long, and has a five metre high arched roof.

IMG_20150708_135452 Cogmanskloof (R62) Tunnel to Montagu

The tunnel is the oldest solid rock (unsupported by concrete) road tunnel in South Africa.

(Thomas Bain’s father Andrew Bain, actually built the very first tunnel along the western ascent of Bainskloof Pass near Wellington in 1835, but that collapsed during construction so it doesn’t count)

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At the top of the tunnel, blink and you will miss it, is the remains of a well camouflaged English fort (declared a monument in 1999), accessible via a short little hike starting to the right of the tunnel entrance, heading towards Ashton side.

old english fort cogmanskloof tunnel montagu 1

Taken from the Internet: “1899 heralded the Second Anglo Boer War and saw the construction of the English Fort above Cogmans Kloof. This was built by stonemason William Robertson at a site selected by Lieutenant Colonel Sidney, Commandant of the Royal Field Artillery. The fort was garrisoned by a company of the Gordon Highlanders who were survivors of the Magersfontein battle, commanded by a Lieutenant Forbes.

They were camped on the original road construction site below Kalkoenkrans (Turkey Crag) the site which is now the parking area below the fort on the Montagu side.

The fort measures 9,3 x 3,8 m on the outside. It has a simple entrance opening at the west end and 21 ‘waisted’ loopholes formed in the masonry without steel plates. The loopholes are 700-800 mm above the concrete floor and the 400 mm thick stone walls reach a height of about two metres inside the building.

Inside the fort, near the south-east corner, is a roughly circular mortared stone platform (400 mm high), together with a drainage channel and hole at the base of the adjacent east wall, which seems to indicate the presence of a water tank and hence a roof.”

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Related Link: Old English Fort | Cogmanskloof Pass

Things to See in South Africa: Montagu Nature Garden (2015-07-08) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 26 JUL 2015

One of the things that Jessica and I popped in to take a look at during our enjoyable week long Montagu holiday earlier in the month was the Montagu Nature Garden, a 61 year old indigienous wild flower garden dedicated to plant species representative of those in the Klein Karoo and marginal Fynbos biogeoghraphical zone.

(Chantelle and Emily decided this time would be better spent sleeping in the car).

IMG_20150708_143223 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

From the Internet: The Montagu Nature Garden was established in 1954, the year in which the village of Montagu celebrated its centenary. In 1961 the garden was proclaimed a Nature Reserve and placed in the care of the Montagu Municipality. Currently the Montagu Nature Garden Association “leases” the Nature Garden on a long-term basis. The association is also a member of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA)

IMG_20150708_141139 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

Montagu Nature garden is situated in the most southerly part of the succulent Karoo “biome.” It has the distinction therefore of having flora of 3 regions of the Western Cape – succulent karoo, fynbos and renoster veld. There are numerous species of succulents, fynbos, geophytes and a diversity of flowering shrubs and trees occur here. The garden is especially known for the excellent variety of Vygies (mesembryathemums), which sets the garden ablaze with colour during spring.

IMG_20150708_142410 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

A 1.7km circular walking trail within the garden includes a fairly easy climb with benches at strategic intervals. From the top of Bessiekop, magnificent panoramic views of the town and the Cape Folded Mountains can be seen. Bloupunt, one of the highest peaks in the area rises in the distance. One is sure to come across a geometric tortoise, a dassie midden and sunbirds enjoying the variety of aloes on the hillside. The dam, stream and intermittent areas of fast flowing water at the bottom of the hill provide a welcome break after the walk. The area is planted with lawn and benches are placed along the stream.

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I suspect though that Jessica was more pleased with the fact that I was now letting her take photos with my camera than with the actual plant species themselves:

IMG_20150708_142925 jessica lotter takes a photo of craig

IMG_20150708_143001 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

Related Link: Montagu Nature Garden

Rainbow Glen in Montagu (2015-07-07) Photo Gallery 17 JUL 2015

We enjoyed one of our first holidays away together as a family (just the four of us) this July, with a four day long adventure in the Montagu area.

IMG_20150709_103348 emily lotter at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

We were originally booked in to stay at the Montagu Springs resort, but Chantelle got a little spooked when Andy and Albert returned early from their break a lot less than impressed, plus some of the information we were receiving from Montagu Springs in regards to their warm pools wasn’t helping either. So instead, Chantelle made a last minute switch to Rainbow Glen, a quaint little self-catering guest farm setup run by a family of rock climbers (Montagu is after all heaven for South African rock climbing!).

We rented the Garden Cottage, which although being a little sparse and not particularly modern, housed the four of us easily enough, with access to a great little braai lapa, a big lawn for the kids to play on, kids toys like slides, a trampoline, and a jungle gym, a rabbit hutch, a chicken coop, and a cool little paddock with two horses roaming about in it.

Jessica immediately made friends with some of the other kids staying there and what followed was a particularly enjoyable week away from home and work.

IMG_20150709_102048 kids feeding horse at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

We built each day up around a primary focal point (Robertson Birds Paradise, Viljoensdrift River Cruise, and Montagu Guano Cave) and spent quite a bit of time driving around and taking in the sights of the Robertson, Ashton, Montagu, Barrydale area – made particularly easy by the fact that we got a great mobile data signal throughout plus a Google Navigation app that works really, really well!

IMG_20150710_090838 feeding the rabbits at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

Even the odd power break or two couldn’t quite dampen this great week of out and about with the family! :)

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Related Link: http://rainbowglen.co.za/

Photo Gallery: Camping at Montagu Guano Caves (2014-04-24) Photo Gallery 29 APR 2014

Taking full advantage of the multitude of public holidays and thus long weekends over the course of April/May, the weekend of the 25th to 28th of April 2014 saw the intrepid family units of Karl and Trish Storbeck, Damen and Michelle Oosthuizen, Ryan Lotter, Dean and Zania Stapelberg, Evan and Natasha Granger, and obviously Chantelle and Craig Lotter, pack up their kids (where applicable) and camping gear, and set off to the Montagu Guano Caves camping site, a good 2.5 hours journey away from Gordon’s Bay.

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What followed was an entertaining and pretty damn enjoyable weekend of tenting, caravaning, sun, rain and many, many camp fires, all of which has been neatly documented in the photos below:

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