19November2017

Entertainment Special Events Explore the Cape Country Meander

Explore the Cape Country Meander

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The Cape Country Meander is a new tourism route that encompasses eight towns and their outlying regions in the Theewaterskloof municipality – just over Sir Lowry’s Pass and beyond.

The culinary journey of the Meander is marked by honest, homemade fare and quirky owner-run establishments. Greyton offers the highest concentration of restaurants, café’s and pubs, whilst also being home to the acclaimed Von Geusau chocolate house and Greyton Traditional Ice Cream. Child friendly and pet friendly, Greyton is a fitting destination for a winter escape. Be sure to stop in at Genandendal as you come or go – it’s worth knowing more about this place that was once the biggest town outside of Cape Town!

Villiersdorp is another small town with big stories. A magnet for artists, there are weekend courses and galleries to explore. Stay close by to the town central and enjoy a warm winter’s day beside the Theewaterskloof dam (fishing or boating too) or head into the (often snow-capped) mountains on hikes or farm stays.

When in Botrivier, the Shunting Shed, with its station-side sliding walls and doors is a must for pizza and train memorabilia. Botrivier’s Wine Route is fast-gaining a strong reputation; with Beaumont Wines, Luddite and the cap classique, Genevieve, just some of the excellent small wineries in the area.

The Elgin wine route is the region’s most established and, although known for producing award winning white wines from heavyweight names like Paul Cluver, Iona and Shannon Vineyards, it is also rising to the occasion with excellent reds from these vineyards as well as South Hill and Ross Gower to name a few. Elgin Vintners is a must stop, as is the beautifully appointed, Almenkerk. Do call ahead to book your appointments though!

Home produce and bakes are supreme in this terrain, with farmstalls like Peregrine, Houwhoek and Dassiesfontein competing for the best pie, best quiche and best homemade ginger beer. Stop in for pad-kos as you head on to explore the historic town of Caledon and the bird-filled photo safari that awaits on the roads less travelled around the region.

One of them may take you to Tesselaarsdal, a quaint emerging village on the small town landscape, where lavender farmers and weekend cottage renovators are creating something new and interesting for visitors to see. Still a relatively small player on the eat-and-stay front, it is still a pretty place to visit and dream about.

Till now, you may only associate Riviersonderend with a stop to fill up at the garage or buy goodies at Die Ou Meul, but this town is surrounded by stretches of peaceful countryside and may well be the place to look for a stress-free self-catering or B&B escape. Make it a stopover as you leave The Cape Country Meander for the Garden Route or spend a whole week there writing a short story or two.

August may be chilly but its one of the freshest, most beautiful times to see this region at its greenest and most abundant.


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