Back in October 2019, we made a quick trip to the Cape in South Africa, to visit some friends after they had been married abroad. It was an absolute treat! Any other expats reading this will understand that feeling of sitting in a (clean) restaurant, with (solid clean) cutlery and (clean fabric) napkins, fast attentive service and just smiling in a daze, at everyone, and everything whilst repeating words along the lines of “this is so nice, ah, this is SO nice”. When the waiter bought (warm, fresh) dinner rolls to the table, I actually welled up.
Our friend collected us from the airport, and our first stop was the Postcard Café, where I had the aforementioned experience of pure delight. We drank craft beer, wine and shared the tastiest platters of cheese (different types of actual cheese, not yellow plastic), meats, artichokes, roasted peppers … so, so good. I dream of good cheese.
The next day we set off for a couple nights in Langebaan in the gorgeous Langebaan Beach Cottage. It was the perfect place to sit around an oxtail poitjie, catch up and play games. Feast your eyes on the simple but gorgeous, quirky but tasteful, decor of this seaside spot …
We booked a meal at Die Strandloper; worth every penny, and worth every kilogram we put on! I could understand why you have to book in advance; to eat course after course of freshly cooked seafood, warm bread straight out of a wood fired oven, your feet in the sand and turquoise waters around you, all to the sounds of a man singing and strumming his guitar; bliss!
We stopped in at the Darling Brewery on our way back to Stellenbosch to watch a rugby game, indulge in some more good food, tasty burger for him and mussels and fresh bread for her this time, washed down with craft beer tasters. England vs South Africa, I can’t recall who won? I think it was England, because they are the better team, right?
We headed back to Stellenbosch and the morning that we were due to fly out, we managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Babylonstoren. It was pouring with rain and miserably overcast, but after a short while, the rain slowed and the sun started to come out.
This place is indescribable! The detail, everywhere you look is just incredible. You could easily spend a whole day here, I would love to go back and spend more time there. So much to look at and learn. I longed for the time to just go sit on some of the tucked away benches and just take it all in. They also offer tours and cooking courses.
We did manage to grab a bite to eat in The Greenhouse; pot pie followed by scones with cream & jam, which were absolutely scrumptious.
And of course, a holiday is not a holiday without some birding. We had some great sightings on this trip, including quite a few lifers. There were more, but I have managed to lose some of my lists! Here are some lifers from memory.
- Blue Crane (can you believe it, first ever sighting?!)
- White-backed Mousebird
- Kelp Gull
- White-browed Scrub Robin
- Cape Bulbul
Have you been to any of these spots? With more and more of us travelling locally, this might inspire a trip for those of you in South Africa.