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There are secret places that locals love that you may never discover because they haven’t appeared on any ‘Best of’ lists. Typically, local residents have become acquainted enough with their surroundings to explore a little deeper, as you do when you spend enough time somewhere - beyond the tourist hot spots and glittering attractions. Knowing this, we asked several lovers of the Overberg (and keen Instagram photographers) about their favourite nooks and secret places - and what better way to see a place than through the eyes of its most passionate residents. Enjoy Part One of The Secret Guide to the Overberg...
The dock at the top of the Wandelpad in Stanford, just off the end of Queen Victoria Street. Down a winding path, around a bend of the river, and beneath a low canopy of sheltering trees is a cool, beautiful place to watch the river go by, enjoy a picnic, or take a quick dip. It's far less busy than the slip at King Street and feels like a private slice of paradise!
The entrance to the nature reserve at the end of Queen Victoria Street in Stanford. Where the street ends, the enchantment begins. This is our favourite spot to watch the sun set and enjoy the spectacle of the mountains and clouds.
Klein River Cheese is a very popular spot in the Overberg for families with its amazing Picnic Shed and fabulous Play Park for children. However, it has several sweet little nooks that are easily overlooked. Far in the back corner of the play park is a playhouse perfectly sized for tiny tots, and our littlies love it. There's also a tree house with a window inside that frames a delightful view.
Tucked away where you'd least expect it--inside a hardware store!--is a charming little coffee shop that is well worth the visit. Stop by Penny Pinchers at Gateway in Hermanus and walk through the plumbing department immediately on the right to Cafe 940. You'll do a double-take as retro 1950s decor greets you and beautiful pastries, pies, and cakes sit under glass on the sideboard. Friendly service, fantastic coffees, and just a gem of an eatery in the least expected spot!
It's really not much of a secret, but I absolutely adore Graze Cafe's weekly Wednesday Market here in Stanford. We get the very best local, organic produce at this little bespoke market on the stoep of the restaurant, with the selection changing constantly, depending on what is in season. Naturally, we can rarely resist stopping for a delicious breakfast when we pick up the weekly veggies!
Starts off with a nice hike into the mountain from the top of Reservoir Road in Voelklip. Beautiful place to swim, chill and challenge your courage with some cliff jumping.
Platbos is a private camping site under the canopy of ancient trees with semi-outdoor kitchen and bathroom and big fire pit. Nice walks in the forest.
This is my favourite place to go for a trail run just before sunset. The orientation of the sun over the ocean with the high vantage point from the sandstone cliffs, the pristine natural surroundings echoing the presence of the ancient bushman, and the waves crashing against an endless beach, make this a truly inspiring and breathtaking place.
Because the food is great, the vibe is great, the people are great, the wine is great, the music is great - everything is just great!
Best lamb chops in the Overberg. Thick cut on request.
I grew up in the house my dad built. On Westcliff drive in Hermanus, the cliff path became my playground. From a young age I knew every single little path and secret cave. All the best rock pools to swim in and as I got older the best cliffs to jump off. I now have my own son and the two of us absolutely love exploring the cliff paths together. Noah seeing all the magic for the first time and me reliving every youthful delight through him. Whale Season in Hermanus obviously makes this outing that much more special.
I think one of my absolute favourite things to do in the Overberg is to pick black mussels. Thanks to my mom, picking and preparing black mussels is a religious family event, and one that we try do as often as possible. The Overberg in general is incredible for fresh seafood. From buying fresh snoek off the small fishing boats at the harbour to crayfish season, the Overberg is hard to beat when it comes to seafood. One of our favourite local spots for seafood has got to be Fisherman’s Cottage in Hermanus.
Something I really love about the Overberg is the lifestyle. People in the Overberg are of a special breed. Some are born here and never leave. Others come here and decide to never leave. I often find that the unique flavour and character of the Overberg is most prominent in the home and garden design. People really care about their gardens and we have some awesome nurseries to choose from. You'll also find a healthy respect for re-using and up-cycling. As a result, the Overberg has some incredible second hand stores. I have found some of my greatest treasures in Gansbaai.
The local art scene in the Overberg is very much alive and well. Almost everybody gets creative in some way or another, but over the last few years we have seen some of our local artists become internationally recognised. My favourite gallery is the Russouw Modern in Hermanus. This is a friend of Mine, Christo du Toit, still up and coming and efinately someone worth investing in before he explodes. Then, the Gretha Quinlan Candles is also something to behold. These are not just candles, rather each candle is a work of art.
The Overberg has loads of local markets. Living in Hermanus, I most often go to the Hermanus Country Market, but have also been to the Greyton and Stanford markets. There is no better way to find locally produced goods and the kids absolutely love the chance to run around and play - which makes for very happy parents.
The wines of the Overberg are fast losing their 'secret' status. There are so many local wine tours to enjoy but my favourites are the Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley, Stanford and the Elim wine routes. Pictured here is Sumaridge and Restless River in the Hemel ‘n Aarde.
And that's why we love it here! We hope that you discovered a few more jewels after reading the first chapter of our local Overberg secrets. Please stay tuned for Part 2.