For a thorough cut-off from city life, look no further than Die Beloofde Land guest farm in the beautiful Langkloof valley near Uniondale. Accommodation comes in the form of three charming and contemporary-styled stone cottages, each with its own unique character and finishings. It’s a working farm populated with both farm animals and a variety of wildlife. Visitors can look forward to nature-filled pastimes such as bass fishing, guided hiking trails, rock paintings, and cozy evenings next to the fireplace.
Another great option is Nima Lodge, a secluded boutique hotel just outside Wilderness. With its expansive views over forests, hills and valleys, and fully equipped self-catering chalets, you can truly live life at your own pace for once. The road leading up to the lodge is full of ups and downs, creating an exciting sense of bundu-bashing, but all vehicles can handle it. You can go on guided hiking trails, read and relax, or just spend some quality time with your loved ones next to the fire pit or in the wood-fired hot tubs.
Featured Image: Stock Image
• Blissful pampering
A spa visit is a must for anyone seeking relaxation bliss. The Sanguine Spa & College in George is a place where you can unwind and forget about stress. Book yourself for any of their wide variety of treatments, or join in one of their pamper journeys. Elegantly embellished gift vouchers are also available to buy for someone special in dire need of a soothing escape.
It's hard to deny the impactful health benefits that come with a proper and professional massage. The Sierra Massage Lounge in George specialises in various kinds of massages, ranging from sports and deep tissue massages to relaxing full body treatments. The peaceful environment and experienced staff are a powerful stress-busting combo that delivers results.
The elegant Freesia Spa at the Oubaai Golf Resort provides rejuvenation and tranquillity to the nth degree. Traditional African remedies and unique European treatments, combined with natural ingredients and well-trained staff, will put any visitor in a blissful zone which will linger long after returning to reality.
Featured Image: Stock Image
• On water and birds…
With so many lakes, dams, beaches and rivers right at our doorstep, water babies will have the time of their lives indulging in their preferred brand of aqua therapy. The beloved Island Lake, situated in the Wilderness National Park, is ideal for any water-related recreational activities, such as canoeing, fishing, boating, windsurfing and water-skiing. You can even snorkel in the Touw River – one of the rivers feeding the lake – to see some fresh and salt water fish frolicking in a communal habitat.
At the same time, why not do a bit of serene birdwatching? Not only is the Garden Route blessed with a wide-ranging variety of airborne creatures, but also with many locations and chances for folks to get better acquainted with them. While paddling the Touw River, marvel at its extraordinary bird life. Or spend some time in a bird hide in the Garden Route National Park,, Wilderness section. Embark on a birding expedition in the Outeniqua Nature Reserve to tick off some of the Cape species on your list, visit the Kammanassie Nature Reserve to witness the majestic black eagle riding the wind currents, or just go for a walk in the forest – the opportunities are endless.
The Spa at Fancourt offers a magnificent treat with their heated ozone Roman Bath and jacuzzi. An experience at their tepidarium is also not to be missed. Your mum will be comfortably settled into a heated seat while the air gets infused with different essential oils every 5 minutes – she will float out deeply relaxed and revived.
Featured Image: The Fancourt Spa
A visit to the upmarket Serendipity Beauty Studio in Meade Street, George, promises to be an equally indulging experience. World-class products and professionally trained therapists and beauticians will ensure exceptional “me-time” in stylish surroundings. Your mum can pick and choose between a wide variety of special packages and treatments, all of which can be customised to suit her needs.
2. Turn the tables
Take her out for a remarkable culinary experience. Here are just a few of the great eateries in our area where she will be treated like a queen:
The smash-hit Nina’s Café in George – a place where friends gather for lots of laughter, gorgeous fusion food, devine cakes and good wine.
Featured Image: The Girls on the Square
The Girls on the Square in Wilderness – a multiple award-winning, Top 10 Garden Route restaurant offering fine food infused with African influences.
Dis Tyd in Blanco, George – this unique coffee shop, bakery and venue for small functions has made a name for itself with its personal attention, outstanding dishes, cakes and pastries. It’s situated in a restored forester’s house and filled with lovely wooden furniture.
The Hills Café, situated halfway between George and Wilderness – this beloved restaurant is part of the Far Hills Country Hotel and offers hearty meals. The surrounding forested mountains and rolling valleys award patrons with a great sense of serenity and peace.
3. Go to the market
According to popular theory, men are hunters and women are gatherers. Hence, what better way to treat your mum than a market day outing?
At the Milkwood Village Sunday Funday Market in Wilderness, the “gatherers” in your family circle can roam to their hearts' content among a huge variety of unique arts and crafts stalls with lots of food and drink options for reinforcement.
The weekly Outeniqua Family Market is another great place for loading up on some seriously good food and sauntering between stalls dripping with all kinds of treasures.
Featured Image: The Outeniqua Family Market
4. Have some creative fun
Spoil your mum with a pottery lesson at Bomkisi Ceramic Manufacturers. It ties right in with motherhood celebration as this successful business venture was founded and is run by a formidable mother-and-daughter team. There are variously themed lessons, such as Girls Night Out, Mom&Me, lessons for beginners, and advanced pottery, to mention a few. You can even bring along your own drinks and snacks. Expert guidance is provided all the way.
Enthusiastic home cooks are always on the lookout for new recipes and their next showstopper to treat the family. Thus, why not book Mum for a public cooking class at the famous Francois Ferreira Academy? Classes comprise a cooking demonstration by the illustrious Chef Francois himself, and it’s sure to be a fun-filled, instructive and memorable occasion.
5. Give her a thrill
If your mum is an adventurous type, she will surely enjoy one of the many outdoor expeditions on offer in the George, Uniondale and Wilderness area. Thrill her with a kayaking experience, guided bird/nature walk, an abseiling excursion or a special picnic in a stunning location. Or let her spread her wings with a tandem paragliding flight – adrenaline rush guaranteed. The following operators can lend you a hand:
Eagle Falls Country Lodge and Adventures, situated near Uniondale in the heart of the Kammanassie Valley, offers 30% discount on their regular chalet and cabin prices from now until 30 November 2022. With so many world-renowned tourist attractions and activities close at hand, she’ll feel like a tourist in her own town!
Featured Image: Eagle Falls Country Lodge
In the same vein, how about booking her on a full-day tour to some of our area’s exciting and even lesser-known sites? Wilderness Express is an owner-run family business offering personalised, safe and reliable taxi services, including trips all around the Garden Route and into the Klein Karoo. Knowledgeable and passionate about their home, they can offer some great recommendations to ensure an unforgettable experience.
7. Treat her with a night at the theatre
A night at the theatre is always a hit. That stately grand dame of theatre performances, The Dotsure George Arts Theatre, is eager and ready to entertain with her exciting production called Broadway – The Greatest Show. This musical spectacle will awe and enchant from 11-14 May, and again from 18-21 May 2022.
•At the top of our list is The Links
Situated at the world renowned Fancourt Golf Estate. Once an airfield, this dune-scaped course was designed by Gary Player and welcomed its first players in November 2000. Known for the hard-hitting golfing challenge it presents and a credible rendition of classic Scottish links courses, it played host to several of the world’s most significant tournaments in the past. A round of golf on this course means you’ll follow in the footsteps of golfing greats, such as Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Retief Goosen.
Featured Image: Montagu Golf Course
•Fancourt is not only known for The Links, but boasts two other lovely courses which consistently rank among the Top 20 in national golf course listings. Fancourt Montagu has 18 holes and is the estate’s original golf course. Its terrain varies and meanders through an indigenous parkland landscape. It is suitable for golfers of all abilities. There’s a warm-up area, and a chipping and bunker practice area.
Featured Image: Fancourt Outeniqua Golf Course
•Like its other siblings, the Fancourt Outeniqua golf course was designed by Gary Player and promises an entertaining and leisurely golfing experience. Tough still challenging, it’s a more lenient range and can accommodate a large number of golf players. It’s well-manicured and tough holes are alternated by easier ones.
Featured Image: George Golf Course
•George Golf Club, affectionately known as the Old Course, dates way back to 1906 when it was first established. However, balls only got hit on the current site since the 1930’s. It’s an enchanting, natural parkland course lined with many trees, and golfers often share their play ground with African monkeys and buck, not to mention the wealth of indigenous feathered friends. It presents players with a fair share of challenges, and its famous Hole 17 counts among the Top 500 in the world. As a bonus, the club also offers some of the most affordable rates in South Africa, and the thousands of visitors swinging their clubs here every year is testimony to its immense popularity.
Featured Image: Kingswood Golf Estate
•Kingswood Golf Estate attracts golfers from all over with its uniquely designed championship golf course. From practically any place on the course, players can appreciate the ever-changing mountainscape while strutting their stuff. Each hole offers its own challenges, with especially the last four holes giving players a run for their money. With its fast greens, traditional pot-bunkers, expert golf coaching on hand and available to all, and known as a woman-friendly track, this golf course is one of the must-play courses in the area.
Featured Image: Oubaai Golf Estate
-Another golfing gem is to be found at the Oubaai Golf Estate near Herolds Bay. The estate boasts the first Ernie Els Signature Course in South Africa and players of all levels will have fun testing their skills. It is well laid out and built on a cliff-top with the mighty Indian Ocean as a splendid backdrop. Having said that, windy conditions on said cliff-top will take up the golfing challenge a notch or two.
•For a nice, quick round of golf, the Glenwood Short Golf Course with its nine holes and high-quality bent grass greens is a definite consideration. Their vision is to make their customers happy and that is indeed the case. After having clubbed and sliced, puttered and struck, and everything else that golfers do, you can relax in their fully licenced clubhouse before moving on to your next Garden Route adventure.
•And if you and your golfing buddies would like to go on a golf tour, experiencing all there is to experience golf-wise in our area without doing all the organisation yourself, Golfguy Tours is your solution. It’s an inbound golf tour operator with an expert team of professional golfers and golf event specialists. They will put together a customised tour, including everything from arranging accommodation, to transport, to optional day trips.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive up the mighty Montagu Pass, the oldest, unaltered pass still in use in South Africa. Besides the jaw-dropping scenery, you’ll encounter historical treasures such as the Old Tollhouse which was declared a national monument in 1972. The pass will also lead you to the Over the Mountain Tea Garden in its lovely setting adorned with roses and agapanthus. Expect delicious home-made fare such as oven-fresh scones, their unique cinnamon cake, pancakes and other light meals. Mountain bikers, families and bikers often make this their pitstop.
Featured Image: Pepsi Pools
Pepsi Pools is a popular swimming spot situated in the indigenous forest surrounding George. The little waterfall with its rock pools is a firm family favourite, and the whole experience of getting there would surely create some great memories. You can hike there or bike there, the choice is yours. Should you opt for hiking, you can park at the Nelson Mandela University and follow the beautiful trail. During the 30-minute hike, look out for shy woodland creatures such as bushbuck, frogs, spiders and many more.
Featured Image: Victoria Bay
A lazy day on the beach is on top of the list for many holiday makers, and our area has its share of lovely sea shores. Herolds Bay comes to mind with its golden beach and wondrous tidal pool. Kids (and adults) can don their snorkelling gear and get absorbed in its riches. Or head over to the kilometres-long Wilderness beach for some peace and quiet, and to get your dose of Vitamin D. Victoria Bay, a short 10-minute drive from George, is synonymous with surfing, and while you don’t necessarily have to engage in this thrilling activity, the quaint little beach is perfect for building sand castles and sun lounging.
Featured Image: Garden Route Mall
For some retail therapy, or just some relaxing window-shopping, the Garden Route Mall provides numerous opportunities. There are cinemas, most of South Africa’s well-known clothing and lifestyle stores, pharmacies and several restaurants to sit down and relax with some good coffee and culinary treats. To put it in a nutshell and in line with their motto: everything you want, they’ve got it.
Featured Image: Wilderness Art Meander
As an artist’s hotspot, there is no shortage of top-quality art galleries sprinkled all across the Garden Route area. Spark a lifelong appreciation in your kids for the finer things of life by exploring the Wilderness Art Meander with its twenty-four art venues. You’ll get a map of the route and participating destinations in the local Wats-up on the Wild-publication.
Featured Image: Langkloof Gallery and Sculpture
You’ll also find unique and soul-touching art venues along the iconic Route 62 in the Klein Karoo. The Langkloof Gallery and Sculpture Garden is a place where the whole family can revive their body and mind. Admire the artist owner’s art works or book a sculpture workshop to release your own inner artist.
It is possible to have a memorable and affordable family holiday break in a magical place such as the Garden Route. No matter what it is you want from your holiday, you’re sure to get it here – at a price that will suit your pocket. Come live la dolce vita, because that is what family holidays are ultimately about.
It’s a working buffalo farm, but also a great country escape about 10 km from the George Airport . The unusual self-catering accommodations are varied and not to be missed. Shipping containers have been transformed into luxurious pods, beautifully appointed eco cabins, and cosy “coconuts” – each is equipped with a wood-fired hot tub. Help yourself to fresh eggs from the cute chicken coop, or organic veggies from the veg patch. With so many family-friendly activities to do, from fishing and game drives to canoeing – not to mention the spectacular farming surroundings – you’ll have a thorough scrub from the rigours and stresses of everyday life.
The historic Montagu Pass is one of the gateways to this remote and unique little winery situated on a slope of the Cradock Peak landmark. It was established in 1999 and produces superb wines. Besides cellar tours, wine tastings and delightful lunches, they offer accommodation in the form of renovated worker cottages, each one sleeping 4-6 people. No television and radio give you and your loved ones the opportunity to reconnect with one another, enjoying spectacular night skies and sharing stories of your Garden Route adventures around the fire.
The Klein Karoo offers rare beauty, and this private game lodge with its pristine nature is just the place to experience it all. It is within easy reach of the popular Route 62, and it can be summarised in four wholesome prospects: early-morning game drives, lovely fynbos, a variety of African wildlife and real Boerekos. A mountain hike will bring you in close contact with Mother Nature, or saddle up and go explore on horseback. Participate in the age-old relaxation tradition of fishing, and let the splendid sight of eagles soaring the azure skies revive your soul.
You’ll enjoy a family holiday to remember when settling into one of the cosy cottages or cabins which is part of Wilderness Bush Camp’s accommodation offering. There is peace and seclusion, and fine views over the Indian Ocean and the surrounding forest. The communal lapa, full of character and with its own pizza oven, braai and fully equipped kitchen, is a sure hit and perfect to enjoy a happy family meal at the end of an adventurous and fun-filled day, complete with spectacular sunsets.
This picturesque family escape lies in the heart of the Langkloof with lovely views over the Witteberge. It’s a family farm rich with history and tradition. Guests can look forward to a whole range of exciting activities such as stargazing, bird watching, mountain biking, swimming, fishing and hiking. The farm produces apples, nectarines, apricots, prunes and pears as well as other products such as honey bush tea and bottled water. It’s om the doorstep of the classic Route 62. Affordable accommodation comes in the form of five separate, self-catering guesthouses (sleeping 4-12 people) and a developing camping terrain.
Why not try a fantastic glamping experience on a dairy farm surrounded by the pristine Wilderness forest? This has got to be one of the best ways to immerse the whole family in all that the Garden Route has to offer. The tented accommodation at Oakhurst Farm features private hot tubs from where you can admire the different faces of the ancient Outeniqua mountains. The tents are fully equipped, spacious and can sleep five people. Braai facilities, an indoor fireplace, lights and air conditioning ensure comfort. Kids can watch the cows being milked, join in a hike to the farm’s waterfall or paddle on the dam. It is the perfect family getaway.
The Garden Route is ready in all its autumnal splendour to entertain, refresh and nurture you and your family. Come bask in its mellow fruitfulness (in the poetic words of the famous Keats) and all that it entails. With its mild climate, treasure trove of activities, and myriad accommodation options sure to delight young and old, you’ll get into gear for the rest of the year!
Enjoy a delicious two course meal with a complimentary bottle of the Hussar Grill Red and Chocolate Vodka Martinis for only R385 per couple.
The Wilderness Hotel
Join the Wilderness Hotel for a Valentine's themed Sunday Buffet on 13 February from 12:30 – 15:00, at R250 per person. Children between the ages of 4 to12 pay 50% and bookings are essential.
Featured Image: The Fat Fish, George
The Fat Fish
On the 14th of February, enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine with every seafood platter for two. Say you’ll be wine.
La Luna Romantic Picnic
Spoil your partner with a romantic picnic in the beautiful coastal town of Wilderness. The Valentine’s Day package for you and your date includes a gorgeous, romantically styled picnic with candles and fresh flower décor, a platter box for two, non-alcoholic champagne and photography for R1,890. For a group of friends or a few couples, book the 5 to10 guest package starting from R2,700. And as a bonus, the first 5 bookings get 10% off.
On Valentine’s Day, tuck into a croissant breakfast for two and a cappuccino, for R85. This farm stall has homemade bread, cakes and other treats, with a gift shop and outdoor play area.
The Bench Eatery & Bar
On Sunday 13 February from 2pm to 5pm, enjoy a live Valentine’s performance by Janine Fourie. Surprise the one you care about with beautiful music, a romantic atmosphere and delicious food.
Share the love with friends and family at your favourite strawberry farm. Enjoy the scrumptious waffle duo for R80, the 'You Melt my Heart' fresh strawberries with Bar One dip for R30 or two Strawberry Daiquiri cocktails for R100. Available until 28 February 2022.
Fairy Knowe Hotel
Enjoy a night of love and dancing on the 12th of February at the Fairy Knowe Hotel’s Valentine’s Day dance, starting at 6:30pm. Entrance is R150 per couple and a platter for two can be ordered for an additional R150.
Garden Route Botanical Gardens
Enjoy a movie under the stars on Friday, 18 February at 19:00. The classic love story, the Notebook, will be playing. For R600 per couple, receive an artisan chocolate, dinner basket for two, wine and a surprise dessert. Booking is essential.
Featured Image: Milkwood Village, Wilderness
Have a good time with the ones you love under the Milkwood trees. Visit the village for a fun-filled Valentine's weekend starting on Friday night, 11 February. Dress up and get into the groove with live DJ, Lucideep from 6pm to 9pm. At the Sunday Funday market, enjoy Shomon’s sweet sounds and enter the ‘best dressed’ and ‘oldest couple’ competitions. Etienne Steyn will keep the good vibes going on Monday Date Night. Wear pink, red and white all weekend. Covid-19 protocols to be followed.
Looking for something unique to do this Valentine’s Day? Join the Bomkisi duo for a Couple’s Workshop where you’ll learn how to make a pot plant from scratch, moulded into an abstract face. Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks and refreshments along. Bomkisi is a mother and daughter team who design and manufacture high-end ceramic items which double as functional art.
New Wave Village / Café
New Wave Village is hosting a sokkie! Enjoy an evening of fun and dancing on Monday 14 February from 6pm to 9pm. Everyone is welcome - both couples and singles. Take off your shoes and get swinging in the beautiful garden with gorgeous views. Lawn games will be circulating, and prizes will be awarded for the most creative socks. Entry is R60 per person. Refreshments and picnic packages are available for pre-order.
Meade Café George
For an evening of romance and spoils, book a Valentine's Day dinner at one of George's prettiest cafés, for R395 per person. Treat yourself and your loved one to a date night like no other. Booking is essential.
Romantic Fairy-tale Getaways
Featured Image: Treedom Villa and Vardos, Wilderness
Treedom Villa and Vardos
This magical getaway is ideal for couples, styled in luxury boho chic. Get a whopping 25% off your February booking, when booking with Treedom directly.
Eden View Boutique Hotel
Nestled away in the mountains and surrounded by nature as far as the eye can see, Eden View offers guests superior accommodation in a tranquil and peaceful setting. For 14 February only, book any suite (Luxury, Superior, Honeymoon) for R1,500. A complimentary bottle of champagne or wine is gifted for your stay. Breakfast is excluded.
Featured Image: The Manor House at Fancourt, George
The Manor House at Fancourt
Experience all the romance and luxury of Fancourt’s 5-star boutique country hotel. From an al fresco dinner on a private deck to spa treatments for two, this romantic retreat is filled with magic, moonlight, and memories. The two-night package includes daily breakfast, a spa voucher, private dinner, return airport transfers, luxury courtesy vehicle within 10km radius, tea, evening canapes, a complimentary meal from the in-room dining menu and concierge service. Offer available to South African residents only, from R4,075 per person sharing, until 31 October 2022.
Oubaai Hotel and Spa
Love is in the air at Oubaai Hotel and Spa. Enjoy a romantic Valentine's getaway from R1,250 per person.
Serendipity Restaurant has achieved international acclaim by championing traditional and local South African flavors. Blogger Clare van Rensburg visits the iconic Wilderness fine-dining restaurant, on its twentieth anniversary. She discovers a bucket-list meal at an award-winning eatery.
Serendipity’s menu is rooted in chef-patron Lizelle Stolze’s passion for the very best South African produce, which she describes as ‘amazing indigenous bounty’. For two decades, Lizelle and her husband Rudolf, have put Wilderness on the map for sumptuous food and an unparalleled knowledge of local wines and spirits. Their ingredients-driven menu changes every five weeks and depends on what hunter, fisherman and spear-diver Rudolf has managed to wrestle into submission or pull from the ocean. You can expect local game and seafood, indigenous foods and traditional flavors, elevated to fine-dining splendor.
Serendipity’s fun-loving maître d’ Rudolf likes to serve sunset aperitifs on the waterside terrace, overlooking the placid Touw River. This gives him a chance to chat about his favorite South African spirits and brag about his wife’s menu. This fantastic menu is matched only by Rudolf’s local food lore. Serving us a pink gin-style cocktail, Rudolf tells us about the near-calamity that accidently created the ‘Spook van Blomfontein’. At the secluded Strandveld Winery, on South Africa’s southernmost tip, winemaker Conrad Vlok was determined to produce a superlative MCC. Shortly after bottling his prized pinot noir, disaster struck. Explosions shook the Cape Agulhas cellars, as hundreds of bottles shattered from the pressure. Desperate to protect the plonk, Vlok decanted the remaining stock and distilled it with a secret blend of local fynbos botanicals. A unique and rare spirit was born and this Spook van Blomfontein has become a closely guarded local secret. It tastes like an actual flower fountain and smells like Turkish Delight and Rose Geranium. Rudolf serves it ice cold, in a champagne flute, topped up with refreshing Indian tonic.
Featured Image: Serendipity Restaurant
Serendipity’s setting is intimate and magical. The dining room is situated right on the banks of the lagoon, in the perfect position to appreciate the Southern Cape sunsets. Dragonflies hover over the water, reeds sway in the breeze and the scent of food wafts from the kitchen.
Serendipity is a unique experience for proud South Africans and international food-lovers. The menu is infused with regional botanicals and indigenous flavours. “When we first began Serendipity Restaurant in 2001,” says Rudolf, “we committed ourselves to sticking to fresh sustainably-sourced local foods, and two decades later it is still a winning formula”. Lizelle says that her dedication to South African cuisine stems from recollections of her favourite childhood foods; “I have vivid memories of marog cooked with onions and potatoes, and of preparing hunted spoils that my dad brought home: we once stuffed a warthog heart and I had to do the sewing-up. I remember freshly grilled whole white mielies, topped with a swipe of butter and spicy salt.”
“For years,” Lizelle says, “our traditional foods were forgotten, and focus was placed on exotic imported ingredients”. “We choose to keep the spotlight on South Africa’s unique culinary heritage,” she says of her kitchen. Indeed, this passion is surely the reason that Serendipity features so frequently in hospitality awards. They were named ‘Global Winner’ of the 2020 World Luxury Restaurant Awards, for South African Cuisine and ‘Continent Winner’ for Fine Dining. They remain the top-rated Trip Advisor restaurant in Wilderness and feature in the Ten Best Restaurants in the Western Cape Province.
Our meal began with a surprise ‘amuse bouche’, served in a spherical pottery cloche. We opened it to find silky beetroot hummus, served with a local goat’s cheese and crisp croutons. A basket of homemade bread contained a traditional Vetkoek and was served with flavored butter and a sprinkle of onion flowers. The snoek pate starter featured slivers of wild harvested pepper dew and was plated with a traditional grape jam, pickled onion and a peppery Nasturtium pesto. My husband loved his Retro Waldorf Salad, possibly the first time in his life he ever enjoyed a salad! The rich pigeon breast Bresaola was perfectly complemented by pickled sultanas, crunchy apple, celeriac and toasted pecans.
Featured Image: Serendipity Restaurant
As an interlude, we enjoyed the broccoli and ice-berg lettuce soup served with a splash of salty local Blaauwkrantz cream cheese. This was followed by a single refreshing spoonful of ice-cold sorbet. We slurped up tangy lemon and native buchu flavors until our palates were suitably cleansed.
Our favorite aspect of the Serendipity experience was the interaction with our waiters and hosts. We loved the fun and detailed explanations of the dishes, as well as Rudolf’s hunting escapades and his personal wine recommendations. Serendipity offer to pair each course with a complimenting wine, carefully sourced from local vineyards. The waiters deliver each pairing with flawless tasting notes.
The showstopping main course was tender springbok fillet, served on a bed of wilted spinach with slow-braised springbok shank, crisp hasselback potatoes and a rich red wine jus. This is quintessential South African comfort food and characterizes Serendipity’s insistence on ethically sourced meat. Other options included a succulent Santer fillet, served with shellfish bouillabaisse and grain pilaf, with roasted vine tomatoes. The vegetarian option was roasted cauliflower with spiced date butter. Dessert was a simple choice between a vanilla crème brulee served with a white and dark chocolate crème and the rooibos stewed fig cake, served with Amarula ice-cream and green fig preserve.
Serendipity Restaurant only seats 30 guests, so it is wise to book well in advance and arrive hungry.
Gin aficionados will love the mobile drinks trolley at 101 Meade Restaurant and Bar in George. Happy chefs, Ben and Jeremy Gibbs, invite their guests to sample a range of craft gin inspired cocktails from the cart. “We designed the gin trolley to increase table interaction,” says Ben, “the trolley rolls up and guests are invited to learn about regional gins, smell the botanical ingredients and taste some superb cocktails”. The vintage rolling bar-cart showcases a range of local craft gins distilled in the Garden Route including Harmony Honeybush Gin, Phantom Craft and Black Mountain Karoo Gin. Ben and Jeremy agree that guests love the touch of theatre that the gin trolley brings to the dining tables. Catch Meade’s rolling bar service for an aperitif before the dinner service daily from 5pm. The ‘Lady Lemon Gin Cocktail’ features Black Mountain Karoo Flora Gin with elderflower and rose petal notes, raspberry syrup, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and soda water.
Featured Image: Stock Image
Freshly roasted and ground coffee is at its best when sipped with something delicious on the side. Those serious about their coffee will jump at the pairing experience at Pause Coffee. Energetic baristas host tastings by appointment at the Pause roastery at the Timberlake Organic Village, outside Wilderness. This is a fun and immersive experience, aimed at educating the palette. Pause focuses on serving single origin speciality coffees, brewing the beans manually with a Kalita Wave Dripper. Coffee lovers can sample the fruity Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Adado. Flavours of cherry, plum, milk chocolate and lemon drops roll over the tongue and it carries a sweet aroma of roasted pineapple. The El Salvadorian brew has hints of orange, caramel and fudge. Sip it black with soft cranberry and almond nougat. The Columbian espresso has rich bold flavours of chocolate and red fruit, brought out beautifully with slices of sweet dried naartjie.
Featured Image: Outeniqua Family Market
Without any doubt the best brunch in George can be found on Saturday mornings at the Outeniqua Farmer’s Market. Showcasing the best mouth-watering local produce, as well as a large variety of craft stalls, this market is popular with locals as a weekend hang-out. Live music, acres of parking, a huge kiddies play area and plentiful shaded seating make this a true weekend winner. Sample the crunchy salted fried potato chips on a stick. Giant beef burgers are a brilliant mid-morning hunger buster. Smoothies, iced pineapple juice and yoghurt cups are on offer for health buffs. You’ll find a full farm breakfast with boerewors, bacon, tomato relish and toast. Those with a sweet tooth can choose from a selection of sinful pancakes, muffins, tarts or the totally decadent Belgian chocolate waffles from Wicked Waffles. The queue for warm crunchy churros filled with toffee or chocolate sauce is well worth the wait. Traditional syrupy koeksisters and fresh coffee are a firm favourite. Afrikaans people over a certain age can be seen drooling over warm bowls of the South African heritage dish, melkkos, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon and sugar. Nibble on classic South African staples like homemade buttermilk rusks, vetkoek and biltong. Visitors can stock up on fresh vegetables, artisan bread and free range chicken within a few paces.
Chef Johan de Jager from Hetta’s Home Food makes a variety of delicious bruschetta, insane red velvet cake and the absolute star of the farmer’s market; crunchy decadent baked cinnamon rolls, topped with a cloud of whipped cream cheese frosting. Now these are what happiness is made of!
Featured Image: Houtbosch Wines
Houtbosch Wine Pairings
Kevin and Kelly Kieswetter are the bubbly and creative husband and wife team behind George’s boutique winery, Houtbosch Wines. With their vineyards situated a few kilometres away at Waaboomskraal, the trendy tasting room is conveniently located at Redberry Farm, in Geelhoutboom. The King George Tasting Platter is good value for money. It’s filled with local charcuterie, by Italian curing master, Mastro Dario. There’s fresh ciabatta from Food CO bakery, as well as local olives, cheese and pickles. Ask for a trio of their special sauces, the apricot chutney is delicious slathered on cheese.
You can sample their five signature wines in the prescribed order, as the friendly hostesses share their tasting notes. Or you can take the shortcut tour and have them all at once. The unwooded Chardonnay is a clear favourite. It pays tribute to the cool, misty foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, where the grapes are grown. The Chardonnay has zesty tones of grapefruit and lime and reveals a delicious creamy butterscotch heart. Their flagship wine, the King George Pinot Noir, is a Platter Award winner. It has subtle flavours of cherry, rooibos and African earth.
Wild mushroom and wine or fudge and wine pairings are also available. Beer lovers will enjoy a selection of local craft beers, best savoured with the thick spicy, gooey and moreish Cheese and Beer Dipper. Dunk chunks of toasted bread into the bowl as you slurp on a schooner of beer.
Only the very brave, or the very curious will have the courage to try out the Cabernet Sauvignon Milkshake, but this experiment is a revelation! Take a stroll up into the fruit fields to pick a punnet of strawberries, if you can still walk!
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Cook and Dine like Royalty
Adventurous diners can expand their culinary résumé with fun, interactive cooking classes at the Kitchen Queen Food Studio, in Heatherlands, George. Chef Karen is the regal talent behind the culinary school and hosts lessons in her purpose-built cookery academy. The school can accommodate up to 10 students per class. Individual stations are provided, with separate stoves, aprons, ingredients and cookware. Classes are informal, fun and inspirational. Students can select from a list of technical recipes including favourites like classic sushi, Mexican burritos, Spanish tapas homemade pasta and Thai curry. No experience is needed.
Karen teaches world-class culinary skills with her own blend of humour and expertise. The experienced chef has a wealth of foodie facts and loves to describe her travel escapades. She brings professional tips, regional facts and uses fresh local and seasonal ingredients. After a memorable evening of cooking, guests are invited to dine together in the lapa.
101 Meade Street
This family-orientated restaurant, with its fine-dining feel and standards, is famed for its superb cuisine. Food lovers can expect starbursts of flavour with the likes of mouth-watering steaks, dreamy risottos and heart-warming chicken curry. The menu is constantly updated to keep things fresh and hip. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, and their bar, stocked with gems such as aged whiskeys and locally sourced craft gins, capably takes care of the liquid side of things.
They will be hosting a Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Lunch & a New Year's Eve dinner to be enjoyed by all!
Get in touch to make a bookings | Call T&C's Apply.
Oubaai Hotel Golf & Spa
This classy establishment with its chic, natural colour scheme, is situated at the Oubaai Hotel near Herolds Bay. It’s on par with the excellent standards of the hotel itself and is also its signature restaurant. Seafood, grills and sushi are their specialities, and many dishes are hallmarked by culinary influences from far off places. Although it only serves dinner, it will be an exciting experience with the theatre kitchen slab bang in the dining area and an interactive sushi bar.
Reservations for their delightful Christmas Lunch menu is now open.
Get in touch to make a bookings T&C's Apply.
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De Hoft is a relatively unknown gem, located at Deja Vu Equestrian Cottages in the Geelhoutboom farming area. It overlooks the green fields spanning all the way to the back of Redberry Farm. Dine outside and soak in the views of the equestrian and nearby mountains, or step into old world charm at the restaurant's main building. The interior decor has a Victorian feel, with smart, embellished decor. The espetada is a fabulous and filling main.
Christmas buffet lunch available, live music and kids entertainment
Get in touch to make a booking Call
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Salinas Beach Restaurant
Built on an excavated sanddune with unequaled views over the Indian Ocean and the Wilderness scenery and a very special milkwood tree close to the front door, Salinas offers rustic, Spanish-influenced food infused with local flavours. It’s a magical, child-friendly place where patrons never fail to be awed by the spectacular sunsets. It’s popular for wedding proposals and anniversaries, and especially table 78, in the corner of the upper deck, is spot-on for such ventures
Get in touch to make a booking Call
Featured Image: Ilali Restaurant & Social Bar
Ilali Restaurant & Social Bar
Come share a plate of incredible tapas, or put away some delicious pizzas and burgers at this contemporary, vibrant restaurant and bar. There's a weekly line-up of live music performances, ranging from the rich warm sounds of a saxophone to soothing violin music and beyond, creating a wonderful ambience. It’s the sister restaurant of the highly recommended 101 Meade and the food is of the same exceptionally high standard.
They be serving all the dishes from their menu.Make a reservation, bring your family and enjoy your time together.