For COVID-19 updates, visit the official South African government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Blog

Happy Holidays in Hoekwil; a perfect weekend escape

6/25/2021 10:56:36 AM

Hoekwil is a sleepy little farming hamlet, set in the forested mountains above the Garden Route coastline. This quirky village is a hidden gem and a true country escape. It is an ideal getaway for nature-lovers with stunning sea, lake, and mountain views at every turn. In addition to its beauty, visitors will not go hungry or thirsty in Hoekwil, there’s a trendy craft distillery, a hip country cafe, and the best ribs and cheesecake in South Africa. Busy families looking for some down time will find it here! The air is clean, the e-bikes are silent, the locals keep the place spotless and there is a plant nursery on every corner!

Sleep

Hoekwil has plentiful accommodation options, including tranquil mountain cabins, farmhouse hideaways, glamping tents and self-catering cottages.

Image Featured Image: Clare Van Rensburg

Situated on a working plant nursery, Mountain Magic is an idyllic budget getaway. The venue is home to three cosy container-style cabins ; set in a wonderfully intimate and relaxed environment. Two of the containers can be rented together as a self-catering option for a family of six. The other unit is suitable for a couple. Each unit features bright décor, a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor dining areas and braai facilities. The larger unit has a double swing hammock, claw foot bathtub and outdoor shower that is strategically perched on a wooden deck overlooking a gobsmacking stretch of Wilderness beach and the stunning Garden Route National Park. In addition, Mountain Magic offers free WIFI (for when you tire of the ocean views).

Image Featured Image: Div Maritz Photography

Hosts Shea and Leigh Skelton will happily organise one-on-one yoga lessons for their guests. Stretch out on the private yoga deck. It’s hidden in the fynbos, at the edge of the Touw River kloof. It does not get more zen than this, folks!

Eat and Drink

Local eatery and watering hole, the Merchant and Maiden , on Church Street, offers a casual dining experience with a wine, craft beer and cocktail menu that hits the spot. Chef Sally Fyvie-de Waal draws inspiration from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean style cuisine. The menu is packed with Italian favourites and fresh garden salads. The Merchant heroes healthy, locally sourced or home-grown, seasonal ingredients.

Image Featured Image: Lisa Leslie Photography

The health-conscious will want to sample the Tabbouleh salad and the falafel, but do not miss the awesome sourdough pizza! The base is made with sourdough starter and the dough is fermented for 72 hours (so it is more tummy-friendly than your average pizza). Pizzas are wood fired in the Merchant’s pizza oven and come with plenty of garlic and homemade chilli oil on the side.

Image Featured Image: Lisa Leslie Photography

Sample the house fries with truffle and parmesan, over a schooner of craft beer or tuck into a Bianco Verde Pizza with one of the local wine offerings. The gourmet toasted sandwiches are made with homemade sourdough bread. Their on-site shop sells local Bomkisi Ceramics, their bespoke coffee blend as well as homemade jams and branded linens. The Merchant is also home to The Serviette Union, a boutique liquor store with a diverse selection of craft beers and spirits. The Merchant and Maiden is a great refuelling station at the end of the local Kingfisher Trail and is great fun for families. It has an outdoor seating area overlooking a fenced jungle gym and a couple of kid-friendly meal ideas.

Opening times Monday to Saturday 11am till 9pm, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Insider tip : don’t miss Sally’s South American street-style churros, served with a gooey chocolate dipping sauce. They are divine but like all the best foods they take time. Expect to wait about 20 minutes for them!

Image Featured Image: Lisa Leslie Photography

Stuff to do

Hoekwil is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and attracts hikers and mountain bikers in their droves. Families with small children will enjoy a saunter around the Woodville Forest Walk. A short stroll from the car park will take you to a towering 800-year-old Yellowwood tree. Picnic in the forest glade, surrounded by curtains of lichen, leafy ferns, tiny flowers and bracket fungi. The Wandelpad Forest Walk follows a 2km circuit through the forest.

Image Featured Image: Div Maritz Photography

Brave visitors will enjoy the electric bikes and scooters available to rent at the Mountain Magic Shop and Nursery, on Duiwe River Road. You can zip around the village in silence, without breaking a single bead of sweat. Their rates are very reasonable (R125/hour) and helmets are provided. Plant-lovers can also pick up indigenous and medicinal plants , and beautifully made ceramic pots at the Mountain Magic Store. They sell art prints by local surfer girl , Ingrid Nuus. They also rent surfboards, bodyboards, stand up paddleboards and canoes. They are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm , and Saturday and Sunday until 4pm.

Image Featured Image: Div Maritz Photography

Take a cruise out to the Woodville Trading Store, on the Seven Passes Road. It’s a quaint mom and pop shop. The shelves are lined with antiques, potted plants, tinned beans, paperback books and locally made jams. They serve coffee and cake, and have a brilliant play are for kids.

Image Featured Image: Travel Bug Rose

Stop in at the Hoekwil Country Café and General Store if you’re feeling peckish. They serve Aidan’s famous cheesecake. It’s made from local goat’s milk and the recipe is a jealously guarded secret. It is well renowned as the Best Cheesecake in South Africa. The café serve s blueberry, classic, double chocolate, and salted caramel flavours. It is as good as the hype.