riebeek valley: majestic mountains, vineyards, olive groves & quaint towns

What is Cape Town’s best kept secret? To some, it’s found not in the Mother City, but about 75km and about an hour’s drive away.

In recent years the Riebeek Valley has become the destination of choice for people looking to escape not only the city, but also many of the busier tourist towns. Surrounded by the breathtaking Kasteelberg, lush vineyards and olive groves, the quaint towns of Riebeek Kasteel, Riebeek West and (albeit perhaps to a lesser extent) Hermon offer a taste of sophisticated country hospitality, eclectic shops, renowned wines and olives, and restaurants, delis and cafés to satisfy even the fussiest foodie.

Regular readers of B-guided may have noticed the slowly expanding Out of Town Inspiration section on the website. The most recent addition, as you’ve probably guessed, is the increasingly popular Riebeek Valley, which has been sorted into five categories:

  • eat: restaurants, cafés and coffee shops
  • sleep: boutique accommodation
  • play: shopping, gifts & décor, body & beauty, art galleries and markets
  • wine & olives: the best places for wine, wine tasting, olives, olive oil & olive products
  • wedding black book: for couples looking for the perfect country wedding in a stylish setting

From delicious cakes to country cooking using seasonal, local produce, pizzas to French-style bistro fare, tea gardens to high tea in an historic hotel. Don’t miss:

  • Ed’s Diner: purveyors of good country food and classic cars and bikes
  • Bar Bar Black Sheep: rustic, slow cooked country fare & local boutique &garagiste wines
  • Beans About Coffee: roasters & suppliers of the finest, freshest, best coffee in town

A variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets whether private, fully equipped, air-conditioned luxury or cosy cottages on a working farm, an historic hotel or a country inn, self-catering or B&B. Try:

  • Bloemendal: a tranquil & luxurious, fully-equipped 2-bed self catering cottage
  • Kasteelberg: a landmark guesthouse owner-run by radio personality Allan Barnard & Frenchman Julien Debray
  • Royal Hotel: historic, 150 year-old hotel offering old world luxury at affordable prices

And current readers’ favourite, Travellers Rest, who are running a winter special. Details here

Shop for gorgeous gifts & décor, clothing & jewellery, homebakes & other edible delights, take in a gallery and invest in local art, indulge in country pampering, or get creative; there’s lots to see and do in between all the relaxation:

  • Deli-co Butchery: a traditional, family butchery that delivers fresh from the farm (including to the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town!)
  • Calamata Spa: a day spa in a relaxed, farm setting
  • Fat Green Frog: the biggest little bead store in South Africa
  • The Gallery: original paintings, ceramics and sculptures by local artists
  • Aitsa: jams, honey, rusks, preserves; cushions, jewellery, gifts & more

No visit is complete without sampling – and buying – the renowned local wines and olives:

  • Goedgedacht: well known olive oil and olive & fruit dressings in aid of Goedgedacht Trust
  • The Wine Kollective: Swartland wines at cellar door prices and free wine tasting on weekends
  • Allesverloren: historic winery owned by Danie Malan, the fifth generation Malan on the Swartland estate

Wedding venues and wedding services for the ultimate country wedding, whether a casual, intimate affair for close family and friends or a lavish banquet for 300:

  • Het Vlock Kasteel: fairytale weddings in a Medieval-inspired castle
  • Karibu Wedding Experience: preparation, chapel & finishing touch packages, including a luxury suite
  • Luv’it: vintage wedding & event décor to hire

So there you have it: plenty of fabulous options, whether you’re in need of a quick break, weekend getaway or a holiday with enough time to explore the region and beyond. To see even more, visit Out of Town Inspiration and start planning.

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