Tag Archives: hermanus

Surprise Weekend Getaway

27 Jun

A few weeks ago we had a long weekend here in South Africa. On Friday night we went to a gig and stayed out till 4am (when last?) and Saturday was spent having brunch with a friend, and chilling out to recover from the night before.

On Sunday morning SC suggested we go for coffee at Kirstenbosch. When he missed the offramp I was confused, and eventually he told me we were going for a picnic in Elgin.

Well past Elgin we stopped at a wine farm, Wildekrans. It’s about ten minutes from Hermanus. He stopped the car, saying he’s found a good picnic spot but I needed to help him with something. When we opened the boot, it was completely full, and turns out he had packed for a surprise weekend away!

SC packed not only an amazing picnic with French loaf, cheese, cured meat, strawberries, wine, and more, he also packed meat and veggies for a braai that night, coffee, tea, Lindt for dessert, and bacon and eggs for the next morning! On top of that he packed clothes for me, including a full and perfectly stylish outfit for the next day, toiletries, AND make-up. I mean!

After unpacking and marveling at our lovely rustic but comfortable cottage, we went for a walk. From the cottage you can see vineyards, fields full of sheep, and mountains. Walk five minutes and you get ocean views, too. Doesn’t get much better than that! We then settled down for a scrumptious picnic in the warm sun (cloudless sky, windless day- perfection). After a nap and a quick stop in Hermanus we made a big fire (there are tons of bonfire pits around for braaiing) and drank red wine as the sun set.

Braaiing was a treat in itself since we don’t have a braai at home. We ate outside on the porch with blankets wrapped around us, and afterwards we finished our wine by the fire, amazed at how many stars there are in the countryside.

The next day we woke up early to watch the sun rise with coffee from our porch, and went to Stanford for coffee with Robyn (we gate-crashed a family brunch because we’re hardcore like that) and then Thaya. We then headed to Hermanus for lunch which was a bit of a mission since everywhere has closed for winter. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Jo’burg any more!

Anyway eventually we had lunch at Oskar’s which had the bonus of being next door to my favorite book store ever, Hemingway’s. I picked up a gorgeous illustrated hardcover copy of The Wind in the Willows, and we celebrated with sort serve overlooking the cliffs and the ocean.

After a walk along coast we drove back during the most breathtaking sunset, ending off a perfect weekend.
I highly recommend Wildekrans as affordable accommodation is a gorgeous area, and I definitely recommend getting out of the city now and then for some quiet, fresh air, and down time.

Also, my husband is the BEST.

PS. These pics uploaded in reverse and jumbled-up order. Can I be arsed to fix that? Nope.

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A Weekend In Franskraal

7 Mar

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photo 4This past weekend we drove out to Franskraal, a coastal town just past Stanford on the East Coast. Now that we’re married we are eager to have tons of “weekends away”, and the Western Cape is so ideal for that. Just a few hours’ drive takes you to beautiful coastal towns, the winelands, mountains, and more!

We drove up after work on Friday which was a good move as it made the weekend seem so much longer! Plus the drive was beautiful and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the mountains, lighting up the beautiful Elgin valley, and finally setting the ocean on fire as we got to Hermanus.

On Friday night we drank and braaied to celebrate Stef’s birthday [the whole reason for the weekend away]. We all chipped in to buy him Settlers of Catan and an extension pack that allows up to six people to play.

On Saturday morning after a big breakfast we went to the beach. SC and I went for a jog and then walked back in the waves. I’m pretty sensitive to cold but the water was a perfect temperature and I have decided the East coast is where it’s at; I just can’t face the arctic waters of the west coast! After some reading time on the beach [still on Les Miserables, should finish in the next decade] we went for a swim and then finally headed home where we had a late lunch with some bubbly. We then went to Birkinhead Brewery in Stanford which has the most incredible mountain views and delicious beer. We watched the rugby which was not as exciting as the drinking game we invented: Take a sip every time the angry Afrikaner at the end of the bar drops an f-bomb. After that we played Settlers of Catan which I was sure I would hate but completely loved. At 2am, Chris won.

Sunday morning was another big breakfast and then SC and I went for soft serve. I’m not much of a sweet tooth but man oh man, give me soft serve on the beach and I am one happy girl! It has to be the strawberry and vanilla kind, or if it’s plain vanilla it needs to be dipped in caramel. Obviously.

After that we went horseriding on the beach. On Saturday we saw horses on the beach and jogged until we caught up with them to ask for a number. It was just Simon and I on the ride and he was a bit nervous because he hasn’t ridden much and the last time I took him riding he was put on a fairly grumpy horse. Simon got a palomino gelding Goldy, and I was put on a feisty little skewbald called Harry. He was a handful, but such fun to ride! Simon went from being nervous to even be on a horse, and having never done more than ten steps of trotting, to galloping on the beach! I was so chuffed and I definitely plan to do this again, soon. Having done horse riding for 13 years of my life, I miss it every single day.

After a really stunning ride, made better by the fact that we were the only two, along with the guide, we drove to Hermanus en route home. We stopped there for a walk around. It really is a beautiful town and was pleasantly quiet. We went to Hemingway’s which is contending with Book Lounge to be my favourite book shop in South Africa. I got a better copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin [ours is falling apart] as well as the complete works of Shakespeare because buying them individually is a mission and takes up too much space in our little flat.

After a lunch of gin and tonics and  fish and chips with a view, we drove back to Cape Town, enjoying another beautiful afternoon of sunshine.

It’s energising escaping the city, even if only for two days. I plan on doing more of this in future!