Forget the rest, this is my ultimate and best guide to the Cape West Coast – and the only reference you’ll need when exploring South Africa’s Cape West Coast. Going town by town, from Yzerfontein to Lutzville, my guide encompasses my suggested spots to visit – from restaurants to wine estates, accommodation, attractions and places of interest. While this guide will be a work in progress, with me adding to it as I experience more along this coastline, I do hope you’ll find my current compilation – 7 years in the making – to be a useful and insightful read.

Disclaimer: none of the places or businesses I’ve listed below have paid me to do so – everything featured I’ve done so at my own discretion, thus making my Best Guide to the Cape West Coast unfiltered and honest. 



Vygevallei Farmstall

One of the first stops along the R27, Vygevallei is immediately recognisable for its retro Puma service station. Great for an early pitstop, the farmstall has a great selection of interesting preserves and a well-stocked wine shop. While Vygevallei is known for their roosterkoek, I did find these to be quite expensive for the quality – rather opt for a toasted sandwich instead. 

Tel: 074 138 1610 / R27 West Coast Road

 !Khwa ttu

Located just before the Yzerfontein turn-off, !Khwa ttu is a celebration of indigenous art, history and culture. Home to a comprehensive showcase of both San and human origins in their Heritage Museum and Culture Centre, !Khwa ttu offers an enjoyably educational experience guided by a local San expert. Come for the culture, stay for the cuisine – Chef Werlise Rautenbach’s menu encompasses her passion for local produce, foraged ingredients and endemically South African fare. Make a weekend of your visit and stay in one of five kinds of accommodation offered by !Khwa ttu – from glamping to their Fynbos cabins with wood-fired hot tubs and their tastefully furnished Bush House.

Tel: 022 492 2998 / / R27 West Coast Road

Weskus Padstal

Impossible to overlook as it sits right at the turnoff to Yzerfontein, Weskus Padstal is under new management and all the better for it. Expect old favourites like their plaasbrood and pies as well as a comprehensively stocked shop selling preserves, sauces, homeware, local wines and spirits and copies of my cookbook (excuse my blatant product placement!). Grab a table in the newly renovated Baa Baa Café and enjoy Chef Gavin’s seasonal menu offerings or take the little ones to see the menagerie of llama, rabbits, pigs and birds who call Weskus Padstal home. The Padstal is also home to a plant nursery, biltong and braai shop and Wright’s Distillery.

Tel: 021 065 1867 / Corner R27 & R315, Yzerfontein

Wright’s Gin

A small family-run distillery, Wright’s Gin makes nine different varieties of this popular white spirit – with each version flavoured with everything from pomelo, watermelon, strawberry and their signature London Dry gin. Wright’s has a tasting room in the gardens behind Weskus Padstal’s Baa Baa Café where visitors can enjoy guided tastings or sip on the distillery’s amazing cocktails. A good place to begin the weekend from!

Tel: 071 973 0358 / Weskus Padstal complex, R315, Yzerfontein

Blake Family Wines

A relatively new addition to the town, this family-run winery is found in the old Die Stalle complex on the Yzerfontein Road. No longer a bar but instead a stylish cellar, tasting room and restaurant that serves up excellent wood-fired pizza, Blake Family Wines offers visitors a chance to sample their range of vino. Evocative of their home town, Blakes’ most popular sellers include their 16 Mile Beach’ Swemgat white blend – named for Yzerfontein’s famous rock pool.

Tel: 022 451 2701 / R315, Yzerfontein

Dassen Seafoods

If you blink you might miss it! This tiny little shop holds big flavour, especially if it’s a seaside seafood braai that you’re after. Selling frozen squid, herders, white mussels, hake, prawns and calamari, Dassen Seafoods also retails all manner of fishing bait and tackle for avid anglers. Keep an eye on their chalkboard

Tel: 083 260 1514 / Park St, Yzerfontein

Rosemead Artisan Bakery

Hannelie and Brett Nortier started Rosemead Artisan Bakery after swapping Stellenbosch for the West Coast. Both possessing a background in the culinary arts, the couple met over coffee and croissants – she as baker and he as barista in his aunt’s Kalk Bay bakery, Brett went to on bake bread at Schoon de Companje, with Hannelie working in the kitchens. Eager to escape the bustle of Stellenbosch, they started selling their bread from Beulah Farm Deli in 2015, moving to bigger premises within Yzerfontein soon after that. What with the popularity of Brett’s bread and Hannelie’s patisserie, Rosemead as a bakery and café was born, with visitors to the town and the rest of the West Coast frequently buying up sourdough, olive sticks, ciabatta and the bakery’s famed Pasteis de Nata.

On that note, be sure to always call, text or WhatsApp to place your bread order ahead of time – Rosemead’s goodies always sell out fast!

Tel: 066 222 5076 / Corner of Park and Volstruis Street, Yzerfontein

Lula’s Food Restaurant

Home to fantastic Portuguese fare, Lula’s is a popular spot with locals and tourists enjoying the eatery’s mix of seafood, steak and great cocktails. One of the few seaside spots in Yzerfontein, Lula’s is situated next to the sports club and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although a little on the pricey side (with their baby squid – lulas in Portuguese – coming in at almost R300 for a scant portion), the flavours are great and the restaurant often features good specials on their chalkboard menu. I’m a big fan of their prawns and prego roll – unbeatable with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a sea view.

Tel: 072 232 3885 / 61 Beach Rd, Yzerfontein

16 Mile Beach

Stretching from Yzerfontein all the way to the border of West Coast National Park in Langebaan, this beautiful beach boasts to be the longest stretch of sandy coastline on the Weskus. Intrepid explorers can make the journey on horseback while those in the mood for a stroll needn’t go further than the end of the housing estate of the same name.

West Coast Horse Trails

Fancy yourself a sunset canter along the shore? Look no further than West Coast Horse Trails. Whether you’re an experienced rider or not, owner Dominique will pair you with the right steed and lead a guided ride from their stables on the Blombosch game farm to 16 Mile Beach. West Coast Horse Trails also hosts numerous activities including a kid’s pony camp during school holidays and a beach safari and wine trail weekend that involves neighbouring accommodation and wine estates.

Tel: 082 463 3139 / / Blombosch Lodge, R315, Yzerfontein


Translating into “dove’s nest”, this natural wonder is more fairytale grotto than chicken coop. Named for the feathered friends who nest in the rocks above this sea cave, Duiwenes is a magical spot just a short walk from Yzerfontein’s harbour. Take the Schaap Island trail from the harbour and follow it down into a small ravine. Sure-footed folks are in for a treat, especially if you visit Duiwenes around sunset. Take a camera and always keep an eye on the tide – the waves can come in fast.

Dassen Island

Visible from Yzerfontein and immediately recognisable for its distinctively red and white striped lighthouse, Dassen Island is uninhabited save for the host of seabirds and seals who call this nature reserve home. While the general public are prohibited from setting foot on the island, boat charters can get close enough for guests to view the wildlife and take pictures of the shipwreck stranded on its rocky shores.

The Barn

Definitely one of my favourite stays on the West Coast so far, The Barn is a treat to experience – both architecturally with owner Evi Elsner of Home Concept Solutions having designed the house – and geographically as the Barn commands a soaring view over the ocean. Sleeping 4 adults in two en-suite bedrooms, it is the open plan living area from whence the Barn gets its name. Beach aesthetic meets farmhouse with a tasteful mix of screed floors, antique furniture and industrial steel frame doors. Fully catering to avid cooks, the Barn boasts a full kitchen, pizza oven and braai as well as a neat little plunge pool should the need to escape the heat arise!

Tel: 084 666 8881 / / 14 Fynbos Crescent, Pearl Bay, Yzerfontein / Book here



Darling Cellars 

Take a right turn on to the Malmesbury road just before Darling and you’ll find yourself on a scenic drive past crumbling farmhouses, lily-laden fields and swathes of vineyards. It’s in the midst of this bucolic beauty that Darling Cellars’ has set up its estate and tasting room. Boasting big wines at small prices, Darling Cellars’ wide range encompasses their popular Reserve range as well as my favourite Heritage and Old Bush Vines collections. The tasting room also serves light lunches and has a small playground for the kids. 

Tel: 022 492 2276 / Mamre Weg Station, R315, Darling 


Groote Post 

One of the oldest farms on the West Coast, Groote Post originally served as a trading post for sailors heading down to the Cape. Now a celebrated wine estate run by three generations of the Pentz family, Groote Post bottles West Coast flavour and their Seasalter Sauvignon Blanc has been lauded as the quintessential Weskus white. I’m extremely partial to their Kapokberg Chardonnay – a wonderfully wooded wine that is excellent with food. Pop in for a tasting and cheese platter or look out for Groote Post’s seasonal farmer’s market selling local produce, toys, biltong, cheeses and of course, wine. 

Tel: 022 492 2825 / R27 onto Darling Hills road 


Overlooking Darling, Ormonde offers a stylishly shaded tasting area from where I’ve spent many a languid afternoon over their excellent Old Block Sauvignon Blanc and generously laden cheeseboards. Enjoy watching the resident swans glide over the pond or set up a picnic on the beautiful lawns running down from the cellar. 

Tel: 022 492 3540 / Mount Pleasant Street, Darling

The Darling Wine Shop

A quaint little procurer of local cultivars, The Darling Wine Shop is a must-visit when in the area. Home to wines, craft gin, brandy and the like, the shop is well stocked with the produce of the surrounding estates as well as that from further afield – with most wines retailed at cellar door prices.

Tel: 022 492 3971 / 5 Main Street, Darling

Ciao Darling

The town’s resident Italian trattoria, Ciao Darling serves up delicious pizza and pasta from their charming Victorian house-turned-restaurant. Offering both inside and outside seating in their garden, Ciao Darling is a lovely spot to spend a sunny afternoon. Their woodfired pizzas are meticulously made from scratch and their ravioli is also a winner and what I order whenever I’m there.

Tel: 063 674 5822 / 10 van der Stel Street, Darling

Evita se Perron

The as yet unequalled grand dame of Darling, Evita se Perron is world-famous for the being the professional home of comedian Peter Dirk Uys and his glamorous alter ego Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout. The Perron recently changed hands and is now owned by Hentie van den Merwe and Frits van Ryneveld – the duo behind the deliciously successful Darling Sweet. Through them, the Perron boasts a revamped restaurant, cafe, museum and theatre in the selfsame boereshiek style that visitors have always loved. Drive up for their popular Sunday lunch set menu or take in a show by Pieter Dirk Uys himself – just remember that booking is essential.

Tel: 022 492 2102 / / 8 Arcadia Street, Darling / Book here

The Darling Museum

A visit to this sweet small town museum is a wonderful way to spend an hour. Housing all manner of historical artifacts related to farming, transport, households and Darling itself, the collection is a celebration of a bygone era. The museum also has an antique shop where I’ve often found special treasures.

Tel: 022 492 3361 / 22 Pastorie Street, Darling

Koffie My Darling

Previously a coffee shop and restaurant, Koffie My Darling has evolved into a quaint self-catering cottage that sleeps four. Still containing all of the charm that owners Eben and Antonie instilled, the cottage provides ideal country escape for anyone wanting to explore the darling town of Darling.

Tel: 082 957 1234 / 4 High Street, Darling / Book here

The Marmalade Cat

The sweetest little lunch spot, The Marmalade Cat is my go-to for light café-style meals and their Friday night pizza evenings are very popular with the locals. The service can be rather slow, so go with time on your hands and have a browse through their shop while you wait.

Tel: 022 492 2515 / 19 Main Street, Darling



West Coast National Park

Look with the right kind of eyes and you could be in Greece. Famous for its warm, clear water, powdery white sand and swathes of wildflowers come August, West Coast National Park and specifically Kraalbaai and Churchhaven beaches are paradise on earth. Extremely popular and thus very busy over weekends and school holidays, it’s best to arrive early and stake your claim in the sand. For those wanting to make an overnight visit, SANParks also offers various accommodation within the reserve.

R27 West Coast Road, between the Yzerfontein and Langebaan turn-offs

Slipway Cottage

With views stretching out over the lagoon, and the only interruption being the occasional guinea fowl chirruping through the fynbos, Slipway Cottage is as idyllic an accommodation as one can possibly find. Impossible to not remain glued to the stoep – sun-splashed and begging for salty snacks and cool white wine – the cottage caters for those with a love for quiet liberation. Peace reigns supreme here, and those looking to bring along rowdiness, music and song would be best advised to book elsewhere. Instead, Churchhaven appeals to the introvert – the birdwatchers, the readers, the thinkers – the lone beachcomber, leaving footprints in the powdery sand as the cool grey night gives way to a pearlescent dawn.

Tel: 078 533 6820 / / Churchhaven, West Coast National Park Book here


Slice of Life Fishing Charters

It’s no secret that Langebaan is a famed fishing spot and anyone keen to land a whopper should give the professionals a call. Fortunately, Langebaan is home to Morné and Ruan of Slice of Life fishing charters – the guys to call when the snoek, tuna or yellowtail are running. Not only specialising in fishing safaris, Slice of Life also runs a summertime charter from Langebaan yacht club to Kraalbaai in West Coast National Park where guests can swim, suntan and braai right on the boat.

Tel: 072 136 3330 / / Langebaan Beach, Bree St, Langebaan / Book here

Thali Thali Game Lodge

A safari near the sea – this is what’s on offer at Thali Thali just off the R27 West Coast Road at the Langebaan turnoff. Here, owners Thys and Amalia van Niekerk have transformed their farm into an African adventure. From self-catering accommodation that includes chalets and a beautiful old farmhouse to a restaurant and pub, Thali Thali makes for an exciting getaway a mere hour and twenty minutes out of Cape Town. Home to buffalo, giraffe and wildebeest to name a few, the reserve also hosts weddings, conferences and entertainingly enough, archery lessons.

Tel: 082 372 8637/ / Zoutekuilen Farm, R27, Langebaan / Book here


Its no secret that Langebaan is a veritable Mecca for windsurfing – in that case, Windtown is the Sacred Mosque. A complex made up of a restaurant, surf shop, hotel and spa, Windtown also offers kitesurfing and SUP lessons, gear rental and courses.

Tel: 022 772 1064 / / 9 Bree Street, Langebaan

Vintage 2 Decor

A little shop with a big personality, Vintage 2 Decor is a treasure trove for antiques and collectables. Located just off Langebaan’s bustling Bree Street, the shop looks on to a garden where owner Renée has opened a tea garden with a range of gourmet blends to sip and savour.

Tel: 076 374 4091 / 8 Bree St, Langebaan

Rocxi Beach

A fantastic spot from which to watch the sunset, cocktail in hand, Rocxi Beach overlooks Langebaan’s Main Beach and is unquestionably the best place to see and be seen. Impossibly busy during the summer holidays, it’s best to visit during off-season and take advantage of their generous menu, delicious drinks and tapas offering. The sushi is great too!

Tel: 022 880 0969 / Shop 4, Bree St, Waterfront, Langebaan

Pearly’s Restaurant

If you look with the right kind of eyes, you can almost see the wooden seafood shack that Pearly’s once was back when it opened in 1993. Now dolled up in competition with neighbouring Rocxi Beach, Pearly’s is still my choice for a quiet lunch or dinner, particularly during the colder months. Their menu is sizeable, their prices are fair and the view over Main Beach and the lagoon is one that can’t be beaten.

Tel: 022 772 2734 / Main beach, Langebaan

The Farmhouse Hotel

Part accommodation, part memory cache, The Farmhouse Hotel displays its history for all to see. Housed in original buildings dating back to 1860, the hotel started life as a Cape Dutch farmstead before becoming the popular Panorama Hotel. Under new ownership from 1992, the hotel was carefully restored and now offers a boutique experience that combines Weskus hospitality with historical allure. Breakfast at La Petite Maison is included in the room rate, as is afternoon tea and scones in the sunlit parlour overlooking the Langebaan lagoon. A sunset cocktail in the hotel’s famed bar is a must – take in the memorabilia (which includes a dolphin skeleton, restoration images of the hotel and a couple of cheeky Scope magazine covers) over a retro-fabulous strawberry daiquiri.

Tel: 022 772 2062 / / 5 Egret St, Myburgh Park, Langebaan Book here

La Petite Maison

Helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Yohann Suire and his wife LaRetha Venter, La Petite Maison is culinary collaboration that pairs West Coast ingredients with French execution – think classic Mouclade made with mussels sourced in neighbouring Saldanha Bay. Located in the historic Farmhouse Hotel in Langebaan, La Petite Maison is as much an experience to look at as it is to sample their menu. A sprawling verandah overlooks the lagoon, while inside a double volume space replete with fireplace and thatched eaves offers respite on cold winter evenings. The restaurant also has a small deli within the hotel that serves up tea, cakes and their famous homemade scones.

Tel: 064 657 7716 / / The Farmhouse Hotel, 5 Egret St, Myburgh Park, Langebaan / Book here


Queen’s Cottage Woodfired Kitchen

Easily one of the best barbecue restaurants I’ve EVER dined at, Owner/Chef Anthony and the magic he creates at his eatery should put him right up there with the greats. Think house-made sourdough, grilled panzanella, lamb tails, homemade sausage, Angus florentine, smoked cabbage and the like on his chalkboard menu. The small wine list offers only red. As it should in a steak joint of this calibre.

The (dinosaur-sized) starter of roasted bone marrow with a parsley salad and sourdough is a highlight, as is the meltingly tender pork rib, basted in peach BBQ sauce (again homemade) and covered in the best bark I’ve seen this side of Street Food. Eschew the shiny seaside restaurants serving the pizza/burger/curry/sushi/all on one menu crowd and rather opt for this little eatery offering big flavour. Proof once more that a view does not equal good food. In the case of Queens Cottage, you’ll be too immersed in your dinner to care about sweeping vistas and ocean proximity.

Tel: 079 830 7235 / Queens Cottage, 8 Suffren St, Langebaan

The Shark Bay Hotel

Located on the further side of Langebaan, The Shark Bay Hotel & Spa is ideal for travellers wanting to avoid the bustle of central Langebaan. And what with sweeping views over the lagoon and a comprehensive cocktail menu, one doesn’t feel the need to venture far. While the hotel itself houses a spa, conference space, restaurant and wine cellar, The Shark Bay also owns three self-catering villas in the area – a great option to book for bigger groups or family holidays.

Tel: 080 000 8710 / / 8 Grysbok Close, Langebaan / Book here


Kokomo Beach Bar

A Langebaan institution, Kokomo is a casual knees-up eatery specialising in crowd-pleasing food and generous portions. Head over for their happy hour cocktail specials and stay for the chicken livers, pizza or burgers.

Tel: 022 772 1600 / 121 Main St, Langebaan Country Estate, Langebaan

West Coast Fossil Park

Roughly 5 million years ago, the Langebaan we know today looked very different. Abundant in water, the area around Langebaanweg was subtropical, lush and fertile, and teeming with creatures like the saber-toothed cat, African bear and Sivathere or short-necked giraffe. The fossilized remains of these animals and many more can be seen at the site of an ongoing excavation at West Coast Fossil Park. Great for all ages, the park features a museum, interactive exhibitions as well as a guided tour to the dig sites.

Tel: 022 766 1606 / Langebaanweg, inland from the R27 Langebaan turnoff




Charlie’s Fish Shop & Flame Grill

Comprising of a seafood shop, fish & chips takeaway and flame grill, Charlie’s really is a feast for the senses – I always recommend taking along a large shopping bag and an even larger appetite when visiting. Fresh fish like maasbanker, red roman, lagoon harders, mussels and oysters are fresh on Tuesdays and Fridays whilst frozen delicacies like prawns, squid and kippers are always readily available. Charlie’s homemade smoked angelfish, mackerel and snoek are famed, and one can’t leave without stocking up on a few pieces for salads or pâté. While this is my favourite spot to source fresh and frozen seafood, no visit to Charlie’s can be without one of their epic flame-grilled beef burgers. Strange as this is a seafood shop but trust me, their beef and chicken burgers are hands-down some of the best I’ve sampled yet. The snoek samoosas at the chippie next door are also amazing. It’s this variety plus great value for money that means most of Saldanha’s locals eat here. And you know what they say about eating like the locals – one is rarely disappointed!

Tel: 022 714 0329 / 69 Main Road, Saldanha

Cup of Cake

My go-to spot for when the cake craving hits, this bakery and coffee shop cooks up tempting treats on a daily basis. Famous for their varied selection of cupcakes, Cup of Cake also makes occasion cakes on order as well as sandwiches, sweets and preserves. I’m partial to their lemon meringue and carrot cake and always make a point of stopping by when in the area.

Tel: 022 714 0696 / 37 Main Road, Saldanha

Blue Bay Lodge

A beach holiday in Saldanha Bay? Absolutely – if you stay at Blue Bay Lodge. Right on the water in a quieter part of this industrious town, the lodge offers guests direct access to the azure waters of the lagoon. From here, I’ve enjoyed some of the most beautiful sunsets on the West Coast as the angle of the bay means pearlescent pink skies at dusk. Blue Bay Lodge also has an elegant bar and restaurant and doubles as a wedding venue for those wanting to tie the knot with the ocean as their backdrop.

Tel: 022 714 1179 / / 48 Gracillaria Cresent, Blouwater Bay, Saldanha / Book here

The Saldanha Bay Hotel

Formerly the Protea Hotel Saldanha Bay, this lagoon-side accommodation is now locally owned and celebratory of all things West Coast. From the menu to the decor, the hotel has been tastefully done and is a great location for families wanting to explore the area. Home to gorgeous views over the bay and one of the most generous buffet breakfasts around, a stay at the Saldanha Bay Hotel is always a good choice.

Tel: 022 714 1264 / / 51 Main Road, Saldanha / Book here


The Beach House

Sitting atop a sand dune with access to a scallop-shaped bay, The Beach House is a spacious family-orientated home made for entertaining. Sleeping 10 across 4 bedrooms, the house has a large kitchen, indoor braai and big stoep from where sunset-watching is mandatory. Kids will love the loft bedroom and the Beach House is also pet-friendly, meaning that the whole family can enjoy the charm of this tiny coastal suburb.

Tel: 072 537 5328 or 078 860 9721 / / Beach Road, Jacobsbaai Book here



The Weskus Spens Padstal

Found just before the railway bridge between the Saldanha Bay and Vredenburg turn-offs sits Weskus Spens. Immediately recognizable by the ship’s forecastle signposting the padstal, this is the home of the best farm bread on the West Coast. Owned and run by Annemarie Thom, Weskus Spens is a welcome respite from the road, offering hungry travellers freshly baked pies, melktert and koeksisters – usually served alongside moerkoffie in enamel mugs. Although unassuming in appearance, Annemarie’s famed white bread has the appeal of a sourdough borne from a master starter. The crust is crisp, the scent pleasingly yeasty and the bliss felt when exiting Weskus Spens, a brown paper-covered loaf warming the crook of the arm is a feeling that I’m fortunately familiar with.

Kneaded daily by Annemarie herself, the bread is made with locally milled flour and baked in small batches that soon sell out to customers lucky enough to find loaves in stock. Having run Weskus Spens for 22 years, Annemarie is adamant about keeping traditional recipes alive. The farm stall stocks a selection of regional products including heerbone and bokkoms, whilst homemade heirloom pickles and preserves test the knowledge of even the most seasoned of foodies.

Phone ahead for the bread then spend some time chatting with Annemarie or enjoying the sunshine on the stoep, a glass of ice-cold gemmerbier in hand.

Tel: 022 715 4400 / R27 West Coast Road


The Commercial Hotel

The Commercial Hotel is a Hopefield stalwart, having been in existence for over a century. Now owned and run by Jacques van der Westhuizen and his mother Rina, the hotel still retains its historic appeal – although this time from a period of pointed collars and polyester slacks. Last refurbished in the early 1970s, the interior of the hotel has been immaculately preserved in all its retro glory, becoming somewhat of a cult travel destination for seekers of a sepia-tinted time. From the Ladies Bar to the veneered staircase, Scandi furniture and slasto paving, entering The Commercial Hotel is stepping back to an era of dinner-dances, coiffed hair and hors d’oeuvres.

Oozing nostalgia, the best place to experience the hotel is the formal dining room, the new restaurant or the beautifully refurbished liquor store.

Tel: 072 703 3156 / 35 Voortrekker Road, Hopefield Book here

The Hopefield Market

Hopefield lies a short drive from Velddrif and plays host to a wonderful farmer’s market every Saturday morning. Stocking a wealth of gorgeous produce from artisans all over the West Coast, the market is the best place to source seasonal fruit and veg, organic eggs, breads, pickles, preserves, chilli sauce and Kokerboom Kaas’ cheese and charcuterie. Make a morning if it and grab a breakfast of freshly made roosterkoek or pannekoek just outside the market’s doors and bask in the sunshine.

*As of April 2023, the market will move to a new location in Hopefield and be offering an artisanal foodie experience that will include food demos, workshops, tastings and lots more! Follow them on The Foodie Hub.



Needing little introduction, Wolfgat and the restaurant’s chef-patron Kobus van der Merwe epitomize the West Coast dream. Having adapted his own unique approach to the food of the region, Kobus’ cuisine is predominantly a mixture of foraged botanicals, locally sourced ingredients and fresh-caught seafood. Recipes pay homage to the indigenous culture of the San hunter-gatherers and the flavourful mix of Cape Malay and Afrikaans fare – all served as an interpretation of the award-winning chef’s signature strandveld style. Booking is essential and the while the wait for a table at Wolfgat is lengthy, the experience is a lasting one.

10 Sampson St, Kliprug, Paternoster Book here

Dispens – Die Winkel Op Paternoster

Little sister to Wolfgat and formally known as Oep ve Koep, Dispens has had a bit of a transformation into a more curated shop and eatery. Now retailing a selection of preserves, seasoning, homeware, ceramics, veldskoen, cookbooks and wines from the West Coast and Swartland, Dispens is where you come after a lunch at Wolfgat and a souvenir of the experience is needed. Not only tastefully decorated, Dispens is also open to diners looking for ingenious fare indigenous to the area in their courtyard café.

Tel: 064 041 6914 / / Cnr of St. Augustine Road and R45 (Vredenburg Road), Paternoster


De Seekat

Unquestionably the best spot for sushi we’ve found on the West Coast, De Seekat restaurant is found next to Paternoster’s popular Crayfish Wharf and boasts an impressive sea view and deliciously fresh seafood. One of my favourite Sunday pastimes is to enjoy a slow lunch over a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on De Seekat’s stoep. Booking is essential as this place gets very busy!

Tel: 072 343 9793 / / Kreefte St, Kliprug, Paternoster

The Paternoster Hotel

A West Coast stalwart, the Paternoster Hotel is as much a part of this fishing town as crayfish. Immediately recognisable for its red tin roof, the hotel doesn’t only offer accommodation. Enjoy a seafood meal out of their street-side stoep or have a drink in the hotel’s infamous Panty Bar.

Tel: 022 752 2703 / St Augustine Rd, Paternoster


Popular with Paternoster’s residents, if its fish and chips with a fantastic view that you’re after, look no further than Voorstrandt. Housed in a historical building with an iconic red tin roof, the restaurant serves up fresh fish of the day alongside West Coast classics – with their snoek samoosas a particular highlight. Sit seaside and enjoy a glass of local wine or kick off your shoes and stroll down to the ocean while you wait for the food to arrive.

Tel: 022 752 2038 / / Strandloper St, Voorstrand, Paternoster

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Whether wanting to pitch a tent, take in the scenery or set up a lunchtime braai, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve offers an untouched stretch of coastline that includes camping and cooking facilities and multiple sheltered coves ideal for taking a dip. Stretch your legs and take a walk up to the lighthouse – built in 1936 on this most westerly tip of the Cape Peninsula – or brave its heights and enjoy a guided tour of the inside.

Tietiesbaai Road, Paternoster


*A note on crayfish – while in Paternoster, you’ll encounter numerous street-side sellers retailing bags of crayfish, mussels and sometimes fish. Before buying, it’s important to be aware of seasonal availability for certain species as well as daily quotas and size. If you’re not sure, rather don’t buy. And in the case of crayfish, avoid buying altogether as this sensitive shellfish is severely under threat due to overfishing and poaching.

Find legal and traceable West Coast rock lobster in season here and here.




Found just outside St Helena Bay, Alegria is a family-run, pet-friendly restaurant specialising in Portuguese fare. Why Portuguese you ask? Well, St Helena Bay was the first landing point for Vasco Da Gama and was named by him back in 1497. Naturally, the cuisine reflects this rich history and customers can enjoy Alegria’s menu of grilled chicken, steak, sardines and espetada – just be sure to order a side of their peri peri sauce. It’s epic!

Tel: 022 736 1393 / / 2 Sea Street, Slippersbaai, St Helena Bay

Poetsie’s Deli

Legendary for their dröewors, Poetsie’s Deli is a small shop found sandwiched between a bar and a repair garage. Oft-overlooked because of their unpretentious appearance, Poetsie’s is truly a hidden gem and deserves a repeat visit whenever one should find themselves in the area. From quirky shell gifts to homemade cookies, cakes and bread, Poetsie’s Deli is one of my favourite stops in St Helena Bay. Look out for the beautiful mural of fishermen in the rock pools on the wall outside the deli – it adds to the charm of this quintessentially West Coast padstalletjie.

Columbine Street / St Helena Bay

BP Marine

Extremely popular with the locals, fish and chips from BP Marine has almost been elevated to the point of cult status. Expect a queue – especially if you visit during lunchtime – that fortunately moves fast due to the high turnover at this harbour-side fish shop. Always ALWAYS order the snoek when they have it.

Tel: 022 736 1246 / St Helena Bay Harbour

Shelley Point Hotel & Spacurrently closed due to a very damaging fire late in 2023

This glitzy hotel is found within the Shelley Point development and is popular for its golf course and spa. Although admittedly the decor is a little more Roman holiday than Weskus escape, I do enjoy the occasional luxurious visit here for their relaxing spa treatments and delicious pizza and seafood at the hotel’s Dorothea’s Restaurant. Upstairs is a Cattle Baron if you’re rather in the mood for retro steakhouse classics.

Tel: 022 742 1065 / / Golden Mile Boulevard, Shelley Point Estate, St Helena Bay

Blou Huisie

Blou Huisie is a Cape Cod-style beach home that offers the most idyllic retreat on the shores of Britannia Bay on the West Coast. Dreaming of a summer spent seaside, sunshine on one’s skin and a salt-scented ocean breeze blowing through one’s hair? That’s exactly what I had in mind upon discovering this prettily periwinkle cottage overlooking the sea. Perched atop a bluff borders a sheltered bay, Blou Huisie makes for the perfect family getaway, with two en-suite bedrooms and a loft sleeping 6-8 people in total. Soft tonal blues give the house its name whilst playful decor touches like sea creature decals in the bathrooms and a cheerily pink flamingo wall hanging provide character. Vintage chairs, pleasingly mismatched, are set around a scrubbed wooden table and the cupboard under the stairs is filled to the brim with beach toys.

For couples, a stay here is equally enjoyable what with a fully equipped kitchen (yes, and that most essential of appliances – a dishwasher), slow combustion fireplace and a wood-fired hot tub. And when summer’s southeaster allows for it, little is more romantic than immersing oneselves in the warm water and witnessing one of Britannia Bay’s painterly sunsets over a glass of wine.

Tel: 083 995 4081 / 27 Walter Crescent, Britannia Bay, St Helena Bay / Book here



Knor Varkie

A legend in its own time, Knor Varkie has to be experienced to be believed. Located on the banks of the Berg River, the farm features camping, accommodation, fishing and their River Shack – a psychedelically painted outdoor eatery and bar that serves up great specials on drinks and food. Ideal for lining the stomach, I would recommend the burgers or their moreish smoked snoek pâté.

Tel: 082 460 7810 / R234 Hopefield Road, Velddrif


The Velddrif Village Market

Housed in what was previously Lavender & Lime nursery on Voortrekker Road (next to the gym) the Velddrif Village Market has been beautifully designed by AVOO-owner Danica Mackie and features fresh produce from surrounding farms, coffee, jars and jams, fresh bread, bakes, smoked fish, cheese and charcuterie, readymade quiches, spreads, sarmies and every Saturday, food stalls from local vendors. A must-visit to stock up on your weekend groceries.

Tel: 066 292 7977 / 139 Voortrekker Street, Velddrif

The Riviera Hotel

A retro gem that probably hasn’t changed too much since my father used to frequent it back in the Eighties, The Riviera Hotel boasts one of the best views over the Berg River and Carinus Bridge – the gateway into Velddrif. The hotel’s restaurant Die Pont lends a nod to the original method of crossing “the drift” prior to the bridge’s development in 1950. While some of the cuisine can be questionable, one is pretty safe when ordering the crispy squid tentacles or fish and chips –basically anything deep fried! That being said, go retro and order the crumbed mushrooms, some slap chips and perhaps one of the Riviera’s luridly bright cocktails – called a proppie – and watch the sunset from the deck.

Tel: 022 783 1137 / / 136 Voortrekker Street, Velddrif



No visit to Velddrif is replete without a drive/walk down what is possibly the most iconic street on the entire West Coast. Originally the launching place for fishermen to catch harders (South African mullet) in the Berg Rover estuary, this short dirt stretch is lined with whitewashed drying huts used to process and dry the fish, turning them into bokkoms. The historical heart of Velddrif, Bokkomlaan gets its name from this rather pungent-smelling fish biltong – with the process used to make bokkoms left unchanged to this day. The Laan itself is also home to various eateries, craft shops and companies like Cracklin’ Rosie River Tours – spot the Laan’s resident herons, geese, pelicans and spoonbills in the shallows or launch your canoe or small boat from the shore.


Cracklin’ Rosie River Tours

Cracklin’ Rosie – my second favourite Neil Diamond song and just about the nicest way to spend an afternoon on the Berg River.

Either one is guaranteed to put me in a good mood!

A big thank you to Wendy and Nico and their beautiful Rosie for showing us our hometown from a different perspective. If you’re fortunate enough to be in Velddrif on a windless afternoon, book a sunset cruise with Cracklin’ Rosie River Tours, pack a bottle of wine and your binoculars and take to the water – wildflowers are wonderful and all, but sailing beneath the railway bridge as the Sishen train passes right over your head is pretty cool!

Kleinvlei Bistro & Wine Stoep

New kid on the block Kleinvlei can be found on Velddrif’s famous Bokkomlaan and offers up a menu as aesthetically pleasing as their whitewashed bokkomhuisie. Open for breakfast and lunch (with dinner to hopefully follow!), this little bistro with a lot of heart offers diners delicious fare with a localised twist. Their Weskus Eggs Benedict is particularly popular and features poached eggs and Hollandaise atop homemade fish cakes. Not titled a wine stoep for nothing, Kleinvlei has a comprehensive list of wines from the surrounding Swartland and further afield. A must-visit for a lunchtime tipple!

Tel: 060 645 4365 / / Vishuis No.11, Bokkomlaan, Velddrif

Mappie Visserye

A proper family institution, Mappie Visserye is one of the original fisheries on Bokkomlaan. Helmed by Mappie Brand and now his son Wynand Brand, the fishery produces whole bokkoms as well as bokkom strips (repies), bokkom powder and bokkom in oil – a delicious sort of Weskus anchovy.

Find Mappie Visserye products sold in Columbine Co. on Bokkomlaan.

Columbine Co.

Wildly popular since opening its doors back in 2018, Columbine Co. is a coffee shop that retails all kinds of hot drinks plus locally baked treats and curios. Housed in a historical bokkom huisie, the space is dominated by an enormous coffee roaster, where owner Albert hand-prepares his own brew. Pop in for a cup and stay to birdwatch – often Bokkomlaan’s own herons or pelicans pay the fishery next door a visit.

Tel: 084 879 7006 / 9 Bokkomlaan, Velddrif

Vicolo Pellicano

My personal home for three months while I was writing my cookbook, this little cottage holds a very special place on this list. Located just off Bokkomlaan, this sweet two-sleeper hideaway is situated in its own beautiful garden replete with outdoor braai, patio and plunge pool.

Tel: 082 415 6240 / 144 Voortrekker Road, Velddrif

Kokerboom Kaas

Helmed by David Malan, his wife Carolyn and new cheesemaker Leah, Kokerboom Kaas was born after David took part in a cheese-making course and converted his fisherman’s cottage to include a dedicated cheese room. Now boasting an impressive family of dairy-based delights – all made with the rich milk provided by the Guernsey herd at nearby Langrietvlei farm – David’s ricotta, Stilton and Camembert are lusciously creamy whilst Bokkomlaan Bleu is an ode to its namesake, with an aroma that could battle the bokkom in delicious pungency. Book a personalised tasting hosted by David himself and discover why this bespoke business now retails its delicious produce in delicatessens all over Cape Town as well as the West Coast.

Tel: 082 572 1822 / 5 Waterkant Street, Velddrif


The Harbour Hut

Found in the front of the Pelican Harbour complex, the Harbour Hut epitomises the concept of “snack shack”. Colourfully painted and welcoming, this tiny eatery packs a big punch when it comes to food. Expect hearty homemade burgers, big breakfasts and Harbour Hut’s famous milkshakes. A lovely spot to grab lunch with a view over the river.

Tel: 082 298 7656 / Piet Orlam Street, Velddrif

Charlie’s Brewhouse

Port Owen’s unofficial restaurant, Charlie’s Brewhouse is a casual, knees-up eatery that caters to all kinds of tastes. Best known for their pizza, burgers and house-brewed beer, Charlie’s also has an extensive wine list, cocktail menu and children’s menu. Well-priced and amenable, it’s a treat to sit at one of the restaurant’s outdoor tables on a windless evening and enjoy their delicious peri peri chicken livers and a glass of wine.

Tel: 022 783 0448 / 1 Marina Centre, Port Owen Dr, Port Owen, Velddrif

Die Vaaitjie Taphuis

Don’t let the rather rough-and-ready exterior of this pub & grill put you off – Die Vaaitjie is one of the most popular places to eat in Velddrif. Known for their drink specials and live music, expect dishes like crumbed chicken schnitzel, sticky basted ribs and other pub grub.

Tel: 082 335 5338 / Harbour Centre, Port Owen Dr, Port Owen, Velddrif


One of the original harbours in Velddrif, Rooibaai has always been an integral part of the town’s fishing industry. Located just upriver from the fish processing factory, Rooibaai is the only place in Velddrif where the public are welcome to walk on and use some of the jetties and is a wonderful place to canoe or swim (safely) from in the summertime. If one is fortunate enough to be there at the right time, watching the cormorants fly in from a day’s fishing at sea is always a treat.



As much a part of Velddrif as the Carinus bridge or bokkoms, a visit to Doepies is a necessity – especially around lunchtime. Everyone knows that when visiting a new town, one should eat where the locals do and where Velddrif locals eat is at Doepies. Home of the best fried snoek in town, in my eyes, Doepies can do no wrong. Extremely generous with their portions, one really doesn’t need to order extra chips when requesting a takeout – if you’re two people, opt for Doepie’s mini snoek & chips and be assured you won’t be going hungry. Steaming hot chips – properly slap as they should be – are doused in liberal amounts of vinegar and salt while the shatteringly crispy batter covers juicy snoek. An absolute treat at R65.00.

Next door to Doepies you’ll find Nossab – a fish shop retailing all manner of frozen seafoods. Reliably convenient and well-priced, Nossab offers shoppers a variety of fishy options both filleted and whole. If I can’t source fresh harders, snoek, Cape bream or maasbanker then I’m always assured to find them here.

Tel: 022 783 2433 / 5 De Villiers St, Laaiplek, Velddrif

Laaiplek Harbour

If Bokkomlaan is Velddrif’s soul then Laaiplek Harbour is the town’s beating heart. Largely unchanged over the decades, the harbour is recognisable for its colourful fishing trawlers and concrete pier of the river mouth. Often, when the harders are shoaling, local fishermen stand side by side on the wooden jetty with their throw nets, catching the silvery fish as the resident cats wait expectantly for a tiddler to be thrown their way.


Die Vis Vlekhuis

Found in the colourful and character-laden Laaiplek harbour, Die Vis Vlekhuis is a cheerfully painted restaurant and takeaway spot that serves up all manner of fishy options. While they don’t always have snoek on the menu (a chalkboard outside will advertise if they do), their hake and calamari are popular options, as are their ribs and chips. Order inside and find a table overlooking the harbour mouth – there’s a beautiful view out over the ocean from Die Vis Vlekhuis’ stoep.

Tel: 022 783 0553 / Laaiplek Harbour, Velddrif


The Lighthouse Gift Shop & Deli

Sheltered from summer’s Southeaster and with a view over Laaiplek’s colourful fishing boats, the Lighthouse Gift Shop and Deli serves up tempting treats at amazing prices. A favourite spot for soft serve and cinnamon sugar pancakes, it’s The Lighthouse Deli’s milkshakes that really steal the show. Decadently thick, the shakes comes in a variety of flavours and are topped with a chocolate wafer, mini marshmallows, caramel popcorn and chocolate candy – depending on which flavour you opt for.

The Deli also does delicious mince jaffles and toasties and retails all manner of exciting eats from their harbourside shop.

Tel: 082 070 8651 / 2 Mossel St, Laaiplek, Velddrif

Pop-up Harbour Market 

A treasure trove of art, crafts and curiosities, the Pop-up Harbour Market is a great place for a snuffle-around. Shop here for locally produced souvenirs, children’s toys, ceramics and secondhand bits and bobs. Tel: 061 796 4307 / Mossel Street, Laaiplek, Velddrif


Soverby Lapa

Just before Dwarskersbos, you’ll find Soverby Lapa – a popular seaside eatery with an unbeatable location. Sitting right on the beach, this relaxed restaurant and venue serves up burgers, seafood and other fried fare. While admittedly the food isn’t fantastic, the Lapa is still a great place from whence to order up a plate of chips and a bottle of wine and watch the sun go down. They also host weddings and live music events and are very busy over weekends so it’s good to book a table or arrive early.

Tel: 083 303 3575 / Main Rd, Dwarskersbos

Wamakersvlei Beach Farm

When it comes to authentic accommodation, one doesn’t get more Weskus than Wamakersvlei. Found between Dwarskersbos and Aurora, this family farm offers the ultimate beach escape. Rustically relaxed, Wamakersvlei consists of 5 cottages and can offer accommodation to 30 people as a whole. Each cottage was originally home to local fishermen and farmers in decades past and have been lovingly refurbished with the farm’s signature Cape Country style. Pets (including horses) are very welcome on the farm too. Visitors can enjoy walks on the untouched stretch of private beach, sunsets over the farm’s own saltpans and perhaps a visit from the resident ostriches.

Tel: 083 527 7967 / R27 from Dwarskersbos / Book here


Deli on Main

A great spot for fresh bread, braaivleis and all manner of eats and treats, Deli on Main is a popular café and grocery shop. Boasting an extensive menu for such a small space, the Deli is known for their fresh seafood and generously sized sandwiches. Deli on Main also stocks a wide selection of pantry goodies, both local and imported. Although I usually pop in and stock up on hot sauce, preserves and sweet potato chips, unfortunately I’ve not had the pleasure of eating any of the Deli’s restaurant offerings yet as their service is very slow and staff rather rude. I hope this will change and I can give them another try!

Tel: 081 541 5574 / 8a Main Road, Dwarskersbos

Casa Blu’

Imagine the perfect summer getaway – all white sand, warm sunshine and azure ocean. Walks on the beach in the pearly dawn, languid afternoon naps and evenings spent sipping on flinty white wines as dusk falls over the dunes. Enter the ultimate in beach house bliss found in at Casa Blu’.

Nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac in the seaside town of Dwaskersbos, Casa Blu’ is the kind of place that makes one rethink one’s priorities and consider becoming akin to those people that go off on holiday and just never return. A multi-level space that houses three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a double volume lounge, open-plan kitchen and a sprawling verandah with an infinity pool, Casa Blu’ is made for entertaining – even if there are just two of you. Facing an endless stretch of bone-bleached beach and the Atlantic Ocean, the house is a culmination of the beach properties of my dreams. Quintessentially West Coast at it’s core, the contemporary design and clever use of space has resulted in a holiday home that feels at once welcoming. One twin and one king-size bedroom upstairs share a loft bathroom, with the latter bedroom opening up on to a rooftop terrace that overlooks the beach. / Rocherpan Street, Dwarskersbos / Book here


Villa Kersbos

Another dream of a beach home, Villa Kersbos sleeps 10 across five bedrooms, has a plunge pool, sun deck, pizza oven and beautiful views over Dwarskersbos beach. Tastefully decorated and designed for easy, open-plan living, the Villa is a go-to choice for an extra special breakaway.

Tel: 082 928 1489 / 56 Weste St, Dwarskersbos / Book here

Deus Benedicat

If unadulterated luxury is your thing then a stay at Deus Benedicat will be money well spent. This sprawling home opens up right on to the beach and features a pool, outdoor and indoor braais and even a pizza oven. All four bedrooms have their own en-suite bathroom and there are gorgeous views to be enjoyed from the upstairs cocktail deck.

Rocherpan Street, Dwarskersbos / Book here


West Coast Escapes

Anyone’s first stop when planning a trip to Dwarskersbos, West Coast Escapes handles most of the nicest holiday accommodation in this sleepy seaside town.

Die See Kaia

By far my favourite spot for a takeaway, Die See Kaia is frequently visited for their toasties, excellent chips, cheeseburgers and pizza. Owner Jimmy is welcoming, and the atmosphere is friendly – a proper family-run seaside restaurant that one rarely finds any longer. Colourfully painted walls depict beach scenes that evoke the nostalgia of childhood holidays and on warm days a soft serve enjoyed here is an absolute treat. A warning that the service can be very slow, especially during busy periods.

Tel: 071 742 8593 / 2 Roos Street, Dwarskersbos

Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Settled in the coastal scrub just past Dwaskersbos, Rocherpan is one of the few private reserves that is almost entirely off-grid.  Home to many species of bird and featuring private beach access, the reserve is the ideal getaway for those looking to rest and recharge. Eight chalets, each able to sleep three to five people, offer pleasingly rustic finishes along with an open-plan living space, private deck with braai facilities and a bathroom with a large shower.

087 087 4177 / R27 from Dwarskersbos Book here



Klein Tafelberg

If a day spent off-roading is your sort of thing, then look no further than Klein Tafelberg. This Sandveld adventure centre offer visitors some pretty epic 4×4 trails as well as hiking, rock climbing, birdwatching, a shooting range and accommodation in the form of camping, glamping and chalets. A word of warning – do not attempt a drive onto the farm if you don’t have a 4×4 vehicle, as even the road in is a sandy maelstrom designed for diff locks.

Tel: 067 106 6549 / Klein Tafelberg Adventure Centre, Redelinghuys

Die Skooltjie Padstal

Located a kilometre or so after the Elands Bay turnoff from Dwarskersbos, Die Skooltjie is a treasure trove of tastes gone by. Selling a vast and interesting array of jams, jellies and preserves, chutney, flavoured vinegar and pickles made in nearby Aurora, this little padstal is definitely worth a stop. Ranging from the well-known to the entirely obscure, I always have great fun picking out a selection of goodies for my pantry at home. Die Skooltjie also sells biltong, dröewors, homemade pies and soft serve ice cream – with the latter being a welcome treat during summer’s heat.

Tel: 084 549 3166 / R27 towards Elands Bay

Koekeloer en Koffiemoer

A welcome addition to the small town of Aurora, Koekeloer en Koffiemoer is an eclectically decorated coffee shop that serves up breakfast, light lunches and all manner of sweet treats. Owner and chef Francoise goes out of her way to make diners feel welcome and her scones are a must-try.

Tel: 066 097 9787 / 17 Lang Street, Aurora


Elands Bay Cave

A heritage site, the Elands Bay Cave is a great place to visit if one fancies a short hike with a big reward at the end of it. Located around the bend of Baboon Point, the cave lies about a kilometre up into the mountain but is easily accessed via a path or – for any intrepid and talented 4×4 drivers – a gravel road. Passing various ruins on the way up – including a WW2 radar tower – it’s the view from the top that is the real drawcard. Curving up like the waves it faces on to, the cave echos the ocean and is filled with the ochre artworks of the native San people who used the cave as a shelter around 10 000 years ago. Valuable stone tools were discovered here when the cave was first excavated in the Seventies and middens have given archaeologists a good idea that the predominant food of these hunter gatherers was shellfish. A diet that persists amongst Elands Bay residents and visitors alike today.


The Elands Bay Hotel

As iconic as Baboon Point or Elands’ own left-hand point break, the Elands Bay Hotel has sat as a landmark of this little town for well over half a century. Quirkily retro, the hotel itself offers unparalleled views over the bay and the restaurant and bar are well patronised because of it. Popular with local surfers, visiting families or farmers from nearby Verlorenvlei, the restaurant serves casual knees-up fare like calamari, burgers and prawns. While some of the dishes can be rather hit-and-miss, especially if the restaurant is busy, I always err on the side of caution and order the fish and chips or catch of the day. Enjoyed outside in the sunshine with a bottle of Kookfontein Sauvignon Blanc, lunch here is always a favourite pastime of mine when in the area.

Tel: 022 972 1640 / / 1 Hunter St, Elands Bay Book here


Unmistakably recognised by its red tin roof and cheerful murals, Vensterklip is a restaurant, B&B and self catering accommodation, event venue and camp ground all in one. Built around a 100 year-old barn and adjoining historical homestead, Vensterklip is a great place to eat, play and stay. The restaurant makes excellent pizza on Friday nights and the menu reflects ingredients endemic to the area like heerboontjies. The self-catering cottages are charmingly furnished and there is also a backpackers for larger groups. Die Rooi Stoor is Vensterklip’s own padstalletjie and sells everything from preserves to home bakes and bric-a-brac.

Tel: 022 792 1340 / / R366, Elands Bay Book here

The Straw House

I spent my 27th birthday here a few years ago and have dreamed about returning ever since. This architect-designed beach house utilises straw bales in building, making the home wonderfully warm in winter and cool in summer. The open-plan design makes it great for entertaining and the large kitchen and braai area makes it a dream to cater in.

Book here

Die Witmossel Pot

Come for the waves, stay for the vibe. This colourful café is decorated with quirky sculpture and psychedelic paintings. Filled with surf-related souvenirs and curios, the Die Wit Mossel Pot is a casual spot that is great for a quick breakfast, toasted sandwich or burger.

Tel: 082 496 8931 / 11 Hunter St, Elands Bay

Uithoek Farm

Found on the R366 just past Vensterklip, Uithoek Farm is a pastoral paradise on the banks of the Verlorenvlei. Consisting of a trio of rehabilitated farm buildings, Uithoek sleeps 15 people between the Weskus Langhuis and Kent’s Cottage – with the former boasting a massive kitchen and hearth and both coming with wood-fired hot tubs as well as a communal farm pool. Ideal for a group of friends who don’t mind “roughing it” in outside showers, Uithoek Farm is one of my personal favourite places to stay when I want to get off-grid with no cellphone signal, lots of wine and almost everything cooked over the fire. / R366, Elands Bay / Book here


Isabella’s Restaurant

Found inside Lamberts Bay harbour, Isabella’s is a popular spot for their food and their views. Serving everything from pizza to sushi, it’s the restaurant’s catch of the day that I always look out for – if they advertise Cape Bream on their chalkboard, order it immediately. If not, the calamari is always a winner, especially when paired with a bottle or two of the owner’s family wines.

Tel: 027 432 1177 / / Strand St, Lamberts Bay



Lamberts Bay happens to be home to a celebrated single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc that claims to be the ideal wine to enjoy with local seafood. Cultivated on Kookfontein’s wine estate, the vineyards lie in a valley just outside of town, giving them exposure to the icy sea mists that roll in from the Atlantic.

Calling the farm home is Joos Engelbrecht, Theunette van Heerden and their gentle giant of a boerboel, Luca. What with Kookfontein settled on prime Sandveld land, the foremost produce farmed here are potatoes – in particular the Electra, Mondial, red-skinned Apache and waxy Nicola. But Joos’ love for cold climate wines led him to into viticulture and after planting vineyards almost a decade ago, Kookfontein Sauvignon Blanc has developed into a distinctively West Coast wine that is best enjoyed a year or two after bottling. Featuring a citrus undertone, Kookfontein’s signature salty taste and flinty minerality makes the wine an appreciable pairing with seafood and shellfish. Bottled at Fryer’s Cove in Doringbaai, a sip of Kookfontein conjures up images of crisp evenings around a gesêlsvuur, mussels steaming in the potjie and the roar of the Atlantic rebounding from a sky strewn with stars.

Speaking of which, Kookfontein also has two lovely farm cottages available for accommodation – giving visitors the perfect excuse to stay the weekend, sample the wine and perhaps dine out at my next recommendation.

Tel: 082 456 4299 / R364 road out of Lamberts Bay


Situated between the coastal towns of Elandsbaai and Lambert’s Bay, Muisbosskerm is the best spot to enjoy traditional Weskus fare cooked over the coals and served up over the course of a few hours (and a few bottles of wine). Opting for accommodation nearby is a must for anyone wanting to head to the restaurant for their famed lunches and dinners as eating at Muisbosskerm is not a rushed affair. Rustic, windswept and salt-bleached, with shells adorning the wooden foundation posts and bokkoms hanging in the eaves, Muisbosskerm offers up exactly what one would expect from the West Coast.

Catering best to bigger parties, expect picnic benches and stone slab tables, a communal fire pit and more food than the average diner could ever hope to consume in a single sitting. With lunch and dinner each lasting about 2 to 3 hours and serving up multiple courses, the highlight is the seafood. Locally-caught, be sure to try a bit of everything – there are few than can prepare fish in the true West Coast way. Salted snoek is pegged to dry in the warm afternoon wind, offering a picturesque foreground to kilometres of deserted beach while fillets of hake are salted and fried to golden perfection over the coals. Crashing waves and the screech of gulls provide the soundtrack to what is a hive of activity as dinner is prepared by Muisbosskerm’s team of skilled cooks. Multiple fires are lit in the concrete pits whilst the tempting scent of mackerel, angelfish and snoek emanate from cavernous smokers. The atmosphere is convivial and expectant, with tables claimed and wine uncorked.

Come for the food, stay for the sunset – and the after-dinner koeksusters and moerkoffie if you by some miracle still have an appetite!

Tel: 027 432 1017 / R365, just before Lamberts Bay on the southerly side / Book here



Fryer’s Cove Vineyards

When in Doringbaai it’s de rigueur to dine at The Jetty – resident eatery at the Fryer’s Cove cellar. If you can, grab the farthermost table on the spindly jetty from which the restaurant takes its name and order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc – all three offered come highly recommended – before you peruse the menu. If available, ALWAYS order the snoek. Fried, obviously. If not, get the snoekkoekies. Order another glass – actually a bottle is best – and take in the fact that you’re enjoying lunch in what was previously a crayfish factory. Right next door is an abalone farm, with the prized perlemoen available for sampling with the aforementioned SB. Encircling the building, it’s the same bright blue pipes that keep the abalone tanks pumped with fresh seawater that also cool the wine. And that’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Diamond boats with their snaking pipelines bob on the swell just beyond the jetty, making the scallop-shaped bay look a bit like a giant swimming pool replete with twin Kreepy Kraulys. If you’re incredibly lucky, you might see bakkies (of the floating variety) return on the tide, laden with silvery snoek or bream, ready to vlek on the concrete slide of the slipway. Just below your feet the ocean is azure, with schools of tiny iridescent fish visible between dark fronds of bull kelp, shining wet and leathery as the waves ebb. Gulls inch closer, hoping in vain for a snoeky snack, but the food was just too good to share. Fortunately the wine is made for sharing, as is the experience that comes with visiting what might be the most unique winery in South Africa.

Tel: 027 215 1092 / / Quality Street, Doringbaai Harbour / Book here



Lutzville Vineyards

Another wonder of viticulture to come out of the West Coast, Lutzville Vineyards is found on the fertile banks of the Olifants River. Their tasting room and restaurant offers visitors a chance to sample the fruit-forward cool climate wines on offer, as well as partake in lunch or a cheese platter.

Tel: 027 217 1516 or 076 812 4344 / / R363, Lutzville / Book here

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