So … it was someone’s birthday, and the only way this particular individual knows how to celebrate is to embark on a wine-tasting-cum-food-exploration expedition. With a few willing friends in tow. It was a Malgas, Stanford, Hemel-en-Aarde, Hermanus style of adventure, with many stops along the way, so it comes to you as a few stories.
The Sleeping Beauty deep in slumber on the softest, downiest feather bed. Our voyeurism of her sweet dreams was from the new(ish) Ou Meul bakery in Riversdale, which has the most sensational views from its glass box coffee shop. And they offer great breakfasts!
Malgas Pont, the last-surviving hand-pulled ferry in the country at the Breede River, north of De Hoop Nature Reserve. Below A very cool dude. He is leaning hard into his harness, to which a chain is attached; this has been thrown around a fixed cable to pull the pont, which often holds 3 vehicles, across the river.
Mandatory lunch stop at Lomond Wine Estate in Gansbaai … only cheese and cold meat platters, but imaginative and beautifully presented. A great outdoor seating area (benches only) faces a dam that holds a trout hatchery but the main attraction for local fishermen is the largemouth bass. There were rafts of them (fishermen, that is) floating around on funny little inflatable boats, but a slight grumpiness prevailed as not the smallest silvery flash of a fin was seen all day. The bass are getting clever.
Interesting shirt belonging to one of the fishermen who threw in the towel early.
Then it was time to check in to Gum Tree Lodge, conveniently opposite the Stanford Country Manor where we had reservations for dinner. It’s recently been featured in “Country Life” with gorgeously styled photos of scrumptious-sounding country-fresh-inspired food. On our night, some were impressed, some decidedly not. You’re going to have to make up your own mind. I had an aubergine stack that was to die for … crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and delicious flavours. We loved Gum Tree Lodge, though.
Serenity through the doorway of our bedroom. I know gums are aliens but they have the most beautiful marbled bark. And they give their name to the lodge.
Ours was the Leopard Suite.
Lovely three-quarter views in Leopard Suite, starting in the seating area and ending at a little private outside deck. But all the suites had views, whether onto mountains or vineyards. Can definitely recommend this place.
If you liked this, we have FREE downloadable stories about our travel adventures all over the place. Click here