The Cape’s West Coast area has been a long time favourite for me to get away from the city life and relax. Comprising of quaint towns, stretches of white sand beaches, fields of flowers and rugged mountains its definitely a diverse area.
Winter in the West Coast is a special time though. Delicious food and wine, cosy accommodation and friendly locals will make you feel at home. Once you settle in to the West Coast life ( it happens fast let me tell you! ) you might not want to leave.
Recently I had the chance to explore places I haven’t been to though and it made me love The West Coast even more.
The Town Of Hopefield
Driving into Hopefield on a crisp Friday Thursday morning felt like I was being transported back in time. We were in this pretty little town, founded in 1852, to visit their museum and a little place called Simply Bee.
The museum is a labour of love and unlike most you will find. It features ( on request ) living dolls acting out various scenes. These living dolls are some of the residents of Hopefield that love its history and want to preserve it as well as tell a story. Definitely have a chat to them as you wont find better ambassadors for the area.
After enjoying traditional coffee and rusks at the museum we took a quick drive up the road to Simply Bee. A family owned business that produces honey as well as skincare products while promoting responsible beekeeping. We got to see how honey is made and listen to the passionate staff talk about their products. I love seeing local small town businesses thrive and this one is definitely doing a great job!
West Coast Fossil Park
I had never even heard about the Fossil Park before this trip and I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised. Here you can travel back over 5 million years ago and experience what life used to be like in the West Coast. Short neck giraffes, sabre tooth tigers and long extinct elephants roamed the land back then. You can see where they have uncovered the bones and listen to experts tell you all about what happened to them so long ago. In September they will be unveiling a new part of the park which we got a little sneak peak off. All I am saying is that its something I have never seen here in South Africa and you will definitely want to go check it out.
Wolfgat In Paternoster
Spoiling is an understatement when it comes to the rustic Wolfgat restaurant in Paternoster. Booking is essential and you will see when if you ever have the pleasure of visiting. Chef Kobus and his team will take you through a tasting menu showcasing indigenous ingredients. You can almost taste the love that goes into all his dishes that are so beautifully presented. We had dinner there and with the crackling fire, some good wine and amazing food it was a night to remember.
Strangely enough Saldanah was always the town on the West Coast that I didn’t see the need in visiting. I was so wrong and not only does it have a rich history, it also has some phenomenal Oysters. We were lucky enough to see how mussels and oysters were prepared before heading out to restaurants or frozen. Eating a fresh Oyster is a delicious affair even at 10 in the morning! The Hoedjieskop Museum, was our next stop and the lovely curator Linda had us all captivated with her stories. If there is anyone that needs to write a book about their life its definitely her! If you want to see some fantastic views of the harbour then a take a fast walk to get your heart racing up to the top of the lookout next to the museum.
The West Coast is definitely a place for unreal experiences but its also a place that forces you to unwind. It transports you back in time but also excites you. If you are thinking about your next getaway definitely keep it in mind, you will not be disappointed.
Click here to read about 10 things to do on your next visit to the West Coast.