A weekend in marvelous Montagu

We recently enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Montagu. Located in the Klein Karoo, the town is about 187km from Cape Town and is a great option for a family getaway. I’ve driven through Montagu a few times, but had never spent a weekend there, so was really looking forward to something different.

We were not disappointed. Montagu is a charming little town. Although we found there weren’t as many things to do as our last weekend away in Stanford, this suited us just fine as we were super keen to just relax as much as possible.

We stayed at the Bon Accord Farm Cottages, located on a beautiful fruit farm in the Keisie Valley. This was honestly one of the most stunning places we have stayed at in the MontaguWestern Cape. The cottage was really lovely, spacious, clean and well-stocked. There was a big patio and braai in the front of the cottage overlooking the valley, and we just couldn’t get enough of the spectacular views, especially at sunrise and sunset. It was so peaceful and relaxing and we spent most of our time chilling on the stoep. Fortunately there was also a TV and WiFi for when the kiddies get a bit too tired of the farm life.

The farm itself also looked neat and well run. There were three cottages in a row, but they were far enough away from each other that you could enjoy complete privacy. I can highly recommend a weekend here, and we’d be happy to return any day.

Here are a few things we enjoyed in and around Montagu:

Die Kloof Padstal
Montagu3This was a lovely restaurant and farm stall just as you enter Montagu from the Cape Town side. It had a fantastic outdoor play area with lots of swings, jungle gyms and tree houses for the kids to enjoy. The food was pretty average but the girls had a blast playing there and we enjoyed a nice cold craft beer in the beautiful and relaxed surroundings. Definitely a great place for a family lunch out in Montagu.

Montagu Dried Fruit Factory Shop
Arguably Montagu’s biggest selling point is its vast fruit orchards which yield wonderful produce and, of course, which are used to make the dried fruit the town is known for. The Montagu factory shop is located by Die Kloof Padstal, so really convenient when stopping there for lunch, as you can stock up on some great dried fruit and nut specials. My girls’ favourite is the crunchy corn, while I was very happy to get a huge bag of Turkish apricots for a third of what I would have paid at Woolies.

Saturday Village Market
Montagu6The Montagu Village Market is held every Saturday in Euvrard Park, Bath Street. It’s not a big market, but we found some great local produce and home-made goodies. We enjoyed a relaxed stroll through the market to get a taste of Montagu village life.

Guano Cave
The Guano Cave Resort is located about 6km out of Montagu on the R62 road to Barrydale and offers a fun day out for the family. For a fee you can enter the resort as a day visitor and have access to the hot springs and animal farm. We enjoyed a morning there – didn’t bother with the springs, but the girls enjoyed a horse ride and looking at all the farm animals. The restaurant didn’t look too great, so we rather headed back to our accommodation for lunch.

We were also really keen to do the tractor ride and potjie kos outing at Protea Farm, but unfortunately the road was closed for maintenance so they weren’t operating, but we’ve heard it’s a great outing, so we’ll have to save this for next time.

If you’re looking for a no-frills, relaxed weekend away, I can highly recommend Montagu. Learn more about the town and what to see and do in the Keisie Valley on the Montagu Tourism website.

 

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Weekend escape to Stanford

We recently enjoyed a wonderful long weekend in Standford. We’ve stayed in the area a few times, but it’s always been in a cottage or guest house outside of town or in the surrounding area, so this was the first time that we stayed right in the town itself.

Standford, located about 140km from Cape Town, and just 20 minutes away from Hermanus, is the perfect spot for a family weekend escape. There really is so much to explore and something for everyone to enjoy.

Stanford4We stayed at Osborne Cottages, a lovely little establishment right in town. There are two cottages on the same plot, but they’re separated by a fence and situated far enough away from each other that you’re not on top of your neighbours and have complete privacy. The cottage was clean and beautifully decorated, and there was a braai and a nice deck, which we really enjoyed relaxing on. The location was perfect as it was within walking distance to the shops and restaurants. There’s a lovely play park across the road, which the kids really enjoyed, and the river is just around the corner for some lovely walks and exploration.

Here are a few of the places and activities we enjoyed in and around Stanford:

Klein River Cheese Factory
Stanford2This is a great place for the whole family, especially the kiddies. There is an awesome kids’ play area with big jungle gyms, tree houses and bike tracks and the girls had an absolute blast. They also enjoyed feeding all the local farm animals. You can buy some yummy cheese and other picnic goodies from the cheese shop and they have decent picnic tables to sit at. You can also borrow a picnic blanket from the shop if you forgot your own.

Saturday Morning Market
The word market is perhaps not quite the right word to describe this – there were literally only about four basic tables set out on the stoep of the hotel, with some local suppliers selling their home made and baked goods such as cheese, sausages and cakes. The food was lovely, but it would have been so nice if there were some more products on offer. We were looking forward to a proper market, but we did enjoy taking a walk to explore the local shops after sampling the food. There are some great little gift shops in Stanford and they really weren’t expensive at all.

Zesty Lemon at Sir Robert Stanford Estate
This was such a peaceful and relaxing spot for lunch. The restaurant is set next to a little dam with big trees providing lots of shade. There is also a kids’ play area with jungle gym and the girls enjoyed wandering around the dam. The food was average and the drinks super expensive, but overall, it was a lovely spot to chill on a Saturday afternoon.

RePUBlic
We had supper here one evening and it was quite fun. It was very much the local hang out where everyone seemed to know each other and the kids had fun playing with some of the other kids. The place is pretty rustic and the menu was a bit limited, but we enjoyed the atmosphere and live music.

Misty MountainsStanford3
Home to one of our favourite local gins, we always enjoy a visit to Misty Mountains. They make delicious pizzas and offer craft beer and gin tasting, which is a very enjoyable experience. It’s not the cheapest of places, especially if you end up buying a bottle of gin, which will set you back almost R500, but it’s a great place for a lazy lunch, and conveniently located between Stanford and Hermanus.

There is so much more to enjoy in the town and surrounding area, and we’ll definitely be back. For more info and ideas of what all you can do there, check out the Stanford Tourism website.