Heritage & hospitality in Greyton…another Staycation discovery…

I was invited to celebrate the first ever Heritage Festival with the good people of Greyton this past weekend. It was a fabulous community event with all sorts of happenings… an outdoor market with arts, crafts, milktarts and more, horse and carriage rides, a street parade with amazing performances by local drum majorettes, gumboot and reel dancers, and afterwards, the cutting of the ribbon at the new Heritage Museum, by Mayor De Bruin.  

Greyton is a small town in the beautiful Overberg region, a breathtaking  area that stretches from Grabouw to Heidelberg, originally occupied by a Khoi tribe called the Hassequas. The village, named after Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape at the time, was established in 1854 but in fact dates back to 1791 when the first farm called Weltevreden (meaning “well satisfied”) was built and, some time later, subdivided into plots. 
Many of the town’s original buildings and features have survived, including the original leiwater (irrigation) system of street furrows, a blacksmith’s house and forge and the first school’s boarding house. There are also two very old churches (one is Moravian) and some of the earliest cottages that were built between 1854 and 1860 can be found in Vigne Lane (named after Herbert Vigne) and at the end of Vlei Street. There’s heritage everywhere you look, as I discovered on a short drive around the village, courtesy of Derek from Searle’s.
Greyton is only 90 minutes from Cape Town and the journey is as amazing as the destination…the drive, partly via Route 406, is one of the most stunning in the Western Cape. Greyton is a perfect destination away from the city madness, an enchanting Staycation option to add to your list, and mine. There’s a lot to do and see as well… the museum, mountain biking, canoeing or swimming for starters. Klaus Wehrlin does guided walks and hikes through trails lined with aromatic fynbos, and overlooking the most spectacular scenery….peaks, valleys, ravines, streams and waterfalls…it’s a truly gorgeous landscape, and is a must-do activity if, like me, you find being in nature therapeutic. Of course there’s good food and wine to be had, and have it we did. To begin with, you simply can’t do Greyton without spending some time at Searle’s Trading Post where owner Naomi Herselman will make you feel like long lost family. She is the quintessential hostess with an incredible team… Netta, Nicolene and Fredwina, take a bow. Naomi is also one of the key people behind the Heritage Festival that is set to become an annual event around this time of the year.

 I had such a divine time in the village & really didn’t want to go back to the city on Sunday. The tranquil atmosphere had really relaxed me and Lateral Paul, and the warmth and hospitality we received made us so reluctant to leave. I get the feeling we’ll be returning soon.

So if you need a break and the holidays still feel so far away, then go have yourself a Greyton Staycation why don’t you? Experience a change of scenery, where one night away will feel like many more, and where you can soak up a good dose of heritage until next year’s festival comes around.  The Greyton Rose Fair is coming up soon…sounds like incentive to me.

I can also recommend a few other fabulous places we experienced this time around, although believe me, there are many wonderful spots to enjoy, where you can indulge in great food and vino: Scarlet Pimpernel for accommodation where no two rooms are alike; The Hungry Monk for drinks and tapas in a gorgeous setting under the trees; Via’s for a good coffee by Soa and of course Searle’s where you should try the delish fennel and mango salad and thin based pizzas, enjoy a show in their cabaret theatre venue (check their Facebook page for details), and of course get loads of TLC.


First, the Heritage Parade…




A festive vibe…


 
 




Looking through the gate to the Heritage Museum…

 
 
 



Get your history game on…

The old Moravian Church…

The eclectic Scarlet Pimpernel were we stayed…

and Searle’s…

where the mango & fennel salad is a must…


chased with a cider…


and then, walk it all off with Klaus Wehrlin…

 
such beauty…
 
 
quaint houses & lush greenery…
 
 
drinks at the Hungry Monk…a beautiful setting
 
 
 
Me checking my pics…I hope you liked them and that this blog post 
has inspired you to visit Greyton..
 


Thank you to Kathy Kelly for extending the invitation to myself and Lateral Paul to attend the Heritage Festival and for making us feel so welcome!

  Until next time,

2 Comment

  1. Greyton- simply one of the nicest villages ever, anywhere!

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