I don’t know if you’ve ever arrived in a new town and just suddenly felt like you were home.
Like if you could give up all the ties you have in the “big city” and move to a small town, this is where it would be? That’s how we felt driving into and around McGregor. Quaint little white houses, with long porches and beautiful gardens. Smoke coming out of chimneys on cold misty mornings, moos of cows in your neighbours garden and a kind of quiet that you don’t get in Cape Town. Just as I imagined country living to be actually.
Not many people have heard of McGregor or if they have, they’re not quite sure where it is. Well, it’s just 2 hours from Cape Town and right next to Robertson. So how did we end up there? Well one of my bucket list things is to visit and explore as many of our countries towns as possible, before we venture out to other countries. So when we were asked to come and visit we couldn’t wait to hop in the car and go.
We take our eye care very seriously it seems…
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, like you, I couldn’t live without a Woolies close buy and so the good news is that there is one in Worcester, just a short drive away. Shew! In fact, you kind of have to drive through Robertson to get to McGregor, which is why we stopped in Robertson on our way in to McGregor for some coffee and breakfast at Strictly Coffee.
Usually the owner is there and you can get the low down on how he started his business as well as see a vintage coffee machine from some faraway country that got this whole coffee thing started! We were very sad that he wasn’t there because we love our coffee. But the place was bustling with people and the food was yummy. The kids particularly enjoyed their hot chocolate!
When you’re in the winelands you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go wine tasting. Well that’s what we’ve been told anyway. But with kids it always seemed kind of inappropriate to take them along. I mean, what exactly would they do while we are busy? I can’t imagine trying to entertain them when all I want to do is sit and taste the wine.
We stopped in at Van Loveren which was awesome because after we toured through the wine cellars and saw how the wine was made, we had the opportunity to do a tasting. But the good news is that they do a kiddies tasting too! White and red grape juice with jelly tots – the kids loved it.
What I really liked about their tasting is that they didn’t stand there and tell us what we were supposed to be tasting. They gave us a piece of paper where we could mark what we thought it looked, smelled and tasted like which I found helpful as I didn’t have to stress about trying to taste something that wasn’t there.
All tastings are R50 (kids one is R30) and the portions that come with the tasting are quite substantial – definitely worth it for the experience.
By that time our tummies were a little rumbly and although the cheese, chocolate and jelly beans were good, we needed some food in our bellehs. So we headed of to Karins on Main in Bonnievale (not quite “just around the corner” but close by).
I’d always heard of Bonnievale but I had no idea where it was. It’s another quaint town, but it just doesn’t have the same ‘homey’ feel that McGregor does. We had pizzas and milkshakes at Karins followed by a tour of the hotel. Each room is themed differently – the shack one being my favourite. So unique. Also, very well priced, so worth a visit if you want to get out there.
Even though we only went 2 hours away from Cape Town, we had a full day so we were really excited to get the keys to our little cottage.
Laurel Cottage really is a home away from home. It has everything! From 6 warm spaces to rest your head to a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, washing machine and Nespresso machine. Plus should Eskom cut the power, it’s got everything you need to keep going. AND amazingly warm fire place that we kept going from the moment we arrived home in the evenings till we went to bed! Best!
I even found a 1000 piece puzzle which I was determined to finish before we left, so I spent most of the first night putting pieces together while everyone else slept. I thought I’d regret it in the morning, but I actually had so much fun that I didn’t let the tiredness get to me. You can call me a nerd it’s OK. Also, forget handcream and pamper stuff, give me a puzzle any day!
Instead of rambling on and on, I’m going to cut it short here and share the rest of the trip next week sometime, so do come back and check it out.
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Other places that we have visited around the Western Cape of South Africa:
- Paternoster – At Gelukkie, a two night getaway without our kids
- Stellenbosch – I love it there!!
- Houw Hoek Inn – I’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve been there, in fact the kids go there for a night every holiday (with their Grandparents)! Another time we were there.
- Hermanus – Also a regular holiday spot.
- Grabouw – If you’re going there you need to stay at the Old Mac Daddy
- We also went to Ceres and that was amazing – one of my most memorable holidays.