Even though we have just come out of a long weekend, I find myself sitting and wishing my life away. Well not quite. But I am wishing that instead of being cooped up in a windowless room answering a bajillion emails, I was wondering around the little Town of McGregor again.
Or better yet – wrapping myself up tight in a cuddly blanket, making a hot cup of coffee and sitting on my quaint little porch, answering my emails from there instead. With the chirruping of birds coming from the garden and watching the misty cold of the morning get dissolved by a bright sun. I mean seriously, as much as I would love to live in the country, I think I would go dilly without some work to keep me busy.
One of the problems that I face is getting bored. I need stuff to do to keep busy every now and then. I thrive on a bit of human interaction as part of my every day. But more importantly I need to keep my kids busy so that I can relax. If you know what I mean. The good news is that McGregor has more than enough to keep you busy.
We started the day by going to the market opposite the church. It’s only there for about 45 minutes, but it is worth a visit. Homemade pastries, plants, books, name it. But the absolute cutest thing for me was a stall where you could buy your furry friend a treat. There were about 10 dogs all sitting around waiting to be fed. There is even one little guy that jumps over his owners fence to go there by himself every Saturday morning!
Deciding not to over indulge there, we popped into the Frangipani Coffee Shop on the main road for a hearty breakfast. It’s hidden at the back of an antique store that also has a room full of books – two of my favourite things, well three if you include the food!
From there we were collected by the most unique vehicle I have ever seen! A car made entirely of wood!
We all hopped on to take a lovely scenic tour of the town. What I loved about this was that you get to see so much more than you usually would when driving around on your own. The locals are super friendly and you can spot places that you want to visit later on in the day.
Also the kids LOVED IT.
There is something about the country air that makes you ravenous.
So we headed of to Rhebokskraal Olive Estate where you can organise for personalised tours through the olive farm. As Annalien not only produces 100% pure “Paté di Oliva” (Olive Paté – a gentler ‘bombolla’ compared to Greek Tapenade, without the capers and too many spices) and the most delicate “Oliva secca” (dried olives) this side of the Mediterranean, she is also a fine artist and incredible cook. So your tours can be adjusted to include those elements.
We all know the benefits of drinking red wine, but only adults get to enjoy these benefits. Most other “red” grape juice is actually just artificially coloured, what makes the wine good for you is actually soaking the skins in the wine while making it. Annalien saw this problem and they now produce a Cabernet and Merlot Wooded Grape Juice. Both delicious – Knox couldn’t stop drinking it!
Annalien and Corrie are very welcoming and gracious hosts. We had a great time here learning about olives, riding horses, checking out tortoises in their sanctuary and eating yummy food.
We popped into Lord’s Wine for a walk through their cellar to see how wine is made. What struck me is how they personally wax each one of their bottles closed. It takes lots of patience and skill, but I love that it feels like each bottle gets a little bit of personal attention and love.
I highly recommend wine tasting as a way to get to know people. As we went with a couple of other bloggers Becoming You and TazzDiscovers and their families, we spent a lot of time together. I already know Kath and Tami fairly well, but it’s definitely different when partners and kids are around too. Wine tasting is an excellent ice breaker and chance to just relax and let your guard down a little. (I said a little, getting wasted is probably a bit of a mistake).
The next morning we were greeted by another misty day, that cleared late morning.
We bundled up in our jackets and headed off to Tebaldi’s Restaurant for a delicious buffet breakfast and took a walk down to the local movie theatre – Wahnfried. I know what you’re thinking. A movie theatre in McGregor? You’re joking?! Actually I’m not! Wahnfried regularly have the classics on show at their intimate theatre. To check what’s showing next – take a look at their Facebook Page. They also to concerts in the evenings.
Silents retreats are all the rage right now, but I didn’t realise that McGregor has it’s very own serenity garden for this. Temenos Gardens has this covered. They offer a range of different therapies with a range of different consultants. We took a walk around and viewed the tranquil gardens, the yoga room and the various “shrines” to the various faiths out there. Personally, as a Christian this didn’t sit that well for me, but each to their own I guess.
And last but not least, we popped into the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary to learn about donkeys. There is so much that I did not know about this animal that it actually astounded me.
The kids loved meeting Alice, Eeyore, Oscar and so many of the other donkeys that have taken up residence at the sanctuary. I really recommend a visit here if you are in the area.
All in all it was a really fantastic experience.
Take a look at our first day in McGregor here.
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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.