After fantasising about it for over a year, we finally went. We packed our bags and drove the odd two hours to the beautiful town of Greyton at the foot of the Riviersonderend Mountains. And oh! – did we enjoy it!
This a quaint little town full of all the things we love about the platteland (countryside): friendly people, good books and horses. Yes, horses. We walked around in the streets lined with orange and yellow trees and just absorbed the tranquility in the air.
There were a few special places that we absolutely loved, which I’ll share with you in this post. Then there were a few that we were a tad disappointed about, but I won’t rant about that too much.
The highlight of the weekend: The Saturday morning market
The market is only between 10 am and 12 am, but the market is quite tiny, really, so you don’t need a lot of time to move through all the stalls. There are a few amazing stalls to visit. My favourite was, of course, the pancake one. They served freshly made pancakes with either lemon curd, Nutella or the classic cinnamon sugar. One of the first little stalls we saw, right in front of the church, was that of three young gentlemen who are of the hippie nature, if I can put it like that. They sit barefoot (in the freezing cold!) on a little rug, play guitar and sell handmade leather products and chai. Proper chai, they promised me. (The chai was good.) One lady sells a lot of secondhand books and another sells nuts and things. We bought homemade rye bread and some of the locally produced cheese. There was one stall that sold these amazing pastries and things that looked super yummy. I’ll be sure to try that one out next time.
The little market is in aid of Greyton Nature Conservation and is definitely worth a visit. In spite of its size, the atmosphere around the little market is so tranquil – you almost forget not to spend ALL your money.
Where to eat
When we dined at the renowned Abbey Rose, we were greeted by the most friendly host. The place was almost full – but there was of course space for us, said the host (and owner, I think?). It was nice and cozy with a fire going to keep the chill out. They don’t have the largest selection of drinks, but they have a few excellent choices in terms of food. I chose the lamb shank that I had been craving for weeks and Frederik enjoyed the pork belly. It was a good and proper size meal, but I was disappointed with my shank. I just felt that (for the price that we were paying) they could do a little more with the meat.
There are so many cute cafes, bars and restaurants around the little town that you’ll have difficulty choosing one. We popped in here and there and I wanted each piece of lemon meringue tart that I saw. Depending on what you feel like the day, there will be a place to suit your needs.
How to keep yourself busy
This place is full of little shops and studios and galleries to keep you inspired. There are a number of secondhand shops selling clothes, books and everything in between. We especially loved Searle’s Trading Post with its pot fireplace and an excellent selection of very cheap second-hand books. We left with 4 books and the most beautiful tablecloth – all for R170. What a bargain! Be sure to also pop into the Red Cross shop and Once more, with feeling too.
Van Geusau is a chocolatier with a little shop that you must stop by. And they have tasters! They offer decadent handcrafted Belgian chocolate accompanied by friendly service. We’d recommend buying a pack of the chocolate chunks. It’s quite rugged and chocolaty and yummy – and a bit better than the usual slabs, in our opinion.
There is a local artisan brewery in town, called The Old Potter’s Brewhouse with very bitter beer. Think India Pale Ale, but even for the lighter beers. This microbrewery is very cool though. They seem to brew everything on the site, judging by all the stainless steel tanks around. That is very cool.
We drove around one afternoon looking for a wine farm to taste some of the Overberg wines, but alas! We could only find one, which turned out to have no tasting venue. So we just rocked up at someone’s house, it seemed. We laughed and quickly reversed out of the driveway.
So, moral of the story: rather enjoy your wine in one of the quirky little places in town and save yourself the drive.
Greyton was a lovely town and blessed us with a relaxing break away from the normal hustle and bustle. I would recommend this town to everyone looking for a break – or just some good chocolate.