When driving on the N2 towards the Garden Route, it’s easy to pass Elgin by. A mere hour outside Cape Town, you haven’t properly settled into road trip mode by the time you reach it. However, as soon as you turn into the valley, you’re greeted by sweeping valleys that entice you to stay. So next time you’re thinking of heading off for a weekend away or want to make a pitstop in this region, pop by one of these Elgin spots.
1 Cheveralls Farm
Elgin is brimming with apple and pear orchids as far as the eye can see. Cheveralls is an apple farm that boasts houses two charming cottages – the perfect accommodation for those wanting to escape the chaos of the city and enjoy country living. Plus, with its central location, the farm serves as an excellent base from which to explore the area. Each cottage is self-catering and comes fully equipped with everything you need. Opt for the Kiku cottage that has incredible views of the farm. Sit on the porch, drink in hand and take in the landscape. Bonus: fluffy towels and a luxuriously soft bed await you after a long day of adventures.
2 Peregrine Farmstall
Whether you’re staying in Elgin or simply passing through, Peregrine Farmstall is a must-visit. With 53 years’ experience under its belt, this family-owned business has become than just a places to get some ‘padkos’ (road food). A lovely little eatery serves up delicious breakfasts while the deli offers ready-made eats and treats, and boasts a play area for the kids. The farmstall has become quite popular, and one taste of literally anything will tell you why. From pies and tarts to fresh pressed juice and coffee, you’ll want to take some for the road too!
3 Rojaal Teekamer
Walking into Rojaal Teekamer is like walking into the home of a friend. With boere hospitality at its core, it’s a welcoming place to stop and enjoy a meal. Fresh roosterkoek, a selection of baked goods and a lovely menu are prepared daily, and the mismatched old-school furniture, artwork and fresh flowers add to the wonderful ambience.
4 Windemere Farm
Home to the traditional craft cider Windermere, the family farm of the same name offers a fascinating insight into the world of apple farming. Upon request, you can enjoy a tractor ride through the farm, which provides an insight into the difference between newer and older orchids, and learn how apples are graded and sorted for export and local sales. The experience will make you see the fruit in a whole new light.
5 Almenkerk Wine Estate
While the Valley is known for apples, there are a few vineyards planted here and there. Some can be found on the Almenkerk Wine Estate, a family business that produces award-winning wines. The tasting room boasts spectacular views of the valley and, with the recent addition of [email protected], there’s even more reason to pop in for a visit. [email protected] offers visitors a chance to engage with contemporary art on their lawns, tasting room, cellar and a wonderfully converted barn that is now a gallery.
Where Almenkerk Wine Estate, 50 Viljoenshoop Road, Elgin
Contact +27 21 848 9844, [email protected], almenkerk.co.za
6 Hickory Shack
If you have a hankering for some grub, the Hickory Shack is the place to go. Located on Thandi Farm, this restaurant offers authentic Texas BBQ. With a custom-made smokehouse, the meat is prepared for hours on end to ensure you get the most flavourful meal. Chicken wings, ribs, sausages, pulled pork and brisket – you can enjoy it all of this with an array of incredible homemade sauces. There are also craft beers and ciders, chips, mash, coleslaw and waffles, so go hungry.
7 The Pool Room
The name may make you think of a dark hole that’s home to the popular games of snooker and pool but The Pool Room is far from it. Located on the esteemed Oak Valley Estate, it’s an eatery that offers sustainable, farm-to-table fare overlooking a crystal clear pool. Headed by Chef Gordon Manual, discover food from a choice of two menus – regular dishes including soups, steaks and pizza or the tasting menu with experimental delicacies you can pair with wine.
Photography Annzra Denita