Staycation, McGregor. Please can I go back, tomorrow. Lateral Paul and I have just spent a day and a night there and I can’t remember when last we arrived at a destination and morphed into relax mode in .5 seconds.
McGregor is calm. I’ve 'staycated' at a fair amount of country villages over the last few months and I think McG takes my top spot for R&R in the true sense of the word. Lateral Paul loved it so much he’s thinking of buying property… yes please to that.
The town, established in the 19th century, is in the heart of the Breede River winelands and is just as I imagine it to have been many moons ago. I’m told not much has changed over the past few decades, and therein lies its magic. I adore country towns but it’s quite rare nowadays to find somewhere so utterly peaceful….a place were tensions dissipate on arrival and city stress doesn’t stand a chance. White washed thatched houses, one main street and dusty side roads….my kind of happy place.
Ons Huisie, also called Almond Tree cottage, was where we stayed and we so loved it. It’s perfectly un-posh, rustic and unpretentious, with two bedrooms (sleeps four in total) and all the comforts. Well, not exactly all, as there’s no Wifi which turned out to be the best thing ever, as no digital means an opportunity to connect, read a book and be free from incessant Whats App notifications.
First thing we did was flop into deck chairs in the self sustaining garden, a lovely space bordered by striking purple bougainvillea, succulents, climbing roses, cacti and hedges with brightly coloured little birds and a beautiful stray cat I fell in love with…
Come evening, we headed off to The Old Post Office, a famous whiskey bar that is reputed to have the second largest whiskey selection in the Cape, after the Bascule at the Cape Grace. We had delightful conversation with the owner, a Salford, UK native, called John Oldham. He also introduced us to a local beer brand called Saggy Stone. Since my trip to Tokyo 2 years ago, where beer was way more affordable than wine, and oh so tasty, I’ve become a froth fan so it was great to sample the local fare. Dinner was at the equally well known Karoux, an intimate restaurant space that seats around 20 pax indoors, run by Aimee and Ryan Josten. Excellent cuisine, a lovely ambience and they allowed us to take our own wine which was fabulous because it was a bottle of Springfield’s Work of Time, a Bordeaux style blend that is a masterpiece!
Sunday morning found us having breakfast at Tebaldi’s at Temenos, where Lateral Paul immediately made friends with a local olive farmer. After making swift work of my poached eggs, I left him to chat and ambled off meet a friend at How Bazaar and buy lunch at Dudley’s Larder, the little deli next to Karoux, owned by Aimee and Ryan, that stocks delish cheeses, charcuterie, free range duck eggs and more. Suffice to say our lunch on the stoep at Ons Huisie was a sumptuous feast, with superb chardonnay fromSpringfield (currently my absolute fave wine brand) and an excellent local red.
So if you need an escape, for any amount of days, take a drive along the jaw droppingly beautiful Route 62and head off to McGregor. Let your only distraction be listening to the birds and watching bees plunge headlong into flowers-I kid you not, I had time to notice that, as the picture below proves.
Embrace the slowness why don't you. I’ve already booked to go back, so watch this space for Part ll of my McG getaway as I plan to do way more that you’ll find really interesting.
My staycation at Ons Huisie was courtesy of the efficient and welcoming Mira Weiner from McGregor Country Getaways, firstname.lastname@example.org / 076 411 9477.
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