South Africa – Hermanus, Swellendam and Franschoek

A two hour drive took us to the charming town of Hermanus – especially famous for its whales – and we did see some from the hotel deck. But the real “Wow factor” for me here was the stunning hotel we were in – The Birkenhead House – designed by the same people as the Silo Hotel mentioned in my previous post. This is what I call classy luxuries bliss – and it was complimented by amazing food – all meals included – and while this is not something I would usually do – once you get here you are glad you did as you don’t want to leave the place for even a minute.

Public areas in the Birkenhead Hotel

Contemporary and comfortable design is key at the Birkenhead House

My bedroom and plunge pool at the Birkenhead House

Then after a breakfast that looked like this ……

Luxe brekkie at the Birkenhead House Hotel

it was wonderful to take a 90 minute cliff walk into Hermanus to walk some of it off and enjoy the views along the way……

Cliff walk into Hermanus

Only to return to this ……

Home made scones with a view at the Birkenhead House Hotel

Just as well I only stayed for two nights….

Another two hour drive took us to the town of Swellendam. A very pretty small town and nice to stop at a less touristy place for a night. The scenery en-route was stunning and the local Drodsky Museum was nicely done.

Classic views on the road to Swellendam

Dutch cape houses including our bed and breakfast at Hotel Roosje van der Kopp

Finally, we finished our time in South Africa with a visit to the lovely Franschoek – a much busier place than when Trudy and I last visited decades ago but still absolutely charming.

We loved the Hugenot memorial and museum – really interesting info on how they came to settle in the western Cape and who knew Roger Federer was descended from them and had visited his relatives there?!

The Hugenot Memorial in Franschoek

The Hugenot Museum – with boy in pink hot pants ?!?

As for the food – goodness it was good. The first night we went to Reuben’s which we loved (and the chef is a local) and I enjoyed two kinds of steak tartare.

Eating at Reuben’s

and the the second, to officially recognise Trudy’s birthday year, was the fantastical La Petite Colombe – the pictures are only half as good as the food and the experience. A must visit if you are in the area.

A zen feel to the food at La Petite Colombe

The surprises keep on coming at La Petite Colombe

Yummmmm

We also enjoyed our stay at Plumwood Inn – very convenient for the Main Street yet tucked away too.

And of course you can’t visit this area without doing at least one wine tasting day which we enjoyed in Stellenbosch for the whole of our last day – forgetting we had to be up at 5am for our flight to …….?(watch this space)

Scenery around Stellenbosch and the vineyards are looking good

Trudy, Alan and I enjoying a day at some local wineries in Stellenbosch

Have already booked a longer stay in SA for early 2021!

6 thoughts on “South Africa – Hermanus, Swellendam and Franschoek

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