Planning a night away can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re wanting to find something special to do. If you aren’t familiar with an area, you can really end up at some interesting places, which can really either be a hit or a miss.
I took my best friend away for a night in Onrus, just a 15 minute drive from Hermanus. It was just the two of us, no kids. It was a late birthday gift, and we wanted to have two days of fun. We wanted to try some new experiences. So, I took those matters into my own hands and did some research. But, I wanted to try them out for myself. So, that we did. Continue reading if you’d like to hear about what we did, where we stayed and where we ate while we were staying in Onrus.
Where did we stay?
C’est Ca Cottage: Onrus
Price: R1203.00 per night
Although it was a short stay, we decided that we wanted to stay somewhere that would feel homely to us. We found the gorgeous C’est Ca Cottage in Onrus which was everything we wished for and more. Our host, Stuart was friendly and helpful and really made us feel at home. The cottage is in a separate area to the main house, which means that you have your own privacy and space, but are still close by in case you need anything. The cottage is stylish and was so well equipped. Had we left absolutely anything behind, we would have been sorted. They even had a mini dishwasher in the kitchen! The beds are super comfy too! I can highly recommend checking this place out as an option if you plan on visiting the area. It is just a short drive from Cape Town, and in walking distance to Onrus beach!
Where did we eat?
Shop 7 Carriages Centre, Main Road, Hermanus
On arrival, we made our way into Hermanus to get a couple of essentials for breakfast. Having visited Hermanus at least once a year, I had enjoyed delicious breakfasts at Oskars before they moved to a new space. They have now moved to the Woolworths center close to the book shop, and seem to have changed a little bit – but in every good way possible. They are home to the best carrot cake and cheese cake I have ever tasted. We treated ourselves to a slice of cake and a Coconut Iced Latte. Their deli and bakery is so beautifully and tastefully decorated, and really leaves you feeling happy when you visit. They do also do breakfast and lunch – however, I still need to pop in for a proper meal sometime!
Do take note that they are closed on a Sunday, so be sure to visit weekdays, or on a Saturday in normal working hours. You don’t want to miss this.
Molteno Street, Onrus River, Hermanus
Contact for reservations: 028 316 2658
We were quite persistent to have dinner at a different restaurant, until we arrived and realized that their online menu was completely different to what they actually had to offer, as well as totally overpriced. So, we took our Airbnb hosts recommendation, and found ourselves at what he referred to as ‘the locals go-to pizzeria’. And how glad I am that we finally listened! The restaurant was cosy, and buzzing. We had great service, phenomenal pizza and good wine! The pricing is standard and we had a lovely evening. This restaurant has been around for many, many years and when you visit, you will see why! Do make a reservation to be safe, they do get very busy, especially in the holidays and over weekends.
20 on 8th Street, Hermanus
Another recommendation by our host of our Airbnb, as well as by another local from the area who referred to this beautiful place as ‘the place in town that the chef’s like to go to eat’. We decided that we wanted to try something slightly different. Lizette’s Kitchen was started by Lizette herself. Her website shares this: “Lizette’s culinary history includes four years as Executive Chef in the Franschhoek Valley, followed by a similar position at the famous five star Caravelle Hotel in Saigon, home once to war correspondents from all over the World. Subsequently, Lizette joined the Sailing Club Group, where Sandals restaurant was established, later escalating to four restaurants within three provinces, featuring a fusion of Western and Asian specialties’. It is here, with the amalgamation of these experiences, that Lizette’s cooking style was born, focusing on excellent flavours and freshest produce.”
My food was delicious and a real experience! The portions are large, which means you certainly are getting value for money.
There were quite a few children there with their families, however, I couldn’t shake the thought of being happy I didn’t have my busy three and a half year old son with me due to no fencing (apart from low bushes) separating the lower area to the main road. So, do keep this in mind when deciding when to visit. Perhaps drive past and check it out for yourself before making your decision. They do have lovely kiddies options on their menu.
What experiences did we do?
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, R43, Hermanus, Western Cape
Price: R40pp for tasting of one wine | R55pp for tasting with two wines
I am a sucker for sweet things, and especially something more decadent. When I heard about this Millionaire Tasting, I just had to try it for myself. We had a few hours to kill before we could check-in to our accommodation, so this was a perfect stop before continuing on our way.
The Millionaire Tasting is paired with two dessert wines, their very own Noble Late Harvest and Matilda’s Secret Natural Sweet. I personally found the wines very sweet, but I suppose the name is a give away. I had never had a dessert wine before, so I didn’t know what to expect; however, I could totally understand why these were paired together.
Now onto those Millionaire’s – I’ve never tasted something quite so close to perfection before. They were divine, and just the right quantity to not overpower your taste buds.
The setting was breathtaking, and it was a perfect and relaxing start to our short getaway.
The lovely lady who was our hostess, gave us an indepth short description on each wine, and was divine. We really enjoyed having her give us the breakdown and we found her to be happy to answer any questions we may have had.
The décor of the tasting room was absolutely gorgeous. There was a fire lit, and music playing. Every corner has something unique that stood out to me. For a large place, they have really managed to make it something special.
This is a lovely place to stop by on your way into Hermanus.
They do various other tastings which include:
– Oyster & Wine Pairing
– Gourmet Tasting Menu Experience
– Vineyard Safari & Wine Tasting
*Please note that Benguela Cove does also have a restaurant which I have not yet been to, so cannot give my own personal review on. My review is based on the tasting room!
Yes, I did mention that I didn’t bring my son along, but that didn’t stop us from jumping at the opportunity to let our hair loose and have some fun playing Putt-Putt. Benguela Cove’s 18-hole adventure golf course is a new addition to the wine estate.
Don’t for a second think that you can’t join in if you don’t have kids, we had such fun, and lots of laughs playing. Neither of us being overly coordinated, I think the kids playing did better than what we did.
This course has been created with so much love. I was astounded at how much effort had been put into making it so special. Each hole has something awaiting you, and I really did appreciate every little detail. It is a perfect stop if you have kids tagging along, as they have a chance to do something fun and to stretch their legs. But, also a perfect activity to do after a tasting or lunch. They do have a little shop there which enables you to buy snacks or something to drink in case you don’t want to sit and eat something at the restaurant.
It’s always fun to do something different, and this was definitely a highlight for me.
Heaven & Earth Trails
Karweyderkraal Farm Cell 1 No 7, Hemel and Aarde Valley, Hermanus, 7200
As one does, you save the best for last – and this is exactly what I’ve done. For a little background – I am (WAS) terrified of horses. I had a bad experience many years ago, which had left with a fear of even being in close proximity to a horse, not even just being on one! For anybody that knows me, they’ll be laughing right now, and they are likely to not believe what they’re about to read. Hence, so many pictures for evidence…
Now, my best friend whose birthday we went away for loves horses. If she could choose any activity, it would be to go horse riding. So, I arranged with Danie from Heaven & Earth Trails to go on a trail ride with her because I knew just how much it would mean to her. We kept this as a surprise until the night before. I’ve never experienced such excitement from another human!!!
To be totally honest, I was rather terrified the night before and leading up to it. But, this is my year of facing my fears and experiencing new things! There was no way I was backing out. With my little boy always asking to go on pony rides, I knew that it was important for me to push my fear aside so that he wouldn’t become fearful.
We took a beautiful early morning drive to the farm, and were greeted by Louzanne, the trail and field guide instructor. Within the first 10 minutes, she already had me feeling confident and more comfortable standing next to my beautiful horse. Knowing my fear, she paired me with the perfect gentle giant, Mr T. Her love for the horses is absolutely contagious and truly makes you realize just how special they are.
We were finally all ready to head out on our Standard Trail. This trail took us through the beautiful fynbos, wild flowers and the pristine mountain scenery. Louzanne, having many years experience working in Game Reserves and having done horse back safari’s in amongst some of the Big 5 has a vast knowledge of the environment that surrounds us, and stops along the way to explain amazing things. This isn’t just any horseback ride, but a phenomenal experience that you leave having learnt so much more.
What I really loved about our ride was what Louzanne and Danie’s objective is about the business – they just want people to understand the horses and to leave feeling a sort of connection with them. They want you to have a positive experience that makes you see the beauty in each of the horses.
The time flew by, and I was sad to leave. I couldn’t believe the connection I had with the horse I was riding after such a short time. They just want love and affection, and want to trust you as much as you put your trust in them.
The team is just wonderful, and you’ll love how well-loved the animals on the farm are.
This was an unforgettable experience, and I will definitely be back again.
Heaven & Earth Trails has the perfect trail and horse for everyone. Depending on your experience, they can match you to the ideal ride. Be sure to book in advance on their website to avoid any disappointment, and check out their terms and conditions regarding their weight limit, what to wear and what type of rides they don’t do.
I can’t thank Louzanne and Danie enough for changing my perspective on horses, and for helping me conquer my fear. They truly are beautiful animals, and I am so excited to have had the opportunity to experience a horse ride in a positive light.
If you were like me, and too have a fear, this has got to be the best place for you to get your good experience that will change your perspective forever! Challenge yourself, make your booking and go! It will be life changing.
*Might I add, that although my friend is a far more experienced rider than me, she still thoroughly enjoyed going at a slower pace for me. So, she mentioned that she can still highly recommend it for a group that is of different levels.
Please note: Kids are also welcome! They have many children who come, and Louzanne has some exciting tricks up her sleeve to keep them entertained for the full duration of the rides. Tempting? You bet!
Have you had the opportunity to explore beautiful Hermanus and surrounding areas? Be sure to share your favourite finds and things to do there!