The Skinny on Somerset West


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18 – 21 years 21 – 23 years 23 years and older
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SA African Countries non-SA

Somerset West is a dream destination for city slickers who would one day to own a two-storey home with a sprawling garden where the kids and daschunds can cavort –free from roaring traffic and 4am noise. Until that happy day, urban Capetonians and visitors can make trips to this genial suburb, which offers fantastic scenery and activities.

Erinvale Golf Club and Estate

Opened in 1995, this golf estate was the first of its kind in the greater Cape Town area. Developed by Ian Player and his golf legend brother, Gary, the estate is still a well-maintained and impeccable golf club, made even more picturesque by its location at the foothills of the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Mountains. For the golfing enthusiasts, the 18-hole course designed by Gary Player himself is a golfer's delight and the clubhouse and bar guarantee a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Erinvale Golf Club and Estate

Lourensford

No Somerset West experience is complete without a visit to the multi-faceted Lourensford Estate. With so much to see, do and taste, a whole day can be spent exploring the wonders of this pristine plot. Founded in the 1700s by Willem Adriaan Van der Stel, Lourensford is a benchmark in winemaking and touring.

Lourensford

Winetasting

Naturally, the wine must come first. The tasting options include:

  • Chocolate and wine tasting: R55 per person
  • Standard wine tasting: R30 per person

Not only do you savour the vineyard's wine, the chocolate is specially made for Lourensford. The tasting room is open from nine to five every day save for Christmas Day and Easter Friday.

Winetasting

Healey's Cheese

This cheese is not of the everyday supermarket variety. Healey's is authentic farm style cheddar, free from flavour enhancements, artificial colouring and preservatives. The cheddar is made from unpasteurised full cream milk and undergoes maturation for a minimum of eight months, after which it can be matured for up to two years. Once tasted, you can expect the full, nutty flavour that only a well-made cheddar can deliver.

Healey's Cheese

Coffee Roasting Company

In addition to wine, chocolate and cheese, Lourensford continues to wow your palate with the Coffee Roasting Company. A stop at the roastery will allow you to watch the beans in action, while you can take a few bags home. The coffee lovers will be spoilt with a choice of African blends, such as the Limu blend from Ethiopia and Mapanga AAA from Malawi. The roastery is open seven days a week from nine to five.

Coffee Roasting Company

Helderberg Nature Reserve

Take time out to stretch your legs and bask in the richness of the Cape's incredible biodiversity by going hiking in the Helderberg Nature Reserve. The site started out as a flower garden but was declared a nature reserve in 1960 to safeguard the Mesic Mountain fynbos. Today, you can take a walk along any one of the circular trails and enjoy a respite from the concrete and noise. If you're lucky, you may spot one of the three species of tortoise including the mountain tortoise, the angulate tortoise and the padloper.

Helderberg Nature Reserve

  • Contact: 021 851 4060
  • Like them on Facebook: Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve
  • Hours: 1 December-28 February: 07:30am – 8pm, March and November: 7:30am- 7pm, 1 April-31 October: 7:30am- 5:30pm

Eating out

There are scores of Somerset West restaurants that cater to every appetite and personality.

Opa

Like the name, this place is fabulously Greek, festive and bursting with life. Opa claims that they have the best moussaka in town, however, you can feast on a variety of Greek delights –from dolmades to a mezze platter for two. You may find picking one out of the six authentic Greek dips a struggle, so order the Opa dip platter to enjoy them all.

Opa dip platter  Opa

  • Contact: 021-851 2618
  • Address: 171 Main Road, Somerset West
  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11:45am - 10pm and Sunday at 11:45am to 3pm

Fred & Max

The arrival of Fred & Max immediately gave Somerset West an additional shot of glamour and style. Not only are the burgers listed in Cape Town Magazine's Top 35, the two guys behind the eatery have fashioned a place that successfully marries old-world charm and excellent service with sleek décor. Expect mega milkshakes, fresh coffee and decadent pancakes, all served in a laidback, cool environment.

Expect mega milkshakes  Fred & Max

  • Contact: 021-8500911
  • Address: Fairview centre shop 4, 33 Caledon Street, Somerset West
  • Follow them: @fred_and_max

Fred & Max somerset west

Henri's

For those wanting a sophisticated dining experience with five-star dishes and the service to boot, Henri's is where you will find the upmarket dinner you crave. Situated in a modernised Heritage building, Henri's is lauded for their signature steaks and seafood. The fillet is a must-try while the crispy, Patagonian calamari gets anyone's mouth watering. Not just experts in serving customers succulent savoury dishes, the desserts are legendary. Try the baked chocolate fondant with Chantilly cream and be feel as if you've entered heaven.

Henri's

  • Contact: 021 852 6442
  • Address: Cnr Lourensford and Main Road, Somerset West
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday 12pm till late

Mooiberge

The Mooiberge farm stall is found on the road (the R44) between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, although you would be hard-pressed to miss it. Decorated with large strawberries, a family of scarecrows and several other colourful farmyard animals, Mooiberge is a strawberry paradise come summertime. Join in the fun and pick some of the best strawberries in the country before perusing the shop for an array of fruits, nuts, jams, juices, ice cream and cakes. Suitable for romancing couples, large families, tour groups and students, strawberry picking among the crazy characters at Mooiberge and snacking on the plump, pink fruit is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.

Mooiberge  Mooiberge is a strawberry paradise

Mooiberge farm stall

  • Contact: 021-8813222
  • Address: corner of R44 and Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 8:30am – 6pm

Retail

If it's shopping you're after, you are in good company. The following are wonderful places to purchase anything you need, from speciality foods to treasured curios.

  • Woemann Brock and Eurolane both stock scrumptious German deli foods
  • Triggerfish Brewing Co has a respected selection of quality craft beers (and a restaurant). Follow them @TriggerFishBrew
  • The Somerset West Mall is the answer to every need, from chemist to hair salons.

Retail

Somerset West has a variety of both indoor and outdoor things to do and getting around in your rental car makes it possible to immerse yourself in it all. Take a trip along the Spice Route, which is found in the Winelands or have a look at what you can get up to in Cape Town.



Image credit:
http://www.youtolife.co.za
https://www.facebook.com/fredandmax
www.tripadvisor.com
www.redbubble.com
www.sa-venues.com
http://www.erinvaleproperties.co.za
www.wineandonly.com
www.capetownmagazine.com