Robertson’s Little Gem(s)

I had the great pleasure of heading to Orange Grove Farm (OGF) for a lovely long weekend with my family, and as it’s only a mere 2 hours from Cape Town, and 10 minutes’ drive from Robertson town itself, the location was just perfect.

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OGF offers visitors a unique view of farm life, whilst providing a place for guests to simply unwind with breath-taking views. They have numerous hiking options from the farm, as well as being the ideal base to explore the wider region. Not only are the lovely villages/towns of Montagu and McGregor within a 30-minute drive, the Robertson Wine valley is right on your doorstep, and boy does one have a lot to choose from. OGF is a working wine and olive farm, nestled at the foothills of the Langeberg Mountain range. These majestic mountains are your backdrop and they don’t disappoint. Waking up each morning whilst having a coffee on your patio, with those amazing views makes you truly appreciate how special this country is.

On the farm, accommodation is in the form of luxurious cottages, all named after the owners various mining interests (diamond mines). Cottages predominantly sleep four people, however, they have cottages for couples, and these are more isolated, so perfect for honeymooners (ask for Mosesberg Cottage). The cottages are fully equipped so everything in the kitchen is covered. There are braais (BBQ’s) at each cottage so guests can either prepare food inside, or over an open flame. All cottages are serviced daily and they all have a private pool. Of course, if you choose to go out of high season, winters are no challenge. All cottages have an indoor fireplace, electric blankets and gas heaters. There is also Full DSTV (satellite), so you can cosy in and watch a movie round the fire after a hard days hiking!

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Activities on the property range from guided quad bike tours, mountain bike hire (very popular as the Cape Epic cycling event has a route that winds through their farm), and guided hikes. If you do a guided hike, do it early in the morning so that you can enjoy one of their delicious breakfast baskets in the outdoors.  Massages can also be pre-booked – we tried this out and it is highly recommended. OFG will hire in a masseuse from Robertson and you can enjoy your treatment in the privacy of your own cottage.

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The beauty of OGF is that you can actually base yourself at the property and not move if you want to. Whilst we were there a couple had booked 10 days at OGF and simply explored the farm on foot/bike, and simply relaxed. The flora is amazing and the bird watching opportunities are excellent to. OGF is unique as it sits on the belt (meeting place) where the floras of the Karoo, Renosterveld and mountain vegetation’s all meet. Fynbos being the common thread throughout these, and because of this, it is actually a protected area.

The Robertson Wine Route has a lot to offer. There are around 50 award winning wineries in the area, so one is spoilt for choice. Our selection (being a family weekend) was to visit Van Loveren Family Wines. A great option as the estate caters for all – alcohol free, child friendly,food pairings for those who don’t want to drink. The alcoholic options are vast – Van Loverone covers wines, bubbly, ‘alchopops’ etc, so you will always find your ‘poison’. The scale of their production is mindboggling – most of the wine farms you drive past has a VL sign somewhere which dictates its part of their production capacity. They have biking trails on the estate, and the place was teaming with riders.  They also had pretty gardens to meander around and hiking from here was also possible. On site they also have Christina’s Bistro, a favourite for many visitors, specialising in wood-fired pizza’s, gourmet burgers and whatever else is in season – plus you can try any of their wines whilst ‘filling up’. https://www.vanloveren.co.za/OurWines

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River Cruises are available in the Breede River Valley – so something which works for families and individuals alike. Most locals use this as a ‘booze-cruise’. Typical!

Also close to OGF is the Saggy Mountain Brewing Company. It’s located on a wine farm but really only known to the locals. You have to drive to the middle of nowhere, however once there it’s a great spot and there’s usually live music on the go. It’s mainly a craft beer and ‘greasy food’ type of experience – so pizza’s, chip and dip style food (ie chicken strips and chips), burgers etc are what goes on the menu. The craft beers are not mild – they pack quite a punch in terms of taste and the IPA (Indian Pale Ale) is super bitter (not for everyone). My favourite was the Big Red Ale, and California Steam – http://www.saggystone.co.za . The nice option about visiting Saggy Stone is you won’t have any traffic cops on the farm roads asking for you to blow down a breathalyser!! There are a couple of other craft breweries in the surrounding towns – Long Mountain brewery (Robertson), Mountain Brewing Co (Worcester) and Karoo Brewery (Montagu).

Overall – a wonderful little gem to simply unwind, de-stress and watch the birds fly by.

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