Two weekends ago we get to carry on our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary with our kids and special friends who were a big part of our wedding day. We were given the opportunity to stay at The Kite House in McGregor which has got to be one of the most beautiful houses we have ever stayed in. It was honestly like waking up in the French countryside.
We weren’t able to knock off work as early early as we had hoped so we got there quite late, long after dark. But there’s something amazing about waking up in a new place with the sun shining through your windows and not knowing what to expect when you open the shutters. It’s like a wonderful surprise and it makes it that much more special. And let me tell you, there’s not much that can prepare you for the beauty that awaits as you explore this beautiful house and all it offers. Its open-plan kitchen and entertainment area is just perfect for long lazy days by the pool or wintery days by the fire. A perfect getaway for every season.
Celebrating with our kids was something I always wanted to do – they are after all the most beautiful things we have to show for our 10 years of marriage and as much as we loved our alone time at Franschhoek Boutique Hotel the weekend before, there was something special about including them in our special milestone. I love seeing my kids faces when they wake up in a new place and seeing that sense of opportunity in their little eyes. I love that they get to share special memories like this together and that they have each each other to explore life with. So we had the most amazing time soaking in the beautiful tiny town of McGregor and all it offers.
For those of you who don’t know, here is a little bit of history about this beautiful little Town situated very close to Robertson.
McGregor is a small village in the mountains of the Western Cape, South Africa. It is roughly 150 km east of Cape Town. It is located in Ward 5 of the Breede River Winelands Municipality. According to the Census 2001, this Ward has a population of 10,254 people (Stats SA, 2001).
The village was established in 1861 and was originally called Lady Grey. It was renamed in 1905 in honour of Rev. Andrew McGregor, who had been the Dutch Reformed Church minister of the Robertson District for forty years. It has become somewhat of a magnet for alternative lifestyles. The local Waldorf school has roughly 167 children. It is part of the broader wine route network of the Western Cape and is situated at one end of the popular Boesmanskloof Trail to the town of Greyton to the south. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)
I love that this little village really gives you that feeing you so desperately need of being away. I think we often get so caught up in life and barely get a chance to just unwind, to not think about all the normal everyday stuff our busy lives entail. And often it’s only hen you get to a place like this and truly switch off, that you realise just how much you need it! We braid, we walked, we drank tea on the stoep, we walked into town for Breaki, had a lunch out and other than that just went with the flow.
There are lots of very relaxing things to do in and around McGregor – ones that require very little effort which suit me juuuuust fine. In fact what suited me best were the two lazy morning we enjoyed without having anything on our agenda whatsoever. Mira and Louise who organised our stay through McGregor Country Getaways were wonderful in making sure we felt very much at home and had some wonderful options should we wish to explore. Here’s a run down of some the things they suggested for a family weekend. Our highlight was The Donkey Sanctuary because Noah got to meet Ziggy, the donkey his school sponsors! It was so sweet!
SATURDAY MORNING MARKET – there is a lovely market on the corner of Voortrekker and Church Street, it is a blink and you will miss it market as they start at 9am sharp and it only lasts about 45 minutes to an hour! They have organic produce, home baked breads, delicious pastries, jams, books, plants and more!
WALKS & CYCLE ROUTES – there are lovely walks in the village from strolling the dirt roads to self-guided heritage walks (booklets available from the local tourism office in aid of the heritage society). More routes:
• Boesmanskloof Hike – starts at the end of the Road to Nowhere and you can do a mini version to the waterfalls or the full route to Greyton
• Krans Nature Reserve – short 1km walk to the water dams at the top of the village
• Rhebokskraal Olive Estate walk – starts at the end of Van Reenen Street and into Buitekant street along beautiful olive orchards and vineyards
• Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve – a circular mountain bike route as well as lovely walks to bird watching points and hikes
• Kleinberg Trail is great for walking, running or cycling and goes out towards the McGregor crest on the hill and along the old McGregor/Robertson road
There is also a fantastic new spa in McGregor – Old Mill Wellness Retreat & Spa situated at the lovely Green Gables offering ozone pod treatments, facials, pedicures, massages and more! Contact us for more info to book a treatment 🙂
TEMENOS GARDENS – this is a very special place and you can pop into reception and ask if you can walk around. Beautiful gardens as well as a well, meditation areas and spaces to write, journal, sit and enjoy! They also have 2 exquisite libraries and a lovely restaurant on site. They have a lovely poetry room/library where you can have dinner next to the books and a great big fire (Tebaldi’s Restaurant). * We had a lovely breakfast here which was lovely while the boys got to explore the garden.
McGREGOR ART ROUTE – Lots of local artistic talent and most of the galleries you can stroll to. I would definitely recommend Edna Fourie’s Gallery as her work is amazing 🙂
ESELTJIESRUS DONKEY SANCTUARY RESTAURANT – the restaurant at the donkey sanctuary is a great place for breakfasts and lunches. Kiddies meals available too. Open for breakfast and lunch from Thursday to Sunday (0827173963)
KAROUX RESTAURANT – dynamic duo, Ryan and Aimee Josten believe that food should be simple in creation but complex in consumption. They source local ingredients as much as possible and their chalk board changes weekly. Their signature dishes include – start with twice baked mature cheddar soufflé with Tanagra Grappa sauce, aged sirloin served with triple cooked chips and salad, end off with Vanilla Crème Brulee. Open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and lunch on Sundays. – 023 6251 421/084 924 3324
TEBALDI’s RESTAURANT – lovely atmosphere and food – definitely recommend the poetry library by the fireplace for a winter dinner! In summer they have a lovely front and back stoep in the gardens where you can enjoy country breakfasts and light lunches. Open for breakfast and lunch from Tuesday to Sunday and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday – 023 6251 115
GREEN GABLES COUNTRY INN DINING ROOM – homemade country food at it’s best. Very laid back atmosphere and self service bar, this is definitely the place where all the locals go! On Friday night they do chicken pies, fish and chips, curries, etc and on Saturdays is only roast. Open for dinner Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – 023 6251 626
LADY GREY RESTAURANT at LORD’s GUEST LODGE – situated on top of a mountain, with a Scottish castle feel. Their views are incredible and I would definitely recommend a lunch or sun downers! Such a stunning place – 023 6251 881 (inquire for bookings and opening hours)
Villagers Farm Stall is a lovely shop, tasting room, coffee shop and hosts Annalien’s art gallery. Taste delicious olives from dried, in brine and olive tapenade to ginger and olive marmalde or our delicious olive herb salt. We are open 6 days a week from 8am-5pm. Enjoy delicious home-made scones, cakes and cookies with a hot cuppa while browsing the art gallery or doing an olive and organic juice tasting. Open for breakfast and lunch from Monday to Saturday – 023 6251 787
Strictly Coffee in Robertson has amazing coffee, scrumptious cakes, sandwiches, salads and daily specials! A must stop on your way in or out of Robertson. Open for breakfast and lunch from Monday to Saturday – 023 626 6691)
Reuben’s Restaurant at The Robertson Small Hotel – The masterly hand of Reuben Riffel has designed a menu filled with seasonal freshness and innovative dishes that make this the most exciting restaurant in the region. The emphasis is on producing the ultimate synergy between texture, flavour and juiciness in a myriad of dishes to suit every palate – 023 626 7200 (inquire for bookings and opening hours)
Flora’s Eating House & Gallery – a great spot for fresh, seasonal and local breakfasts and lunches in the main road of McGregor. Beautifully decorated and serves great food situated in a lovely quad and garden area. Open for breakfast and lunch from Thursday to Monday and Dinner on Monday evenings.
For bookings and more information:
LOUISE BLOM or Mira Weiner
Reservations Consultant / PA to Mira Weiner
McGregor Country Getaways
CELL: 072 307 7399 (Louise)
CELL: 076 411 9477 (Mira – Owner)
TEL: 023 6251 409
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Or check out McGregor Country Getaways for all your wonderful options.