Bask in beauty of breede val­ley

Saturday Star - - T R A V E L - BIANCA COLE­MAN

Dis­cover the un­ex­pected trea­sures of Worces­ter from your base at Golden

Val­ley Lodge

WINE, olives, horse rid­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, game view­ing, zip lin­ing, by­gone ways of bak­ing bread, cock­tails, dal­liances with Lady Luck – all of these are avail­able to vis­i­tors to the Worces­ter area. We ex­pe­ri­enced a few of them and more than one has de­liv­ered on­go­ing ad­van­tages.

Here in the Breede Val­ley is the home of the award-win­ning Wil­low Creek olive oils, which you can taste and buy at the fac­tory shop at very jolly prices. Be­sides, the fab­u­lous range of flavoured oils which have been gen­er­ously used in al­most all my cook­ing ever since, jars of olives and tape­nades make great gifts for your­self or oth­ers.

That is long-term plea­sure num­ber one. The other one which has sur­prised me enor­mously is the soap from the Worces­ter Mu­seum.

The mu­seum at Klein­plasie, a short dis­tance out­side the Worces­ter CBD, is not only a suc­ces­sion of rooms with dis­plays of Cape colo­nial his­tory with agri­cul­tural im­ple­ments, wag­ons, fur­ni­ture, glass, ce­ram­ics, tex­tiles and metal in­side glass cases and be­hind ropes (a locked cage in the case of the firearms), it’s a cul­tural his­tory mu­seum with a strong fo­cus on agri­cul­ture where the grounds have been de­vel­oped with struc­tures form­ing a tra­di­tional Cape farm­yard.

Live demon­stra­tions de­pict ac­tiv­i­ties of a by­gone era such as the bak­ing of bread in an out­door brick oven and the forg­ing of metal by a black­smith.

A tour of the prop­erty takes you to these build­ings where peo­ple dressed in pe­riod cos­tume make things like bread and milk tart, cigars, wit­blits, can­dles and soap. Your guide will ex­plain the his­tory as you go along.

If you’ve seen Fight Club you might re­mem­ber a bit about mak­ing soap. Ap­par­ently, any kind of fat can be used along with car­bolic acid; for can­dles, you can use only beef or goat fat. Now you know. The sor­cery of this soap, how­ever, is that it is a fab­u­lous stain re­mover when wash­ing your clothes. Yes, I know… ter­ri­bly do­mes­tic. But also ter­ri­bly prac­ti­cal. You can buy a chunk of it in the mu­seum shop and you won’t be sorry.

Other ac­tiv­i­ties demon­strated at the mu­seum in­clude the roast­ing and milling of cof­fee beans and metal forg­ing. Two lazy-eyed don­keys are hitched to a cart on which you can ride.

Out­side, all man­ner of fowl ranges around, in­clud­ing geese who sur­rounded our car, block­ing our exit. I’ve learned on my trav­els not to mess with geese, so we just had to wait.

Among the winer­ies in the re­gion is Over­hex, which came to my at­ten­tion ear­lier this year when it re­leased a wine called Mensa, which is sup­ported by an aug­mented re­al­ity wine app. I got the caber­net sau­vi­gnon which I have yet to open and dis­cover but ap­par­ently, be­tween the la­bel and the app, it all comes to life as a book re­veal­ing the full story of the wine, which should cer­tainly be lots of fun af­ter a few glasses.

Next month – Jan­uary 26 – the win­ery will host a concert fea­tur­ing al­ter­na­tive Afrikaans mu­sic with Spoeg­wolf, ahead of the re­lease of the band’s fourth al­bum, Koma, in Fe­bru­ary. Tick­ets are R250 and in­clude a pic­nic bas­ket. Good to keep in mind when en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion along­side.

Our base dur­ing this stay was the Golden Val­ley Casino & Lodge. There’s noth­ing fancy or pre­ten­tious about it; sim­ply a good old-fash­ioned no-frills stay­over pack­aged in small­town hospi­tal­ity and gen­eros­ity of spirit.

The two-storey fam­ily friendly lodge is a sep­a­rate build­ing from the casino. It’s here you’ll be ac­com­mo­dated in com­fort­able rooms (it is along­side the N1 so ex­pect a bit of traf­fic noise if you’re booked on that side), and where you’ll take your buf­fet break­fast in the morn­ing. The pool has views of the moun­tains in the dis­tance.

You can stroll across to the casino, where you can try your luck (dou­bling my R50 on the roulette ta­ble was still a win, even if I’m hardly a high roller), have a su­per meal at Kuipers Restau­rant, and en­joy live en­ter­tain­ment in the Win­ners Sports Bar.

Worces­ter is a lovely op­tion for a lit­tle get­away.

Colour­ful um­brella drinks are a must for that hol­i­day feel­ing.| Bianca Cole­man

Cool by the pool at Golden Val­ley.| Bianca Cole­man

Bread baked the old-fash­ioned way at theWorces­ter Mu­seum.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.