For the average Western Cape traveller, Worcester is that town you pass through en-route on a Route 62 road trip. I must sheepishly admit, that we’ve never stayed over in the town of Worcester either. So apart from a pit stop at the then Overhex restaurant, I knew very little about Worcester and that had to be remedied immediately. Cue a Worcester media educational with an itinerary good enough to make you plan a revisit to this little Western Cape town with your family! Worcester is just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town making it the perfect destination if you’re travelling with little children as we all know how cranky kids can get on an overly long trip.
Editors note: This media trip was held in the second week of May. South Africa is currently back on adjusted alert level 4 and as a result many establishments are either closed due to restrictions or operating differently. Please contact the below establishments directly or visit their social media pages for updates.
Worcester Wine and Olive Route
If you’re not familiar with the Worcester Wine Route, you’re in for a real treat a there a many gems located on it. The Worcester Wine and Olive Route comprises of twelve wine cellars and two olive estates centred in the stunning Breede River Valley. The Worcester area is acclaimed for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc which can be purchased at incredible value for money directly from the wine farms. We visited a few of the estates during our time in Worcester and I was pleasantly surprised by what they had to offer!
Stettyn Family Vineyards
You probably wouldn’t typically pass by Stettyn on your Worcester visit unless you’re traveling via Villiersdorp or Hermanus but it’s definitely well worth the few extra kilometres! The Stettyn Family Vineyards itself was established in 1963, with the vineyards of Stettyn, Jonkersrivier and De Hoek being the primary sources of production and where the tradition of winemaking dates back many years.
On our visit to the farm, we took a 4×4 route (currently not open to the public) through the vineyards and fruit trees to a stunning section of the farm overlooking the dam and wildlife while we popped Balbelki and clinked glasses. The natural beauty is really something special to behold and takes ones’ breath away. Returning to the Tasting room we were welcomed by the bubbly and friendly Sales and Tasting Room manager, Annelien Loubser who prepared a spread for us in true Stettyn family style. The tasting room and deli offers some delicious goodies and the winter cheese platter including a selection of soups, is most certainly one of them!
Please note, the tasting room is currently only open during weekdays for the next few months due to renovations taking place.
www.stettyncellar.co.za | Tel: +27 23 340 4220
Nuy On the Hill Restaurant and Deli
It’s not a Route 62 road trip if you don’t make a pit stop at Nuy on the Hill for a bite to eat! With Nuy Winery being located slightly off the beaten track, the need arose for a specialist venue closer to the popular R60 route and that’s how Nuy on the Hill was conceptualised.
A family-friendly restaurant and deli, Nuy on the Hill is very popular amongst locals and travellers alike and with their spectacular views of the Nuy Valley, it’s easy to see why! The venue boasts a modern design and has both indoor and outdoor seating with a kids play area as well. Dishes range from tapas, wood fired pizzas, steaks and even a selection of banting dishes. If you’re travelling with your pet, you’ll be glad to hear that Nuy on the Hill is pet-friendly and dogs on a leash are most welcome.
Tel: +27 23 347 0272
Lions Creek Estate
Get a first-hand experience of the Nuy Valley’s acclaimed range of olive oils and balsamic vinegar at the Lions Creek tasting room. Lions Creek Estate also offers a beautiful venue for weddings and functions, as well as conference facilities. The Nuy Valley Festival hosted on 12 May was testament to this as the venue was able to comfortably host a small group of people while meeting all Covid protocols and most importantly, adhering to social distancing rules. The event had a selection of four delicious soups along with freshly baked bread paired with award winning wines from Leipzig Winery, Conradie Family Vineyards and Nuy Winery.
www.lionscreekoliveestate.co.za | Tel: +27 23 342 1255
Things to do in Worcester
Now that you’ve supported the local wine industry, let’s check out some more places to see and things to do in Worcester because this little ‘throughfare town’ has a lot more to offer!
Explore the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden
If you’re talking about hidden gems, this is truly the jewel of Worcester. Tucked away in a residential area you’ll find the entrance to this 154-hectare garden at the foot of the Hex River Mountain range. The garden is home to a large succulent collection which you simply have to see with your own eyes to appreciate. Only 11 hectares are cultivated while the remaining 143 hectares are comprised of natural vegetation and looping trails link the developed garden with a natural veld reserve which features low bushes and succulents. There are also three hiking trails; the Shale trail, Grysbokkie trail and the Heuweltjie trail which makes for the perfect family activity in the great outdoors as you’re also welcome to relax on the large lawns with aa picnic basket.
Alternatively, after you’ve explored the garden, you can sit down to a hearty meal at the family oriented Kokerboom restaurant situated at the lower parking area. The restaurant has a cosy fire place for cold winter days and a lovely covered veranda for sunnier days. There is also a large lawn area with a jungle gym to keep the kids entertained. The menu includes burgers, wraps, desserts and a selection of local wines.
www.sanbi.org/gardens/karoo-desert | Tel: +27 23 342 1298
Experience Bygone Days at Worcester Museum at Kleinplasie
The Worcester Museum is a cultural history museum with a strong emphasis on agriculture offering demonstrations in a lively open-air exhibition area. The grounds have been developed with structures forming a traditional Cape farm yard. Live demonstrations portray the lifestyle of a bygone era and include rolling tobacco, bread baking, soap making, candle making, coffee making, metal work and donkey cart rides. The museum also has a small shop which sells curios and even traditional Witblits! Guided tours are available on request and demonstrations on alternate days – please contact the museum directly before arrival.
www.worcestermuseum.org.za | Tel: +27 23 342 2225 /6
Have Brekkie at Daly Bread
Did someone say they need good coffee? Then you need to take a shot left to Q Square Shopping Centre and pop into Daly Bread. Personally, I cannot function without having had a good cup of coffee to kick-start my day and as soon as we arrived in Worcester we headed straight to the quaint little Daly Bread café. Don’t be fooled by the size though as this little café is stocked with absolutely everything you need for a great breakfast and pit stop. Expect great coffee, fire baked artisanal bread, pastries and I think the delectable pastel de nata deserves a special mention!
Tel: +27 23 347 6757
Check into Nuy Valley Guesthouse
The Nuy Valley turn-off is about 15 kilometres from Worcester en-route to Robertson. The guesthouse is actually a family owned wine farm with a boutiques wine cellar – bonus! The one thing that stands out from this Worcester accommodation is the tranquil garden with towering palm trees, pretty flowers and perfectly manicured lawns set against the backdrop of majestic Langeberg Mountains. Adding to the tranquil environment are the walking trails and cute parrots in the garden. There’s also a small kids play area and nice lawn area to relax on while soaking in all the countryside sights and sounds.
The guesthouse can accommodate 29 guests in 12 luxury rooms equipped with TV, aircon and fans. Our room had a balcony (shared with 2 other rooms) which provided stunning vineyard and valleys views. They also have backpacker facilities in the uniquely renovated wine cellar! The venue is also quite a popular choice for weddings and conferences as it offers almost everything you need.
www.nuyvallei.co.za | Tel: +27 23 342 1258