Accommodation in Weekend Getaways - Cape


Barrydale lies between Montagu and Ladismith on Route 62, halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

About the destination

Known as the world’s longest wine route, Route 62 is flanked by majestic mountains, split by scenic passes, rivers, vineyards and orchards.

Sandwiched between the Little Karoo and the Langeberg Mountains, Barrydale may appear to be a sleepy place but on closer inspection you will find there is much to make you stop and stay. Barrydale has a permanent population of 3 500 swelling considerably over weekends and holidays.

What to see and do

Barrydale has no shortage of surprises; in fact you can pet a python, sit on sex, taste to-die-for food and wine and see eclectic architecture. Like me, you will come for a weekend but you are sure to return.

Walking through the town the architecture ranges from typical dorpie church and Cape Dutch to over the top kitsch with masses of slate. Drive through the location on the west side of town to view buildings decorated with unusual artwork and meet friendly locals.

Country Pumpkin Restaurant has been a landmark since 1994, with its colourful pumpkins lining the parking area, its flags and welcoming shady veranda. It is also the home of a 4m-long python named Hilda who can be viewed on request. Tasty country cuisine confirms its reputation as the best eatery on Route 62. The shop stocks virtually all locally made produce as well as a wide selection of wines from the Barrydale region.

A pebble’s throw downhill is the Barrydale Hotel where you can see unusual artwork. “You must sit on the chairs,” said a friend who had popped in for a beer and found more than she bargained for. The hotels’ signature painting is a nude male, while inside are chairs decorated with naked men.

Barrydale also has some great hiking, ranging from easier trails on the 10.5km Moerasrivier circular walk and the shorter Bertus Cooke trail, which starts from the cemetery and climbs to the ridge. For the more energetic there is the relatively new two-day trail across the mountain from Barrydale to Grootvadersbos Nature Reserve. There is also quad biking and cycle trails.

Food and Entertainment

For those wanting to chill-out there is wine and brandy tasting, such as the classic, European-style wines at Joubert-Tradauw. A good way to soak up the wine is with boere tapas "alfresco" style, followed by a delicate French cheesecake.

We had heard that Bistro Blue “would be humming” later that day and with basic fare and wine at R22 for a bottle of “Decent Red” or “Decent White wine, we were soon tucking into a few bottles. Bistro Blue, tel: 028 572 1232

Visitors cannot come to this area without visiting the (in)famous Ronnie’s Sex Shop, just down the road. We had heard about it so often and now we had time to investigate what must be the oddest pub in Africa. Ronnie painted the name Ronnie's Shop on this cottage next to R62, but a friend played a prank, inserting the word “sex” and it has been an unmissable landmark ever since. Make sure you have time to take in the graffiti, artwork and lingerie while enjoying the company of others when there’s a big game on the television.

Where to Stay

Apart from the Barrydale Hotel there is the Tradouw guesthouse, run by Dennis and Leon, which offers accommodation from R 350 per person sharing.

This Sneaky Weekender was recommended by: Karen Watkins from Cape Town

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Sneaky Weekender articles on this website, do not necessarily reflect the views of Finding Africa.

Picturesque scenery surrounds Barrydale
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