One winds up to the cellar/functions venue from the R46 through the vineyards. Arriving, one has the sense of being above it all with long views up and down the Breede Valley and the energy of the beautiful Witzenberg mountains behind, plus a side view of the great lump of Mosterdsthoek (which in winter can look a little like Mount Fiji crowned with snow!).
The cellar is surrounded by landscaped gardens planted entirely with endemic vegetation which attracts abundant birdlife. One may take an easy walk in the mountain behind where fynbos grows prolifically and buy from the fynbos nursery. The farm is also a popular wedding venue with a chapel below the restaurant, and child-friendly with playground apparatus in the gardens. In spring the estate hosts the popular Green Faire, which celebrates everything indigenous and organic.
Entering past the delightful water feature, the tasting room welcomes one through baronial wooden doors into vaulted coolness. Here one can leisurely sample the award-winning range of organic wines and olives as well as delicious deli products.
Talented resident chef Francois du Toit has just completed his first year at Waverley Hills - his signature dishes have surely seduced all the locals, who return time and time again to sit on the veranda (or within if the South Easter is howling!). In winter both the tasting locale and the restaurant have a welcoming fire with comfortable seating surrounds.
Francois is now also providing picnics for passengers on the steam train running up and down the stunning Michell’s pass, which have been very well received. A dedicated siding has been built on the farm, and landscaping is in progress. Currently one can taste Waverley’s wines and take a blanket into the adjacent olive orchard for a patch of deep shade as part of the train experience.
The kitchen at Waverley Hills will be closed for an upgrade during early February, but watch this space for an entirely new menu! Us locals hope that Francois will continue with his Wednesday evening specials - who can resist those gourmet pizzas, served on butcher’s blocks of wood and topped with everything fresh and delicious, accompanied by a glass of gorgeous organic wine?!
A friend and I moseyed down to our own dinky little theatre last Saturday. It’s upstairs in a really cool Victorian building, with a restaurant (De Kreeft Stamkafee) and pub downstairs. The service is friendly and the atmosphere relaxed; on hot summer days it is pleasant to sit out on the streetside veranda with the sprayers disseminating a cooling mist.
Proprietor Chris Kreef (he of the Kreef Hotel fame) is very well connected in the music industry and consistently brings great acts to Tulbagh. Often one artist will perform on the Friday night and another on Saturday, usually for a modest couvert fee, and on Sundays one can listen to whoever has stayed on to busk on the veranda for the price of a drink. You will, however, find yourself unable to resist the delicious food! Chris’ wife Tania Grobler is the inspiration behind the menu, which has a distinctly home style flavour, and the restaurant is especially renown for its melt-in-the-mouth steaks.
The evening we were there the artist performing was Herman Kleinhans. Not knowing much about Afrikaans music, we were very pleasantly surprised – that young man has a great voice, sensitive lyrics and obviously much talent! Egged on by the odd tequila, he was even kind enough to play a couple of more familiar English numbers for die Engelse tannies!
Sitting in the cooling breeze, we watched the sunset colour the clouds and mountains pink and counted ourselves very lucky to experience such a wonderful evening with good food, wine and live music in our little village.
Based on reviews of establishments in our area, HomeAway has been voted Best Value for Money in Tulbagh for 2015 by Sleeping-out.co.za