21 Things I learnt in Tulbagh

  1. Churches were well built in the 1740’s

    So much so that they still stand, looking calm and pretty, watching the comings and goings on Church Street with their thatched roof and holding all sorts of wonderful old things in their (now museum) tummies. Laurencia, who works there, is fabulous, with lots of stories to tell.

  2. There are sighs and swirls in old churches

    Even when old churches are turned into museums, the echoes of whispered prayers, wails of funeral goers, love-filled sighs of newly marrieds and enthusiastic cries of babies being baptized still swirl around the eaves.

  3. Danie Theron used to live outdoors

    It used to be possible to nick his (huge, heavy) bust off the lawns. In fact, somebody did. He was missing for around 15 years before the museum got a call from a farmer in a nearby town saying he’d ‘found it on his farm’ and asking if they’d like to buy it back. A gentle conversation about contacting the police, as it was a stolen item, resulted in the potential for an exchange of money flitting away. Danie was found one morning, back on the lawns. No note or explanation. Now he lives indoors.

  4. There’s a green oasis at the The Olive Terrace

    Situated at the Tulbagh Hotel, in the main drag, it’s the perfect spot for a cool drink after exploring town. Their staff are friendly and welcoming.

  5. Both Tulbagh and its people are lovely

    In fact, every person we met, or even passed in the street, in Tulbagh was just lovely. As is the town itself. Being surrounded by beauty, wonderful people, delicious food and wine and fresh air will do that I guess.

  6. Sicilian reminiscing is entirely possible at 1699

    I’d put money on it that Tulbagh is the only place on earth that has Arancini, a delicious Sicilian rice ball, on the menu, just above bobotie. A fabulous throwback to our Sicilian adventure. Delight at 1699.

  7. Dusk is a magical time in Church Street

    Church Street, as dusk turns into night and the sky turns that deep blue and the full moon rises on one side and the sun sets behind the gum-treed hill on the other, is magic.

  8. Nightswimming deserves a quiet night*

    Or a noisy one. The pool at Manley Wine Lodge is gorgeous in the moonlight and the song of frogs accompanies all swimming. But not the frogs. They hang out at the dam and in the river.
    *Apologies, REM, for the swiping of your lyrics.

  9. Manley Wine Lodge has very good breakfasts

    Manley Wine Lodge breakfasts: Yum. Very. Very. Yum. Manley Lodge views: Also yum.

  10. Twee Jonge Gezellen and Krone deserve a crown

    James, the new guy at Twee Jonge Gezellen is fabulous. As is the Krone. The setting is the cherry on the top.

  11. Wildebeest and hounds can be best friends

    It is entirely possible for a wildebeest to be friends with a small, highly-unpedigreed dog. The best friend hound may even be called Bubbles. This is not in Tulbagh, but on the farm of the lovely Patty’s (of Tulbagh Wine and Tourism) family further North. Tulbagh is full of surprises, though, so I can’t be sure such things don’t exist there too.

  12. Waverley Hills has salmon that tastes like heaven

    The people at Waverley Hills are also lovely. Even when you’re late because the Krone was so delicious, and the company there so good, you didn’t want to leave. The view across the valley is spectacular. The salmon is even more spectacular.

  13. Tulbagh has views and more views

    Tulbagh is encircled by the most beautiful mountains. The air is clear and the sky is blue-blue and the clouds look like kid’s drawings. The vines in early summer are vividly green.

  14. Rijk’s also has views. And gin

    The view from Rijk’s (do you see a Tulbagh trend here?) is superb. Especially at sunset on a day when the golden setting sun rays break through dark voluminous clouds. The gorgeousness of their berry-and-mint-filled Gin o’ Clock is almost too beautiful to drink in this light. But only almost.

  15. Food, food, glorious food is made at Rijk’s

    The food on the fine dining menu at Rijk’s is also beautiful. So beautiful you almost don’t want to eat it. Its deliciousness, however, makes you unable not to eat it.

  16. Picnics from Readers are spectacular

    Carol from Readers Restaurant loves cats. She is also wonderful and makes picnic baskets bursting with delightful things.

  17. A naked man welcomes you to Saronsberg

    You are welcomed into Saronsberg by a naked man with rocks on his head. He is just one of the incredible art pieces on the farm. He looks particularly imposing with rain clouds puffing up behind him.

  18. Picnics and wine are very well matched

    Saronsberg wines are sublime, and the picnic basket from Readers is so well matched to them, that they could marry. Saronsberg would be the perfect venue for the occasion too with a lawn (and indoor venue for if it rains) made for celebration and vine-covered stoep for ceremonies. And so much art!

  19. Pigs love having their backs scratched

    The pigs at Fynbos Guest Farm will fall over in a blissful trance if you brush their backs. Guido, one of the llamas there, loves the ladies. He will come running – at speed – when he sees you but then gets shy just before he gets to you. Guido may be an alpaca.

  20. Google is very clever

    It will allow you to learn the difference between a llama and an alpaca. In theory. The real-life classification is slightly more difficult. It’s better to just call them by their names. Like Guido.

  21. Always take the dust road

    Taking a wrong turn is always good. It’s one of my favourite things, really. It may lead to perfectly beautiful dust roads through farmland under a spectacular sky.

    *We were hosted in Tulbagh by Tulbagh Wine and Tourism

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One Response to 21 Things I learnt in Tulbagh

  1. Pingback: Small Town Joy: Tulbagh in a Wheelchair (Part 1) | Navel-Gazing 101

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