A Night in Quirky Barrydale

Barrydale is one of those towns just far enough from Cape Town to have avoided being a ‘commuter town’ overrun with city people rushing in and out, but just close enough for it to be a pleasant drive for a long weekend. We decided to tack a day onto our trip to Grootvadersbosch and headed up last Thursday to stay at the fantastic Karoo Saloon and explore the little town a bit.

Arriving just in time for lunch, we headed to Klassikaroo, on owner, Janet’s, invitation and what a treat it was. Chef Dino and waitress, Yvonne, treated us to the most gorgeous meal. Again, one doesn’t need to be in the city to eat like royalty.

After freshening up (and checking out the lay of the land – a fabulous indoor section, and a lovely courtyard out back), we settled on the front stoep, with its view over the town of Barrydale, the Langeberge in the distance, a glass of chilled white wine grown in the valley to enjoy it with.

Chef Dino suggested I try one of the specials of the day – Kingklip con Cozze. I never argue with a chef’s recommendations and it’s never failed me yet. Mussels, cooked in vanilla, wine and saffron, over grilled-to-perfection kingklip, served with basmati rice and garlicky brocolli. Too divine. And oh-so-pretty, scattered with its purple pansies.

GM chose the chicken schnitzel – an incredibly generous portion with velvetty, paprika-infused (I think. I’m no food guru, but I’m pretty sure it was paprika) cheese sauce – served with fresh salad and chips.

After chatting to the fabulous woman who owns the Barrydale Hand Weavers (they have the most gorgeous handwoven goodies), and admiring both the range of face pots outside and the delightful pug, Ozzie, we took a drive around town.

Barrydale is pretty and old and a little quirky. Just the way I like my towns. We’d have taken an amble down the main drag, but it was in the high 30-degrees and our tummies were full of the delicious Klassikaroo food.

Barrydale, you’re mighty fine, we didn’t have nearly enough time to enjoy the galleries and little shops, so we’ll be back soon!

Wheelchair accessibility

Klassikaroo is totally wheelchair friendly, with a ramp from the parking space in front of the restaurant. Inside and out to the back courtyard is also flat and there is a big, accessible bathroom that would allow front or side transfer onto the toilet (but no grab bars) and easy access to the basin. The tables are high enough to fit under, too. Bravo!

Most of the little shops and restaurants along the R62, including the Tourism Office, have ramps up to them, incredibly, considering it’s a fairly steep little hill. Down in town, the main drag is relatively flat but, as I said above, it was just too hot to explore on foot.

We’ll go back, though, don’t fret, to check out the rest!

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