Light At The End Of The Tunnel: 5 Reasons to Fall In Love With Worcester
There is so much more to Worcester than meets the eye! When I first moved here back in 2017, I fell absolutely head over heels with this little picturesque town in the heart of the Boland. A town completely surrounded by mountains and luscious vineyards it still takes my breath away 4 years later. Today my wine loving friends I am going to discuss my top 5 things you can do in Worcester.
First things first – Coffee, Chocolate Croissant and Fire Oven Baked Bread
If you ever are in Worcester – you need to make a stop at Daly Bread. You just have to meet Tony! Not only does he makes the best coffee in town, but his happy vibe is incredibly infectious – he just knows how to make your day. Showcasing the true hospitality of Worcester. That is why Worcester is known as the #ValleyofFriends!
While you at it – and if you are lucky enough… grab one of those delicious Belgium Chocolate Croissant to enjoy with your coffee. Make sure you are there early in the morning because they are absolutely delicious they sell out FAST!! If you don’t want something sweet you can also enjoy a plain croissant with bacon, fried tomatoes and scrambled eggs.
Oh and don’t forget to grab one or two fire baked breads. My favourite is the potato bread and the baguette. They do ciabattas, country loaf and a rye bread. I can vouch that each one is delicious. But wait there is more, at Daly Bread you can also purchase local raw honey, nuts, dried figs, cold meat, cheese, and a mouthwatering good homemade mayo! I can promise you working a few stores away from Daly Bread is totally not good for the hips!! 🤣🤣
Enjoy a lovely picnic at the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden
The Karoo Desert National Garden in Worcester is absolutely unique. Its 154 hectare garden lies at the foot of the Hex River Mountain range, showcasing wide variety of arid and semi-arid plants. Here you will find about 400 plant species occuring naturally. 300 protected species is being propagated at the botanical gardens.
The remaining 144ha is maintained as a nature reserve. There is a few easy hiking trails for you to enjoy and soak in all the natural beauty of this garden. Be sure to look out for the many wild life that lives within the garden. There is about 70 different species including small mammals, such as Caracal, Cape Greysbok, and of course the Dassie.
You may also stumble across a tortoise. Oh! If you are an avid bird watcher you most definitely want to take the 1 km Desert Birds trail. The storyboards on the trail cover various related topics such as feather and flight, gardening for birds and how climate change affects arid zone birds.
Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy a lazy afternoon out in nature on the many manicured lawns or enjoy something hearty at the Kokkerboom Restaurant.
Best time to visit the garden? Winter is a fantastic time as the beautiful aloe collection is full bloom along with snow on the nearby peaks of the Hex Mountains. In spring without a doubt it has to be on your weekend to do list. The vygies and annuals come into full bloom across the garden, providing a spectacular and colourful display. Temperatures are still moderate and enjoyable to be out under the harsh Worcester sun.
No matter when you visit – be sure to pack in plenty of fluids, comfy walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, cameras and binoculars.
Frolicking in the Nuy
Just off the R60 towards Robertson is a whimsical valley bursting with old world charm – The Nuy Valley! Just in case you are wondering you say Nuy Like May!!
Your first clue that you are entering the Nuy area is Nuy on the Hill. This is a must stop if you ever out in the area. One can never ever get over the view! I know I am left awestruck every time I visit Nuy on the Hill.
Nuy on the hill offers breakfast and lunch if you are on the ravenous side or pop in for a coffee and one of the many life time on the hips cakes. For wine lovers of course you need to do some wine, gin and brandy tastings.
Nuy Winery has built their legacy on masterfully crafted wines inspired by their exceptional terroir and fine winemaking skills. It is also this inheritance of fine wine excellence on which their new wine selection is based. Nuy Winery’s selection of wines include the Inspiration, Mastery and Legacy ranges.
The Inspiration ranges is fun and very easy drinking quality wine.
The Mastery range will treat your palate to more complexity. Nuy Winery’s flagship range, Legacy, includes Nuy’s maiden MCC, their celebrated Muscadel, Limited edition Nuy Legacy Craft Gin, and a potstill Brandy, proving that Nuy’s wines is of a true character uniquely to the Nuy Valley.
Other than Nuy on the Hill… the Nuy Valley holds a pocket full of secrets and gems. Wandering a little deeper in the Nuy valley you enjoy more award winning wine from Conradie Family Vineyards and Leipzig Country House and Winery.
What would wine be without olives? That’s right my boozy friends – Nuy best kept secret is that both Willow Creek and Lions Creek Olive Estates are found in this gorgeous valley. So make sure to add them to your travel list and taste and bring some World Class Award winning olives and olive products home with you. Each of them are unique and offer a customer experience.
Life in the Nuy Valley is slow living – so why rush? There are plenty of accommodation to choose from; everything from rustic to luxury country living. The Nuy Valley has a way of creeping deep in your heart and you will be wanting to go back for more – I guess #onsluvdienuyvallei is so fitting.
Discovering the Worcester Wine and Olive Route
Did you know that the Worcester Wine and Olive Route consists of 12 wine cellars and 2 olive estates? Yes folks, there is indeed wine in Worcester. In actual fact the Breede River Valley is the largest wine producing region of South Africa, contributing to almost 25% of South Africa’s viticultural output.
As you start to explore from one cellar to the next you will be in awe in how the landscape changes and it will blow your mind. You have the natural beauty of the majestic Hex mountains overlooking and guarding De Wet Cellar.
Hitting towards the Nuy – the landscape changes to a fertile, luscious and absolutely beautiful scenery.
Then when you make your way down the R43 towards Villiersdorp and the Scherpenheuvel valley here you get this strong Karoo semi desert vibe going.
Just like that in a blink the scenery changes to the most stunning scenery and you have to experience it for yourself at Stettyn Family Vineyards!
I hope I don’t get into trouble for this but if you are looking for an ULTIMATE experience within the Worcester Wine and Olive Route – Stettyn Family Vineyards needs to be added to your wine list!
I highly recommended that you scrap the remaining plans for the day because once you sit down you will not be leaving any time soon! The service is top notch adding to the overall experience. You can’t taste wine without having something to nibble and Stettyn’s cheese platter oh my goodness will leaving you nibbling constantly.
So the scene is set! A Lazy afternoon or morning (we don’t judge) sitting outside under the big old trees, the feel of a gentle breeze caressing your face, nothing to hear other than the chirpie chirps of happy birds, the buzzing of bees and fluttering of the occasional butterfly, overlooking the valley as far as they eye can see, sipping on fine wine and the smell of fresh clean country air! Do I need to say more? Yes? Sorry man you just have to visit Stettyn yourself to experience it.
Just note that their tasting room is currently closed due to renovations – if all goes well they should be open again in October 2021!
So go on – just take a little road trip taking the off beaten tracks and just enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
Quaint and Quirky Farm Stalls
As you explore the Worcester area you will notice a number of cute and quaint little farmstalls. Many of them selling delicious homemade farm goodness like boeremeisies (cherries preserved in Witblitz), the famous Miss Worcestersauce, seasonal produce, roostekoek and moerkoffie and much much more.
One of my favourite instagramable farmstall is the Pampoenstalletjie just outside Worcester on the R60 towards Robertson. It is rustic and its eclectic collection of real pumpkins – from tiny to giant, and everything in-between. The pumpkin theme is carried through the décor and the products on offer, giving the entire farm stall a really irresistible sense of charm and warmth. You can also find lovely ornaments and keepsakes, preserves, fresh fruits & veggies straight from the farm, pumpkin muffins and moerkoffie, homemade ginger beer, and wonderful quince sweeties.
My go to shopping is the Barnyard Deli in the centre of town. As I am a big supporter of local this farmstall only stocks local produce. You all of Alfalfa products here like cheese including cheese with biltong and black pepper, yoghurts, cream, milk and butter. You will also find gorgeous freshly cut flowers from Adene flowers, mouthwatering cakes, homebaked pies, local meat products and so much more.
If you really want to explore Worcesters local products from the comfort of your own home – then you have to purchase a Pure Boland Market Box. The first Saturday of each month prior to Covid we had the Pure Boland Market locally known as Groenstoor. With the extension of Level 5 lockdown in April 2020, the market launches a project is a great way to sustain the local economy and small businesses. The Pure Boland Produce Box was born. Now you can order all your favourite Groenstoor items online and have it delivered to your front door.
Yes folks there is indeed light and life beyond the tunnel, and Worcester is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town so why not make Worcester your personal award winning destination!