We all have those moments. Times when the daily wear and tear of mundane chores, deadlines, and the relentless pace of every day everything leaves us needing to take a breath, but even the air seems stale. That’s when I know I need a break, take some time out. Time for a getaway.
One of the great things about living in the Cape Peninsula is that there are so many great getaway spots just hours from the city. There really is something for every taste, so it’s up to you to choose your poison, or in my case “peace”. That can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but when I think of peace, I think ocean. And while in my hood has no lack of ocean, there’s just something about the little seaside town of Hermanus.
Hermanus is popular, and some of the holiday accommodation is upmarket, so first port of call was to find “affordable” accommodation for 4. I was lucky enough to find a midweek, low season special at Pelagus guesthouse. If you are anything like me, booking a “new” place is quite daunting. It’s one thing if I am travelling alone but when you have company, there is always that concern that things may not be up to scratch. Pelagus, however, did not disappoint. The 4-bed unit was spacious and clean, and, while our rooms did not have an ocean view, we had a balcony overlooking the swimming pool, and another from which we could see the sea. The guesthouse also boasts a spacious lounge and balcony with glorious vies of the ocean. The staff were friendly, efficient, and very responsive to our needs. And the deal included a full breakfast every morning. And, as if all that is not enough, Pelagus is perfectly situation. Once we had parked our car, we left it unused for the duration of our 3-night stay. One steps out of the front gate and there is the sea, with the beautiful cliff path walks. Everything is within walking distance.
Of course, accommodation is but one part of a trip like this. So, what there to do? One of the great things about Hermanus is that there really is something for everyone. For the adventurous one can do any and everything from kayaking on the ocean, to shark diving and helicopter rides and boat-based whale watching. For those who like browsing there is the craft market, the art galleries, quaint little boutiques and so much more. Culture vultures can visit the whale museum and the, not to be missed, photo museum.
Good places to eat (and drink) are not in short supply. There is something to suit every palate, from gourmet dinners to bistro meals, from authentic Italian fare to homestyle South African favourites and, of course, like any seaside town, lots of fresh, delectable seafood.
Whenever, I visit Hermanus, apart from visiting all my favourite standards, I like to find something new. And the town never fails to surprise. On this trip, walking around the…., I chanced upon … where an enterprising young woman sells her “recycled,” clothing. The shop was an absolute delight, boasting a trendy range at very reasonable prices.
On our last evening we chose to eat dinner at Fick’s. The setting is sublime, with the deck overlooking the tidal pool, and the sun setting over the vast expanse of sea. The service was good, the menu offered something for everyone, and the tapas did not disappoint. A memorable way to end our little breakaway.
However, while there are always new things to discover, there are some old, not to be missed, stalwarts that are always worth a revisit. For me, no trip to Hermanus is complete without walking the cliff walk, a meal at Ocean Basket and an hour or so browsing in Hemingway’s Hermanus’ treasury of old books.
We arrived in Hermanus on a Tuesday and one Friday morning we were heading home with our batteries recharged and a fistful of delightful memories, and the never to be missed when driving up the coast, stop at Peregrine Farm Stall on the way back to Cape Town.