16 Nov 2017


“Wellington is an unpolished gem,” said Birgit Schmiederer who runs the Jacaranda Wine Farm in the small Cape Winelands town. Her words perfectly summarise what I discovered in Wellington! It’s as charming as Franschhoek but just not as ready for tourists as other small towns around Cape Town  – yet it’s getting there!

I decided to explore it with my then-fiancé in tow and planned an itinerary of places we wanted to go see. The best advice for making the most of a weekend in Wellington, just like any other small town in the Western Cape, is that everything will be closed on a Sunday.

Jacaranda's Wine Farm is a lovely little spot to unwind and overnight at. It’s a working farm, and guest house, so you feel that you are part of an authentic experience – and on arrival, we were immediately greeted with a glass of the farm’s wine and two wagging dogs (they also have eight cats, chicken and you can say hi to the neighbor’s cows).

Rene and Birgit who run the place have lived in China and Europe, finally settled down in the quaint town of Wellington in the winelands where the produce and export their farm’s wines – and run the little guest cottages on the side. Our cottage (see first photo) had a view of the vineyards and the beautiful mountains of Wellington. 

We arrived on Friday evening, and had exciting things planned for the weekend ahead. 

Breytenbach Sentrum

Saturday morning is the best time to go into Wellington’s city center as shops, restaurants and museums are open! After accidentally walking through the beautiful “Tuin van Digters” (translated: Garden of Poets) we stumbled upon the front door of the Breytenbach Center, which is an art gallery and coffee shop. It’s usually very easy to find – but the curator had forgotten the front door keys that day.

Perfectly curated, the gallery is home to a rich collection of art along with some famous names! We were lucky enough to meet one of the curators who runs the art gallery; she’s as warm and eclectic as the place itself. The gallery also has a lovely upstairs verandah and the Breytenbach Sentrum hosts many exhibitions and events – so it’s worth checking their calendar or Facebook page before visiting!  

Welvanpas hiking 

Known as a famous mountain biking spot, with endless trails through the farmland and hills, Welvanpas certainly surprised us as being a perfect hiking spot too. At the end of the hike, we thought we had gotten lost as a bit of the trail goes through the vineyards (with many MTB only tracks snaking through it). We were surrounded by hills, no farmhouses or roads in sight, but the hiking path luckily took us back to the starting point.

Welvanpas has a great little coffee shop from which you can start the trail (you pay a minimal entry fee and write your name in the guest book) and then you can choose from two main hikes to choose from.

The shorter hike is great for young families; it meanders along a river until you get to a small pool and waterfall. The longer hike (about three hours) takes you through fields, mountain fynbos, pine forests and vineyards. It was magical!

Redemption Leather

Probably one of the most famous leather shops around, Redemption Leather delivers on price and quality! I bought a delicately handcrafted pair of black leather shoes for R450. Now that’s a bargain! The shop has one of the prettiest little gardens, and we sat outside listening and watching the birds before we left. Redemption has a great assortment of bags, belts and shoes. 

Oude Wellington 

If you’re after an affordable meal with a great view, I’d recommend Piza eVino although it does have a bit of a chain restaurant feel. Birgit said for a true Wellington experience she’d rather recommend Grillroom @ Val du Charron and we also checked out Oude Wellington, which is amazing but pricey.

Quenti Alpaca (Klein Limietriver Farm) 

Unfortunately, the couple who run Quenti Alpaca were away on this weekend. Booking is essential and I do have it on good fortune that this is an amazing place for learning about farming alpacas and processing the alpaca fibre.

Wellington Museum in Church Street

Sadly, this is another one we missed because we, well I, didn’t think it’d be closed on a Saturday afternoon. Combine the Wellington Museum with the Breytenbach Sentrum and you should be good to go! 

The museum's opening hours are: 

Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm 
Sat (Oct-Feb): 9am-1pm 
Sat (Mar-Sep): By Appointment Only
Public Holidays: By Appointment Only

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