Heidelberg: The Town of Milk and Honey
Is it possible to fall in love with an old, rustic town? Or is it possible that the place where the town is situated make your heart beat a million times faster? Whatever the reason, Heidelberg is peaceful, ragged, charming and full of possibilities.
Situated on the picturesque Garden Route or some would reckon it falls under the Overberg region, is midway of Swellendam and Riversdale. Heidelberg is known as the town of milk and honey yet throughout the time we were there, we did not see milk (besides in a coffee shop) and saw no honey but we knew it’s the land of it.
274 km east of Cape Town, the town is largely unexplored and unexploited. Why? It’s said that many locals meaning Capetonians never heard of Heidelberg before. To be honest, I hardly knew it existed with its 7000 residents. Who would’ve thought that this lush and tranquil surrounding prevails in the Western Cape?
Dating back from 1855, Heidelberg is named after the German city of the same name. The area is set on the banks of the Duiwenhoks River that can be seen along the N2 highway. It’s said that the Duiwenhoks Estuary is one of the last remaining unspoiled estuaries in the country so it’s greatly preserved.
While I linger at the hectares of farmland, my mind dwells with the thoughts of somewhere in that open space, I should be building a home and create a life amongst the most beautiful in the land; never looking back but only moving forward.
No matter where we turned, every spot was a moment to capture and as a little known gem and unpretentious nature, find out what makes Heidelberg so attractive:
Get creative with Inspired Creations
The quirky and retro building is one so fascinating that you have to pull over to look inside. Sally, the owner makes exquisite, unique and hand-crafted furnishing; showcasing her amazing talent. Her Rabbit in the Hat and Alice in Wonderland theme in bright and bold colours will make you stay and marvel at her creations forever.
The coffee shop is something out of a fairytale book; full of wonder and extraordinary. Sally recommended we try a non-alcoholic beer called Best Malt Marula; a 500ml can that taste like a beer but is more like an energy drink which we happily obliged and a cup of coffee while I admired at this beautiful creation.
Address: Doornboom Farm, On the N2, Heidelberg, 6665 | Phone: 076 972 0701 | Visit website here
Lunch at Delish
A few kilometers away from Inspired, we stopped to have lunch at Delish; one of the many restaurants in the vicinity and a pit-stop favourite for the whole family.
The menu is filled with mouth-watering eats from the traditional bacon and egg with a hot cup of coffee, to lunch like our steak burger with a side of potato wedges to the infamous pizzas I heard so much about. Even their dinner selection from T-bone and steaks is a delicious treat.
Address: Kloof Street (N2), Heidelberg, Western Cape | Phone: 028 722 185 | Website: http://www.delishn2.co.za/
Grab a snack at The Biltong Factory
Whenever Courtney hears there’s a biltong shop somewhere, we bound to stop and taste everything in the store. Indulge in so many South African favourites from chili bites, droewors, kudu and so many more varieties that can make you want a 1kg of everything displayed in the window.
Address: 7 Eksteen Street, Heidelberg | Phone: 028 722 2358
Marvel at History
Churches play an important role in the establishment of a town or village. The Dutch Reformed Church, built in 1913, can be seen the minute you drive into the town with it’s soaring steeple in the center of Heidelberg, and diagonally opposite it, is the plainer St Barnabas Anglican Church, consecrated in 1860.
Historic Homes in Fourie Street
Old buildings that have been restored is always a treat for me. Fourie Street is calm with no one in sight. Seen as the backbone to the history of Heidelberg, it’s enchanting knowing that the Blue Victorian house once was a boarding house for schoolgirls, and at No. 21 the double-story Brugsig was a refuge for women during the Anglo-Boer War. If you look closely, you’ll see it still has bullet holes in the front door.
Explore by foot
Park your car and explore the town on foot. Yes, it’s a town like many other small towns riddled with poverty but it’s they always stick together. We were so lucky to visit during a soccer match that the whole community gathered at.
The screams, giggles, and laughter sounded like one big party. Big, small, black, white and coloureds all huddled together in the small community stadium in the midst of winter made my heart beat with joy.
Never underestimate a small town like Heidelberg. It will pull on your heart strings and forever be imprinted in your mind.
Until the next small town.