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Barrydale - A Quirky Stop in the Winelands


wineWhen on the Garden Route to Cape Town its essential to break your journey and savour what the local vineyards have to offer. Top quality wines at delightfully low prices and served up in charming rustic settings perfectly placed amidst the rural backdrop.

There are many well known towns in the winelands to stop at - Franschhoek, Wellington, Paarl and Stellenbosch to name a few - and lots of wine estates to choose from...If you are a wine connoisseur you could spend some time here.

For us, with kids in tow, we were looking for a taster only and we picked Barrydale as our stop off point, on Route 62 around 3 hours out of Cape Town. This little town is brimming over with quirkiness - from the arty hotel. to the vintage diner, to the unique chandelier seller ..... It was a fun place to spend the night before our vineyard experience nearby.

karoomoonKaroo Art Hotel - Rooms are individually decorated with unique touches, there was a nice atmosphere at dinner and a band in the bar - plus there is a small pool to keep the kids entertained and take the edge off the heat. Artwork is for sale throughout the property.

The Karoo Moon Motel - There is an unusual apartment here with vintage and retro charm. Also a kitchenette, lounge bathroom, 2 bedrooms so you can really settle in and spread out. It comes with all important Air-con. South Africa is HOT in summer. The diner (Diesel & Creme) is buzzing with people sat amidst old gas station pumps and a retro mis-match of eye catching items. A visit here is essential to try the famous jam-jar milk shakes. I would bet they are better than any you have tasted before!

Hanging from the warehouse-like ceiling of Diesel & Creme is a huge red chandelier - created locally at the Magpie Art Collective, just over the road from the Karoo Art Hotel in fact. These whimsical items, made from every day objects and the imagination of the resident designers, glint in the sunlight as we peer in the window. I think my husband is glad the shop is closed or I would surely have bought something! Apparently Obama purchased a chandelier for The White House!

It's New Year's Eve and we have to hit the Route 62 again as we will see in 2016 from a prime spot in Cape Town (see my next blog). But before that we have a date at Joubert Tradauw 10 km out of town - the reason that brought us here in the first place.

Its too hot for an outside table so we have a brief winetasting and select a delicious Sauvignon Blanc to sample with our hearty real-food lunch sat round a homely wooden table inside. It's a family owned private cellar - and actually due to an unfortunate mishap with a left bag we would be back again later and to meet the family themselves. A 7 hour roundtrip from Cape Town! We wont forget the kindness and honesty of the staff here in a hurry. If you want to tuck into the vino and sample life on the farm, they have B&B rooms on site.

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