By Yvette Delport and Nelleke Elston
Like most places, George has been swept up in the coffee hype that has hit the world in the last few years and it's all the rage to know your favourite single origin grind, where it it is sourced and know your roaster by name...
Beans About Coffee
This is the closest coffee roastery to Whispering Oaks Guest House, situated literally within walking distance in the upper part of York Street. This is a great stop if you are exploring the centre of town, watch as they roast beans from all over the world in small batches and or do a coffee tasting to taste a variety of beans and roasts. Try their famous 'Sidewalk Blend' or create your own blend with a combination of varieties. They supply to local customers as well as cafés, restaurants, lodges and hotels. The decor is simple and really gives you the feeling of being in a working roastery. Look out for the neighbouring cafe, Ciabattini, that serves up delicious artisan breads and have the delicious bakes and sandwiches for lunch - a real locals hang-out.
Beans About Coffee is situated in No.1 Van Kervel Huis
117 York Street, George
Tel: 044 813 5012
Blue & Green Shed Coffee Roasters
The Blue Shed is situated in 33 Bland Street, Mossel Bay and the Green Shed is situated in Wilderness just off the main road behind Pomodoro's Restaraunt - both these coffee roasters are all about coffee-lovers. They strive to give you the best cup of coffee each time, every time. Both have a rustic feel and serve great cakes and bakes too. I'd highly recommend the lemon meringue tart at the Green Shed and their iced coffees are also devine when coming from a long walk on Wilderness Beach - a favourite stop for my husband and I.
Address: 33 Bland St, Mossel Bay
Telephone: 044 691 0037
This roaster can be found in the industrial area just outside of Mossel Bay. Baruch’s Coffee Roastery sources beans from all over the world, using only the best quality 100% Arabica beans. These beans are professionally roasted by their Master Roaster in their drum roaster. All their coffee blends are single original and sourced from the best coffee plantations from all over the world. Visit Baruch’s Coffee Shop and enjoy the atmosphere with its eccentric vintage collectable and cosy fireplace over a freshly brewed gourmet coffee. See the roasting process unfold and visit our special garden where children are welcome. Taste our freshly prepared delicious Israeli Cuisine, scrumptious cakes and much more.
KKT Building No:4
Tel / Fax:(044) 695 2078
Cell:082 774 1728
Situated locally in George at Shop 11, St Georges Square on Knysna Road, ROOT Coffee is a Micro Roastery in the heart of Eden, run by an energetic and passionate husband and wife team. When roasting, they make sure that each batch is infused with their passion for great coffee, as they continually offer the freshest roasted coffee you deserve! With their mobile unit, that can be hired for various events, they really bring their coffee to the consumer. They also sell delicious treats and pre-packed sandwiches so Root is the perfect stop for a quick lunch break.
+27 83 661 1908
+27 83 634 0448
Wilderness is situated a short distance, about 15 minutes drive, east from George. It's a quick drive along the N2 through the Kaaimans River Pass. It's known for its long white sand beach, beautiful lagoon and river mouth. The town caters mostly to holiday-makers and is usually bustling with tourists and back-packers. There is plenty to see and do for nature lovers and foodies, alike.
of Outdoor activities
The Kaaimans Gorge holds one of the most beautiful abseil sights you will find. You have a chance to do two 45m abseils right next to a magnificent waterfall. The first abseil is an easy one to get you used to the idea of trusting the ropes and the second one is slightly more technical, however just as exhilarating. What also makes this sight special is that you land in a canoe at the bottom. You need not have abseiled before, however it is not for the faint-hearted.
Acrobranch Tree Top Adventures located at the Timberlake Organic Village between Wilderness and Sedgefield along the Garden Route is well worth a visit for the whole family. Acrobranch Tree Top Adventures will take you up into the tree tops with zip lines, bridges, obstacles and over 70 elevated platforms. All in all, it is a wonderful way to get those young muscles and minds working in a beautiful and peaceful outdoor setting.
Black Horse Trails can be found at the base of the Outeniqua mountain range in the Wilderness. Named after the pitch black Friesian horses offered as their trail horses of choice, Black Horse Trails have chosen wisely, as these gentle giants are soft-natured, beautiful rides. It is a breath of fresh air to encounter a trail company that chooses their horses wisely. These easy-going, majestic horses will add magic to your memories of riding out in the beautiful forests. Amateur riders are welcome will be provided for accordingly.
Meander through the Wilderness on the Brown Hooded / Half Collared Kingfisher Trail which runs along the Duiwe River. This 7.2km walk is easy going and suitable for any fitness level. Walking down the path you will find yourself surrounded by a thriving river forest area. Often the path will cross over the river itself, take care when crossing as some stones and rocks may be slippery. Eventually you will get to a stunning rock pool area that is also an ideal spot to relax and have a picnic. Binoculars and cameras are a must on this trail with lots to look at and great photo opportunities all around you.
Nature lovers and bird watchers flock to the Malachite Bird Hide, set in the Wilderness National Park along Langvlei Lake where you can see an outstanding array of birds. This relaxing and comfortable viewing point is accessible from a sturdy boardwalk. Enjoy the splendid views and the quiet, tranquil environment around you, while peering through your binoculars at the nature around you. You can expect to see some outstanding species including the Common Greenshank, Reed and Breasted Cormorants, African Purple Swamp hen, African Sacred Ibis, African Fish Eagle, Yellow-billed Duck, Egyptian Goose and the Purple and Grey Herons and Knysna Loeries.
In its setting amongst beautiful, old Milkwood trees, with an expansive wooden deck, the Blue Olive offers patrons delicious and unpretentious food and atmosphere. The breakfast menu groans with decadent offerings, perfect for hungry holidaymakers! Lunch and dinner kick off with mouth-watering starters, including calamari tentacles, chicken livers sautéed in chilli, prawns and rocket and ostrich Carpaccio.
Pomodoro is the place where locals and tourists meet and become friends, the place where true Italian hospitality and lively atmosphere makes you feel right at home. Pomodoro is a charming family trattoria in the heart of the Wilderness Village. It is the meeting place of the locals and you will always find it buzzing with activity. The outside terraces offer a front row seat of the village activities which, together with the laid-back atmosphere and great food, makes it the perfect place to unwind after a long day sight-seeing or hiking.
Serendipity Restaurant the Top TripAdvisor-Restaurant in Wilderness and one of the Top Ten TripAdvisor-Restaurants in the whole of the Western Cape Province, offers internationally acclaimed South African inspired fine dining in a relaxed setting. Serendipity Restaurant showcase the indigenous bounty from sustainable sources, organic where possible, always fresh, lovingly sourced and prepared by professionally trained and enthusiastic chefs. Pre-dinner aperitifs are offered on the water- edge patio for guests to enjoy views of the Garden Route sunsets and the water-birds. Chef Lizelle or maître d’ Rudolf talk guests through the menu. Experience fine dining in an unforgettable setting!
For a relaxing romantic evening or quick business lunch, 101 on Meade is a reasonably new restaurant in George with a lovely ambiance and neat, modern decor. It's centrally located in George and easy to find if you don't know your way around town.
It is an 'all day dining' restaurant situated in Meade Street. Serving delicious breakfast options like toasted artisan bread, cheeses and preserves, lunch options like spiced pumpkin couscous salad and a range of delicious dinner options. This George bistro is certainly a safe option with great service.
This café is a little piece of heaven with its beautiful lush courtyard. The decor can be described as French country style and their food is beautifully presented and really delicious. Their light lunches and breakfasts are a favourite with the local business people and their courtyard is the perfect place to have a slice of cake in the late afternoon. The service is usually good, although sometimes you may wait a while for your food as the kitchen can get quite busy. It is well worth the wait, so give yourself enough time to enjoy the ambiance.
Old Townhouse Restaurant
With its open balcony and cosy bar where locals meet regularly it lends itself to a real pub feeling. The food is however sophisticated and classic French favourites are served. I would recommend The Old Townhouse for it's steaks, game dishes and it's interesting starters.
The Old Townhouse Restaurant occupies George’s Town Meeting Hall, which was built in 1848. This gives it an old-school charm and timeless elegance. Hosts and owners, Janet and Bryan, have a hands-on approach to ensuring that these elegant surrounds are inviting and hospitable. After dinner, they can often be found enjoying a nightcap with patrons at the cosy bar. The menu is characterized by top-quality, mature grain-fed beef, as well as venison, seafood, pastas and other grills. Fresh vegetables and salads come from the garden, and accompany main dishes. Homemade soups, desserts and ice creams finish off this menu to perfection. Although simple, the cuisine here is tasty, fresh and interesting. Regular specials are on offer. The wine list is varied enough to cater to all tastes and preferences.
Perfect for a romantic evening out, it has a warm atmosphere with the glass-fronted pizza preparation area open to guests. It's a lovely spot for a colder evening with a very homely and comfortable atmosphere.
“We invite you to join us and experience our delicious Al La Carte menu together with our weekly Chef's specialties. La Capannina is a family owned Restaurant serving customers with passion and pride since 2002. Our cuisine is primarily Mediterranean style including selected South African delicacies. La Capannina restaurant is a welcoming venue designed with a homely and yet vibrant atmosphere.”
The Fat Fish
After a number of years Fat Fish found the perfect home in George. With Arianna leading in the front and Dorio in the kitchen, they made a formidable family team. They newly renovated the entire building now hosting Fat Fish. Set out in the style of a newspaper, Fat Fish Chronicles not only lists the spread of delicious fish, meat and desert dishes on offer, but also brings you snippets of useful local information and activities.
"Our wish is to compliment George, become part of this growing community and share our love for all things food and wine!"
Yvette Delport, our assistant manager writes...
I recently discovered the Redberry Farm. It is the perfect day out with your family as it includes outdoor entertainment for the kids and fresh air for adults. A little electric train ride through the berry fields, harvesting berries with your kids and a horse ride are some of the activities that you will find on the farm. They also have delicious fresh berry juices, great cappuccino's and milkshakes from the coffee shop. Kids can have fun on the jungle gyms and feed the farm animals.
If you have not taken a trip up the Outeniqua mountains with the power van - be sure to book it now. It involves a scenic ride up the mountain to the old reservoir, where you can have a picnic with the family. The views are magnificent all year round.
The local library and museum are indoor activities worth doing and are both a short walk from Whispering Oaks Guest House. On the corner of the library you can find Primi Piatti Restaurant with a super play area for the little ones with a bonus Wakaberry attached to the area. Have a relaxing meal while your children play under the watchful eye of the playground assistants at Primi Pitatti.
Ster Kinekor at the Garden Route mall as well as Panarottis has a lovely indoor play area and kids entertainment, as well as child minding. Find the Garden Route Meander next to the mall were Texas Kids is all about kids activities and parents can enjoy a meal there too. An old South African favourite is the Spur restaurant which is super child-friendly and a real South African experience not to be missed.
Happy Valley is an indoor, supervised children’s play centre and party venue that offers a series of activities devoted to the physical, mental, emotional and social development of children as well as improving their creativity, self confidence and self image.
George is the perfect base for a family holiday with so much to see and do in the area. Most activities are within a short drive from the centre of town where we are situated and can be enjoyed all year round.
Our guests often ask us for advice on what to see and do in and around George, so our Assistant Manager, Yvette Delport has done some research and come up with our "Top 5 Things Do in George".
1. The Outeniqua Transport Museum & Power Van
Take a walk down memory lane when you visit the Outeniqua Transport Museum where many restored steam trains are on display, a total of 13 locomotives can be found in this museum. To top it off, there is also a private vintage car collection to complete the exhibition.
For a unique eco experience, an Outeniqua Power Van trip is the thing to do. Currently this is one of the most popular attractions in the Garden Route. Enjoy the Garden Route from the comfort of rail buses in exclusive groups. Travel into the Outeniqua Mountains, one of the most scenic railway passes in the country and experience forests, passes, waterfalls and tunnels. Flora and fauna is prolific along the route and a knowledgeable guide will make this trip a memorable experience.
2. Victoria Bay
Victoria Bay beach is the closest beach to George. It has a safe bathing area and its own tidal pool and jetty. Victoria Bay is one of the most famous beaches in the vicinity for safe bathing and a challenge to top surfers. Take a sunset stroll to the point or enjoy a light meal and refreshments at the beach cafe.
3. Garden Route Botanical Garden
Situated at the top of Caledon Street and only a short walk from Whispering Oaks Guest House, the Garden Route Botanical Garden is worth a visit for the role it plays in raising awareness about the unique kinds of flora that exists in the Garden Route. It has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, has a small nursery selling indigenous plants and a cafe with a child-friendly play area.
4. Dutch Reformed Church
What a majestic and beautiful piece of architecture against the backdrop of the Outeniqua mountains and sky. A little bit of history: The cornerstone of this magnificent "Moeder Gemeente" (Mother Church) was laid in 1832. The foundations were 6-foot-deep and five-foot-wide to carry the 3-foot-thick walls. Building materials were brought to the building site by wagon. The yellowwood and stinkwood used, came from the local forests in and around Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. The original roof was made from reeds which originated from Riversdale. This is a must-see when visiting George.
5. Outeniqua Farmers Market
The Outenique Framers Market has more than 150 food and craft stalls, live entertainment, lots of undercover seating and tons of secure parking. For the kids, there’s a train ride, pedal cars, ponycyle rides, face painting, bunnies, sand art and a massive play park. So if it’s farm fresh fruit and veggies, international cuisine, sweet treats or gifts and decor that you are after, then Outeniqua Farmer’s Market is the place for you. Bring along the whole family, pets welcome too!
Moving back to George after living in Cape Town for twelve years has been such a dream come true for me. I grew up here, being able to cycle from my parent's house to the riding club to see my horse every day. I only now realise what a privilege it was to grow up like this and hope to one day be able to have my own horse again. But for now, I religiously drop in at shows and take my toddler to see the ponies at the Riding Club as an outing.
I am so excited about these two exciting up-coming shows hosted at the George Riding Club and will definitely be going to watch. On the 22nd till 24th of April the Dressage/ Equitation Show Jumping/SANESA/ Q3 will take place at the George Riding Club. For more information, please feel free to contact Kathy: 044 871 0121 and on the 20th till the 22nd of May the Dressage/ Equitation Show Jumping/SANESA/ Q4 will take place at the George Riding Club.
A little more about SANESA - "SANESA is a vibrant and dynamic organization, acknowledged by the South African Equestrian Federation (SAEF) and SASCOC, and has dedicated itself to promoting all forms of Equestrian sport within the South Africa’s schools’ community. The Members of SANESA (Schools) are represented by their Learners. Riders do not need to belong to any other Equestrian Association/Club in order to participate at any SANESA event. It is not essential for anyone to actually own their own horse or pony to participate in SANESA – many riding school pupils compete with success at our events on borrowed horses/ponies. SANESA is striving to ensure that it is an all inclusive organisation and that anyone who wishes to compete is not disadvantaged in any way."
Another passion of mine is food. This new season of starting a guest house has been such a lovely time of combing my passions for business, people and food and I'm hoping to get more into the local food scene in the garden route by doing small catering events from my guest house soon. I am excited to attend the local Cheese Festival in Wilderness with my family and sample some local cheeses. It takes place soon the 13-15th of May. Whispering Oaks Guest House is only a 15 minute (about 14km) drive away from Wilderness. The Cheese Festival is one of the biggest annual festivals of its kind in the country. This year, the focus will remain firmly on everything cheese, and more specifically, wine related but there will also be ample activities for kids and sports enthusiasts.
In George we boast with some of the best golf courses world-wide within a short 30 minutes drive from one another. Golfing is central to our beautiful Garden Route and next month we are hosting two great events at Fancourt, the 21st successive Fancourt Amateur Open is being held from Sunday 15th to Friday 20th May 2016 as well the Fancourt Senior Open, on the 26th to 27th May 2016. Swing into form and enter this competitive fun-filled tournament, which is held annually and attracts players both locally and abroad.
The KKNK ( Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees), is a predominate Afrikaans culture event taking place in Oudtshoorn on the 24th March till the 30th of March 2016. The Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn turns into one big street festival. Food stalls line-up in the streets, historical buildings open their doors up for art galleries. Make sure you don't miss out on the amphitheatres, where big guest stars in the Afrikaans music perform. Visitors can also expect great theatre and entertainment shows like classical music concerts.
Whispering Oaks guest house is 59km (about 47min drive) away from Oudtshoorn, where the KKNK will take place. We still have ample rooms available over this time and look forward to hosting you in the beautiful Garden Route.
On Friday 12 Feb from 10 am – 6 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm you can attend the 20th George Old Car Show, this year driven by Oakhurst Insurance. I still have rooms available...
We moved into Whispering Oaks end of 2015. The last two weeks of December saw us frantically packing, unpacking, renovating, painting - all in order to be ready for the 2016 summer holiday season. Our first guest booked in on the 28th December into our Luxury Room. We would have loved to modernize the bathroom, but for now, a few modern elements introduced to a somewhat dated, but otherwise adequate bathroom will have to do. We painted the walls white, put the new flat screen television up, had lots of fun deciding what furniture and paintings would make our first guest room beautiful. My dad came to spruce up the courtyard garden (with some 'help' from Luella) We decided to splurge on queen sized extra length beds - Cloud Nine Chiroflex because my mother gets so many compliments on the quality of these mattresses which she uses in her guest house. I always thought choosing your bedlinen came down to deciding about colour or design - now I learnt that it's all about thread count and the colour choice is white or white when it comes to bedding for a guest house. I did act the rebel and opted for a lovely dove grey combined with white. We are so happy with the outcome - what do you think?
18 Caledon Street, George 044 8730451 0761987421 firstname.lastname@example.org