Today we visited one of our favourite towns close to Cape Town – Riebeeck Kasteel. It is situated in The Riebeeck Valley, about 80km north-east of Cape Town. We have been to this village many times, but will always return to experience the exuberance of this place again and again.
This is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. It was named Riebeeck-Kasteel in honour of Commander Jan van Riebeeck who initiated an inland discovery expedition in 1661. It lies at the foot of the Kasteel mountain. During 1900 the town was laid out around its existing church and one of the oldest hotels of South Africa, The Royal Hotel. Eventually the town developed and today there are almost 3 000 residents, some of them famous painters and artists.
Our first stop was at the Olive Boutique which was established in the year 2000 when the owners imported their first olive oil press from Italy. The Boutique now has new owners, Derek and Susan. Derek gave us valuable information about buying good olive oil while we were tasting olives and vinaigrettes. If the label says “Olio Di Oliva” or “Oil of the Olive”, you can be sure that it contains the best olive oil. The best way to be sure of getting quality Olive Oil is probably to buy South African. If you want to know more, visit their website, www.olive-boutique.co.za.
In the town itself, we parked the car and strolled up and down the streets with our cameras clicking away. All the shops and eateries are charming, the people of the town are friendly and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. We came upon a chocolatier where the chocolates are too beautiful to eat. We took photographs of the graceful church; bought a few goodies at some of the shops; took more photographs and then, at last, we went to our favourite restaurant, Bar Bar Blacksheep.
The inside of the restaurant takes your breath away – the decor is over the top beautiful, but we prefer to sit outside when we visit them. A young man who we presume has to be the sommelier because of his knowledge of the wine list, informed us about the wine and paired it with the menu. Then we ordered our meals. I had a vegetarian pasta, Tagliatelle Putenesca, which was extremely flavourful. Deon ordered as a main meal Chicken Princess with mash and veggies, which he enjoyed.
For dessert we decided to share the chocolate cheesecake and it was a wise decision, as it was too much for one person only. Deon had coffee (I do not like coffee!) and then it was time to go home. We took some more photographs and strolled back to the car, reluctant to go home.
We really love Riebeeck-Kasteel. Maybe one day we will live there.