The Definitive Guide to Activities in the Area of Nature's Valley, Plettenberg Bay Area, South Africa|
Nature's Valley has only one trading licence for a shop and restaurant, the former being well stocked, with the feel of an old-fashioned trading store. A local baker makes delicious carrot cake (which we always buy to welcome our guests at Nectar Cottage), traditional milktart and an variety of sweet and savoury foods that can be collected or delivered (contact Dawn on 044-531 6725).
Natures Way Farm stall is a few kilometres from Nature's Valley on the R102, direction Plettenberg Bay, and sells home bakes, preserves and farm eggs and dairy products made from fresh Jersey milk produced naturally off pastures (without the use of artificial hormones and antibiotics). Open from 9am to 5pm, also on a Saturday afternoon when other shops are closed. Contact Judy on 044-534 8849 or cell 082-875 7044 and watch the cows being milked or enjoy a coffee on the verandah. At the Mill Centre just above Nature's Valley in the Crags (on the road to Tenikwa and Monkey Land, etc) is a small collection of local craft shops and The Peppermill cafe which offers breakfasts and lunchs as well as those delicious home made cakes and fruit smoothies, At the Crags is a shop, petrol station and ATM. For more elaborate shopping there is the Pick & Pay in Plettenberg Bay. For fresh fish try Robberg Fish just across from the Shell garage at the large roundabout in Plettenberg Bay behind where the Liquor Guys are located.
For the culinary tourist, there are no less than 130 restaurants in the Plettenberg Bay area, see www.goplett.co.za and Dining-OUT for restaurants in the area. Here are some that are close by which we can recommend. A couple of hundred metres from Nectar Cottage in Nature's Valley is the The Valley Inn, a reasonably priced and unpretentious restaurant, beergarden, and place to hang out and, if you want, to watch TV (unless sport is on you can often request a change of channel). Just in the Crags on the N2 above Natures Valley is Bramon Wine Estate which serve tasty lunches not only inside but also to tables set out in their vineyard depending on weather and if you find an available table. Both the delightful Emily Moon behind PennyPinchers (about 1km before Plettenberg Bay) and Lookout in Plett itself are not to be missed for their stunning views. Also try Enrico in Keurboomsstrand and Rafter's Restaurant in Storm's River for wonderful views. Kurland polo club in the Crags also offers family Sunday lunches (where the kids can make their own dessert while the adults relax after lunch) and Wednesday Night Chef Table, a 6-course communal dining experience. Zinzi and Hunters are 2 restaurants on the N2, 10 km past Plettenberg Bay (direction Knysna) in Harkerville that are set in gorgeous surroundings and offer 5-star international cuisine with local seasonal products.
Knysna's restaurants range from the informal Old Goal, a former jail, to the upmarket Phantom Forest, nominated as one of South Africa's top 100 restaurants by the Food and Wine Society of South Africa in 2001. or try Chapmans for breakfasts and lunches on the square, often with live music while you dine. For a delectable lunch try 34 degrees South Restaurant and Delicatessen on the waterfront in Knysna for fresh oysters, sushi, and just about anything you care to eat or buy. If you are looking for an unusual setting, there is also a luxury floating restaurant in Knysna. for more restaurants in Knysna see www.knysna-info.co.za
For a more comprehensive list of restaurants see:
In Plettenberg Bay:
Take a scenic drive and visit the Trumilk Dairy in the pristine Bitou Valley for cheese, wine and liquor tasting. Trumilk Dairy recently received an award for the best feta cheese in South Africa.
Their production includes cheddar cheese and a handmade Camembert. Carefully selected wines from the Cape and Klein Karoo compliment the high quality cheese that can be tasted and bought on the farm.
In Knysna: www.knysna-info.co.za
On the Garden route: www.gardenroute.co.za/business/restaurant.htm
Throughout South Africa: www.dining-out.co.za
For shops & restaurants in the area see
Nature's Valley Inn
In the Harkerville forest, enjoy a romantic sundowner at Woodberry's Jam Factory where tours through the Woodberry's factory can be booked. An Explorer Landrover with guide is available to take guests through the Harkerville forest. Red Berry Farm, just off the R404 direction Oudtshoorn, is also a lovely outing where you can pick your own strawberries and enjoy refreshments in the Tea Garden and fresh farm stall.
No visit to Knysna is complete without a feast of delectable oysters, freshly harvested from the lagoon. The Knysna Oyster Company welcomes visitors at their Oyster Tasting Tavern on Thesen's Jetty where cultivated and
wild oysters can be enjoyed on site or purchased to take home.
A bit further afield, in Montagu, you can take the dired fruit route and see the factory and drying fields of Boland, Northern Cape and Lowveld fruits as a well as a variety of tree nuts.
Sundowners at Storms River