27 things to do in and around Greyton

Posted by Rachel Robinson on 25 April 2018 Tags:, ,

Greyton has certainly embraced the slow life, but there’s still plenty to do in around this sleepy Overberg village. Here’s 27 things to keep you busy while you are there – if you feel the need to be doing something!

Photo by Rachel Robinson

There’s a delightful little notice up on a shop window in Greyton that describes life in this much-loved Overberg town perfectly. It reads, “If we’re not in, it’s because we are (a) taking the dog for a walk (b) hanging out in the village (c) late because we had to walk the dog or grab a coffee with a friend”. Greyton has certainly embraced the slow life, but there’s plenty to do in and around the village – if you feel the need to be doing something!

1. Stay in a national monument

Photo by Rachel Robinson

The Old Potters Inn building dates back to the 1830s and, as the the name would suggest, was once home to a potter. Today you’ll find various affordable accommodation options available, from king and queen rooms (B&B) to country-style cottages, all with everything you could need for a good night’s sleep. The cottages have self-catering facilities as well as a braai (wood supplied) and a lovely wood fire stove (good for winter nights). They make an excellent breakfast and there are also light meals available in the restaurant for lunch and dinner. Plus they brew their own beer on the premises too. Not to mention the fabulous swimming pool! Beer, food, swimming pool and an adorable inn cat… what’s not to love!

Contact: Tel 0282549690, oldpottersinn.co.za

2. Take a historical stroll through the village

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Many of the buildings in Greyton date as far back as 1854 and the Aesthetics Committee works hard to conserve the architectural integrity of the village. Take a stroll through the quiet streets (watch out for horses) and see these wonderfully preserved buildings, including the cottage used by Herbert Vigne, the founder of Greyton, the Moravian church, a cobbler’s home and an undertaker’s parlour, while Vigne Lane has some of the original mud-brick houses built between 1860 and 1870. You can do the walk on your own with a map from the Information Centre, or you can take a walk with Michel Rouillard who will hold you captivated with his stories about Greyton and Genadendal.

Contact: Michel 0827079156, or ask Greyton Tourism to organise it for you.

3. Meet a donkey

Photo by Rachel Robinson

The EARS Donkey Sanctuary, just a few kilometres out of the town at the Greyton Riding Club, is a haven for ex-working donkeys and any donkey that needs a loving home or healing hands. The sanctuary welcomes visitors, but do give them a call first as it is a working farm. Penny will be only too happy to put a few carrots in her pockets and take you to meet Pedro, Lena, Boesman and Dobbin, along with the 10 or more other donkeys in their care. If you’d like to support the donkeys at EARS, you can either adopt a donkey (monthly contribution), make a donation, or visit the EARS charity shop in the Greyton Oak Centre.

Contact: Penny 0826606714 / Shanna 0746646110

4. Go wine tasting

There are three boutique wine farms near Greyton, all with their own blends and charm. Andy Mitchell Wines is a family-run garagiste wine cellar and vineyard, producing small volumes of vintage MCC; Shiraz, Bordeaux style blend (Décolletage); Pinot Noir; Chenin Blanc and Rosé, while Lisamore Wine Estate produces classic cool climate wines which are rich, complex and lovingly hand crafted.

I visited Swallow Hill Vineyard and Winery and enjoyed a languid afternoon with wine and tapas (five wines paired with five tapas) while marvelling at the beautiful view over their farm which has Tempranillo and Viognier vines. Wine tastings are certainly encouraged, but do give the farms a call first to make an appointment.

Contact: Andy Mitchell Wines 0282549045 / Lisamore Wine Estate 0282549848 / Swallow Hill Vineyard and Winery 0824239634

5. Shop for antiques

Photo by Rachel Robinson

There’s no shortage of shops filled with antiques and collectibles dotted along the streets in Greyton. On DS Botha street you’ll find Vintage & Vogue with fabrics, art, fragrances and décor; Muishuis with beautifully restored antique furniture, while next door at the Railway House you’ll find vintage clothing, art and more.

Photo by Rachel Robinson

In Oak Street the recently opened Roots Antiques – Articles de Fantaisie – holds all sorts of intriguing restored items alongside locally made jams and preserves and along the Main Road there’s Ribbons & Roses with antiques and collectables.

6. Get on your bike

Greyton is very bike-friendly and you can either bring your own or hire one. If you fancy a more sedate ride around the town, then grab a vintage-style bike from Retro Rides outside The Old Potter’s Inn. Contact: Lisa 0827875958

If you prefer to take things further, then a mountain bike from iMTB Africa is your answer. iMTB Africa also offers guided excursions in the area as well as multi-day adventure tours.

Contact: Warwick 0823990395, imtbafrica.com

If you have your own bike, the locals will be only too happy to let you know about the best trails in the area. Permits are required for the trails and you can get these from Vanilla Café.

7. Learn about the healing power of plants

Photo by Rachel Robinson

You’d be amazed at the healing properties of many of our indigenous plants that you walk past every day! From having the ability to halt cancer in it’s early stages, to soothing tooth and earache, to keeping away mosquitoes and flies, the plants that surround us hold so many healing powers, if only we knew what they could do! If you’d like to learn more about how to use indigenous plants as an alternative to your current medicine cabinet, then give Marshall Rinquest a call and he’ll gladly take you on a two-hour walk into the Nature Reserve that will make you see Wild Rosemary, Wormwood, Spekboom and Wild Dagga in a different light. If you’re lucky he may even unearth an African Potato (good for your immune system) for you to take home!

Contact: Marshall 0734861965

8. Go for tea

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Recently opened Miza & Max is all about “the lekker stuff” and that includes a wide range of Lady Bonin’s Teas, cakes, coffee, waffles and ice cream. I particularly loved their handcrafted chocolate spoons that melt into hot milk giving you a decadent mug of hot chocolate! They also have a fun play area for children (they even offer babysitting services) so it’s perfect for the whole family.
Contact: Tel 0638157498 / 0784560206

Vanilla Café offer a high tea for two with savoury sandwiches filled with cucumber, cream cheese and brie and figs, along with an assortment of sweet treats and a pot of tea of your choice. They too have a play area for children so they will be kept occupied while you enjoy your cuppa.
Contact: Tel 0282549453

9. Take a hike in the nature reserve

The Greyton Nature Reserve was established in 1977 by Professor Brian Rycroft and at roughly 2200 hectares in size, it is one of the largest nature reserves in the Western Cape. It has never been fully explored and according to Professor Rycroft, contains plants that have not been seen since they were described by Burchell in 1812! So why not go and explore it while you are there – no permit is required for entry, unless you are staying overnight on the two-day Genadendal Trail or taking on the Boesmanskloof Trail which will take you to McGregor.

You can get further details and permits from Greyton Tourism, or visit the Greyton Conservation Society for more information.

10. Meet the locals over a craft beer

Photo by Rachel Robinson
If you are in town on a Wednesday night, make sure you pop into The Old Potter’s Inn for a craft beer (or four). Wednesday night in Greyton sees all the locals gather here for a catch-up and you never know who you may meet – there are some interesting folk here! While you are listening to their stories and learning about why to avoid Sucking Susie (I’ll leave you to find out about that), be sure to have one of the inn’s craft beers in your hand. The local brewery has its home here and there are four delicious beers on tap to choose from. Plus, it’s happy hour between 17:00-19:00! You can also grab a light supper while you are here, or head out to one of the local restaurants that are open afterwards (perhaps with your newfound friends).

11. Take in some art

Photo by Rachel Robinson

As is the case with many small towns, there are plenty of artists who have taken up residence here and you can see their work at various spots in the village. These include the David Kuijers Art Studio, Gretha Quinlan candles and the Ateljee Marina Aguiar and Sculpture Garden to name but a very few. You’ll also find some lovely artworks at Oak & Vigne which you can peruse while enjoying a cup of coffee or a light meal. Just around the corner is Willow & Bailey which is also well worth a look if you like interesting and quirky handmade pieces. Greyton Tourism will point you in the right direction and put you in touch with the resident artists.

12. Have a massage

To add to your country relaxation experience, get a back or foot massage or a pedicure at Jennifer Lotter Health & Beauty in DS Botha Street.
Contact: Jennifer 0728604957

Or book an appointment at Perfect Profile Health and Beauty in the Main Road for a facial, massage, pedicure and manicure and more.
Contact: Simoney 0282549772

13. Get married in an Abbey

Photo by Rachel Robinson
Abbey Rose is not just a restaurant that serves up delicious home-cooked fare (I can personally vouch for their lamb shank served with mashed potatoes – it may be the best I have ever had), they have something rather unique in their back garden. What was once a shed, is now a beautiful Abbey where you can get married. The doors once belonged to a slave-trader in Zanzibar (you can tell by the chains engraved into the design) while the antique oak pews dating back to 1926 hail from a church in Stellenbosch. In addition there are chandeliers, original artworks by the owner and a magnificent stained glass window that took over 200 hours to complete and consists of over 2 000 pieces, 8kg of lead and 420 metres of copper foil! After the wedding, your names will be engraved on a brass plaque and placed on the chapel wall. Much classier than leaving your name behind in Las Vegas!

Contact: 0282549470, abbeyrose.co.za

14. Buy Greyton local produce

Photo by Rachel Robinson

There are plenty of locals growing vegetables and mushrooms, along with making jams, preserves and freshly baked goods. You can purchase these on a Wednesday at the Produce Market outside Via’s Deli and at the Saturday Market, which is a must if you are in town on a Saturday! It’s the go-to place first thing in the morning where you’ll find all sorts of local delights for sale as well as some delicious goodies to eat (the pies are a real winner). It’s where you will find all the locals on a Saturday and the locals know a good thing!

Photo by Rachel Robinson

From Friday to Sunday, head over to The Fig Tree Deli where all manner of goodies await, including homemade pies, cupcakes, quiches and scones, all for a very reasonable price. The deli also has take-away dishes if you don’t feel like cooking as well as a selection of locally-sourced cheeses, preserves, pates, pestos and vegan-friendly products from Real Food.

Contact: Tel 0660091065

15. Get in the saddle

Look out for the Moses family at the Saturday morning market where they offer horse and cart rides through the village, or book an outride with them through the Riviersonderend mountains and valleys where they grew up.
Contact: 0828727387 / 0761856784.

Both novice and experienced riders can also join the Greyton Riding Club for lessons or outrides through orchards, dams, streams and up into the mountain.
Contact: Robynn 0836226274

16. Indulge in handmade Belgian chocolate

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Originally from the corporate world, Richard von Geusau’s foray into chocolate creation began with a book on chocolates by Chantal Coady (founder of Rococo Chocolates) that inspired him so much that he contacted her in London. This resulted in him being invited to spend some time with her to learn the fine art of crafting luxury chocolates, which he now creates from his small chocolate factory in Greyton. Richard only uses the finest ingredients to create truffles, moulded chocolates and dipped chocolates and you’ll find these at his chocolaterie next door to the Oak & Vigne Café. Think rich slabs of dark or milk chocolate infused with Frangelico and hazelnuts or Rose Geranium; or how about a Maraschino Cherry Wedge? Von Geusau Chocolates are open over the weekend, but if you arrive and they are closed, speak to the staff at Oak & Vigne and they may open up for you!

Contact: Tel 0282549100, vgchocolate.co.za

17. Embrace plant-power

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If you are vegan or vegetarian, you’ll be pleased to know that Greyton is very plant-based friendly. Vegans and vegetarians are welcome at The Hungry Monk, Abbey Rose and Heart & Soul, while Via’s Deli and Vanilla Café also have vegetarian options.

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Pure Café serves up vegan breakfasts and lunches, as well as having a small shop where you can purchase vegan treats and vegan-friendly staples, such as quinoa, chickpeas, herbs, spices and plant milks alongside earth-friendly skincare and household products. I really enjoyed my huge plate of spaghetti with vegan meatballs, but they also do vegan flapjacks, chickpea omlettes, vegan cottage pie and vegan
mac n’ cheese to name a few.

Contact: Tel 0726699254

18. Hug a tree

Photo by Rachel Robinson
Join Colette Kemp from Terra Blossom Africa for an informative forest walk every Saturday and Sunday at 15:00 and get to know more about trees and the role they play in the forest system. Colette believes that we need to learn how natural systems work on a deeper level and if we listen carefully, nature will show us the way! Then do your bit for the environment and buy a tree from their indigenous forestation nursery on Sunday between 10:00-14:00.

Contact: Tel 0839626699

19. Shop for water-wise plants

Water-wise plants are the all the rage now that we are in the midst of a drought and you’ll find a wonderful selection at Fiore Garden Centre. They have a huge range of indigenous and succulent plants, interspersed with quirky sculptures and just taking a walk through it all has a very zen effect. The garden centre also has a coffee shop with cakes, light meals and delicious milkshakes.

Contact: Tel 0282549750, fioregardencentre.com

20. Sleep in a tipi or a hobbit house

The Blue Hippo Farm, situated a few kilometres from Greyton offers accommodation in American Indian style tipis, complete with fire places and futons, as well as hobbit houses built from natural materials. Pets are also welcome in this tranquil space where you can spend your days swimming, bird-watching, hiking, exploring or just relaxing. They also hold various workshops and retreats on the farm, including creative art-making workshops, kids camps and parties and sweat lodges and medicine walks.

Contact: bluehippofarm.com

21. Tickle a pig

Photo by Rachel Robinson
Pigs love tummy tickles and Mr Crackles at the Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary especially so! This haven for farm animals is lovingly run by Nicola Vernon and currently has over 80 pigs and 30 sheep, along with goats, ducks and geese that have been rescued and can now live out their natural lives in peace without the fear of being turned into bacon or ending up on a braai. You are welcome to visit (by appointment) and you can also volunteer your time to help with the running of the farm.

Contact: Tel 0825587752 or follow them on Facebook.

22. Support a local charity

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Greyton has three charity shops where you’ll find all sorts of bargains for a good cause. The EARS charity shop in the Greyton Oak Centre raises money for the donkey sanctuary, while Lady & The Tramp in the Main Road supports the Animal Welfare Society. The Red Cross Charity Shop (also in Main Road) has a wide range of vintage clothing and other bric a brac with the proceeds going to Red Cross. The charity shops would also greatly appreciate your unwanted goods, so perhaps take a box of old clothes or household items with you when you visit.

23. Take your dog with you

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Greyton loves dogs – you’ll see them going on walkies everywhere (some even on their own) – and nearly every single restaurant is dog-friendly. Apart from walkies in the town itself, there is a dog-friendly route near the Nature Reserve (no dogs are allowed in the reserve) and you’ll find a map of this route at Greyton Tourism. There are also plenty of dog-friendly places to stay, my personal favourite being Oewerzicht which is a few kilometres out of town.

24. Attend a festival or event

For a sleepy town, Greyton hosts events throughout the year, from pop-up dinners to beer festivals and live music. Future events worth noting in your diary include:

25-27 May 2018 – Classics for All
15-17 June 2018 – Greyton Classic MTB
1-3 September 2018 – Greyton Genadendal MTB
22 September 2018 – Detour Music Festival
27-28 October 2018 – Greyton Rose Fair
16-18 November 2018 – Greyton Art Walk

For more information about these events contact Greyton Tourism on 0282549564 or visit their website.

25. Tuck into a Sunday roast

There can be nothing better than a succulent Sunday roast and you’ll find just that at The Hungry Monk. This Anglo-Indian and Polish restaurant with a South African twist also serves up their mother’s favourite meals, which include a tapas selection, curries, fish dishes and pasta alongside South African favourites with a Euro-Asian twist (think lamb shanks and oxtail). In addition they have a separate vegan-friendly menu so everyone can enjoy a meal out together no matter your dietary preferences. You can then wash it all down with a cocktail or one of their craft beers, such as a Nun’s Tale Ale and The Blind Bishop Pilsner.

Contact: Tel 0282549680, thehungrymonk.co.za

26. Go on a mission to Genadendal

Photo by Rachel Robinson

If you are going to Greyton, you really should stop in at the Genadendal Historic Village and Museum. Genadendal is the oldest Moravian mission village in Africa, dating back to 1738 and you’ll step back in time as you wander through the church square with it’s beautifully maintained buildings. The old watermill still works and you can buy a bag of stoneground flour from the museum building. There’s also a printing museum and a restaurant in town, run by the locals. Do keep an eye out for horses and cows on the road!

Contact: Tel 0282518582

27. Escape the crowds during the week

Photo by Rachel Robinson
Most people escape the city to enjoy the quiet country life during the weekend, but if you really want to take in Greyton, then going during the week will see you having the town mostly to yourself, where only thing you will need to watch out for on the roads are the horses.

Fiore Garden Centre, The Hungry Monk, Via’s Deli and The Oak & Vigne Café are open every day of the week; 1854 Restaurant, Pure Café and Vanilla Café are open from Tuesday to Sunday; The Old Potters Inn Brew Pub and Abbey Rose are open from Wednesday to Sunday; Peccadillos is open from Thursday to Monday and Heart & Soul is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

There’s plenty to do in and around Greyton and Dee de Kock, Roslyn Petersen and Leoné Rouillard at Greyton Tourism on the Main Road will be only too happy to help organise your stay. Tel 0282549564 or visit their website at greytontourism.com.