Pancakes in Paternoster

Posted by Alison Beere on 4 December 2011

My kids have awarded their favourite aunt a medal for establishing an absolutely delicious weekend getaway tradition.  Feats like that always deserve recognition, right? This time it was in Paternoster on the West Coast.


Well established weekend traditions

Our weekends away with the cousins are a regular treat and thanks to Aunty Heather, pancakes always make up part of the picture. So much so that even when we go away alone now, the kids manage to sneak eggs, milk, flour and baking powder into the supply box.

And that’s how we came to discover that’s there’s a pancake pan worth leaving home for – in Paternoster.


The West Coast – ahead of the pack

Yep, grasping at the sunny weather and preempting the Silly Season rush, we made a dash up the West Coast for a weekend. 150 km from Cape Town we found a fabulous (and pet-friendly) cottage with a delightfully eccentric landlady just a stone’s throw from the beach.


A stone’s throw? That’s lucky …

Actually, most of Paternoster is close to the beach. It’s still a relatively sleepy fisherman’s village at heart although a property boom has seen a lot of weekend warriors descending on the place. Boo hoo. I hope the feisty local residents manage to defend it against unsightly edifices or it will lose a lot of its charm. And, if you are tempted to buy property there, please do the decent thing and put up a tasteful house in keeping with the surroundings.



Paternoster is blessed with incredible surroundings: Lovely beaches where oystercatchers add colour and interest with their kleeping cries; a local visitable lighthouse to tour; the best sea-kayaking conditions in South Africa; whales (humpbacks and southern right) breaching right before our eyes; Heaviside’s dolphins playing in the surf; all manner of terns twisting overhead and wild flowers in bloom all over the great outdoors.


Outdoors all the way

Given its earthy attractions, Paternoster is ideal for outdoor lovers and not a dream destination for those who like to shop. However, there are three renowned restaurants in the village so if good food is your thing you can enjoy the local seafood for which the area is famous.


Seafood? Oh yeah!

Paternoster is renowned for its crayfish and mullet as well as all manner of line fish. If you’re really lucky you may even see the fisherman operating their trek nets from the beach. You can buy their catch fresh and straight off the boat and take it home to pop in your pot or frying pan.


What’s your weekend tradition?

We’ve come full circle to that legendary pan we found for preparing our favourite weekend treat! Our accommodation was incredibly well equipped and we have no hesitation recommending it to you and anyone looking for a cosy cottage for four. Finding a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan that didn’t stick was the cherry on the top.


A summary of Paternoster at a glance

  • 150 km from Cape Town, it’s an easy 90 minute drive with little traffic
  • Wonderful beaches, hikes, kayaking, marine and bird life
  • Some of the best restaurants on the West Coast. Click here to find out where to eat in Paternoster
  • A good choice of accommodation options, you’ll find something to suit you, regardless of your personal preferences
  • Easy to tack on to the end of a day or two spent on the Flower Route in spring next year


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