Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles know that travelling with children is somewhat different from those days when all you had to think about was your own gratification. Suddenly you need a place where the kids can have a fantastic time while the adults have a peaceful bite and drink a tea or coffee while it is still hot.
While the days here in the Garden Route are still spectacular, there are a couple of places you have to put on your to-do list…
Situated just outside of Plettenberg Bay, on the N2 opposite the Keurboomstrand turn-off, is the wonderful Thyme and Again.
In 1936, J.J. de Kock toured the entire South African coastline and decided to build a beach cottage at Keurboomstrand, the beach he believed the most beautiful in South Africa. Almost 80 years later his granddaughter Tessa moved to Keurbooms to start a small farm stall next to the N2. Starting out as a veggie stall it slowly grew into the bustling attraction it is today.
Nowadays the farm stall is run by business partner Kirsten with an increased focus on catering to families with young children. They have built an enchanting castle playground, created a kiddie’s menus and offer bespoke birthday party packages in the café.
The wooden benches outside is a great place to sit and keep an eye over the kids while indulging in scrumptious savoury and sweet home-made delights from their very own bakery as well as carefully selected, local delicacies and an excellent collection of fine wines mainly from the Western Cape. Recently they also broadened their range of specialities, bakes and café meals to include treats which are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and the generally health conscious consumer. Their moto – Indulge in treats that make you go ‘mmmm’ thyme and thyme again! – lives up to its promise!
Trading hours vary seasonally. Generally the café is open from 08h00 – 16h00 and the farm stall 08h00 – 17h30.
Exactly half way between Sedgefield and Wilderness is Timberlake Organic Village. A hamlet of timber buildings often passed over, a stop here will not leave you disappointed.
With both Zucchini Restaurant and Rustic Windmill, a quaint little coffee shop, Timberlake offers one of the best family outings in the Garden Route.
Catering for children who are a bit more independent, Timberlake offers many attractions available for the young ones, including a big jungle gym, a Faerie Garden walk, bike train rides, Acrobranch – a unique adventure on zip lines – and also an hour long horse trail that will soon be offered by the dynamic co-owners of both Zucchini and Rustic Windmill, Stephan Henning and his wife, Lyndsay Main.
Stephan moved from the Free State to the Garden Route in 2007 to open Zucchini, a restaurant that would fit well into the echelons of great Johannesburg eateries. Zucchini is well known for their unique range of giant burgers served with potato wedges and sweet potato fries. With a seasonally changing menu and rustic plating, both adults and kids will be delighted and you might just get the kids to eat their veggies too.
If their Koppie Vreugde, a chocolate fondant cake baked inside a cup covered in red berry coulis and ice-cream, does not satisfy your sweet tooth, try one of Rustic Windmill’s decadent range of milkshakes. The lemon meringue milkshake will have you coming back for more.
Zucchini is open Monday – Wednesday 09h00 t0 17h00, Thursday – Sunday 09h00 – 21h00.
Rustic Windmill is open Monday – Sunday 09h00 – 17h00.
Near the George Airport on Geelhoutboom Road in George, is Redberry Farm.
With its wide open spaces, Redberry offers a wide variety of activities for the whole family. While you can pick your own strawberries, find your way through the largest hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere, take a ride on the mini train, ride a pony, get into a bumper boat or jump into the bubble ball on the dam, you and your kids are really spoiled for choice. The kids play area offers a nice variety and is well within sight of the outdoor tables and the birthday party venue.
Redberry Farm, as we know it today, was once a dairy farm and was purchased in 2001 by Dave Cruse and Mark Miller and, where once mushrooms grew, they now process strawberries.
Scones with strawberries and cream are a firm favourite from the Red Shed Coffee & Berry Bar. Don’t miss their March special of ½ priced cocktail.
They are open Monday – Saturday 09h00 – 16h00.