Get lost in side-streets, shop at eclectic markets and experience some of the most amazing whale-watching in Africa. While Hermanus is synonymous with whale-watching there’s so much more to do in this cosy seaside town. Less than two hours drive from Cape Town, we decided to visit for a weekend break, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
We stayed in self-catering apartments at The Whale Coast Hotel, allowing us the convenience of home, but with added luxuries. The location could not have been more central and, when we felt too lazy to cook for ourselves – possibly because we had had a glass too many of the local wines the night before – the mouth-watering breakfasts at the Old Harbour Café helped us regain liver function. Although we went with the enemy-of-the-waist full English breakfast, there were enough options to satisfy even the healthiest of tastes.
The first night we decided to go to Tapas, a lively Spanish-themed restaurant that served some of the best burgers we had ever tasted, whilst enjoying local live music and beers-on-tap. The following morning the team decided – some more enthusiastically than others – to do the Parkrun, a 5km global walking or running event that happens every Saturday morning in Hermanus. This particular course traverses through indigenous forest and, despite some misgivings in the morning, the beautiful scenery and clean forest air quickly swept away any of the previous night’s cobwebs away.
Rejuvenated after the run we decided to explore the town centre and one of the many local markets which sells a selection of local produce and old favourites with a twist – try the milk tart spring rolls; crunchy, warm and rolled in cinnamon sugar.
The obvious reward after such exertion is more good food so the decision as to where to have lunch and dinner was of the utmost importance. In the end we decided to go to Lemon Butta for lunch as it had the most popular reviews from our guests, was rated top for seafood in Hermanus and, as it overlooked the harbour, provided the possibility of seeing whales with a glass of wine in hand. By dinner some of us needed a steak and we decided on the romantic restaurant B’s Steakhouse – a five minute drive from our apartment.
The previous day was such a success it seemed silly to change from our new routine of gourmet foods so it was off to Harbour Rock. Once again we enjoyed great food, amazing service and views out over the sea, it was the perfect end to an amazing weekend.