This West Coast village, which is close to the world-famous annual displays of spring flowers, has taken steps to ensure it maintains its appeal for residents and visitors
About 90 minutes from Cape Town up the West Coast you will find the charming village of Paternoster, one of the oldest fishing villages in the Cape.
Building regulations have ensured the maintenance of the architectural style, so the quaint homes are low and whitewashed, with blue accents, to appropriately capture the feel of the seaside location.
Rolling dunes and fynbos fields transform the region into a riot of colour in spring when the flowers bloom. The season is short, and the blooms open their petals only when the sun shines.
Columbine Nature Reserve is about 5km from the village, and covers 263ha along a rocky stretch of coastline. The bay, which is part of the reserve, has many picnic spots and braai facilities.
The Cape Columbine lighthouse is the last manually operated lighthouse in the country. It was built in 1936 on Castle Rock and its light casts a beam visible from about 50km. It is usually the first South African lighthouse seen by ships travelling from Europe.
Paternoster is still true to its fishing origins, and the restaurants have lots of local sustainable seafood on the menu. Fishermen do sell on the side of the road, so please make sure you are not buying anything endangered.
“The architecture gives the village outstanding tourism and holiday appeal,” says Seeff Paternoster agent, Marina Enslin.
“There are strict development and architectural regulations which means the village will retain its look and feel, adding greatly to property values.”
Regarded as an exclusive coastal resort village with property prices trending slightly higher than most areas, there are five sectional title properties for sale, says Enslin. Prices range from R1.85million for a two-bedroom/one-bathroom unit with limited views, to R3.6m for a three-bedroom/three-bathroom unit with unobstructed views.
“Full-title erven range from R300000 for a 300m2 erf, furthest away from the beach, to R4m for a 425m2 erf, and full-title houses from R1.66m for a two-bedroom/one-bathroom house to R8.3m for a six-bedroom/six-bathroom house with greenbelt on three sides and lovely views,” she says.
“There are no developments, but there are opportunities in the Oyster Close Development which has erven for sale – on the beach in a lovely area with prices ranging from R975000 for 380m2 in the third row from the beach, to R2.975m for a 340m2 erf in the front row. Architectural guidelines ensure all properties will have views.”
Places of interest and things to do in the area
Abalone House is an intimate boutique hotel known for its eclectic Tretchikoff-inspired decor. The in-house Reuben’s Restaurant dishes up a West Coast-inspired menu from celebrity chef Reuben Riffel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea are served in the restaurant, while the bar is ideal for socialising over cocktails, wine, French champagne, single malt whiskies or brandy (0227522044 or 087 820 5999). Overlooking the beach on the north-eastern side of the village, chef proprietor Garth Almazan’s restaurant, Leeto (which means “journey” in the Khoi language), offers local culinary treasures, including sustainable seafood and free range venison, as well as a selection of creative vegan and vegetarian dishes.The bar is filled with excellent coffee and a good selection of local craft gins and beers, as well as a wine list that promotes wines from the West Coast region. (0609270403)
The Panty Bar at Paternoster Hotel is legendary. Once a jail, the world-famous collection of “honeymoon panties” was started by Johan Carosini in 1974. The collection was taken down in 1983 after a clergyman reported it to the police as an “unholy practice”. The police officer responsible for removing the collection was nicknamed “Panty” Basson. The collection was resumed in the 1990s and continues to flourish. (0227522703).
There are lots of lovely ways to enjoy nature around the village, including beach buggy rides, fishing, bird watching (more than 255 species in the area), horse riding on the beach, kayaking and yacht charters.
Paternoster Art Route opened six months ago. Covering eight galleries and studios, you can walk or drive the 5km route. For more information, call 0828248917.
The bustling metropolis that is Vredenburg is only a short drive away, but there are a few places in the village that will save you this trip. The Paternoster Xpress (0227522621) has all the basic needs and bakes bread and rolls daily. It also sells ready meals and freshly baked pies, croissants, muffins, milk tart and cheesecake, and stocks organically grown, hydroponic veggies. At Spot On Deals, you can buy fresh or smoked snoek, angel fish and bokkoms, and pick up your bait if you prefer to do your own fishing. (0227522219)