Places of interest and things to do in Riebeek Kasteel
There are quite a few eateries for such a small village, but locals will tell you Mama Cucina is one of the best. It’s always busy and full, and some people even make the trip from Cape Town just to have a meal here. The pizzas are amazing – available on wheat-free and gluten-free bases as well – and the blackboard specials are as delectable as they are creative. Owners Johan Hurter and Coenie Kruger are always there, front of house and in the kitchen respectively, unless they are travelling somewhere wonderful. 0224481676.
Visit one of the several wine farms in the area, or, if you’re very pressed for time, The Wine Kollective in the village carries a fabulous selection of the region’s wines at cellar door prices. Proprietor Anton Espost does (very) informal tastings on Saturdays, and will advise you about what to buy (or not buy) once he has ascertained your preferences and your budget. 0224481008. A gin and tonic on the stoep at the Royal Hotel (0224481378) is an absolute must, or pop in at Kasteelberg Country Inn (0224481110) for good, old-fashioned country hospitality. Word is that the best coffee is served at Beans About Coffee (0224481653), which also serves all-day breakfast.
Go to Crisp (0224481769) for great fresh produce and superb bacon from Deli-Co, which is in Riebeek Kasteel as well, but not open on Sundays. Crystal & Twine (0224481290) has beautiful homeware and all sorts of pretty odds and ends. King Olaf (0825173249) is where to go if you’re on the hunt for real vintage furniture and collectibles.
Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West have so many lovely places to overnight. I’ve stayed at quite a few, including Kasteelberg Country Inn, Vineyard Views Country House, and Dennehof House (owned by Hurter and Kruger of Mama Cucina fame). At Vineyard Views, your experience is hosted by owners Gareth DewarPienaar and Grant Dewar, who live on the property. This translates into attention to detail and personal service. For example, you’ll find them cooking your breakfast in the open-plan kitchen when you get up in the morning. Of course, if you prefer privacy, you can have that too. 0221000256.
Usually the twin towns Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West host their annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival celebration of a good olive harvest in May, but this year the festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing drought. But of course olive products will still be available for sale in the town.