Sunday, December 16

WESTERN CAPE: BUY HERE: Our insider’s guide to Durbanville

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Growing families seeking spacious homes will find this in the suburb, along with greenery, parks, dams and rolling farmland hills. It's a wine-tasting destination with beautiful ocean and mountain views stretching from Stellenbosch

Durbanville is for those who appreciate plenty of open space in which to breathe and have nature within sight daily. So says resident and photographer extraordinaire, Claire Gunn.

“The main pull of Durbanville is that it is perfectly situated between the CBD and the Boland. It is a large suburban area with lots of greenery, parks, dams and rolling farmland hills, and the long, winding road trip-worthy roads that lead to them,” she says.

It’s a destination for wine-tasting with exquisite views all the way to the mountains of Stellenbosch on the one side and to Table Mountain and the ocean on another, depending on which wine farm you choose to visit, says Gunn, who lives on the edge of the suburb.

We have experienced an increase in sales volumes and prices over the past year, although the relative affordability of Durbanville is still the major attraction. – Charl Louw, director of Chas Everitt International Northern Suburbs and partner Adél Louw Picture: Supplied

“My family has lived here since I was 12. Although I have moved away several times I keep coming back to this inspirational and beautiful green area,” she says.

“It’s great for nature lovers. Not only is it packed with trees within the housed areas, but it only takes between five and 10 minutes to drive away from the centre of Durbanville and find yourself looking at a vast expanse of farmed hills or koppies with vineyards, trees and distant mountains.”

Durbanville is a mecca for the hobby and sport of mountain biking, says Gunn.

“The Tygerberg MTB club is extensive and has routes through most of the wine farms with green belt passages and clubs and pump tracks set up for a healthy lifestyle.

“Saturdays and Sundays are well-suited for cyclists to be out and about on the mountains, then in coffee shops after the ride.”

Events, live music and wine festivals occur throughout the year at the various estates, and the area is a family-oriented environment with many schools and restaurants.

Charl Louw, director of Chas Everitt International Northern Suburbs, says demand for homes in this already popular area has been boosted by the launch of the posh Clara Anna Fontein estate on its northern edge and several smaller new developments in its suburbs.

This gracious four-bedroom family home in the heart of Eversdal is for sale. Picture: Supplied

“We have experienced an increase in sales volume and prices over the past year. The relative affordability of Durbanville is still the major attraction, especially for growing families seeking spacious suburban homes close to excellent schools and other amenities,” says Louw.

There is especially good value to be found, he says, in more established central suburbs such as Valmary Park and Durbanville Hills, where many buyers seek sturdy “traditionals” to renovate – or homes that have already been modernised – at prices ranging from around R2.5 million up to about R6.5m.

“Homes often have lovely views of the Durbanville Hills and buyers will pay a premium for that. The upmarket Belvedere security estate, for example, has recently seen several buy-to-renovate transactions,” says Louw.

“Young professionals are streaming to the area because it offers a great combination of reasonable proximity to workplaces in Cape Town and Century City and an opportunity to enjoy a great quality of life in a low-key environment and a wide range of outdoor activities in the surrounding countryside,” says Adél Louw of Chas Everitt.

Claire Gunn’s favourite places and things to do 

I live on the edge of the suburb, before it becomes farmland, and it is absolute heaven. I see the hills, mountains, vineyards, birds and farmland every day. – Claire Gunn, resident. Picture: Supplied

1 Shop

Durbanville is mostly a mall shopping experience (Tyger Valley, Willowbridge and so on), but the main high street in Durbanville (Wellington Road) is being upgraded. The oldest shopping arcade is being overhauled and a new square is being installed up the road. Most go to malls closer to Bellville or Brackenfell but I, like many long-time Durbanville residents, prefer to use our smaller, local fruit and veg market and Boer & Butcher (0219768627) in the town centre. I also buy farm eggs, and vegetables straight from the ground from an NGO operating at Anna Beulah Farm, five minutes outside Durbanville (0837006676). There you will find a beautiful story of local hospitality and community support on a small patch of farmland as well as a coffee shop, deli and farm grocer, pottery classes, and a school for farm residents’ children.

2 Coffee

My favourite coffee shop is situated just off the main road of the town centre – Chocolat in Oxford Street. Old world architecture, vintage boere-chic interior, the best coffee and staff who know your regular orders. 0219752426

3 Wine

Farms and wineries along the Durbanville Wine Route offer beautiful scenery and views, award-winning wines and restaurants ranging from fine dining to casual pairings. De Grendel showcases Table Mountain, the city of Cape Town and the seaboard all in one landscape (0215586280), while at Nitida you can try wines with a selection of tapas. 0219761467.

Enjoy a tapas pairing at Nitidia, one of the farms in the Durbanville Wine Valley. Picture: Supplied

4 Market

Meerendal holds a Farmers’ Market on certain Saturdays of every month from 7.30am until 5pm. Housed in an all-weather marquee, the market features a selection of products and gifts, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, dry goods, preserves and home-made confectionery. Freshly cut flowers and an assortment of pot plants and succulents are also on sale. The farm is also a venue for this season of Galileo Open Air Cinema. 0219751655.

5 Outdoors

Go cycling, hiking or riding in nearby vineyards and hills. There are many well-established mountain bike routes and hiking trails, and equestrian facilities and stables abound on the outskirts of the area. For gentler pursuits, visit the 3.5ha Durbanville Rose Garden, which boasts more than 500 rose varietals, or the Durbanville Nature Reserve, which showcases unique fynbos. 

6 Eat

Celebrity chef Jenny Morris, aka The Giggling Gourmet, opened her second Yumcious restaurant a few months ago in the Durbanville Centre where you can dish up from the famous KiloTable buffet. The offerings change all the time so there’s always an exciting new selection of salads to try, as well as hot dishes – meats and vegetables. One thing you can be sure of, however, is that the famous award-winning pork belly, with crackling that crunches loudly when you bite into it, will unfailingly be there. Open daily from 8am until 5pm. 0658277777.

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