I have really fond memories of Montagu. My parents would pack up the car on a Friday afternoon and as soon as my brother and I got home from school, we would jump in and head on the 2 hour journey. The obligatory Wimpy stop for a cheese burger and fries with the bright pink tomato sauce staining our fingers, was the first nostalgic memory that we were off on a road trip. What seems like an easy drive now, was a car journey filled with “are we there yet” and I spy with my little eye. It is wonderful that I can take this journey with my own little family (my husband and I) now and reminisce and share those memories while creating new ones.
Once through the iconic 8m mountain tunnel, you are a short turn away from the meritorious town of Montagu. Two minutes drive into the town and straight up every small towns recognisable Church street is the magnificent Monte Vista Boutique Hotel.
Modern, modish and aesthetically pleasing, the interior is a clear representation of the owners’ love of worldwide travel. With bright homely finishes and a high standard of hospitality, Monte Vista Boutique Hotel is no small town forgotten holiday accommodation.
Pauline Boucher is the incredibly hospitable manager at Monte Vista Boutique Hotel. Looking after your every need and offering suggestions for activities in and around Montagu makes her the ideal hotel manager. Never more than a few steps behind Pauline is Misha, the especially adorable Schnauzer who is the self proclaimed mascot of Monte Vista Boutique Hotel. She makes it her duty to greet each and every guest and employee with a wagging tail and a few little moans.
Each of the thirteen Afri-Chic suites are in short walking distance from the main social living area.
The stylish suites are equipped with all you may desire on a weekend getaway.
Modern sophisticated materials make each room warm and inviting. The bed is ultra luxurious and we had two of the best nights sleep we have had in a while. There are no televisions in the room, but you aren’t missing out. The stillness of small town living is the perfect backdrop as you sit outside on your private veranda gazing out at the surrounding mountains that enclose Montagu with a drink in hand.
Monte Vista Boutique Hotel has a well-equipped honesty bar so don’t worry if you haven’t packed your favourite beverages. Boasting a few beloved wines from the surrounding winelands area, you will certainly find something new to enjoy.
Monte Vista Boutique Hotel offers their guests a wonderful breakfast to start the day. With so many activities and adventures in and around the Montagu area, you will need to line your stomach. Each morning the chef prepares a gorgeous fresh fruit parfait. With a selection of local jams and preserves to have with fresh bread.
The Chef’s special is a hearty breakfast and is presented beautifully. Grilled sausages, crispy bacon, seared mushrooms and pan fried tomatoes with your choice of eggs on sliced buttered sourdough. You can taste when an establishment values their guests and serving a hearty meal like this has my stamp of approval.
We definitely needed a hearty breakfast as we were about to experience one of Montagu’s top must-do activities.
A two minute drive outside of Montagu’s town centre is the picturesque Koo valley. It is absolutely magnificent!!! Enclosed by jagged mountains on either side, this is both the most desolate and green valley we have ever had the privilege of seeing. Thirty-minutes along this windy road lead us straight to the Protea Farm where we were about to embark on an incredible journey.
We hopped onto a size-able tractor with an extensive open trailer and began the one-hour journey through the most incredible changing scenery. From dense forest, alongside a lake which looks like it can only be the setting of a fairytale, up a winding path where you can see freshly bloomed Proteas.
Half of the way up, we stopped to take in our new surroundings while enjoying some of the local produce. Crunchy apples and crisp pears, like no other.
After almost one and a half hours we reached the summit. A whopping 1496m above sea level. Just for some reference Table Mountain is only 1000 odd meters above sea level. Johannesburg sits more or less 1500m above sea level. It was freezing but well worth it when we turned the corner to see a story book cabin with breathtaking views of the landscape.
We all enjoyed some port to warm us up before heading to the next surprise.
Just 700m from where we began our journey is an open framed log cabin. With the smell of freshly made vetkoek (a proudly South African fried dough bread,) “moer koffie” and the fire below seven potjie pots bellowing through the dense forest.
It is customary to enjoy your freshly made hot vetkoek slathering in butter and locally made jams. I had one with an apricot jam and one with a tomato jam, it was the perfect way to warm up.
a cast-iron pot with a lid, typically having three legs, for use over an open fire. Used to make a stew/curry cooked for a number of hours over an open flame.
A chocolate steamed pudding in a potjie pot was the perfect sweet treat to end a wonderful day.
This is a definite must-do experience. Fun for the entire family, this is the perfect and affordable activity to keep the entire family entertained. The scenery and delicious potjie kos lunch is a wonderful ode to South Africa.
As many of our getaways are often planned around the food scene in a particular area, I will be putting together part two of my must-visit culinary and wine hotspots in Montagu.
When last have you visited this history-rich town? You will definitely be planning a trip when you see the culinary marvels we indulged in.
For direct enquires for Monte Vista Boutique Hotel
For direct enquiries for the Protea Farm and Tractor Rides