If you have a weekend to spend in Onrus.
Onrus, a little seaside town in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, is the perfect beach holiday destination that truly caters to every taste.
The ocean, countryside and surrounding mountain ranges make it a popular destination for those who love outdoor adventures, as there are loads of walking, hiking, and cycling trails to choose from. All offering incredible views of these South African coastal landscapes.
On the other hand, the area's incredible culinary and cultural experiences, as well as the various markets and shops make it an avid foodie, shopper or art lover's dream.
And whilst Onrus and the neighbouring town, Hermanus, sees most of its visitors this time of the year (thanks to the whales passing the coastline during these months) I've set out a little itinerary that can be experienced year-round.
WHERE TO STAY
This beautiful, four-star boutique guesthouse on the Onrus estuary is what I now consider to be the town’s best-kept secret.
They offer two unique accommodation options:
The beautiful, light-filled Beach Suite with its breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, the beach and Onrus River. A stay here means you get to enjoy your morning coffee overlooking the sunrise from the spacious deck or breathtaking champagne sunsets in the jacuzzi, which is for the exclusive use of the Beach Suite's guests.
The suite offers an en-suite bathroom with a gorgeous Victorian bath, toilet and basin. Some extra's include a hairdryer, organic toiletries, gowns and slippers, a mini-bar fridge, tea/coffee making facilities, complimentary port, chocolates and rusks. A microwave and crockery as well as a TV, with selected DStv channels, are also in the room, however, please note that there are no cooking facilities.
On the other hand, you have the Lagoon Villa.
With the lagoon on your doorstep and nestled between the ancient Milkwoods, it's spacious, private and luxurious enough to host royalty.
With this room, you can expect a small Victorian-style bathroom with a shower, toilet and basin. A sun-filled kitchen makes it ideal for preparing light meals and you also have access to private braai facilities. There are several seating areas for both dining and relaxation. Beautiful full-length windows make up the front part of the apartment, and at night you can cozy up by the indoor fireplace. A billiards table, a TV with selected DSTV channels and a DVD Player are also provided for your entertainment.
WHAT TO DO
On this trip, we hardly found ourselves needing to leave the villa. Kennedy’s has a range of add-on amenities that will leave you wondering why you even pre-booked that boat trip in the first place.
When booking a stay in the Beach Suite, you get exclusive use of the sunken Jacuzzi out on the deck. Our first evening was spent, sitting in (and sipping on) bubbles, overlooking the beach, with the sun setting behind us. As twilight approached we cozied up in robes and spent the rest of the early evening chatting next to the crackling bonfire out on the deck. That proved to be more than enough "to-doing" for us before heading out to a late dinner at The Pear Tree Restaurant in Hermanus, a must-stop for an unbelievable lunch or dinner.
Go wine tasting at Sumaridge Wine Estate.
Sumaridge Estate lies on the upper end of the breathtaking Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, with views stretching to Walker Bay on the Atlantic Ocean.
The perfect collaboration of the exceptional location, climate and soil, paired with expert wine crafting, results in signature wines that are distinctively elegant, ample in body and complex in flavour.
Enjoy a tasting from the full range of Sumaridge wines and expect a friendly welcome by skilled staff members, opening up the door to visitors from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm every day (other than Christmas Day and including Sundays). I highly recommend the Epitome red blend, the flagship, Martimus, and my absolute favourite, the 2015 Chardonnay.
Stay for lunch in the informal dining room adjacent to the tasting room or, subject to the weather, outside by the dam, where you have the option to choose from a variety of tasting platters or the day's menu of tapas, paired perfectly with a glass of wine.
We opted for the latter, which saw us starting off with a Moroccan- inspired Chicken stew (a special mention goes out to chef, Kobus, who happily made plant-based versions of each dish for me) on a bed of couscous, paired beautifully with a glass of the Tara Rosé. We finished with a wild mushroom risotto, which proved to be the best risotto I've ever had the pleasure of tasting, paired with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Back at Kennedy’s be sure to make a booking for an open-air aromatherapy massage, available for both rooms, either on the deck for guests of the Beach Suite or in the milkwood grove for those staying in the Lagoon Villa.
Then, if you’ve chosen to stay in the Lagoon Villa you HAVE TO head to the milk bath, post-massage. The open-air bath is hidden within the milkwoods and exclusively for guests of the Lagoon Villa. And don’t worry, the lagoon villa has a hot tub of its own, overlooking the lagoon and Onrus beach, so should you choose this villa, champagne sunsets are still a thing to be enjoyed.
Additional experiences to be had in the area include whale watching, sea kayaking, shark cage diving, quad biking and treetop canopy slides, to only name a few. You're sure to find something to that suits your taste over HERE.
WHERE TO EAT
The beach is a four-minute walk from Kennedy’s, and so is breakfast. A stay at Kennedy’s includes a voucher for breakfast at the Milkwood Restaurant, offering spectacular views from the deck right on the edge of both the lagoon and the beach.
I chose a fresh start of seasonal fruit, granola and almond milk, and fellow-traveler Chelsea went with the more savory option of an open-faced eggs Benedict served with mushrooms, on a toasted bagel.
Tucked away behind the Walker Bay Modern Art Gallery in Hermanus, you’ll find yourself in the beautiful courtyard setting of The Gallery Café.
Run by, self-proclaimed, nature lover and vegetarian foodie, Emilia Knight, the café is a testament of her love for healthy eating and ethical, sustainable food.
The menu is vegetarian and the meals, like the café itself, is hearty, homey and I could literally taste the love that went into every dish. I chose the seasonal fruit platter with a gluten-free granola cup, almond yogurt and Emilia's homemade berry jam (a must-try!) and Chelsea chose the Gallery Breakfast, consisting of avocado, halloumi, spinach, basil pesto, cherry tomatoes and two poached eggs. Both meals were absolutely incredible and I have already vowed to make this my go-to breakfast and lunch spot whenever I’m in Hermanus or surrounds again.
All-in-all The Overberg proves to hold new (and vastly different) experiences every time I visit and I’m reminded yet again why this region will remain a go-to whenever I’m in need of a quick weekend breakaway from the city.
Have you read my post about the last time I visited this area? Here’s what to do if you have 48 Hours in The Overberg.