Lose yourself on the Forgotten Route
There are many ways to enjoy the Cape Town luxury of the wine route be it by foot, on horseback, by tram or by means of a guided or self-drive tour. So if you’ve done it all before, get hold of wine flies and book yourself a seat on the famous Trans Karoo train for a two-day gastronomical adventure like never before.
Nowadays taking the train has become synonymous with either a rushed commute to work, or with the ultimate elegance of the Blue Train, but the Trans Karoo offers an affordable and enjoyable way to enjoy an unhurried, social and interesting time on the tracks.
Departing from Green Market Square in Cape Town at 7:30 am, the Forgotten Route Tour will whisk you off on a culinary journey of the Karoo winelands all the way to Matjiesfontein and back, soaking up the scenery, learning more about local history and sampling the fruits of the vine and the fields as you go along.
The tour kicks off with a trip through the historic Company Gardens and coffee at the Kimberley Hotel, followed by a bus ride to the Kirabo Private Cellar in the Breedekloof Valley for a taste of things to come in the shape of five smooth sipping red wine varieties.
Next, it’s onward to Worcester to board the Trans Karoo for the historic town of Matjiesfontein. Once the site of a Victorian health resort in the middle of nowhere, the town offers a fascinating insight into times gone by. Despite its position in the middle of the diamond-trading route, this quaint village still has only one street, lined with a museum, petrol station, a coffee shop and a pub.
Upon arrival at the Rietfontein Nature Reserve, your lodgings for the night, you will have about an hour free to wander among the lovely gardens surrounding your room before the evening’s entertainment.
A rather fleeting, but humorously presented bus tour of the town sets the tone for a memorable evening. Traditional Karoo lamb on the spit, followed by an after-hours tour of the museum, a chance to admire the ‘big sky’ of the Karoo and a jovial musical interlude at the Laird Arms complete your days activities before you retire to your traditional farm cottage for the night.
Breakfast is a hearty affair, and then it’s on to Oom Batt’s Winkel for biltong, dried fruit and a potjiekos lunch. The last stop on the Forgotten Route is a quick tour of the brandy distillery at Montagu, before you are whisked back to Worcester and then home.
Book this inspirational jaunt with a difference, online or by calling +27 (0) 21 462 8011