Caroline Hurry
Caroline Hurry

Experience the magic of country life cosseted within the comfy confines of The Potato Patch in this “jewel of the Cape Overberg”

Nestled at the foothills of the majestic Sondereind Mountains and flanked by two rivers, quaint Greyton, aka jewel of the Cape Overberg, offers tree-lined roads and gurgling leiwater channels. Here, only a wondering donkey, a string of ponies or a herd of cattle might cause a rush-hour traffic jam!

A tree-lined road in gorgeous Greyton
Tree-lined road in Greyton

Bordering the nature reserve, Greyton is a hikers’ paradise best known for the famous Bosmanskloof trail to McGregor while sporty types can explore 150km of mountain biking trails.

When it comes to local travelling, I’ve discovered self-catering is the way to go, if you wish to avoid the GMO-infested food and factory-farmed flesh, so prevalent in South Africa where even five star hotels serve it up to unsuspecting guests.

With that in mind, the best place to stay in Greyton is The Potato Patch, a charming self-catering thatched cottage that combines country living with a sprinkle of history, being one of the original farmer’s cottages.

Best place to stay in Greyton is The Potato Patch cottage
The Potato Patch cottage

Potatoes and other vegetables are still grown on the property so you know where your food comes from. Guests not only get to pick herbs from the garden, but also will receive a basket of organically homegrown seasonal veggies. How’s that for a taste of the magic of country life?

With three double en-suite bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, and separate entrance leading to a secluded patio and garden, the cottage is a unique riposte to over-priced and under-equipped generic hotels.

Firm double mattresses, crisp high-thread linen, and pillows plumped to perfection
Firm double mattresses, crisp high-thread linen, and pillows plumped to perfection

While small luxuries such as fresh flowers always gladden my heart, it’s the bed that makes or breaks a place for me. Firm double mattresses, crisp high-thread linen, and pillows plumped to perfection will thrill the most discerning visitors. Winter guests will appreciate the baby Godin wood burner to banish the chill while a sparkling pool takes the edge off those long hot summer days.

In no way has convenience been sacrificed on the altar of green living as seen by the fully-equipped kitchen at The Potato Patch
In no way has convenience been sacrificed on the altar of green living as seen by The Potato Patch kitchen

Greyton markets itself as “pure country, no additives”.  The first village in South Africa to be endorsed as a Transition Town, Greyton is mostly free of plastic bags.  Wait. Hear that? It’s the sound of heartfelt cheering at the eco-friendly initiatives introduced by The Potato Patch that include long life shopping bags, grey water, solar lights, energy saving bulbs, bio degradable dishwashing powder, gel and soap.

Say cheese! Saturday market at Greyton
Say cheese! Saturday market at Greyton

However in no way has convenience been sacrificed on the altar of green living. The Potato Patch, which also offers a dishwasher and microwave oven (if you must) plus free wifi (thank you) and the full DStv bouquet, is a five-minute stroll from the shops and restaurants of the village centre.

Greyton’s Saturday morning market offers fresh wholesome fare and other close-to-nature products. Weddings are popular because of the quirky venues and quaint village churches.  Chocolate lovers have discovered the iconic Von Geusau Chocolates and those seeking a special gift will find Gretha Quinlan candles just off the Main Road.

Abbey Rose in Grayton
Abbey Rose in Grayton

Greyton is also a popular destination for families where children can enjoy the freedom of cycling and playing in the streets.  Three annual festivals attract visitors from around the world, namely the Greyton Genadendal Classics for All Festival, the Rose Fair and Greyton Creative Arts Festival. One attraction not to be missed is a visit to Genadendal where the oldest Moravian mission station can be found 5km away.