A selection of great places to eat and stay, along with fun things to do in and around Worcester in the Western Cape.

Most people rush along the N1 on their way to somewhere and many probably don’t even flutter an eyelash at Worcester. However,  there’s a lot more to do in this  town then you may realise! Here’s a selection of great places to eat and stay, along with fun things to do in and around Worcester.

1. Du Kloof Lodge

N1, on the left side a few kilometres after the Huguenot Tunnel

I cannot tell you how many times I have driven past the entrance to Du Kloof Lodge when driving through to Worcester from Cape Town. I am so glad I got to visit and have been back a few times since as it really is a fantastic spot with a magnificent mountain backdrop and beautiful water features.

Day visitors can enjoy a cold one at their bar, or tuck into a breakfast or lunch at their well-priced restaurant. If you want to make a day of it, you can have a braai in their braai area or a picnic by the bubbling river (which is also great for a swim).  If you are fly fishing enthusiast, they also offer trout fishing on a catch-and-release basis.  Hikers will love the hiking trails while birders will appreciate the abundant birdlife.

If you feel like a real treat, then book to stay for a few nights – their rooms are beautifully furnished and the rate from R600 a person a night (sharing) is very affordable in my mind.

So don’t drive past next time –  pop in and enjoy a tranquil  and scenic break from the road and the busy world. Plus… you can take your dog with you too!

Contact: Telephone 060 563 2694, website http://duklooflodge.co.za/

2. Blindiana Barista

134 Church Street, Worcester

I had heard much about the famous blind barista of Worcester so was very excited to finally get to meet Joseph Matheatau, who was deftly working the coffee machine when our party arrived at Blindiana Barista. I don’t drink coffee, so requested a chai latte which was no challenge and tasted delicious. Their breakfast was very good too and made a great start to the day!

Joseph, who has been serving coffee at Blindiana Barista since 2014, is South Africa’s first qualified blind barista. He was not born blind – his eyesight started to deteriorate when he was about three years old due to glaucoma resulting in him losing his sight completely in 2010. Being blind, he uses his other senses when it comes to making coffee. Joseph hopes to open his own cafe in future and wants to build his name as one of the best baristas in the country. I have absolutely no doubt that this humble, charming and incredibly inspiring man will do just that!

The coffee shop, owned and run by Kaleidoscope (previously known as the Institute for the Blind) also has furniture and paintings created by visually impaired artists. Coffee and chai latte’s aside, you can tuck into a hearty breakfast, or choose from a selection of  wraps, burgers, toasted sandwiches and salads. You can also buy a bottle of their Blind Tasting wine where all funds go towards the care and support of visually and additionally impaired adults cared for by Innovation for the Blind. I fully recommend that you get a bottle – or five!

Contact: Telephone 023 342 1130, visit their Facebook page

3. Fowlers Grill Restaurant

48 Church Street, Worcester

Fowlers is very well positioned – being on Church Street means that anyone staying in this popular road can simply walk to dinner and walk back to their guesthouse. Which is exactly what we did!

Their pizzas are popular, but you’ll find quite an extensive menu with steaks, chops, ribs, burgers, pastas and seafood dishes. They also offer a Sunday lunch.  I had their calamari starter followed by a steak for my main course and was quite happy with my meal. I was also very full so was glad for the short walk back to the guesthouse!

Contact: Telephone 023 347 8761, visit their Facebook page

4. Church Street Lodge

36 Church Street, Worcester

My en-suite room at Chuch Street Lodge had everything I needed for a comfortable stay, including a fridge and tea and coffee, but it was the swimming pool and braai area that I enjoyed the most. It was winter, so I didn’t actually swim, but the pool still looked inviting! I also met some fun guests who were having a braai and ended up having a much later night than anticipated!

My first thoughts were that this lodge is well positioned for anyone in Worcester on a business trip, but after staying there for the night and exploring a bit more, I think it would be a great option for a group of friends wanting to have a birthday celebation! You could book out the rooms and have loads of fun in the pool and have a braai along with being in the right spot to walk to Fowlers Grill Restaurant and Blindiana Barista. And from R320 a person a night, it’s very affordable too.

Contact: Telephone 023 34 25194, http://churchst.co.za/

5. De Wet Cellar

On the N1, 6km from Worcester

The first thing that captured me at De Wet Cellar was the fireplace! I was there during the winter months so that blazing fire was most appreciated. It truly was a warm welcome to a cellar that has been making wine since 1946.  We had a great deal of fun doing a blind tasting (literally – we had scarves over our eyes and had to guess the wine varietal) followed by a very lavish lunch with possibly the best oxtail stew I have ever had.  I really enjoyed their Muscadel and have to admit that I left with quite a few bottles (of which there are none left).  If you are like me and have a penchant for Muscadel and Hanepoot, then you must  pop in here – their prices are excellent too.

De Wet Cellar offers various wine-tasting options, starting at R35 for a casual tasting of five wines, or you can do a wine tasting with the winemaker (R50)  or opt for a wine-tasting  with a cheese and meat platter for R250 (serves two). If you are staying in the area, they occasionally offer themed evenings (in the past these have included a sushi evening and a curry evening) and often host a lunch for special occasions, such as Mothers Day and Fathers Day. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for these events. 

Mountain bikers and trail runners can also enjoy a 26km route that takes you through four farms. Enquiries and permits at De Wet Cellar reception.

Contact: Telephone 023 341 2710, https://www.dewetcellar.co.za/

6. Tweefontein Padstal

On the N1, about 8km from Worcester

This adorable farmstall can be found on the left side of the road on the N1 between Worcester and De Doorns (it’s fairly close  to De Wet Cellar). Filled with all sorts of interesting knick knacks, décor items, and trinkets along with freshly baked goods, homemade jams and conserves, It’s definitely worth a pitstop. Plus you may get a cup of free tea or coffee and a glass of Hanepoort on the house!

Contact: Telephone 023 341 2824

7. PicardiPlace

Slanghoek Road, Rawsonville

PicardiPlace is not only a guesthouse (and a fabulous one at that), they also offer pasta-making workshops where you will learn how to easily make pasta from scratch (no pasta machine required) in a fun and relaxed environment.  

After enjoying a welcome drink from your charming host and master pasta-maker, Jaco Brand,  you pick your own fresh produce from their permaculture garden, and then learn the art of preparing fresh pasta and bolognaise from scratch.  Pasta, of course, is not pasta without a good wine, so there’s also a wine-tasting from a local winery. The workshop ends with you tucking into the meal that you prepared. The Wanna-be-Italiano workshops cost R650 per person and bookings are essential.

If you fancy spending the night, they offer various accommodation options suitable for all, from solo travelers to families, couples and honeymooners. I didn’t get to stay at PicardiPlace, but it looked absolutely gorgeous!

Contact: Telephone 082 788 9019, https://www.picardiplace.co.za/

8. De Kleipot

Aan de Doorns Farm, off the R43

This delightful pottery studio, owned by Petro van Zyl, has a huge selection of incredibly beautiful tiles, ranging from mosiac inserts to keyrings and magnets. You can also buy floor and wall tiles, along with pretty bowls and dishes.

In addition, Petra offers pottery classes and I had a happy time making a bowl that I left behind to get fired. I still need to go back to Worcester to collect it – if it didn’t crack!  I recommend you get a group of friends together and book a workshop – it’s incredibly therapeutic and Petro is a lovely, patient teacher.

Contact: 023 342 1388, http://www.dekleipot.co.za/

9. ATKV Goudini Spa

Wyzersdrift Road, Rawsonville

I was rather enamoured with the little rondavels at this popular resort, so the next time I go there I may have to book into one! However, we were spoilt and stayed in the Slanghoek Villas, which are lovely if you are wanting a bit of a spoil. The villas sleep up to six people and have all you need for a relaxing self-catering stay. The views are superb and you have access to your own pool (it’s not as warm as the baths at the bottom but in the summer months I think it would be perfect). However, you will need to make use of the shuttle service or your car if you stay up here as it’s a fairly long and steep walk down to the main area.

Apart from the various villa, rondavel and cottage options, there are also 60 camping and caravan stands, each with a braai and a power point. There’s also ablution facilities, washing up facilities and a laundry.

Day visitors can enjoy the outdoor and indoor swimming baths (note, the indoor pool gets very warm!) along with water slides and mineral baths. There’s also trampolines, miniature golf, pool tables and a games arcade along with hiking trails, horse riding, tennis and vollyball. You also have various restaurant options, a convenience store and a beauty clinic. There’s also an entertainment programme during public and school holidays.

Contact: Telephone 023 001 0607, https://goudinispa.co.za/

10. Pampoen Padstal

On the R60, between Worcester and Robertson

You really cannot miss this farmstall during pumpkin season when the courtyard is covered with pumpkins and squashes of all shapes, sizes and colours. It’s a delightful and cheerful sight that I never tire of seeing. The farmstall has a good selection of homemade items (including pumpkin tea cosies!) and baked goods along with jars of jams, pickles and preserves.. You’ll also find huge jars filled with sweeties. However, nothing beats picking out an interesting pumpkin or two to take home with you!

Contact: Telephone 023 342 1224, visit their Facebook page

11. Willow Creek Olives

Nuy Road, Nuy Valley

I had such a great time at this olive farm that I ended up coming home with an olive tree! I don’t even like olives!  Having said that I don’t eat olives, I do actually like olive oil and Willow Creek has an amazing range of olive oils, and flavoured olive oils. I particularly like their basil olive oil and their garlic olive oil – I came home with a few bottles of those too. 

Olive lovers can experience a tasting of their complete product range, including Extra Virgin Olive Oils, flavoured olive oils, Balsamic Vinegars, table olives and olive pastes. Kids are most welcome, and will have fun on the jungle gym while you enjoy your tasting.  Look out for their Monthly Barrel Specials on all products and do visit the olive tree nursery – from R40 a tree, you may just go home with a tree or two too!

Contact: Telephone 023 342 5793,  https://willowcreek.co.za/

12. Nuy On The Hill

R60 between Worcester and Robertson

I have been to Nuy On The Hill a few times and I can honestly say I have never been disappointed.  Their food is delicious and the views are absolutely incredible! Plus they are pet-friendly which makes them even more awesome.

However, Nuy On The Hill offers a lot more than just good food with a view – you can also enjoy wine tastings, wine pairings, gin tastings and brandy pairings. Their deli is stocked with alll sorts of interesting goodies that you can either take home with you or enjoy at a picnic on their lawns. Kids will love the jungle gym and mountain bikers can take on their mountain bike route.  

They also host special events, such as Mothers Day and Valentines Day, have all-you can-eat pizza night on Thursdays and do a delicious Sunday lunch.

Contact: Telephone 023 347 0272,  visit their Facebook page

13. Hoogstraat Vleismark

123 High Street, Worcester

Here’s some inside information for you! This butchery makes possibly the best boerewors I have ever had. It’s so good that every time my friend visits her family in Worcester I put in an order. If you are having a braai then you should definitely pop in here for your meaty supplies!

Contact: Telephone 023 347 6067


Our media group was ferried around by 360 Degrees Corporate and our driver was incredibly patient with us all. He had to endure waiting for us while we guzzled our wine, got us going when we were running late and managed to pack plenty of bottles of wine into the boot! If you don’t feel like driving around Worcester and the surrounding areas (especially if you are going to do some wine tasting) then give this father and daughter team a call.

Contact: Telephone 074 979 6996, visit their Facebook page

Published January 2020 | Mostly hosted, some own cost