Our first “Solid structure” weekend away saw us visiting the quaint West Coast farming town, DARLING, located just 77km’s from Cape Town. The reason for our visit to Darling was the annual Darling Brew Extreme Mountain Bike Challenge, which took place on Saturday 26 May.
We were fortunate enough to secure the Vinyard Cottage. Its a winter’s getaway winner, located on a hill overlooking the town and surrounding farms. This beautiful, neat self-catering home is equipped with everything from a toast rack to Blitz (fire starters), quite literally all you need to do is bring your clothing.
Getting there on Friday afternoon, we found ourselves lazing about, absorbing the winter sun and views from the stoep. After a quick drive exploring the town, we popped into Darling Butcher, a fantastic butchery with a great variety of meats and worth a stop even if you are passing through. The town has a trusted ‘Spar” with a Tops where you can purchase all your groceries needed for your time in Darling.
The chilled winter evening in the country allowed for us to use the amazing indoor fire place which heated the cozy cottage up in no time. While the boys braai’d, the girls chilled with a good red wine from Darling Cellars. The meat from the local butchery was so fresh, all it needed was a good braai salt and pepper mix. It was an early night considering the boys race in the morning.
The Darling Brewing Company is situated in the industrial area, where the race started and ended. The company is an award-winning microbrewer, brewing since 2010 producing a range of traditional lagers, ales, oat ales, pale ales, IPA’s, wheat beers and exotic darks.
Participants of DBX 2018 have four routes to choose from each named after the brews, 70km Bone Crusher, 50km Long Claw, 30km Blood Serpent & 15km Slow Beer. Each providing spectacular views of the surrounding farmlands and meadows. The company’s premises became a hive of activity as cyclists started gathering. They also had fires going to help with the cold brisk morning. Food, wine stalls, live music and obviously loads of beer creating a fantastic vibe after the race. Warren & Eddie ended strong in their respective groups. They definitely returning next year to better their respective times. After lunch, prize giving and enjoying the live band (The Stone Jets were awesome), we headed back to the cottage for a chilled afternoon in the sun with friends that came to support the boys.
After the visitors left we headed for the local pub & restaurant Café Mosaic to watch the Stormers. They have a great variety of dishes to choose from, we opted for pizza which was “lekka” and the friendly waitress made up for our Stormers loss. It was a real case of “Maggie’s vol Oggies toe” we headed home and straight to bed.
Sunday was a relaxing day, lazy morning breakfast after each of us found our chill spot. Melissa ended up sitting on the stoep knitting, Lisa on the couch reading her magazine, Warren taking a nap after sitting in the sun and Eddie relaxed watching Blitz catching up on the weekend sports.
We had no rush to leave as we allowed to leave after 16:00, enough time to cook a fantastic lunch. Eddie volunteered to make Cabbage Stew with meat from our new favorite butchery. The silence and tranquility of the Sunday morning allowed for us to hear the various chirps from the colorful birds coming to eat from the olive trees in the cottage gardens.
Evita’s Paron is a must visit when in Darling. We visited this on a previous occasion while passing through Darling. Overall impression of Darling? It’s a perfect town for a chilled, relaxing weekend and the Vineyard Cottage comes highly recommended for that very purpose.
After lunch, it was pack up and go, ending another awesome weekend away.
Till next time guy’s, keep warm 😊
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