Paternoster

Sunday, 27 October 2019
Paternoster reminds me of a little Greek town. With its white houses and rugged coastline this seaside fishing village in the Western Cape should be on your bucket list, especially if you are South African! Imagine wide beaches with big boulders and wildflowers dotting the coastline. There are small waves gently lapping against the shore, the sun is warm on your skin and the sea breeze softly touches your bronzing body. You see the fishing boats leave the shores at sunrise and by the afternoon the daily catch is being sold by locals in town and served on your plate for dinner. For the few days you are here, you get to trade in the sound of traffic for the distant sound of seabirds and for those brief moments all is right with your soul. This is Paternoster.

WHEN TO GO


Ideally go between February and March as most of the tourists have left but it’s still hot and feels like summer.  However, if you had the opportunity to stay here over New Year’s I would recommend doing that too. This would be a the most perfect place to have a more chilled New Year’s with a bunch of your closest friends or family. 



WHERE TO STAY

If you are going as a couple or on your own out of season, stay in a hotel. I only say this because when we stayed at the Dune Ridge self-catering cottage in February this year, I was home alone and had the very unfortunate incident of being harassed by a man selling fish. He approached me while I was sunbathing. I politely declined and said I didn’t want to buy fish but he kept insisting and became rather angry and aggressive. He had dropped his bag of fish and picked up a rock by this stage. I could see he was on drugs, his mouth was twitching and he didn’t seem “normal”. I was absolutely petrified. I ran inside and locked the door but he had made it to the porch and banged on the sliding door trying to get me to open up. I managed to call my husband who rushed home but by this time he arrived back this guy had run off with the beach towel I had left outside. It breaks my heart to write this as Paternoster is one of my favourite places but there is an undeniable drug problem and not much security around so you need to be aware of this and not go there with a false sense of reality.

HOWEVER if you took your dog with you or you stayed together as a couple the whole time the Dune Ridge Cottage is INCREDIBLE! It is isolated as it’s the last house at the edge of town so you have a lot of privacy, you go to sleep and wake up to the most incredible views of the rugged coastline and the cottage itself is beautifully designed and furnished. When stayed in the studio cottage and I could have moved in. It is hands down the most gorgeous self-catering cottage I have ever stayed at! And even after this ordeal I woudl return in a heartbeat, I would just take our little dog Benji with us.  

If you are looking for an extra special hotel for a truly romantic getaway then stay at the Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel. We stayed here the first time we went to Paternoster. It is pricey (although they do sometimes have last minute sales!) but worth every penny. The Leeto Restaurant was phenomenal and they sure know how to serve breakfast here! The restaurant also has beautiful views of the sea and the service is exceptional. Otherwise if you are looking for a hotel in between prices the Dunes Boutique Guest House is also lovely. 
Dune RidgeSelf Cattering Cottage
Dune Ridge Self Catering Cottage



DOG FRIENDLY

There were so many dogs on holiday with their family and it makes sense, it is so laid back and there is tons of open space and beaches to stroll along. If it’s not too far to drive with your pooch, definitely take your dog with! We were coming from Durban and I don't think Benji would survive flying unless he was in the cabin with us.

One of the local stores in Paternoster

WHAT TO DO

You won’t be doing much in Paternoster itself accept eating and sunbathing so relax as much as you can and take full advantage of soaking up the simple life. There aren’t any shops in town that I would say you have to stop at. But if you want to drive somewhere nearby or stop at the following places you could always make these stops part of your road trip to or from Paternoster
  • Darling Olives – stop here for olive tasting and stock up on these locally made olive jams, pastes, rubs, chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, flavoured olive oils and olive soaps. I bought two different olive oils and the soaps as they are beautifully packaged so make a great souvenir or gift.
  • Spend a few hours at Tietiesbaai. Translated this means “Boobs Bay” but it’s not a nudie beach! It’s actually a beautiful nature reserve. Usually there is a R25 – R30 entrance charge but when we went the boom was open and no one was there so we just drove through. However, it would be worth the entrance fee if someone is there. You can visit the lighthouse, go on long walks or take a picnic and spend the day between the huge boulders. The views are surreal, it feels like you in another part of the world.  You can take you dog here too which is odd for a nature reserve but I’m not complaining!
Darling Olives


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

  • Die Gaaitjie Restaurant - This is probably my favourite restaurant but make sure you book in advance and request a table outside, closest to the balcony to get the best views!
  • Everyone will tell you to go to Voorstrandt. But don’t. The location is incredible, but the service is so slow and everything else is mediocre. We have been a few times and it’s always been average. I would suggest rather going to Leeto Restaurant, even if you are not staying at the hotel.
  • Junk & Disorderly - for coffee and the Portuguese pastries. They also serve croissants so it’s perfect to pop into for breakfast if you are staying at a self-catering cottage.
  • The Noisy Oyster - They have an orange gin drink. Try that! And book in advance.
  • Wolfgat - Make sure you are hungry and go here for a long, lazy lunch as they have a 7 course tasting menu with the option of doing a wine paring too which I highly recommend doing! Again, you will need to book in advance. Now that it won best restaurant in the world for 2019 the waiting list is 3 months to get in.
Left - The Noist Oyster, Right - Wolfgat
The chef at Wolfgat and their gorgeous kitchen



Wolfgat, currently voted best resturant in the world


TOP TIP

Take a good book with you. This was the first holiday I have been on where I actually had time to finish a book!

One of the local residents in Paternoster
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