Robertson’s opportunities lost


The main street through Robertson
The main street through Robertson.  Pity there are more like the solitary tree on the left.

There’s not that much to attract a traveller to stop in the main road that runs through Robertson, especially if you’re driving eastwards.  It’s probably an engineer’s dream road, but it’s hardly inviting.

But driving into Robertson’s residential areas shows some of the most beautiful streets you’ll find anywhere in South Africa.  They are breathtaking and the town’s greatest asset!

Robertson-residential-streets-1

Robertson-residential-streets-2

So I have to wonder, did Robertson’s main street once look like those residential streets —  streets that invite you to slow down and enjoy the ambiance?  Does anyone have any photos to share of the main street from a previous era before engineers took control of how our spaces look and feel?  Click here to email them and we’ll add them to this story.

Robertson Wine Valley is on the brink of wine tourism, driven largely by excellent festivals, but it hasn’t quite cracked it yet — simply because most estates are closed for most of the weekend.

Van Loveren is the Valley’s biggest success story and the flagbearer for its wine tourism.  Ever since Montagu Country Hotel‘s Gert Lubbe first introduced me to Van Loveren in 2010, I’ve been back there on every visit to the Valley.  It is highly recommended and I will add more about it to this post soon.

Another establishment that cropped up in discussions time and time again was Mo & Rose at Soekershof.  I went to meet Monika & Axel.  And their very chic restaurant and stylish accommodation in Klaasvoogds West.

Monika & Akel at Soekershof -- doing something rather special: the restaurant and accommodation.
Monika & Akel at Soekershof — doing something rather special: the restaurant and accommodation.

I stayed at Paul Kruger 63 — a row of cottages and the converted garages and outbuildings behind them in the centre of town.  The conversion of garages into flats is very cleverly done and, if you’re looking for an affordable base in the town, this is ideal.  All units have a braai!


2 responses to “Robertson’s opportunities lost”

  1. Hi Carl, when I arrived in this part of the world in 1996 , the main Road through Robertson was lined by Railway houses on the Southern side which today has been converted into an Art Galery, a Wine boutique, a Coffee Shop and then the Cafe Rosa, part of the Robertson Nursery which is to my opinion one of the best nurseries to visit anywhere. On the opposite side of the road as you drive into Robertson is the old Winehouse of the KWV which today house a chain restaurant, and apart from the two Co-operative Wine Cellars which faces the road with blanc white walls which can honestly never change, most of the houses on the main road had a facelift which could be better if you have lots of money, but which I am very proud of as it is done today. Klipdrift Brandy Cellar which is also on the main road is also kind of industrial building, but do they try hard to beautify it with gardens!!
    Of the farms on the Robertson Wine Route, 7 is open on Saturdays until 15h00, 2 until 15.30, 8 until 16h00 and 2 until 17h00 . On Sundays you have 1 closing at 13h00, 2 closing at 14h00, and 3 closing at 15h00 and two closing at 16h00.
    The R317 which connects Robertson and Bonnivale must be one of the prettiest roads to travel in all SA. It is lined with flowers and flowering trees in early spring. How many guest I take on an American Dream Car trip, ask me why this route is not called the Garden Route!!
    As far as Robertson itself is concerned, I will tell you if I were younger and had the cash I would invest in buying every house that come onto the market in Roberson. I believe more and more “city slickers” want to move to villages far away enough from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet be near enough to slip through for a concert or a party. Robertson fits into that beautifully, and if you look at the photos you published of the magical tree lined streets, nothing
    can be more beautiful??

    • Exactly! A main street should be a town’s showcase; it should almost force people to stop, linger and explore more. Now imagine if Robertson’s main street through the town had a similar avenue of trees? Imagine what an attraction that would be and how many more people would stop and support local businesses?

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