A Malmesbury gem not to be missed.
The Swartland is one of our most iconic regions with its wide open skies and vast expanses of land which at first glance look totally inhospitable. And yet there are quaint little towns with residents waiting to welcome you. Here the art of hospitality is just that – an art – nothing artificial or forced.
At its centre there is the charming town of Malmesbury. It lies just 40 minutes from Cape Town, is the largest town in the area and is the home of the quintessential brei in Afrikaans. Surrounded by farmlands and many vineyards – which one never calls estates in this part of the world – Malmesbury looks as if a wagon or two might roll into the market but of course that is no longer true.
David Sadie and his brother Johann, a rugby player who plays for Agen in France, have taken some rather derelict houses in the centre of town and turned them into a magnet for all townsfolk and visitors known as Bill&Co. These 1870s buildings were initially bought by their Oupa Bill and they have been lovingly restored to house vendors selling local produce.
Under the tin roof – very country – one finds every second Saturday an open air market with a range of delicious fresh produce, arts and crafts, local craft beer, and, the day we went, oysters and bubbly. You’ll also find Stellenbosch’s very own SCHOON selling their delicious breads featuring real sourdough, pastéis de nata so sweet they make your toes curl, as well as baby melkterts. Stop for a bite to eat at the Marvel Bistro and Bakery which is open Wednesday through to Sunday, serving easy going cuisine like burgers, sandwiches, grills and steaks.
A further draw is a well-stocked deli with cheeses as well as a very popular wine bar, where the great wines of the area can be sampled and bought. David and his wife Nadia form the duo who make the sensational David and Nadia range which includes a fabulous five-star Chenin.
All of your browsing and munching is accompanied by local musicians, much to the delight of a very retro audience.
Open Wednesday and Thursday from 8am to 5pm, Fridays from 8am to 10pm, Saturdays from 8am to 4pm and Sundays from 9am to 12pm. Saturday evenings are closed to the public for private functions and bookings.
+27 (0) 76 330 0117; [email protected]
1 Plein Street, Malmesbury
Words and Photography Greg Landman