Given the love for Darling that thrives on my blog, here’s a look at where to stay when you venture out to visit, see, taste, eat, walk and be entertained in this charming village.
On my recent visit I was hosted by The Granary Petite Hotel, which is tucked a street back from the main road and has a lovely garden and sense of home so successfully created by the restaurant and hotel owners, who love and maintain it’s peaceful ambiance.
Offering accommodation in six rooms and comfortably sleeping a total of 16 guests. Four bedrooms are situated upstairs of which three share an entrance, communal lounge and kitchenette, which is ideal for groups or a family of six. The remaining upstairs Family bedroom has a private entrance and two bedrooms sleeping a family of four. A family room with private entrance and two bedrooms is situated on the ground floor and a rather private double room situated in the garden.
Three of us shared the upstairs family room, spending the free time in the communal lounge, with views to the road and wifi to keep us connected as we shared our experience. Although there is so much to do within easy walking reach, that we admittedly never lingered indoors for long.
Breakfast is included in the accommodation rate and is served in the lovely Chicory Cheese Café from Monday to Saturday. The Restaurant is open until 4pm weekdays and until 1pm on a Saturday and makes for a good coffee stop between exploring.
On a Sunday you’re invited to have breakfast across the road at the Marmalade Cat, whilst there check out the barn out back which is filled to bursting with wonderful things you may well want to take home. Make sure you meet the actual Marmalade cat too.
The History of the Property.
Speaking to the owner Adéle Drake – who generously gave us us a lift to our Darling Stagger start point – we learned a little more about the property.
A historical gem comprising of a main house, outbuildings and barn that date back to the early 1900’s. The Barn used to be utilised for manufacturing wagons by Nicolaas Hendrik Loubser born 1863, who also owned a grain mill which was situated on the adjacent property. Some of the wagons manufactured in the barn are on display in the Darling Museum.
Grain milled on the adjacent property was stored in the attic of the main house, which was accessible via a wooden staircase. Here it is said that the blacksmiths grandchildren used to play, which could explain the top floor having a concrete roof.
The house stayed in the Loubser family until 2000 when Albertus Loubser (known as Oom Altus to locals) sold it to Berindina Coetzee. It changed hands several times before Paul and Wendy Osborne of the United Kingdom bought it in 2006 and turned it into The Granary Guesthouse. In 2015 Paul and Wendy returned to the UK and sold the property to Leon Nel, a Civil Engineer and Adéle Drake, an environmental consultant residing in Darling.
Leon and Adéle continue to run the guest house but by their own admission ‘cannot cook to save their lives’, which led them to invite Anesia Darné of the famous Chicory Cheese Café to take up residence on the ground floor and provide delicious breakfast to their guests. As well as a lovely collection of tasty goodies for sale.
Things to do.
As for things to do, Darling has much on offer from Darling Olives, Darling Honey, Darling Sweet and Darling Brew, not to mention numerous options for meals and the wonderful Evita se Perron for a show and a satyrical look at a different time in the country’s past.
The Museum is a short walk away and an interesting place to get insight into the region. They have designed the Darling Village Historical Walk through the village with the aid of a map, that highlights some of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings and offers a glimpse of their history. For more ideas on how to spend your time see their Things to Do. When you get hungry consult their Where to Eat list too.
The Hotel is situated a mere 10 minutes drive from the Yzerfontein beach, 15 minutes drive from the West Coast National Park, 45 minutes from Cape Town International Airport and an hours drive from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, making it an excellent spot for a getaway. If you’d prefer to head straight out to the country, a shuttle service to and from Cape Town International Airport can be arranged on request.
Disclaimer: My visit to Darling and the Darling Stagger experience was organised and hosted by West Coast Way with Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails, staying at The Granary Petite Hotel and enjoying meals at the Chicory Cheese Café, The Flying Pig, Bistro Seven and Darling Brew. It was wonderful in every way – except too short.
See my related posts: The Darling of the Swartland. Tannie Evita, Sweet Treats, Books, Music and Craft Beer and Darling Stagger. A walk on the Cape’s West Coast and Four of my favourite South African Walking Trails For Round The World Experts.
Learn more about the West Coast Way.