Tag Archive for: local produce

holiday guide

Here is a useful guide to making your holiday in Plett all the more mindful with practical tips on finding places to eat, shop and play that are good for both people and the planet…


Eating out….

If you are looking for restaurants that will serve you up truly delicious free range eggs for your breakfast or meal have a look here

If you’ll only eat chicken when you know it’s free range, these are the restaurants to visit

And if organic greens are your thing this is where you should go, or if you’re more specifically looking for organic vegan places to eat out, click here

For a general perusal of restaurants in Plett that have factored in people & planet friendly practices have a look here


Getting Active…

Why not go for an eco friendly kayak on the ocean, take a short or long guided hike through nature, explore the birding routes, go on an untouched adventure or an unforgettable kloofing experience?

And if you’re looking for Fair Trade certified activities then this is the place to look


Shopping local…

If you’re passionate about buying local, fresh, organic and free range, then this is the market to visit. Or if you’re up for a Saturday adventure then take a short drive to this fabulous farmer’s market.

And if you miss the market days then this is the farm stall to visit or you could get fresh greens directly from this organic farm

You could even have fresh farm produce from the area delivered to your doorstep!

Some of the greatest exports from Plett are these locally made biodegradable cleaning products,  or these exquisite skincare products, all natural and not tested on animals, of course! Stock up while you’re here. Or support a fantastic community project making shwe-shwe hotboxes that will cook your food while you’re on the beach, find where to get them here



Recycling is actively happening in Plett, you’ll see the new drop off points on Marine Drive and on the Piesang River, but they’ll even pick up your recycling from your holiday home! Simply put all your clean recyclables (paper, plastic, tin and glass) in a clear bag outside, the day after your usual rubbish collection day. And voila, you can give all those holiday champagne bottles a new life!

Oh and speaking of champagne you’ll need the local variety, or visit this new tasting room to try out the full spectrum of locally produced wines (and craft beers from the Cape).


 Footprints in the sand…

Breathe deep on the fresh sea air, stretch your sun kissed body, up the feel good factor of your holiday and leave only your footprints in the sand, taking with you memories of magical moments….


(If you have a fantastic experience at any of the above eco ethical hotspots why not share the love and rate & review them? Or grow the planet friendly list and recommend a place that you think should be in the limelight)


The secret of the Garden Route is its surprises. Hanois Crescent winds up the side of a Plett hill that appears fairly ordinary and urban. Getting out at number 45 is a point of departure as well as arrival. You know that wands are made from trees, right? Maybe that explains the magic …


Winding down wooden steps, I came to a bright doorway that suggested a Bauhaus for hobbits: clean, cute and classy. It opened to a ‘reception’  that felt more like a huge tree house that blends dining room, kitchen, patio and bush. A cascade of creativity and nature and optimal use of space: that’s Feo Sachs’ touch. He’s the resident architect responsible for every building in the spell or, rather, dell. Entire walls of glass and clever angles lend each separate building grandeur and nature in equal proportions. It’s mesmerising. And perfect for guests with dogs as TreeHaven is pet friendly.


After introductions, Feo’s wife, Carol, whisked me off on a maze of lush pathways snaking through dappled milkwood and wild olive boughs.  On the way I met worms with their own farm. “Vermiculture” said the artist slash tour guide, “we give them all our organic waste, and I feed all my plants with their juice and encourage my staff to sell it for extra cash.” The ingenuity and generosity of a good person with a natural plan still curls through my mind with the paths, like the lines in her paintings. You’ll see them spotted around the dwellings, celebrating life.


For a change of mood from your own balcony or view, take a walk around the garden and find the little bench amongst the jasmine bushes and you’ll understand why the proprietors think of it as their own private biome.


The studio I stayed in is a corner of paradise replete with nesting Loeries and a north-facing patio that tracks the sun season in, season out.


Immersed in natural isolation despite having neighbours nearby, I didn’t leave for the rest of the day, though the beach was calling and the weather near perfect.


When strains of Carol and Feo’s classical music faded, I tuned in to a myriad of other winged ones singing the song of a sunny afternoon in a private idyll. By nightfall, the frogs sang too, and sleep was deep.


Tip  : use insect repellent. Big mozzies from the bullrushes below.

To find out more about their Eco Choices or make a booking, visit the Treehaven page on Eco Atlas.


The Vineyard Hotel & Spa, set on the shady eastern slopes of Table Mountain, extends from an original Georgian homestead across eight lush hectares of indigenous riverside parkland. This is an oasis of luxury and tranquility, but behind the scenes there is a flurry of activity aimed at ensuring that this 207-roomed hotel and busy conference centre treads as lightly as possible on the Earth. The Vineyard is totally committed to operating in an environmentally friendly fashion, and has implemented an impressive range of measures to ensure this. This ranges from changing to LED lights in the conference centre (leading to a 75% energy saving) to installation of a state-of-the-art energy efficient laundry (another 34% energy saving) and the upcoming installation of  solar panels for generation of green energy. Chris van Zyl, the Sustainability Manager at the Vineyard explained so many initiatives to me that this would become more of a novel than a blog if a wrote them all down. But if you are interested, there is a dedicated section on the Vineyard’s website where you can read all about it.

Chris is not the only person passionate about sustainability at the Vineyard. In fact, everyone I spoke to seemed to have the same attitude, and there was no mistaking that the staff are proud of where they work. The enthusiasm of sous chef Shane Louw particularly captured my attention. He took me of a whirlwind tour of all his favourite initiatives to produce vegetables, herbs and fruit on the hotel property. There was sharp rocket, colourful spinach, sweet basil, majestic artichokes, juicy blueberries and tangy Cape gooseberries in his gardens, and on the rooftop were lemon trees that provided the main ingredients for the delicious lemonade that guests are offered upon check-in. Often, Shane will take a little walk to the veggie gardens in the morning (not a bad way to start your day I might add; they are set on the slopes of the Liesbeek River in the midst of perfectly manicured indigenous gardens) to find inspiration for the day’s specials in the Square Restaurant.


Shane showing off the lovely herb garden

I asked Shane whether it actually makes a difference to use local, organic produce and his response was “I would not feel comfortable serving my guests food that I don’t know where it came from. We grow our own organic herbs and vegetables, but I also personally know the farmers and fishermen that provide what we cannot produce. That way, I know that the ingredients are the best and freshest, and we also contribute to the local economy.”  There is no mistaking that Shane only serves the best in the Square restaurant. My chicken salad was superb, and the cheesecake with strawberry jelly and lavender icecream was to die for!


Whether you are an overnight guest, or just visit for lunch or dinner at the Square, the Vineyard is an indulgence in luxury that leaves a sweet aftertaste and does not cost the Earth!

Spinach in the Vineyard's veggie garden: beautiful, organic and no doubt turned into a very tasty dish by Shane and his team!

Spinach in the Vineyard’s veggie garden: beautiful, organic and no doubt turned into a very tasty dish by Shane and his team!


Lemonade, homemade with own lemons

Lemonade, homemade with own lemons