Hunter’s Country House – This is just one of the most charming, prettiest places to stay. The gardens were incredible, and I loved all the cottages scattered around the estate. It is such a peaceful place. You’re 10 minutes drive from Plettenberg Bay, so it’s the perfect location. Their main sitting room with huge fireplace was so cosy, the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks. We were upgraded to their top suite/cottage with private pool and garden which was heavenly.
Hunter’s sister property Tsala Treetop Lodge is meant to be very good too (on the same estate).
For the more affordable options: if you want to be in town then the boutique hotel The Grand is recommended. Emily Moon is meant to be a good 4-star boutique hotel, it’s out of town but right on the river and is also meant to have a good restaurant.
Known as the place with the best coffee in Plett, Double Shot is a tiny establishment in a not very interesting mall. But inside it’s cute, with an array of delicious looking cakes and (apparently) a very special Dutch coffee machine. I had a macchiato (more citrusy than the roasted Italian I am used to – the owner did warn me) – but wonderful. They’re also super friendly there, so if you’re in a rush you can go in a grab a take away for a beach walk or hike.
Plett offers a number of establishments where you can enjoy cocktails with a view.
The Grand, on Main Street, has a lovely terrace where the views at sunset of the beaches and the sea are lovely. They have a good cocktail menu here.
Equally, the Plettenberg Hotel (Relais & Chateaux) has a nice terrace with lovely views of their infinity pool and the sea. Seagulls will join you for a drink as you watch the sky and distant mountains turn a soft pink. While they don’t have Espresso Martinis on the menu, I asked and they made me a good one.
EAT – BREAKFAST/BRUNCH
Fournil de Plett is the best bakery in town, and some what of an institution. It has a wonderful shaded courtyard, as well as a small sunny balcony (for those who wish to smoke). The selection of breads and pastries here is incredible. This is the place for a leisurely brunch, with a good number of healthier options too (avocado on rye, poached eggs, yoghurt). Their home made lemonade is brilliant and refreshing too.
Those of you with a sweet tooth will love Clare’s Cakes. They recently opened a Deli next door with delicious jams and cheeses.
EAT – LUNCH
The Look Out – for a casual, beachside setting.
Wow, the casual but well-run place has one of the best beach views in the area. While it’s a bit rough and ready, the food is surprisingly good. The tuna sirloin, grilled rare, with wasabi and soya sauce was a real highlight. The tempura prawns were as fresh as they come. Portions are massive, prices low.
Other places apparently worth visiting for a beach side lunch is Enrico, about a 10 minute drive towards Port Elizabeth. Again, with fantastic beach views and good food – we didn’t make it as wanted to stay in town. Likewise, for your wine fix its worth visiting the Bramon Wine Estate, it love countryside views and some great wines to accompany your lunch. Finally, if you want to eat in a trendier, more polished restaurant in town, then the Grand is the place for you.
EAT – DINNER
- Fat Fish is raved about in Plettenberg. Some say it’s the best restaurant in town. Whatever the case, this is certainly the place to eat the best fish in town. Don’t come here for the views (a mixture of car park/large hotel/sea in the distance). The interiors are nicely done, simple but stylish – but make sure you book well in advance if you want to sit inside. If you just want to turn up, like we did, then you can sit outside on thee terrace (again, don’t have high expectations) but be prepared that if can get quite chilly at night. You come here for the food. And it really was phenomenal. We ordered sesame calamari with wasabi mayo (so good, light and un-rubbery) and ceviche (kingsklip with cherry tomatoes) to start which were the right way to start dinner. For mains we ordered a (huge) selection of sushi. Highly recommend the tuna sashimi – the freshest I have ever had. Truly melt in the mouth. accompanied the meal with a lovely glass of Franschoek wine, and left a happy bunny.
Other restaurant recommendations:
- Zinzi. The fine dining restaurant of Hunter Hotels (Hunter’s Country house and Tsala). Very popular and quite trendy.
- Sea food at the Plettenberg Hotel. It’s a Relais & Chateaux so the standards are high and the fish is fresh.
- Emily Moon. The restaurant is meant to be very romantic at this quirky hotel.