A little excursion to South Africa’s very own Philadelphia

The weather this morning was simply fabulous, so Mom and I went for an impromptu drive to the pretty little town of Philadelphia, tucked away on a side-road off the N7, about half an hour outside Cape Town. Neither of us had been there before, but we had recently heard about the place from a friend, and were curious to explore it.

Approaching the historic little town of Philadelphia off the R304

It is set in the midst of green rolling hills and bright yellow flowering canola fields, just on the southern edge of the Swartland with its vast wheatfields. Cattle stand under trees, heads lowered, half-asleep in the mid-morning heat. A steady stream of traffic roars past on the N7, and massive trucks shift up and down gears as they rumble over the gentle hills.

The town itself is tiny and picture postcard perfect. Its most striking building is the NG Church, a large square-ish building in the centre of town, the brilliant white of its walls standing out dramatically against the blue sky. We parked in the shade of some bluegum trees on the edge of the parking lot, and ambled across to a cluster of oh-so-pretty shops, which invited us to linger and explore. “Next time,” I called, “next time I’ll stay a little longer.”

Our destination was the Pepper Tree Art Stable and Coffee Shop, which is – yes – actually set in the old stables of the village. Wow, what a place!

Exuding peace and tranquility, and that rustigheid so characteristic of little rural places, it drew us like a magnet. And although more than half the tables were occupied, the place had none of that rushed busy-ness or “Let’s just have a quick cup of coffee” vibe that one finds in the city.

Nope, this place said, in a slow, deep, rumbling voice, “Come sit, right here, just sit, have a nice cup of tea, and maybe a bite of something healthy and wholesome to eat, and just breathe, and relax, you don’t have to go anywhere or be anywhere else right now.”

So we stayed for a while.

If you want to find out more about this delightful little place, click your way through these:

13 thoughts on “A little excursion to South Africa’s very own Philadelphia

  1. When I lived in Melkbos I had a friend who knew people in Philadelphia and we went there periodically. At that time there was no cafe – just homes and a few tiny businesses, not of the tourist variety. I always enjoyed going there – as you say, very quiet, and nothing much happening! Annually they put on a Farmers’ Market and apparently people fight to get their hands on the special Farmers’ Wors!

    • Kom geniet Philadelphia se 2013 feesjaar

      6 Maart Senior Stoepsit Middagete Ria Rabie (082 550 2573)
      27 April Philadelphia Pret
      Stalletjies en vermaak: Anneliese (082 774 6730) of Deon (082 682 6281)
      Pretlope van 5km en 8km: Kobie (082 578 2333)
      Twee bergfietsrenne – 30km en 70km: Gerrit (084 205 4315)
      11 Mei Kommandorit Jimmy (076 155 5433) of Gibby (079 525 3510)
      9 Augustus BoekBasaar Carien of Madelein (021-9721097 / 072 668 7901)
      6 September Kerkbasaar Annemart (072 431 2831) of Anneliese (0827746730)
      21 September Motorfietsrit Villiers (083 303 3591)
      26 September Boeredag Villiers (083 303 3591)
      26 Januarie 2014 Spesiale erediens en gemeente-ete Annemart (072 431 2831)

  2. Hi Deon, ons is “freelance” fotograwe, het pas in Philadelphia (vir ‘n tydjie) kom woon en reeds pragtige foto’s geneem indien jy sou belangstel om daarna te kyk en selfs daarvan vir jou boek te gebruik.

    Vriendelike groete
    Sanet Rossouw

  3. Hi Reggie, as it ‘appens, I am a friend of Alison Smith, who commented above. I was looking for some info on Philadelphia and came across this old blog of yours. We have ‘met’ as I also belong to the West Coast Writers Circle with Alison. I have a question, if you still live in this area. Do you know anything about this and where the actual meeting will be held. I feel it is important to get this information out to as many peeps as possible if it is factual.

    N 7 to be tolled : A river of Money runs through!

    The new N7 double carriage way will be tolled expects SANRAL.
    (SA National Roads Agency ).
    Learn all about it at the Philadelphia Village Association Meeting
    on Monday 24 February at 7pm where Sanral will be present. Meeting at
    Van Schoor Rd Philadelphia– just down from the Malle Meul.

    • Hello Corinna – welcome to my blog! What an amazing coincidence.

      As to the SANRAL tolling of the N7 – are you serious?! This is TERRIBLE news. I thought SANRAL had screwed up enough in Gauteng to realise that tolling our national highways is an atrocious idea.

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