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.
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: