Paternoster – picturesque and peaceful


One of the last traditional fishing villages on the Cape West Coast, this picturesque spot 90 minutes drive from Cape Town (just north of Vredenburg) is quaint and unspoiled with its whitewashed fishermen’s cottages, dusty white beach and abundance of crayfish.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that remoteness doesn’t come with a hefty pricetag though. Properties along this stretch were up for sale at around R3.3 million. (GBP262 000.00)

Cape Columbine Lighthouse, the last manned lighthouse built on the South African coast. Don’t try and pop by outside of visiting hours though – the gates are firmly shut.

The famous “Panty Bar” at the Paternoster Hotel. This unique pub served as the Paternoster jail until 1940. In 1974 Johan Carosini started the collection of “honeymoon panties”, which had to be taken down in June 1983 after a Reverend had tea at the hotel and reported the “unholy” practice to the local police. The collection was started up again in the nineties by Johan’s son Giorello.

Die Winkel op Paternoster (The Shop at Paternoster) is home to Oep ve Koep (a colloquial term for open for business), the farmstall’s old tea garden at the back of the shop now turned popular restaurant. Run by environmentally conscious chef Kobus van der Merwe, this informal eatery is fast growing a reputation among Cape Town foodies for its’ unusual West Coast cuisine. See Kobus’ blog http://www.sardinesontoast.co.za .

They were closed on the day we arrived, so we strolled across the sandy parking lot to The Noisy Oyster. The sign outside echoes the atmosphere that prevails inside, while a notice at the opposite entrance read “Put some swing in your palate”.

The Noisy Oyster ROCKS! The decor is contemporary, colourful and fun – right down to the fairy lights. The food is above average, the oysters melted on the palate and our waitress – a local gal from Vredenburg who gave up the big city to come back home – was top class!

And for dessert: Creme brulee with spun sugar and chocolate mousse with mini donuts – heaven on a plate!!

Finally, contrary to the sign, there were no topless bathers!!

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