Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa

Horse riding on Noordhoek beach.
By Zola Miller

An enticing village, peacefully spread under oaks at the southern end of the Chapman's Peak mountain - Noordhoek makes you feel as if you have taken a step back into tranquil time when life was more relaxed, more graceful and more enjoyable.

Noordhoek Farm Village presents an eclectic mix of character, historical appeal and calm natural surroundings. It was started some five years ago with a view to inspiring visitors to rediscover the simple pleasures of country living. The buildings have thatched roofs and vast green lawns - reminiscent of the Cape Dutch farms.

Local arts and crafts are brought to the workshops by villagers who show their unique artistic contributions to visitors. Handmade merchandise provides original and individual selections for gifts or personal purchases. The barn offers a fresh range daily of seasonal organic vegetables, specialised breads and home bakes, a wide range of homemade foods, preserves and wines.

Memorable displays can be viewed at the Khoisan Kraft centre, the African Experience and other cultural supply centres. Restaurants, delicatessens, pubs, antique shops, self-catering cottages - the settings are rural and reflect the old world charm and peace.

The little settlement boasts a small population that is close-knit, artistic and friendly. Nearby, in the scenic mountains surrounding the village, the dedicated fisherman can catch trophy trout.

Play golf, walk in the beautiful surroundings, go horseback riding or surfing along the magnificent North Beach  - these are some of the more strenuous activities practised in this quiet suburb.

Through it all, though, the peace and tranquillity of Noordhoek will remind you that there is more to life than the modern rush.

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