A quick guide to nocturnal activities in Plett
Yes, it’s a nice place to be by day and all that – what with the sea and sand and sun and the sense of excitement churned up by the seasonal injection of imported energy. But life doth not end after daylight on this shore. In fact, it’s when the real fun begins. Herewith a brief yet recommended breakdown of what’s on offer once the sun starts to set over Plett by Night.
* Please note that this is not a restaurant guide or a lowdown on clubbing but pertains more to night owls out for a good time who don’t necessarily want to crawl home.
Few sunset cocktails compare favorably with those sliding slowly past the phalanx under the parasols on the verandah of Emily Moon or the balcony at Simon’s Bar perched with a bird’s eye view. Ponder the eclectic mix of artifacts and furniture the owners have scooped up on countless forays into the rural African and Occidental unknown. Watch the falcons swirling through the thermals and hawks launching from the craggy cliffs overlooking the river silently snaking through wetlands below.
Robberg Nature Reserve
Pack up a picnic basket filled with healthy nutrients such as orange juice and vodka or cucumber and gin and head off to the big bald rocky outcrop known as Robberg. Unfold the soft blanket on the nearest vantage point that allows access to the gasp-worthy vista over the famous bight stretching all the way to Oyster Bay, and listen to naught but the sounds of nature and the crack of a cheese-filled biscuit sandwich on your teeth.
The Beacon Island Hotel & Resort
One of the most underrated sundowner venues in Plett is none other than the Beacon Isle Hotel basking atop the promontory between Robberg and Central beaches. Swagger past the portals into the swanky retro interior and you’re instantly transported to Miami Beach circa Summer of ’69. Enjoy a tipple at one of the three restaurants – you might even be afforded the satisfaction of being one of the world’s chosen few to be cheering on some frolicking dolphins or tail-whipping whales with a cherry-coloured cocktail.
The Fat Fish
Quite simply, they serve the freshest seafood available coupled with moreish tapas, platters of delicate sushi and other mouthwatering original dishes, conveniently located down at Central Beach. It’s a consistent delight day in and day out. The restaurant is stylish yet casual and a large terrace ensures al fresco dining on a perfect Plett evening is always an option for a crisp, cool glass of wine and a platter of their signature sushi.
Pack a picnic and take in the bay from a fresh perspective. The parking lot and beach of Keurboomstrand offers breath-taking sunset views across the bay to Robberg Nature Reserve. And, who knows? You might spot some dolphins surfing or a whale just behind the backline. It’s beautiful and wild along this stretch of coastline.
SUNDOWNER PREP POINTS
If you’re out in nature as you actually should be during sundowner time in Plett and you find yourself too lazy to pack a picnic basket, as you should be on holiday, it is imperative to know
where you can pick up the ideal nourishment befitting such a momentous occasion. Herewith a few pointers:
Having a sunset picnic without cheese is like playing rugby without a ball – much like our national team has been doing so often of late. It might thus be worth the trouble to toddle off to The Heath on the N2 towards Knysna for a visit to The Cheeseman – a local culinary icon who learned the ancient trade of cheese making from his Dutch in-laws. There betwixt the low-fat delights of Griekwaland Bokkaas, the savoury continental contradictions of Dolce Latte (a sweet blue cheese) or more ordinary Dutch fare such as Boerenkaas (good for pasta and pizzas too), you’ll find what you’re looking for to go with the wine, olive loaf and figs. (Such 100% natural home-made cheeses can be kept for five years or more with the aromas and flavours reaching fruition at regular room temperature)
Old Nick Mid-week market
And then again, cheese without a steaming bulk of freshly baked bread is like Beyoncé without a bottom or Eddie Vedder without a voice. The bountiful home-crafted bakes found at the Old Nick Mid-week Market every Wednesday offers an array of titillating sweet treats to elevate your hamper to five-star status.
Then finally, for some extra condiments and a salivating display of sweet and savoury options that will transport you instantaneously back to your childhood, you could wish to make a quick stop at the Nice Neighbour at Old Nick Village.
Cheese tasting at this family-run, traditional farm stall and deli is situated on a working dairy farm. They specialize in their own Loredo Farm Cheese made from fresh Jersey milk produced naturally off pastures (without the use of artificial hormones and antibiotics). Sample their wide range of both local and imported cheeses or enjoy a platter, light lunch or tea and coffee on the deck. Bring the family to watch the cows being milked in the afternoons or browse anytime in and around the farm. Choose your picnic essentials from a vast selection of jams, honeys and preserves, pestos and dressings, fresh farm milk and olive oil on tap, free-range eggs, home bakes, breads, and so much more!
Once the sun has set and you’re still a little peckish, or if you missed sundowners altogether – you might want to move on to:
A popular casual eatery and meeting place for locals during the day, The Table on the corner of Main and Odland streets transforms into more of an old fashioned joll as the evening wears on – often introducing a DJ with a contemporary rock and pop-menu to go with the elaborate list of cocktails. Some good sturdy dishes alongside wood-fired pizzas are available too if you really need it.
Market on Main
A must-visit-in-Plett, the Market on Main is in the middle of Plett Central. Food stalls, a coffee bar and a rooftop balcony bar make this a worthwhile visit while in Plett. Whip out your chopsticks for a great plate of sushi after shopping local arts and crafts, or enjoy a selection of Mediterranean, Mexican, vegetarian goodies and sample the ‘best chips in town’ with a legendary burger at Sanga.