What to do in Swellendam

Swellendam is the fifth oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Simon's Town, and Paarl), situated in the Western Cape province. Swellendam has over 50 provincial heritage sites, most of them buildings of Cape Dutch architecture. Swellendam is situated on the N2, approximately 220 km from both Cape Town and George.

The best restaurants & coffee shops in Swellendam

Breakfast & Lunch Restaurants

Grace + Merci

Our name stems from a heart full of thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude. Grace - saying thank you before you eat and also God's grace in our lives. Merci - the French word for thank you and God's mercy on our soul.

We keep it fresh, we keep it local and we keep it seasonal. We care about our health and yours which is why we do not sell coke! We use no artificial junk in our food, only the freshest, best quality ingredients available to us. Our eggs are happy and loved, our chicken is free range and our meat is pasture fed. We bake for today and we don't serve you leftovers.

La Belle Alliance

La Belle Alliance, a family run restaurant since 1998, is situated on the main road between the Drostdy Museum and the Dutch Reformed Church, on the bank of the Koornlands River.

The garden terrace, rich in birdsong, offers tranquillity and shade under a canopy of White Stinkwood trees and lots of sunshine and blankets on cooler winter days. A timber deck extension overlooks the river and the Swellendam botanical garden.

The venue is child, wheelchair and dog friendly and the ideal spot to enjoy a relaxed breakfast or lunch.


Tredici is the Italian way of saying Baker’s Dozen – a belief dating back to the 13th century.

From quick bites prepared with love and attention to baked goods and restaurant, Tredici offers the best European cuisine personalized with African flair.

This venue can be used as a stop off to stretch your legs or to book as venue for your special occasion or conference. When you visit you can be sure to experience the Tredici way of life, where generosity is guaranteed and smiles are genuine.

Ikigai Coffee Bar

Ikigai Artisan Coffee Bar & Deli serves great coffee, freshly made gourmet sandwiches as well as sweet and savoury treats. Enjoy a cup of specialty coffee from Origin Coffee Roasting while browsing the shop stocked with a variety of artisan products sourced from all over South Africa.

Ikigai is located in the historical heart of Swellendam, next to the Drostdy Museum.

Fine Dining in Swellendam

Field & Fork

The passion and attention to detail of Chef Francois du Rand makes this a dining experience not to be missed. Combining modern fare with panache and believing in the culinary vision of bringing locally sourced quality produce from the field to your table, adds to the culinary experience.

Field & Fork is located in Swellendam’s heritage area and forms part of the Drostdy Museum. This building is one of the oldest in South Africa. If you like quality wine, you will not be disappointed.

La Sosta

La Sosta is truly an unforgettable experience. Owned and run by Italian and South African chef couple Salvatore and Nina Branda, with Chris Mathew, Nina’s father, at front of house, La Sosta is a unique restaurant in Swellendam which combines a rich history with contemporary style, innovative food and classic service.

What would be better than dinner at La Sosta?

Drostdy Restaurant

Drostdy Restaurant has the most beautiful mountain views in town, overlooking an indigenous garden, with a giant Wild Fig tree landmarking this historic 1757 heritage building. Award winning Chef and Owner, David Godin, brings his French finesse with each dish, delicious and beautiful! Having worked in many countries and top establishments, the menu reflects some of his favourite flavours. Choices for guests with special dietary requirements such as Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free diets etc. are simply delicious.

The Conservatory

This is the in-house restaurant for Schoone Oordt Country House. The Conservatory rates as one of the best restaurants in Swellendam, playing host to intimate dinners either in their gorgeous conservatory or more privately, in the manor house’s cosy dining room.

Here guests can enjoy a carefully prepared, sophisticated South African menu with wines paired with every course. Their menu constantly evolves, depending heavily on inspiration and seasonality of beautiful produce.

Family Dinner Restaurants

Woodpecker Pizzadeli

Woodpecker Pizzadeli offers a relaxed and vibey dining experience, famous for their thin based pizzas, scrumptious chicken and pork schnitzels, pasta dish variety, salad selection and kiddies menu. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating. You can choose from a good selection of Overberg wines, Cocktails and Craft Beer.

This is a family restaurant so young and old are welcome. This is however not a Wimpy or Spur styled restaurant and the enjoyment of other patrons should be kept in consideration.

The Republic

Here we aim to make everyone feel welcome, where we celebrate the rich diversity that makes South Africa great. The Republic Restaurant is located opposite the Drostdy, in the historical heart of Swellendam.

We offer gin tastings, craft beer, coffee, burgers, pizza, a few South African dishes and a kiddies menu - something for everyone. Free wi-fi, plug points and long table enables you to spend some time on the internet. You can watch the rugby, cricket etc here! Underneath the old Oak trees are where friendships are born and strengthened. The Republic is for one and all.

The Garden Shack

The Garden Shack is a retail nursery which also boasts with an unusual attraction - they are also a seafood beach restaurant. Fresh hake from Cape Town or Mossel Bay, delicious calamari, their legendary mussel pot, King prawns and more.

If you are looking for a child friendly or a laid back beach vibe you won't find a better option for at least 200km. Because it is situated in a nursery it feels like you are on a tropical island. The floor of the restaurant are covered with beach sand - enough that your kids (or yourself) will be building sand castles in the kids area.

Barrel & Blues

The Barrel & Blues Swellendam Restaurant is a popular destination for many locals and travellers coming through town with both indoor (smoking and non smoking areas) as well as covered outdoor facilities.

Try out our famous wood fired pizzas and signature steaks served daily from 11am till 12pm.

Kids play area and kiddies menu available.

Drostdy Museum

The Drostdy Museum was built by the Dutch East India Company in 1747 to serve as residence and official headquarters for the Landdrost. Soon after a gaol, a house for the secretary, a mill and various outbuildings were erected.

The first Landdrost to be appointed to this district was Johannes Theophilus Rhenius and he was assisted by a board of burger heemraden and subordinates like secretary and a gaoler as well as many slaves. From 1827 the Drostdy was occupied by the civil commissioner who, with the resident magistrate, replaced the board of Landdrost and heemraden when they were abolished by the British colonial government.

In 1846 the government sold the Drostdy and the property was subdivided. In 1855 the former Drostdy was bought by the Steyn family and it remained in the hands of this family until 1939 when it was bought by the government of the Union of South Africa for the purpose of establishing a museum.
Museum Website
Drostdy MuseumDrostdy Museum AmbagswerfDrostdy Museum OutsideDrostdy MuseumMayvilleMayville

Marloth Nature Reserve

Marloth Nature Reserve is named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents, petitioned the Minister of Lands and Forestry in 1928 to set aside part of the mountain as a nature reserve. In 1981, the reserve was enlarged to include the rest of the State Forest and the Swellendam hiking trail was opened.

The reserve’s vegetation is predominantly mountain fynbos, with patches of forest. There are several species of protea and more than 25 species of erica, most of which flower in November. Marloth, like the rest of the southern Cape, has hot summers and cold winters. The higher mountain peaks are occasionally dusted in snow during the cold winter months.
Office hours: 07h00–16h00

Please report to reception on arrival. Check-in times for overnight guests are after 14h00, but before 16h00.

Tel: +27 (0)87 087 3039/3883

After Hours Tel : +27 (0)82 496 2450
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: 087 087 8250
Marloth Nature Reserve Website
Swellendam Mountains MarlothHiking in MarlothDuiwelsbos Waterfall marlothTwaalfuurkop ViewHiking sign MarlothMarloth Road with People

Gift Shops

Grace + Merci Shop

Bev Missing opened her Secret Shop hidden away in the garden behind her restaurant, Grace + Merci. There she is doing all the things that made her so happy in the early days of RAIN. Sourcing, product developing, travelling, finding outlet for her creativity.

Whether you are looking for home fragrance, new pillows, tabelcloths or kicthenware, this is the perfect place to pick out the perfect gifts.

Art De Olivia

Art de Olivia is an art and gift shop combined into one great experience. Olivia's art adventure started in the small town of Virginia where she grew up. Before long everyone knew her and her paintings. Now almost 30 years later she has a very successful business and has opened a shop in Swellendam.

Bee Things

Bee Things, also forms part of Ubusi Beekeeping (Pty.) Ltd. as a retail brand for honey and other bee related products, for the local and tourist market. We currently have four retail store in operation (Swellendam, George & Mossel Bay), and we have plans to expand these retail stores in the near future.

By opening these honey shops, we not only added value to our honey and wax, but we also created a market for other beekeepers to sell their very own bee products and created an awareness about pure raw South African honey and the by-products of the bee industry. In these shops you can also find information about the beekeeping industry and practices, live honey bees on show  and bee products, as well as local manufactured hand crafted items.


Zero90 is an authentic leather company and retailer showcasing only the best there is in leather.


Wine Route

Olivedale Vineyards

Introducing a range of alternative, superior wines that reveal the mysteries of nature and perform a celebratory dance for the senses.
The magic of a wine range that can hold its own against the best brands in the world – in taste, texture, aroma and colour.

Located in the heart of the Overberg, at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, where vineyards prosper, you can find our boutique wine cellar. Here we strive for excellence, while taking nature into consideration. This is the only wine farm in Swellendam.

Van Loveren

Van Loveren has been in the Retief family since 1937 when Hennie Retief snr acquired the land in the Robertson Valley and named it after Christiena van Loveren, an ancestor of his new bride, Jean van Zyl.

From humble beginnings Van Loveren has grown to become South Africa's leading family-owned winery, known for their consistency, award-winning wines as well as innovation.


What started off once as a vegetable farm, was transformed into Esona, the boutique estate surrounding all things wine that it is today. Over the years, it has become a place to escape and admire the valley – and sometimes even remind you that it’s the simple things in life that are the finest.

Our certified single vineyards are in the heart of the beautiful Robertson Valley alongside the Breede River in the Western Cape, South Africa. The vineyards are positioned in sandy silt soil, ideal for cultivating our premium wines. The upper soil is deep loam enriched with lime.

Come for the taste. Stay for the lifestyle. Discover plenty of wine.


The dynamic duo behind Viljoensdrift wines keeps abreast of developments and continues to stay in touch with the demands of the market – both locally and internationally.

Their wine portfolio offers a diverse yet complimentary combination of red and white, including the Cellarmaster’s Selection, limited-edition wines produced with extra care in small volumes which is winemaker Fred Viljoen’s pride and joy; and the Villion Méthode Cap Classique which pays homage to their French roots.


The Jonker family has lived on Weltevrede since 1912. The estate was founded by Klaas Jonker, whose pioneering soul led him to plant the first vines in the area. In the 1930’s Weltevrede was inherited by his son, Japie Jonker, who in 1933 began wine farming on Weltevrede. Japie expanded the winery of Weltevrede to accommodate the growing grape production.

Jan Harmsgat

Here at Jan Harmsgat, we take great pride in the level of skill and care with which we make our wine. When buying from us, you can expect quality on a whole new level.

Our wines are created in the heart of Swellendam on our farm. We produce them in small batches and sell them all over South Africa. We’ve even bagged a few awards with these wines!

The Maker's Brew

The Maker's Brew is a craft beer brewery based in Barrydale. This is not just another brewery, but rather a journey. Join them in the process of creating, making and enjoying craft beer. The brewery sits right on the edge of Route 62 as it cuts through Barrydale. ​

The Maker's Brew offers craft beer brewed on the premises in a micro brewery. Their lineup includes an amber ale, a blonde ale, a saison and a porter. They serve great coffee and something to eat. Art by South African artist, Helen Vaughan, are on display at The Maker's Brew.


Joubert-Tradauw is a family-owned private cellar in the Tradouw Valley in the Klein Karoo/Little Karoo region on the famous R62 route. The farm is located just outside the picturesque village of Barrydale. Life around here is mainly about two things: fruit of the vine and the work of human hands. Step into the clean, crisp air and onto the rich, fertile soil of the Tradouw Valley.

Sijnn Wines

A beautiful pioneering wine estate in the middle of nowhere at the end of a long, dusty, bumpy road at the Southern tip of Africa.

When David and Rita Trafford visited the Malgas region for the first time in 2000, they were blown away with the incredible soils specifically in the Lemoentuin area and immediately set about finding a suitable property to purchase.

Today, Sijnn Wines are grown in Malgas along the Breede River - the only first growth appellation in the region.


An ancient terroir shared with the famous Robertson wine valley, the innovation and craftsmanship of a legendary boutique winemaker, and the decades long passion of a Swiss chef; each bottle of Mimosa Wines has a heritage that goes far beyond their vintage.

Wine maker Lourens van der Westhuizen and wine lover Bernhard Hess took their flavour inspiration from the contrast between the complexity and simple elegance of the mimosa flower.

Under The Oaks Market

Under The Oaks Market
Visit the market

Every Saturday (weather permitting) from 09:00 to 13:00

8 Voortrek Street Swellendam
Under The Oaks Market
Under the Oaks
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