WORDS: KIT HEATHCOCK IMAGES: NATASHA LASSEN
Noordhoek and horses go together like Noordhoek and beach. The minute you turn off the main road, you see horses on the common, perhaps a child on a pony being led down the road, a lady walking two large dogs on leashes. Then you look again and see they’re miniature ponies. It feels a world away from the city.
“I love the open spaces, the horses. It feels like it’s still part of a farm land,” says resident Ingrid Altman. “I love that you can drive down the road and wave at three or more people that you know.”
It’s a village rather than a suburb, one that has grown around a rural treefilled enclave of one-acre plots around the common, quiet roads that are cul de sacs, linked by riding trails to the long white sand beach. Many choose paddocks and horses over swimming pools and gardens. Long-term residents note that the village is starting to change with subdivisions and more building, but it still has a peaceful, spacious country vibe and village feel.
“Noordhoek has a tight-knit and fiercely loyal local community,” says Kristen Buttress, who opened her first Kristen’s KickAss Ice Cream shop here five years ago. “We know most of our customers by name, and have had the privilege of watching them grow up from little kids. When I first started my business, I was so naive, and the community supported my humble beginnings wholeheartedly. They were like my cheerleaders.”
On the map
It may be far from the city lights, but Noordhoek is still a favourite tourist destination, being at the end of Chapman’s Peak Drive, so the creative small businesses that thrive here get a boost from that flow.
“We are located right off one of the most spectacular coastline drives in the world! We get loads of happy tourists stopping off for a stretch and a scoop. We get asked a lot, ‘how do you survive during winter?’, and the answer is the spectacular community that continues to support us rain or shine,” adds Kristen.
There’s no need to leave the valley to fill up a weekend happily. “A typical weekend includes lots of horse-riding and horse events for myself and my daughter,” says Ingrid. “We also used to be part of Fish Hoek Nippers and that was fantastic for the kids. My husband paddles and is always at the Fish Hoek Life Saving club.”
Even if you don’t have your own horse you can enjoy the treat of a beach ride along the beautiful 8km sand beach with Sleepy Hollow, The Dunes, or Noordhoek Beach Horse Riding. Or take to the mountains on the Chapman’s Peak hiking trail, either just up the peak or all the way to Hout Bay. Silvermine Nature Reserve offers a variety of trails short and long as well as its reservoir for picnics and swimming.
The Noordhoek Farm Village is one of the village’s natural hearts. It’s somewhere that kids on ponies will ride through to pick up an ice cream, where parents enjoy long lunches at The Foodbarn or Café Roux, while kids play on the jungle gyms, where you can pick up freshly roasted coffee, bread straight out of the oven, and much more. Plus it boasts its own live music hub at Café Roux, so check out who’s playing and get the vibe without having to head into the city. The Wednesday night market is a local social gathering point. Another weekly market and one more place not to miss, Noordhoek’s own wine estate, Cape Point Vineyards, where on Thursdays spectacular views combine with food trucks, picnics and the estate wine for sundowners with a difference.
I think the isolation of the Southern Peninsula lends a certain romanticism to the Village. It’s close enough to the big city lights to make it weekend-able but far enough away to make you feel like you’ve escaped into another universe. KRISTEN BUTTRESS, RESIDENT
ON THE UP AND UP
- On the mountain slope leading up to Silvermine are newer residential estates on smaller plots, which get the views over the bay.
- Then exclusive Goede Hoop Estate offers the ultimate equestrian lifestyle on properties of up to five acres.
- Lake Michelle, a secure eco-estate built around wetlands and lakes in the valley rich with birdlife, is another lifestyle option ideal for nature lovers.
- The Foodbarn: Franck Dangereux’ legendary relaxed and innovative fine dining, plus deli for casual food
- Limoncello: Italian trattoria with authentic Naples cuisine under the milkwood trees (see page 7)
- Café Roux: lazy breakfasts, family lunches, live music sessions and dinner
- Kristen’s KickAss Ice Cream: what it says!
- Jakes on the Common: burgers, fish and chips, and international cafe food
- Longbeach Mall: Pick n Pay, Woolworths and a selection of highstreet stores
- Sun Valley Mall: Checkers Hyper, Dischem, various stores and a Virgin Active gym
- Noordhoek Farm Village: deli, coffee roastery, ice cream, tack shop, gallery and gifts
- Noordhoek Garden Emporium: garden centre, pole yard, beauty and yoga studios
- Sun Valley Primary School
- EduExcellence Private School
- Imhoff Waldorf School
- The Rock Academy
- Fish Hoek Primary School
- Fish Hoek High School
BUSINESS INSIDER: THE BOBBY PIN HAIR STUDIO
A tiny rustic hair salon shaded by tall trees on Sunbird Farm, The Bobby Pin Hair Studio reflects the rural essence of Noordhoek. Where else could riding stables and beauty treatments share the same address!
Nicci, a local resident and horse rider opened the salon in 2018. Tara joined soon after and her interior design skills added to the tranquil getaway feel of the salon. Christyl came on board last year and will continue the Bobby Pin when Nicci takes up an opportunity abroad later this year. The three stylists work independently and collaboratively. “Each of us brings our own flavour and style,” they say, “and we offer all the same high-end treatments found in mainstream salons. Our tranquil and serene hair studio offers a wonderful feeling of escapism without having to go the distance,” they add.
“We agree that Noordhoek and The Bobby Pin chose us. Our clients are local, some travel from surrounding suburbs and even over the mountain to experience what we offer, which is unlike any salon in the area.”
SEE FOR YOURSELF
The Bobby Pin Hair Studio
081 856 9213