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Cape Town, South Africa

Why you should visit the Elgin Train Market

Living in Cape Town, weekends are the time to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Having a couple of days break from my tours, we decided to go on an outing to one of my favourite spots in the Cape, The Elgin Valley and especially the new Elgin Train Market which is the new talk of the town! The Elgin Valley is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Elgin is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The breathtaking valley is a picturesque sight of lush green forests, orchards, fruit, and vineyards.

Elgin Valley
Gerhard and I took the drive along the N2 passing through Somerset West and over the Sir Lowry’s Pass which is a long winding pass built snugly along the mountainside, with spectacular views of False Bay and Somerset West and over the other side of the mountain one enters the beautiful Elgin Valley.

After the drive-through Grabouw and past the old Elgin station, you enter the grounds with a huge new building which is the Elgin Train Market. Expecting the usual small town market with a couple of tables with produce and a coffee stand, this was a promising sight.

The Market
The original building used to be an old Apple Warehouse which has been transformed by Roger Orpen who had a great idea and turned the old building into an ingenious Masterpiece. Once you step inside it is like walking back in time perhaps to the Victorian Age or France in the 1920s, the design is a combination of an “Eclectic Industrial finish”, Victorian and Steampunk Decor.
It is immediately evident that this is not the usual little market and indeed the place to be. Visitors can gather in the market space to view the Steam Train roll into the station, enjoy all the scrumptious goodies and gather around the many tables and benches provided to drink the coffee, sample the Gin, Wine, and Beer and eat their hearts out at the many vendor stalls! One can spend the whole day just enjoying the vibe and mulling over what you should try next! Schwarma’s (Ardi’s) Pizza (Corlie’s Italian Kitchen) Ribs and Burgers (The Station Grill) delicious curry (The Curry Pot), Mexican Dishes (El Sombrero) Sweet Treats (Pudding and Pie) freshly squeezed juices (Splash Smoothies), cheeses, bread, ( Ella’s Elgin Farm Foods) and so much more to enjoy.

Let the fun Be-Gin!
We started off with sampling the Belgian Chocolate. Gaboli’s Chocolates is the creation of Gaspard Bossut chocolatier and owner of GaBoli’s Chocolates. All his chocolates are handmade and contain no vegetable fat, palm kernel oil, vegetable shortening or additives.

After tasting the melt watering chocolates we headed off to try the Gin at L-Gin. I just love the taste of crafted gin especially the Blueberry bliss Cocktail!.
Started by three good friends from Elgin who love drinking gin!

While Gerhard headed for his caffeine fix at Ground Central Coffee I slowly sipped on my perfectly crafted Gin humming to the tune of Pink Panther played by the local artist!

We just couldn’t resist the handcrafted Fudge from The Fudge Kitchen you will find lots of different flavours to choose from, they use their own original special recipe fudge using traditional methods with a lot of love! You just have to try this delectable treat, it melts in your mouth!

We wandered up the beautifully designed staircase (my husband at this stage taking a straighter line) and walking along until we found this awesome wine store (So’Vinhos) which stock most of the Overberg Wines and have a note: “And there is always time for wine”.

The name So’vinhos, which is Portuguese for “Only Wine” is dedicated to the heritage of the owner and founder Carla Lopes. It is a boutique wine store which promotes the very best Elgin and Botrivier Wines. A visit to some of the nearby Wine Estates is also something one can do on an outing to the Elgin Wine Valley.

Some of the Wine Estates to visit:
Almenkerk, Lothian, Iona, Elgin Vintners, Oak Valley, Highlands Road, Paul Cluver, Charles Fox, Elgin Ridge, South Hill, Hannay, and Arumdale. We ended our day visiting the Book Bus parked outside. If your looking for rare and secondhand books this is the place to be!

For more fun, you can glide your way through the Elgin Valley on a Segway personal transporter while you explore the farms and forests of the Overberg with Segway Tours!

The Elgin Train Market Days:
Fridays: 4pm-8pm
Saturdays: 9am-7pm
Sundays: 9am- 5pm

Join me on a lovely day outing to the Elgin Valley:
Contact: Brenda@dornbracktravel.com. www.dornbracktravel.com.

Written by Brenda Dornbrack
Photographs by Brenda Dornbrack.