NAPIER – JEWEL OF THE OVERBERG
Napier that glittering jewel in the Overberg’s crown is synonymous for its’ warm welcome and gentle country charm. It’s a small village with a big heart that easily casts its spell on you. One just can’t help wanting to remain here and bask in its simple glory for a long time. Nestled at the foot of the Soetmuisberg and situated between Caledon & Bredasdorp means the drive there is a veritable treat, as the R316 meanders through undulating fields of canola and wheat which dance in the afternoon breeze. Time passes quickly on this journey as you count the multitude of jackal buzzards on the wing and spot our national emblem the Blue Crane and the elusive Secretary bird on the hunt. Descending into the valley the main road follows the contours of the Klipdrifrivier which splits the village in two. One gets an immediate taste of what life in the late 19th century must have been like, as quaint restored cottages with their generous verandas invite weary travellers to stay a while and explore. The focal piece of architecture is the attractive Dutch reformed church whose lofty spire stands like a sentinel over the village. In fact Napier itself owes its existence to the site of this church as a result of a dispute between two neighbouring farmers who desired the community church to be built on their land. Neither gave way and the result was that two churches were built, one in Bredasdorp the other in Napier and the Dorps grew around them . Napier was thus founded in 1839 and named after the acting British governor of the time, Sir George Thomas Napier. A stroll around the village is encouraged and can take a while as you chat with the friendly locals, swap gardening tips, and make friends with the many horses and other livestock that give this special village its authentic rural character. It’s no surprise that those with a creative flair were drawn here. Antique hunters and art collectors will not be disappointed. My Skat, Greta’s Place and Napier Antiques are just a few of the many places who sell bygone treasures with a story attached. Acclaimed Painters and sculptors live here and are only too willing to discuss and showcase their work. The best of country fare can be found on offer at charming farm stalls brimming with organic fruit and vegetables and shelves adorned with jars of wholesome preserves & lemonade made with love. And don’t forget to pack a cooler bag to take home your fresh farm milk from the Melkstal and artisan goats cheeses. Whether you simply fancy a cappuccino or crave a full fine dining experience, the talented chefs in Napier abound and are worth tracking down for a lazy lunch or a sumptuous supper. Pascal’s, JD’s and The Suntouched Inn all extend extraordinary hospitality and don’t forget to ask about the seasonal pop up restaurants, Wild Thyme and Lauro’s Deli to add to the list.
Accommodation varies from five star luxury guest houses to back packers. One can even sleep in an Ox wagon. Whatever suits your style. But be assured wherever you stay you will be extended congenial hospitality. Book an extra night to really explore the surrounding areas. Historic Elim and the exquisite turquoise sea in Arniston are both within easy reach.
THE NAPIER PATATFEES: Friday 17 – Sunday 19 June 2016
Usually Napier is a haven for those seeking peace and quiet, but for one weekend in June something extraordinary happens and we all go a little mad; we put out the bunting, embrace our heritage and pay homage to the humble Patat ( Sweet Potato) which used to be the main crop grown here. Imaginatively made Scarecrows in great number can be seen adorning the streets and are scrutinized by eminently qualified judges. Vintage cars and motorcycles take part in displays and offer lifts to the willing community and the local children display their dancing prowess amongst many other talents. The Napier Patatfees has grown over the past 23 years and today plays host to over 2000 enthusiastic cyclists and runners who take part in accredited MTB races and half marathons staged over the long weekend. In short it’s simply not to be missed! To mark Youth day we have a number of exciting events happening in Napier on Friday 17th June. Go cart races, Cheer leader routines, Patat and spoon races and scarecrow face painting for the kiddies! And Cyclists don’t forget to register and Carbo-load on Friday evening before the big race the following day! Adrenaline junkies on two wheels look forward to the MTB race on Saturday 18th June which starts bright and early. There are 15km races for those who just want to have a leisurely cycle and take in the fynbos and stunning vistas to a 60km race which has been designed to challenge the more experienced rider. To enter, checkout the official website for details www.napierpatatmtb.co.za.
For those who prefer foot power to pedal power the Napier half marathon and fun run always draws a crowd on the Saturday. There’s also a 25m nappy dash for the tiny tots! See www.napierpatatfees.co.za for details.
This year we have added a further exciting event in the form of a street carnival which will parade through the village centre on Saturday afternoon and continue the fun in the evening with food stalls and restaurants remaining open. And don’t forget to follow the scarecrows route around the entire village and vote for the best. In fact we are encouraging Dad’s to dress up as scarecrows or clowns with their kids and join in the carnival atmosphere. Prizes for the best dressed, but nothing too scary please. Sunday 19th June is father’s day, so why not stick around and enjoy the Sunday market at Wokini Wellness Retreat and have a leisurely lunch there or at one of many superb restaurants and farm stalls amongst beautiful surroundings before heading back to the City? For those who prefer the road less travelled, take a slow leisurely drive back on the gravel roads to explore the best of what this country has to offer. To book accommodation & for further details, check out the following websites & social media for further information.
• Official Facebook page : Napierpatafees.
Napier Patatfees 2016 – PR & Marketing contacts:
• Print & digital media:
Jenni Van der Linden: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Radio & social media:
Marne Joubert: email@example.com
• Event management:
Mark Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org