Tulbagh Winter Festival 2019

Last winter, before the COVID pandemic shifted the landscape of our lives in such profound ways, we ventured into the countryside for our first visit to the Tulbagh Winter Festival. Tulbagh is a quaint, historic town dating back to the early 1700s. The town is steeped in history, especially because of the major earthquake that rocked the community fifty years ago, in1969 – coincidentally, the day after I was born🤔. It felt like we had stepped back in time entering this hamlet.

Church Street was closed off to enable visitors to wander along the avenue at leisure until one reaches the ‘earthquake museum’ and Oude Kerk. Cape Dutch style cottages converted to museums and trading posts are strung along the avenue, along with pop up street markets and friendly vendors offering local crafts and foods. This included dried fruits and preserves, homemade fudge and brownies to embroidered and knitted crafts, cushions, shawls, leather goods, etc.

We stopped at Pioneers cottage to sample a treat of ‘snoek and soet patat’, hot soup, homemade bread and “moer koffie” cooked and enjoyed around an open fire (it was yummy). The festival is Christmas themed and had guitarists dotted along the avenue playing the guitars and singing old songs. There was a soft drizzle of rain but not cold at all and no one seemed bothered by it. There are also farm tours and wine tasting, as well as a Christmas lunch on offer. It’s a weekend event so one can make a weekend of it. It was lots of fun. Would definitely go back again.

There was lots more to see and do, so a weekend may be the way to go next year.

Thank you for your hospitality Tulbagh and our friends, the Lodewyks, who made the experience a memorable one!