The Best Kept Secret of the Eastern Cape!

On the most Southern edge of the Winterberg mountains, within the smaldeel valley; lies the small and quaint – one horse- town of Bedford. This charming little town is merely 200km from Port Elizabeth, providing beautiful rolling hills of greenery against a magnificent wind farm backdrop.

 

My Husband and I experienced Bedford for the first time last week, and were blown away as we came across The Duke of Bedford Inn – an antique hotel found on the corner of Bedford’s main road; exposing the perfect synergy of old and new!

 

When stepping foot inside, it felt as if we had time travelled through to the 1800’s. The Inn featured beautiful wrought iron spiral railings, original wood flooring, large bay windows that allowed magnitudes of warm light to filter through and compliment each rooms decor. Each bedroom has been meticulously decorated to show off the old in a new light. “Summer, Spring, Winter and Autumn” as well as “Town” & “Country” are known as the most plush rooms found within The Duke of Bedford Inn.

 

When walking through the dining room, under the regal chandeliers and into the courtyard; I was blown away once more. The Bedford community have gathered and supported each other so beautifully, running 6 stores that are accessible directly from Hope Street, and each open out onto this exquisite, festive courtyard. Woman of all ages from this community gathered for coffee each morning at the Apprentice (Bedford’s best kept secret).

 

We walked into the Apprentice and felt as though we had arrived at the most exquisite, most delicious and inviting bakery of all. Pastries, breads, cakes, cupcakes, koeksisters, croissants and brownies decorated a table at the entrance of the bakery. Marelise Van Niekerk; owner and chef at the Apprentice showcased her top notch culinary skills when serving our delicious lunch that afternoon – Home made Lamb & Mint Pie accompanied by a Garden Vegetable salad.

 

A Beauty Clinic, Hair Salon, Clothing Boutique, Art Gallery and a traditional Music Store inhabit the other stores along Hope Street. Each shop featured something nostalgic and beautiful – I felt as though I had fallen in love with a street!

 

The town of Bedford drew our interest some more as we drove through the dirt side streets, taking in the old architecture, the five different and exquisite churches found on almost every corner and the small school playgrounds that seems as though they held the memories of happy bare-foot children. The golf course hosts many locals over the weekend and the “Rosarium” features the most beautiful roses of its kind, which are only found within Bedford.

 

Bedford is extremely well known for its Garden Festival taking place on the 20th October this year. This festival showcases the beautiful and world renowned country gardens and township gardens of Bedford. The festival provides the opportunity for interested garden lovers to walk through the homes of the garden owners and pick their brains on their techniques and craftsmanship.

 

Bedford proved to be the “Best Kept Secret of the Eastern Cape” and one I highly recommend as a destination to visit – especially if you’re looking to explore a beautifully, old world.
Featured: Travel Africa –¬†https://issuu.com/magaread55/docs/travel_africa__issue_79__july-septe

 



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