What’s in a name, you may ask? Well, in the case of Darling, the small and secluded (yet drop dead gorgeous) town on the West Coast, apparently a lot.
There is perhaps no other town in the whole of South Africa that is as aptly named as Darling. The beautiful town with its long stretching fields of wildflowers, quaint coffee shops and local cast of characters that resembles something from a fairytale, is a place everyone needs to visit at least once in their life.
Only about 75 kilometers from Cape Town, Darling is world renowned for its wildflowers. These wildflowers bloom in the late winter, early spring time – usually towards the end of July, through August and September.
When in bloom, these flowers turn the town into a magical landscape, littered with vivid colours and delicate formations.
While you may have heard of Darling and its wonderful wildflowers before, did you know that the first annual Darling Wildflower Show was held in 1917 – meaning that this famous showcase of natural beauty celebrated its centenary last year.
The annual show is held by the Darling Wildflower Society, which was founded in 1915 by Mrs. Suzanne Malan and Mr. Frederick Duckitt of Waylands.
It may be too late to witness the beauty that is the wildflowers in bloom in Darling, but you can start planning your next wildflower trip up the West Coast! Here is a handy guide on where to stop to see some of the most gorgeous flowers.
Darling isn’t just flowery haven of colour. In fact, there are so many wonderful attractions in this little town that this article can turn into a book!
However, one of our absolute favourite spots in Darling is – of course – Evita Se Perron.
Run by the incomparable Mrs. Bezuidenhout herself, Evita Se Perron has long since been a favourite for locals and tourists. The restaurant-slash-cabaret venue is as eclectic as Evita Bezuidenhout herself.
Regularly featuring performances by some of South Africa’s best artists, Evita Se Perron is also a wonderful spot for lunch or a quick refreshment while perusing the town. Who knows, you might even run into Tannie Evita herself!
Darling is also rich in cultural history. Home to the Khoisan people, Darling is close to the !Kwha ttu San Culture and Education Center in Yzerfontein.
The center aims to educate people on the heritage and culture of the area, and the people who inhabited it first. You’ll be able to join a three-hour tour where the San will give you a glimpse into their daily lives (even now, in modern times) and show off their impressive skills.
It’s a fascinating and enlightening experience – and one you should definitely consider doing if you’re making your way to Darling.
Cloof Wine Estate in Darling is the epitome of small town charm meets modern luxury. The wine estate produces some of the most delicious wine in the Western Cape and has (rightfully so) won numerous awards for several of their wines.
Join them for a wine tasting or light lunch and revel in the beauty of the farm.
Cloof Wine Estate is also home to Rocking the Daisies – one of South Africa’s premier music festivals. This year’s festival was, once again, held at the wine estate just this past weekend.
If you’re a regular at Daisies, we’d definitely recommend that you explore more of Darling at next year’s festival!
In keeping with the theme of leisure and sipping on a cold one, one of the very first, commercially successful craft beer breweries calls Darling home!
Darling Brewery, famed for their ‘Bone Crusher’ ale and ‘Slow Beer’ lager, has been at the forefront of the craft beer scene since their inception in 2010.
Their beers are uniquely delicious and has won several awards – which makes it another spot to add to your trip to Darling.
Their Tasteroom in Darling overlooks their brewery, and you can enjoy a meal or some tapas while tasting their glasses of gold goodness!
Whether you’re only stopping by on a trek up the West Coast, or you’re spending a few days in Darling, we’re pretty sure you won’t be able to resist the charm of this special town.