Hoekwil is a tiny little hamlet perched in the Outeniqua foothills. It is about 13 minutes north-east of Wilderness is the very definition of a hidden gem. I have visited there in all seasons and at all times. As you round the corner of the winding road leading into the tranquil wilderness, a serene sense of calm settles over you.
Your first stop should be the aptly named Hoekwil Country Café. At this lovely little restaurant with its true farm vibes, you can expect to eat the best-baked cheesecake you have ever tasted. I’m not joking. The Cheesecake at Hoekwil Country Café has been awarded the prize of Best Cheesecake in South Africa a couple of years running, and once you taste it, you’ll know why. With flavours ranging from the classics of Lemon and Blueberry to such luxuries as Salted Caramel, Creamy Chocolate, and Turkish Delight, there’s a slice of yum for everyone. They even have a sugar free option.
More Than Cake
Don’t be fooled though – this is more than just a cake and coffee shop. As is obvious when you go on a Saturday morning, this little hideaway isa much-loved local hang out. Mountain bikers often end their early morning trek at Hoekwil for a cup of perfectly brewed coffee and a hearty breakfast. The carrot cake and rich chocolate cake are also absolute showstoppers.
Family and Pet Hoekwil Country Café also isn’t a fussy old tannie coffee shop, but rather a lovely little family haven
away from the hustle of the garden route coast. And the usual restaurants there. It has a big garden and outdoor play area for the little ones, and a covered stoep and shady spots under the trees for the big folks.
Walk Off the Calories
If you’re feeling adventurous you can take a hike along any of the well-marked hiking routes surrounding Hoekwil and Wilderness. Alternatively, why not book a horseback trail ride? If you’re more of a cheesecake and chill type of person, why not take a book and spend a lazy afternoon reading and drinking too much coffee. The coffee beans are locally roasted and freshly ground while you wait.
A Secret Place
Hoekwil is a delightful place that most people never find, or only find by chance. But like a secret garden luring you back time and again, once you’ve found it, Hoekwil will call you back. Every time you find yourself south of the Outeniqua mountains, the sweet siren song of tranquillity and mountain views will lure you in once again. I admit, I’ve been caught up in it and I’m counting down the days to my 17th visit.
A Culinary Escape
Hoekwil itself is not large and does not offer much other than peace, quiet and lovely views. But if you want to stretch your legs after brunch, take a walk down Church road and see what it offers up. There are one or two other small eateries on Church road as well. Though, I just never seem to make it past the Hoekwil Country Café. You should feel free to wander down and try anything on offer at the Hoeka-Toeka pub and diner. Mrs B’s Kitchen or The Merchant and Maiden is rumoured to have a very good pizzaand wine selection.
Hoekwil Country Café is an easy drive from George, Hartenbos, Heroldsbay, Knysna, Glentana and Mosselbay. There’s no need to call ahead and reserve a spot (unless you are a party of 10 or more of course).
They are open from 8 am to 5 pm during the week. – 8 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. – 9 am to 4 pm on Sundays. You can order takeaways or even buy a whole cheesecake to eat at home. (They won’t judge…we promise!)