Villiersdorp taken over!

By admin
23 January 2014

This quaint town with its unmatched beauty and hospitality is hosting a campaign to lower cholesterol levels



This quaint town with its unmatched beauty and hospitality is hosting a campaign to lower cholesterol levels.

Known as the “Pearl of the Overberg”, the village of Villiersdorp in the Western Cape is a true hidden gem surrounded by untouched beauty. Anyone who’s spent time here would agree the town has a unique character, with a wide variety of activities on offer, while its inhabitants welcome you with true “platteland” hospitality.

This is why Flora chose the town to host its campaign aimed at lowering cholesterol levels and educating people on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

“We were amazed by the community spirit and friendliness we found here,” says Nelis Lamprecht, chairman of Villiersdorp Tourism. “When my wife was in hospital people brought plates of food for me to our house. Everyone looks after one another and tries to help where they can.”

Declared a municipality in 1885 the town was first called De Villiers Dorp. There’s a French flair to its history, which goes back to the early 1800s – among the first residents were descendants of the French Huguenots who introduced the art of winemaking to the area. Apples, pears, peaches, grapes and onions are also produced in this fertile area.


For Dene and Zelda Zondagh, owners of the Kelkiewyn Café, great food should be enjoyed in great surroundings. “We love the country atmosphere,” Dene says. “Everything on our menu is delicious but it’s our oxtail and waterblommetjie bredies that draw people and especially bikers.”

Another resident who takes pride in her town is Johannie Barnard, owner of Magnifique Catering. “We’re privileged to be able to source balanced, healthy food on our doorstep,” Johannie says. “Villiersdorp doesn’t have a trademark dish but wherever you go you’re sure to encounter proudly homemade jams and fruit preserves.”

Just more than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Villiersdorp is situated at the foot of the Baviaans mountains and there’s an impressive waterfall nearby. For many the town is a gateway to outdoor attractions such as hiking and mountain bike trails, and 4X4 routes. It’s also home to the Theewaterskloof  Dam, the seventh largest dam in South Africa and the largest in the Western Cape. Apart from water sports and fishing the area offers a nine-hole golf course.

youth sail training community sailors 005 “The majority of visitors to Villiersdorp want to experience the dam and all it offers,” says Leon Deacon, general manager of the Theewater Sports Club. “People come here to fish and end up going on a hike. You can expect to catch bass as well as cob, which are rare elsewhere. We have fishing competitions throughout the year, and more and more people visit Villiersdorp to take part in triathlons which are becoming a common and popular activity around the dam. You can enjoy cycling, hiking and swimming in a space of a few kilometres.” The town of about 10 000 residents is also a haven for local artists. Painter Margaret Epstein finds inspiration in the people and natural surroundings. “You’re immediately aware of nature and all its beauty,” she says. “I love painting beautiful elements and that’s what the area helps me do – it adds beauty to my work. “As artists we receive lots of support from the community. An art centre was recently opened at the local high school where everyone can socialise. And we’re located centrally – if I want to see the bright lights of the city or spend a day at the beach it doesn’t take hours to get there.”

‘Villiersdorp doesn’t have a trademark dish but wherever you go you’re sure to encounter proudly homemade jams and fruit preserves’

Flora and Villiersdorp

To host its 21-day Real People Real Result cholestorol-lowering campaign, Flora decided on Villiersdorp with its unique environment as a town that represents the best South Africa has to offer. Various aspects played a role and the decision was based on logistics, easy access to facilities and the town’s character. “The fact that Villiersdorp has a cross-section of demographics helps to reinforce the message that high cholesterol isn’t limited to one race, age or gender – all South Africans need to know their cholesterol levels,” says Susan Stringer, marketing director of Flora for Unilever SA.

Six reasons to visit

1. History Experience the architectural beauty of Oude Radyn, a historical home believed to be the only building in the Western Cape to have Batavian gutters and downpipes.

2. Food and wine Spoil your taste buds with delicious traditional “platteland” cuisine or tuck into homemade preserves, available at farm stalls. And for quality wines visit the oldest cellar in the Overberg, Villiersdorp Cellar.

3. Culture Villiersdorp is the home of the Alwyn Vintcent, SA’s last remaining coal-fired steam pilot tug. It also hosts the Veteran Tractor and Engine Club and its museum with more than 40 privately owned vintage tractors and engines dating back to the 1920s.

4. Nature Explore the Villiersdorp area in three exciting ways – by foot, on wheels and on water. The Theewaterskloof Dam site features game including zebra, eland, bontebok and hartebees. 5. Outdoor fun The Theewater Sports Club offers adventure-packed activities. Take a hike and explore the conservation area around the dam with its unique biosphere, or enjoy the scenic beauty on a Grade 2 4x4 route. 6. Health Another reason to visit Villiersdorp is to see the results of the 21-Day Cholesterol Challenge – it will soon be known as South Africa’s heart-healthiest town!

80% of all heart attacks are preventable

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