A little further along from Churchhaven is Kraalbaai, with its crescent-shaped, white-sand beach. On weekends and school holidays it is busy with water-skiers and houseboat parties, but when I visited on a hot midweek day in February, the bay was eerily quiet, the water reflective and warmed by the sun.
The West Coast is famous for its beach-shack restaurants serving barbecued seafood; dried mullet (bokkoms) is the region’s official snack. But the fertile Swartland, ablaze with wild flowers in the spring, also produces exceptional wines and even olives.
There is a cluster of boutique wineries around the town of Darling, home to South African satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys (who performs as Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout, ‘the most famous white woman in South Africa’). Of the Darling wine estates, Groote Post has the edge thanks to its restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, in the original 1790 manor house. Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, it is a popular spot for long, lazy Sunday lunches.