Rosendal alternative destinationCool and quirky

sunset 1Our new favourite village! Rosendal is a tiny place in the eastern Free State an hour’s drive from Clarens. The only tar road is the main one and it is a beautiful, well kept secret of a destination.

We visited in winter when all the trees were bare and the ground dry (and still loved it!), but from Spring onwards when the blossoms and leaves start sprouting the place will transform itself into a green wonderland.

The village is surrounded by the Witteberge and has a dam on the outskirts which is home to abundant bird life. Be warned though, the few tourist attractions (with one exception) are only open Thursday to Sunday. There is a small shop to buy basic needs the rest of the week but otherwise you are on your own!

wessel house1 small
Eco architecture

The architecture for such a small place is really interesting, with unique shapes, container housing and eco builds all being explored, but in a very attractive way. These buildings blend in with the village rather than stand out.

The village is charming and lovely to walk around; there are hikes and horse-riding nearby and plenty of time for just relaxing and stoep sitting. The locals we encountered were extremely friendly and happy to chat about the village and what makes it tick!

Hedonist Hippy recommends

To eat:

Rosa Restaurant – in the centre of the village on the main road. Comfortably furnished with squashy sofas and scrubbed wooden tables they serve good meals utilising local, seasonal produce. Open Thursday – Sunday.

To visit:

Meerkatcolonie – eclectic art gallery next door to Rosa Restaurant.

Die Stoor – Dahle Hulme’s workshop and studio gallery (their main gallery is in Clarens) where you can meet the artists and watch them creating wonderful furniture and sculptures. Small shop off to the side selling local artist’s crafts and artworks as well as offering coffee and light snacks. Open most days of the week.

Interior Wessel
Wessel’s house interior

Turksvy Trading – an amazing place housing collectables of all nature and lots of kitchen ware and enamel. It is a treasure trove of goodies and too much to take in all at once! A visit is a must. Open Thursday – Sunday.

To stay:

Wessel’s house – an eco build with uninterrupted views of the dam. It is like being at a friend’s place and they’ve just popped out. Beautiful and funky with great art works and furniture.


It’s our secret

Rosendal is a very special place, but not for city lovers wanting bright lights and crowds. City dwellers wanting relaxation, calm and quirky, then this is for you. But ssshhh – don’t tell anyone that you’ve discovered it!

Visit the website for more info.

Where to find it