The Chapman’s Peak mountain, famous long beach and extensive dunes and wetlands of the Noordhoek Valley attract those who value natural beauty and want to live away from the city buzz, so it’s no surprise that Noordhoek is known for its population of creative types.
The pace of life feels slower here – you simply cannot take life at a run when your commute to the city is along Chapman’s Peak Drive or over Ou Kaapse Weg, with soul-stirring views on every hairpin bend. Horse lovers are in their element as there are plenty of properties large enough to accommodate paddocks, quiet lanes leading to beach trail rides and a flourishing riding club that holds regular events.
The village feel extends beyond the leafy lanes and open spaces to the people who live here.
“Noordhoek has a welcoming, friendly, caring, supportive community and a down-to-earth atmosphere dominated by the exquisite natural surroundings,” says artist Carolyn Parton. “I thrive creatively in this environment.”
For her, some of the best things about living in Noordhoek are being able to, in her painting clothes, pop into the Foodbarn deli for fresh bread; walk her dog on the common among grazing horses; take rejuvenating walks along the beach; and the sense of freedom and feeling connected.
“Noordhoek people are funky, creative and arty,” agrees photographer René Maritz.
“The vibe is wonderful and a person is easily accepted into the community.”
At the heart of the community, Noordhoek Farm Village is a warm enclave with a relaxed, family-friendly vibe, good food and deli fare. Franck Dangereux’s legendary Foodbarn attracts visitors from all over Cape Town. The Foodbarn Deli and the new Coffee Roastery are regular stops for locals, as is Café Roux, with its regular live music sessions with top South African artists.
Noordhoek even has its own wine estate tucked into the mountain slopes. Cape Point Vineyards has fantastic ocean views over and is a favourite spot for summer picnics on the lawns. It hosts a regular food market on Sundays in winter and on Thursday evenings in summer. (A new chef will be re-opening the estate’s restaurant this summer – watch this space.)
Although Noordhoek is a small community, the suburb offers a range of very different properties, from 2ha smallholdings in the prestigious Goede Hoop security estate to large homes shaded by mature trees around the common, and modern houses on the mountain slopes in Belvedere. First-time homebuyers can find more-affordable properties in Sunnydale, Milkwood Park or Capri, where the properties are smaller and not as leafy but the community is still close-knit.
Noordhoek Valley has several good primary schools. Capella House is the top private school of choice and Sun Valley Primary is a popular public school. Imhoff Waldorf School in nearby Kommetjie is available for those who prefer an alternative education for their children. There are also well-regarded public schools in Fish Hoek, and Reddam House is just over Ou Kaapse Weg in Tokai.
“There are quite a few younger people with children moving to the area now and renovating, so there tends to be a waiting list for schools,” says Sarah Roberts of The Connection Tree, “but there are plenty of options.”
Residents don’t need to leave the valley for everyday shopping, as Longbeach Mall has the usual high-street stores. There’s quite a buzz about the new development under way next door, which will bring a Virgin Active, Dis-Chem and a Checkers Hyper to the neighbourhood.
But it’s nature, not shopping, for which people choose Noordhoek: long walks with their dogs on Noordhoek beach; a short drive to Fish Hoek beach on the warm Indian Ocean for more child-friendly beach play; mountain hikes on your doorstep; and Silvermine Nature Reserve, a jewel for families with its boardwalks around the reservoir easy hiking trails and picnic spots. (Silvermine was badly damaged in the fires earlier this year but officials tell us it’s due to open towards the end of 2015).
If you want to live life to the rhythm of horses’ hooves clopping down the lane and the seasonal advent of whales in winter, all within a community that takes the protection of the endangered Western Leopard Toad to heart, then Noordhooek is the place to make your home.
Eat like a local
- The Foodbarn Restaurant for excellent cuisine from the legendary Franck Dangereux
- The Foodbarn Deli for scrumptious breakfasts and lunches
- Café Roux for great burgers and desserts and regular live music sessions
- Ellie’s Deli for healthy Banting fare, great Sunday roasts and a relaxed family vibe
- Slip Slops Kitchen Beach Bar for casual meals with lovely beach views
Property prices in Noordhoek
A typical property for sale in Noordhoek is a four-bedroom house at an average asking price of R3,375m
94% of properties for sale are houses
3% of properties for sale are townhouses or in a cluster, at an average asking price of R1,4m
3% of properties for sale are flats, at an average asking price of R1,1m
Average monthly rental for a four-bedroom house: R27,500
Properties for sale in Noordhoek comprise 7% of total sales listings on the peninsula (False Bay). They receive:
- 15% of the interest
- 64% of the total rental listings
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.