BREDASDORP, WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
The Nacht Wacht Restaurant and Venue is housed on Nacht Wacht Farm. The farm can be found between the towns of Bredasdorp and Arniston, in the Overberg, in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is a working farm with a rich and often mysterious history. Nacht Wacht (translated as ‘Night Watch’) earned its name when the Kars River, which flows through the farm, was in flood. A night watchman was stationed at the river to warn horsemen and carriages not to cross.
The farm also features some of the most prominent families in the Overberg. Three generations of Van der Bijls lived at Nacht Wacht where they operated their well-known stud farm. It has been in the Albertyn family since 1885. Johan David Albertyn bought it in an auction. Johan was an excellent and respected farmer, and owned numerous farms across the area. However, he only married in his later years, aged 48, when he met a young German music teacher, Maria Margarete Petchz, just 21 at the time, who taught at Bloemhof School in Stellenbosch.
The two married in Dresden, Germany, and Grete, as she was known, gave birth to four children: Gideon, Arthur, Alma and Johan. Gideon took over the farming at Nacht Wacht, when his father died shortly after the birth of Johan. For Grete, this meant caring for three children and managing a big business at the same time. She also cared for her own family financially in Germany, by sending them money during the Second World War.
Gideon was an eccentric man – who painted swastikas on the Nacht Wacht garage doors during his life. The government at the time asked him to remove them – which he did by painting white circles over them. However, people today still recall the prominent signs. Gideon died in 1975, and Dawie Albertyn inherited the farm. Today his sons, Attie and Dawie, run the working farm, which is around 10,000 hectares in size. Nacht Wacht is a grain, sheep, and cattle farm, including its famous Sussex bulls.
Nacht Wacht Farm Today
Nacht Wacht Restaurant owner and chef, Melanie Albertyn, married the young Dawie in 1998. They have two children, Zabet and Isabella. Melanie, originally from Swellendam, always had a passion for creating new and interesting culinary dishes. She was a former top 10 finalist in the Rooi Rose teenage chef competition. Following her studies at Stellenbosch, she worked as chef and manager at the Agulhas Guest House, before deciding to launch the restaurant at Nacht Watch. Today Melanie fulfils her dream on a daily basis. She runs her Nacht Watch Restaurant and Venue, she samples new flavours and tastes to evolve her menu, she enjoys the silent spirituality of her time painting – all the while caring for her family.
“Live with passion, live everyday”
Nacht Wacht Farm
“Nacht Wacht Farm – the name and the setting – has always been mysterious to me. It is so beautiful here, with the trees, the river, the wonderful gardens and the historic old buildings. Here, every morning is a new beginning.”
What visitors say
Jane and Holden, Holland
“Situated in a wonderful country setting, with beautiful views of the Strandveld open lands. Good cuisine with excellent wines on this old historical farm with its thatched roofs. Excellent venue for watching a moonrise.”
Ada B, Bredasdorp
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The Nacht Wacht Blog
Melanie’s Blog on life in the Overberg, good food & wine, travel and …
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+27 (0) 82 927 9706 | firstname.lastname@example.org | GPS : 34°34'48''S 20°07'12''E
Fri - Sun: 11h00 - 15h00. Fri-Sun Dinner by reservation only. Bookings for groups 10 or more will be accepted any day of the week.