Darling on the West Coast Way
“Only an hour from Cape Town… but a million miles away!”
Written by Johan Liebenberg
Photographs by Bruce Tuck
Whenever I visit the little town of Darling with its thresholds adorned with natural flora, I am reminded of the film Monsieur Hire, based on the novella by Georges Simenon, where Monsieur Hire, living in Paris, tries to coax a beautiful young woman to leave with him to Switzerland: “They beautify their homes and have flowerpots in the windowsills,” he says – or words to that effect. Instead of flowerpots, the people of Darling have verges covered in wild flowers.
They are fiercely proud of their town and the houses are painted in delightful colours, as if prettiness is the sole purpose of the place. In spring, of course, the town is transformed into a wonderland of colour as wild flowers bloom… well, pretty much everywhere. But there is another aspect to Darling, which is that it’s an up-and-coming gourmet destination while at the same time retaining its character as a dorpie.