After all that wine tasting we needed some "blotting paper" so it was back to Bot River for lunch. We'd seen an intriguing sign on an old tin building on the railway station platform and we decided that this would be an interesting place to have lunch.
The Shuntin' Shed has been restored and transformed from old goods shed and parcel distribution building to quirky restaurant and pub. Good pub food and excellent pizzas are served all day and local wines are featured on the wine list so you can enjoy a bottle of wine from one of the estates you've just visited. In our case it was Beaumont Raoul Shiraz, a delicious quaffable pink . Relaxing on the deck which overlooks banks of pretty red and pink geraniums, towards the rolling green hills of the Overberg on a warm winter's day, is one of the Cape's many enjoyable experiences.
The interior of the restaurant has been furnished with fascinating railways memorabilia, including the green leather and wood train seats which those of us of a certain age will remember from childhood when cars were used on special occasions and most people travelled by train or bus into the city. Old black and white prints line the original corrugated tin walls and shunting lanterns and signs add a nostalgic note. There's a fireplace for colder days and the pizza oven does a sterling job of warming up the space. A wide screen TV for important Springbok games and live music at weekends ensures a good crowd on match days.
The railway line from Cape Town to this small village was completed in 1902 and for a while formed a useful method of transport from Cape Town and Somerset West, and on to Caledon and Bredasdorp. Interestingly the railway line was going to be extended to the nearby seaside town of Hermanus. A pretty little white station building was erected at the site of the station and all seemed set until Sir William Hoy, the then General Manager of the Railways, decided that he didn't like the thought of trains spoiling the natural beauty and peace of this popular holiday town. He blocked the plan and Hermanus remains the only town in South Africa to have a railway station with no tracks and at which no train has or every will arrive. The attractive old station building now houses the Tourist Information Centre and Sir William's memory lives on in the form of a small hill called Hoy's Koppie, in the town where he and his wife were both buried!