From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
8 things you didn’t know about this tidal pool cocktail spot
Boozy milkshakes, pinchos, wildlife watching + more
Last updated: Friday, 23 December 2022
This eatery, built around Fick’s tidal pool, is famous for its stunning sea views (you can whale watch from there), daily cocktail specials and northern Spanish cuisine. Ficks is also (probably) the most Instagrammable spot in the Western Cape. Here are 8 things you didn’t know about Ficks in Hermanus (and why you should visit).
Ficks is located in the scenic small town of Hermanus. Image: Ficks
LOCALS HAVE LOVED IT SINCE THE 1920s
In the 1920s, a concrete wall was built across the rocks and a tidal pool - Fick’s Pool - was created. There are different accounts as to how the pool got its name. One theory involves the principal of the only school in Hermanus, Mr J.J. Fick, who said the construction of a swimming pool would keep the young people of the town entertained. He was correct: seeing locals frolic in the tidal pool is one of the things that makes the Fick experience so special.
Fick’s Pool has been a popular spot among the youth of Hermanus since the twentieth century. Credit: Ficks
THE TIDAL POOL IS STILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
When you visit Ficks for lunch or sundowners, you’ll feel the pleasant ambience of long summer days at the beach. The tidal pool is open to the public and all sorts of people visit, from children in floaties to young women tanning on the rocks. The pool is refreshing and clean, which makes it a good spot for a dip before lunch.
The sound of children playing makes a trip to Ficks feel like a summer day. Credit: Ficks
SIP CHEEKY COCKTAILS
Although you can find classics like Aperol Spritz and Frozen Margaritas, Ficks’ menu also boasts quirky cocktails. Cheekily-named by the bartenders, try a Balls To The Walls (Six Dogs gin and blue tonic water) or a MILF (gin, lime juice, apple juice and sourmix). There’s also a daily cocktail special which allows guests to try a specialty drink that isn’t on the menu.
With a view like this, Ficks is the perfect spot for an afternoon cocktail or sundowners. Image: Ficks
Ever heard of it? Pinchos are small sharing plates originating from northern Spain. Although they are typically served on a stick, these tapas-like meals are deconstructed at Ficks. Try the salmon ceviche or cauliflower tostada.
Roasted bits of cauliflower are served on a crunchy tostada with avo and coriander salsa. Image: Ficks
TRY NEW BOOZY MILKSHAKES
Ficks has recently added boozy milkshakes to the menu. Try the Save the Rhino (featuring a vanilla and coffee liqueur that aids nature conservation) or the Marshmallow Dream (a fun pink drink made with marshmallow cream liqueur). It’s like ice cream at the beach, but for adults.
Reminisce about summer days spent at the beach with the boozy shakes. Image: Ficks
BE AT ONE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Ficks is aware of their proximity to nature and the responsibilities that come with this. The decks were built using local materials and the cleared rocks were used for other purposes, so that minimal materials were added to the environment. Biodegradable straws and takeaway containers are used, and even the skewers are made from earth-friendly bamboo.
Ficks is nestled in the rocks, close to surrounding flora and fauna. Image: Ficks
Since Ficks is surrounded by natural beauty, you can expect to see families of dassies spying on you from the surrounding rocks. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to watch dolphins and whales from your table during the season.
The view of the surrounding sea and wildlife is a major reason to visit. Image: Ficks
IT’S A SPACE THAT WELCOMES ALL
Owner Joke Gonggrijp envisioned Ficks to be a space where everyone is welcome: the tidal pool is free to the public afterall. So she involves the local kids, who get milkshakes or ice cream when they help clean the tidal pool.
Imagine the beauty of sunset sundowners at this spot. Image: Ficks
WHEN + WHERE TO GO
By Julia Rowley
Learn more about why Ficks is a top Hermanus cocktail spot
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