Our Story

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 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 for Arniston Weddings, 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”

Melanie Albertyn


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.”

Melanie Albertyn


What brides say

quote2“Die Overberg was ons keuse, Naghtwacht was die venue. Die perfekte weer vir n buitelug seremonie onder die ou Melkhout bome. Klassiek, elegant, intiem en romanties…Antiek Roos & Ivoor..honderde kerse en feetjie liggies..linte en antieke silver kandelare..ONS Mooiste dag ooit!”

Amy-Lee en Wian Nolte








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Melanie’s Blog on life in the Overberg, good food & wine, travel and …

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+27 (0) 82 927 9706 | info@arnistonweddings.co.za | GPS : 34°34’48”S 20°07’12”E