Tag Archives: coffee shop

Waffles and Ice Cream at Ikigai in Swellendam (2021-01-13) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 01 MAR 2021

Emily was not exactly thrilled to learn that we would be away on holiday in Swellendam when her 7th birthday rolled in on the 13 January this year. There would of course not have been any birthday party given the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, but still, she was counting on least some form of celebration that involved a Helderberg Cake Company cake, her cousins, and a swim in at least my parent’s or sister’s big swimming pool. (Thankfully our little cottage at Aan de Heuvel had a splash pool, so we kind of covered at least one of those bases!)

So we did wake her with Spar-bought cupcakes, birthday candles, a happy birthday song, and a small present or two (yay LEGO!), followed by a Bontebok seeking drive in the nearby Bontebok National Park, but of course none of those were quite what she was looking for. That said, she did rather perk up when we announced that we were off in search of waffles and ice cream at Ikigai, Swellendam’s premier artisan coffee bar and deli.

Surrounded by planter boxes and featuring a fresh wood facade, Ikigai (which has a little more space than its express sister over in Riversdale) has this wonderful metropolitan feel to it thanks to its modern aesthetic and interior decor. The carefully chosen art and design elements look like something you would find in a funky Cape Town neighbourhood, and the menu selection certainly matches that with an array of artisan coffees, milkshakes, smoothies and even booster shots. A fun breakfast menu, delicious sandwiches and bowls, and of course a selection of treats such as cookies, cakes, and brownies, complement the drinks selection. That said, we were of course there for pretty much one thing and one thing only – Waffles with ice cream!

Eggs Benedict and Coffee at Famous Bean in Gordon’s Bay (2021-02-15) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 21 FEB 2021

Monday saw the girls finally return to Gordon’s Bay Primary School after an INCREDIBLY long December school holiday break thanks to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Of course it is safe to say that we DEFINITELY weren’t the only parents to celebrate this return to relative normality by immediately heading out for a breakfast bite following the big 1st day of school drop-off. (Also, to add to the fun, it just so happened to be Emily’s first day of Grade 1, meaning that we are now officially released from the baby school phase of our parenting lives. In other words, even more reason to celebrate!)

Sadly, the popular Gordon’s Bay eatery that was the Old Cape Café (situated across Gordon’s Bay main beach in the Old Cape Café Mall) didn’t survive the devastating Coronavirus Lockdowns of 2019, but fortunately an eager newcomer has stepped in to fill its shoes in the form of a Famous Bean franchise trading under the name of Famous Bean @ Cape Café.

Naturally, as part of the Famous Bean company, the freshly roasted coffee on offer is fantastic, and pleasingly the food offering is pretty good too. On this particular morning both Chantelle and I indulged in some lovely eggs benedict with coffee for breakfast, and I am happy to report that all was good. Sadly the wind was a little too nippy to encourage us to sit out on the deck, but seeing as we live right here in Gordon’s Bay, its not like we don’t already know the view! ;)

Spinning Cotton into Clothes with the Barrydale Hand Weavers (2019-07-02) Photo Gallery | Shopping 07 APR 2020

There aren’t that many commercial hand weaving ventures left in South Africa, but if you ever find yourself in the delightful little town of Barrydale on the border of the Overberg and Klein Karoo regions (and which is known for mixing farmers and artisans), you’ll stumble across one such venture that is very much thriving – and has a pretty feel good story to boot!

The brainchild of Carol Morris and German-trained weaver Tivane Mavuma (who come from running running a knitwear operation in Swaziland), Barrydale Hand Weavers was established to create quality hand-loomed products while also serving as a way to uplift the local community through upskill and opportunity.

Spun by members of the community itself, the finest high-grade cotton is then transformed by a group of trained local weavers into all manner of homeware products including bathmats, cushion covers, rugs, table runners, and their famous flat-weave towels – all on rickety age old wooden hand looms.

In addition to their local storefront in Barrydale itself, Barrydale Hand Weavers already supply boutiques and shops across South Africa, while also having found moderate success in exporting their woven products to countries such as Canada, the United States, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

Once you are done perusing their wares, browsing the art, and maybe sipping a warm coffee in the unique brick courtyard of their main shop, you also have the option of taking a drive down the road to the actual factory itself – a nondescript building tucked away in Barrydale’s small industrial area that houses all of Barrydale Hand Weaver’s prized looms and weaving staff.

It is super interesting to watch how this centuries old craft works and how incredibly beautiful pieces of patterned cloth are able to emerge through such not quite as simple as what they first seem looms. (And yes, as you can see from the picture above, if you’re cute or ask nicely enough, they might even given you the chance to have a spin on the loom!)

Well worth a stop and look see then.

Coffee and Curios at The Old Jail in Riversdale (2019-07-04) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 27 MAR 2020

Continuing our June school holidays adventure, the girls and I moved on from Barrydale, shooting past Algerynskraal, over the Garcia Pass and on to Riversdale, with the final goal being to make it back onto the N2 in order to end up in Mossel Bay. That said, there was a particular stop that I first wanted to make as we crossed into the small town of Riversdale…

One of the oldest historical buildings still standing in Riversdale, the original structure of the Ou Tronk (Old Jail) was first used as a trading store, before being purchased by the state in 1860 for conversion into a jail. Eventually closed down in 1979 (following the construction of the large prison in Oudtshoorn), the jail moved back into private hands (making it one of the only South African jail properties to actually reside in private ownership).

After inheriting it from her father who had bought it to store farming equipment, Louise Malherbe eventually found a second life for the unusual space by turning one of the courtyards into a coffee shop and renting out the remaining cells (there are 33 of them) as display spaces for various home decor and art creatives. (There are also a fair bit of historic artifacts dotted around, including an imitation of the travelling gallows that were used to hang the jail’s only receiver of the death penalty, one Gilbert Hay of Heidelberg who was found guilty of having murdered his mother.)

(There is apparently also a weekly farmer’s market that happens on a Saturday at the jail, but I’m not 100% sure if this is still the case.)

Despite its initial ghoulish overtures, the Ou Tronk (which actually in some ways looks a lot more like a Spanish hacienda than an actual prison) is quite a welcoming space for a cup of tea and a slice of their famous carrot cake. The courtyard is peppered with shade from planted avocado and banana trees and of course the location itself makes for some interesting conversation points.

All in all the Old Jail certainly makes for an interesting place to make a stop, that’s for sure.

Koi and Coffee at The Blue Cow in Barrydale (2019-07-02) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 15 MAR 2020

For the June school holidays last year we found ourselves spending a bit of time in Barrydale at the relaxing Warmwaterberg Spa setup, and seeing as this is somewhat of a tradition by now, we obviously made time for a coffee and cake stop at The Blue Cow.

Situated on the Cooke farm in Barrydale, the Blue Cow sits at the edge of a small farm dam (jokingly referred to as the Barrydale Waterfront) and offers a nice selection of homely cakes, coffee, farm fresh salads and very light lunches. The views of Barrydale’s surrounding hills and farmland are refreshing and the countless koi and weaver birds surrounding the coffee shop makes for a tranquil, nature rich stop.

The Blue Cow has in fact taken it a step further now, having birthed its own accommodation option in the form of four cottages at the so-called Blue Cow Barn. Chantelle and her folks get on particularly well with the owner of the Blue Cow, which translates into VERY lengthy and sociable visits.

Not that I’m complaining though – all the more time to stroll around and take a LOT of photos of what really are beautiful surrounds.

Sand and Tea at La Galerie in Pringle Bay (2019-07-13) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 31 DEC 2019

So when I took possession of my replacement car, I immediately took it for a spin out along Clarence Drive, dragging Jessica along with me for the ride. One scenic drive followed by a trundle alongside the baboons in Rooi Els later, we popped over to Pringle Bay for a stroll on the beach.

Of course, dragging my eldest daughter along for all this aimless driving and strolling around didn’t come without its price, which is why then we capped off my new car run with a bout of daddy/daughter tea, flapjacks and scones at La Galerie.

With its bright red exterior drawing you in, La Galerie is a great little restaurant/cafe venue in the heart of Pringle Bay’s business center, filled with art, books and even a boardgame or two. It is run by the same couple that used to own the excellent Sage & Thyme cafe in Somerset West, and as such makes for a well run, delicious breakfast/light lunch/coffee and cake stop in this charming little coastal village.

Easy to recommend.

Devouring Cake at Soet Society Cafe in Durbanville (2019-05-11) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 13 OCT 2019

I turned 39 this year and decided to celebrate it by taking Chantelle away for the night to the fabulous Darling. Of course, I couldn’t quite leave the girls out of all the fun, and so on the way to dropping them off with our folks in Bellville, we decided to kick the celebrations off with an impromptu stop for coffee and cake at the delectable Soet Society Cafe in Durbanville.

Known for producing extremely delicious cakes, Soet Cakes eventually opened what has become an exceedingly popular cafe in the heart of Durbanville, with the ever so fashionable (and modern) Soet Society Cafe delighting locals with all manner of artisan breads, designer cakes, Bootlegger coffee and beautifully presented bistro food.

The eatery in fact became such a popular hub that it has since gone on to spawn the Soet Emporium, essentially welcoming small artisan businesses to join them in the building, resulting in an eclectic mix of local boutique, hair salon, decor, skincare, art gallery, and biltong shops all situated in one single space.

As for this particular visit, we picked up two trays with a whole array of small slices laid out on them, thus sampling just about all the cakes they had on offer in one single go! Absolutely delicious, and of course, absolutely too indulgent. Mind you, not that anyone minded taking these leftovers home!

Birding on Intaka Island in Century City, Cape Town (2018-11-04) Nature and Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 23 JUL 2019

You will discover Intaka Island about 7 km out from the Cape Town CBD, tucked away behind the tall buildings of Century City and its Canal Walk shopping mall. Built by Century City developer Rabie following an initial project environmental impact assessment, Intaka Island is a 16 hectare large wetland conservation area.

As such, it serves as a crucial bird sanctuary for the area and the nature reserve itself is setup around this idea, filled with a well maintained walkway that features plenty of hides and viewing platforms that are perfect for local birders. It’s a great way to step into a little nature without having to go out on a full blown hike!

This particular visit saw me leave Chantelle and the girls behind and instead ring up my brother to join me for a stroll among the reeds. Pleasingly, he agreed – and didn’t even moan at all the pictures I kept stopping to take! ;)

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Milkshakes at the Pepper Tree Art Stable in Philadelphia (2019-05-12) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 01 JUL 2019

After a lovely mini weekend away to Darling, we took a bit of a detour coming home and ended up in the blink and you will miss it tiny village of Philadelphia, situated just off the N7 about 38 km north of Cape Town. (And yes, it is spelled exactly the same as Rocky Balboa’s home city in Pennsylvania, not to mention all the other same name towns scattered across the USA. Translating to more or less “brotherly love”, it’s a biblical reference in case you were wondering.)

With a history spanning back to 1863, Philadelphia is a small rural town that just so happens to be in possession of a couple of pleasant eateries, a handful of shops, and one or two art galleries lurking around its very few streets. One of these nice little eateries is the Pepper Tree Art Stable & Coffee Shop, taking its name from the impossible to miss, old gnarled pepper trees out in the front of the property.

(Incidentally, the Pepper Tree has now been operating for more than a decade already! I’m not entirely sure how this is the first time that I have ever heard of it.)

Although sitting down for a light lunch on the day would have been rather nice, Chantelle and I had picked our Sunday for this particular visit rather poorly, seeing as it was Mother’s Day and thus fully booked. Nevertheless, they were gracious enough to give us a table for drinks before the lunch rush hour could properly start streaming in.

And so we had milkshakes, marveled at the trees, and inspected all the art – before vowing to come back again as soon as possible.

Thirsts now sated, we next wandered across the road to inspect the incense heavy healing crystals shop (seems popular with visitors), followed by visits to the two decor shops opposite the aptly named Magic Minerals building. And that’s pretty much it for the commercial side of this strangely charming little town then.

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