Tag Archives: coffee

Coffee and Cake at Old Mill Guest House and Restaurant in Swellendam (2017-12-26) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 07 APR 2018

When I am in the mood to holiday then I holiday, and invariably that then means that I double the length of all long drives because I pretty much want to stop anywhere and everywhere.

Case in point: I felt like a Swellendam cake and coffee stop on the way up to Mossel Bay last December, but I didn’t feel like popping into (the almost always busy) Tredici as per the norm. So instead, Chantelle dug deep into her memory banks and came up with this little gem: the Old Mill Restaurant.

Situated at the foot of the Langeberg Mountain range, in the heart of the Overberg, the Old Mill business is primarily that of a guest house, operating out from a beautiful old, protected national monument building set along the main road, where Belgian owner Nikki and his staff do their utmost to offer accommodation that comes intertwined with warm, friendly Flemish hospitality.

In addition to the guest house (and art gallery/curio store), the Old Mill also operates a lovely restaurant, featuring both an indoor and outdoor dining area.

The menu on offer is a diverse à la carte menu inspired by both traditional Afrikaans and international recipes, all waiting to be washed down with some imported Belgian beer. (The Old Mill appears to be rather proud of this offering).

And yes, as it turned out, they also do good cake and coffee as well.

We were of course super interested in finding a space under the canopy of trees that provides the much needed shade over the outside dining area, and pleasingly we did manage to grab just such a table on what was a particularly warm Summer’s afternoon in the end.

So. Coffee, cheesecake, carrot cake and sorbet was then (more or less equally) shared all around, thus making for a lovely little road trip leg stretch stop.

Lovely find and definitely a place I’ll stop for a bit longer at the next time that I find myself back in the Swellendam area again!

Related Link: Old Mill Guest House and Restaurant | Swellendam

Coffee at the Van Brakel Stoor Farm Stall near Caledon (2017-12-16) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 22 FEB 2018

On one of our spur of the moment weekend outings last year (I suggested to Chantelle that we head out to Stanford for a cheesy picnic at the Klein River Cheese farmstead), I randomly decided to stop for a coffee in the middle of nowhere, ending up at the delightfully dusty Van Brakel Stoor farm stall along the R316 – basically somewhere on the road between Caledon and Napier.

Established way back in 1921, the Van Brakel Stoor originally operated as the local grocery store and mechanical repair shop for the area, before being rebooted in 2004 as today’s old-time country store and coffee shop.

The goal is simple – serve up local, home-made food with warm platteland hospitality.

In addition to the coffee and food on offer in its little dining space, the Van Brakel Stoor farm stall also stocks all manner of local wines, home-made preserves and baked treats (as well as a few essentials for the locals), and as an added bonus, the shop’s interior comes lined with all sorts of interesting farm relics from days gone by.

(Oh, and apparently the Van Brakel Stoor is also used as an events venue. I wouldn’t have guessed it, but that is definitely what their website states!)

Given the farm stall’s location in the heart of the Overberg, the surrounding farm landscape is also something worth taking in. (Basically, photos were just begging to be taken!)

So yes, I rather enjoyed this slightly unplanned little coffee stop then.

P.S. The amount of food stuffs that can be pickled and preserved is mind-boggling. Also, it brought a huge smile to my face identifying all the old biscuit tins that I remember from my grandparents’ houses as a kid.

Related Link: Van Brakel Stoor | Caledon

Cookies and Coffee at Ikigai Artisan Coffee Bar and Deli in Riversdale (2017-12-26) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 18 FEB 2018

I don’t normally pull over at Riversdale on any of my N2 jaunts (it’s usually too close to my destination), and on the odd occasion that I do stop, it’s usually to give Die Rooi Aalwyn/Bali Trading a spin so that the girls can have a little run around on their lush green lawn and enjoy their play area.

However, thanks entirely to the power of Instagram and clearly a very clever restaurateur, Chantelle and I now most definitely do have a reason to stop. Ikigai.

Named for the Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”, Ikigai is sandwiched in next to the Spur (to your left as you travel on the N2 towards the Garden Route), and is best described as an artisan coffee bar and deli, with a sense of style that leaves you confused as to whether or not you forgot to leave home and are actually still lounging about in Observatory, Cape Town.

Trendy decor and inspirational quotes aside, Ikigai is obviously known first and foremost for its good selection of coffee and other warm drinks. Then of course there are its light meals and snacks, the most important being their delectable selection of pies – which Chantelle and I simply couldn’t get enough of!

(That said the girls would of course argue that no, their massive selection of baked cookies are by far the best!)

In summary: The space is small and intimate, the service prompt and friendly, the food good, and thanks to Ikigai’s trendy decor, visually everything is a treat for the eye.

Definitely well worth a coffee run stop then!

P.S. Chantelle and I enjoyed Ikigai enough to prompt a return visit on our way back home!

Related Link: Ikigai Coffee Bar & Deli | Riversdale

Milk Tart Jaffles at Signature Divine in Oudtshoorn (2017-07-05) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 06 FEB 2018

Having spent the day being guided around the magnificent Cango Caves, watching people zip-line down to Cango Caves Estate, and letting Jessica ride about on a camel at Wilgewandel, we were now happily making our way back towards the guest house, when the rather inviting scene over at Signature Divine caught our eye and immediately prompted a rather impromptu milkshake and coffee stop.

Originally setup to host events at their lovely small Klein Karoo venue with a view, Signature Divine has since evolved into a wonderful little eatery that offers a great menu packed with all manner of thoughtful gourmet treats.

In particular, the team is known for their menu of interesting gourmet milkshake combinations, basically a great way to try and escape that all oppressing Karoo heat!

To complement the magnificent view on display, Chantelle selected a milkshake, the girls opted for ice cream, and I got stuck into some good coffee – after which, on suggestion of our bubbly waiter for day, I discovered the world of milk tart jaffles.

Seriously, how in the world did I NOT know that this simple but delicious South African dessert morsel existed!

Anyway, adjacent to the eatery and its two beautiful stone barns is also an art gallery (Annie’s Art), showcasing the interesting acrylic work of Annamarie Janse van Rensburg.

(Surprisingly, the art gallery was open to the public but completely devoid of life. Definitely not something that would fly in the city – all her paintings would be off the wall in a matter of minutes! Definitely one of the nicer aspects of small town living though.)

In summary, Signature Divine is a surprisingly lovely stop in what feels like the middle of nowhere. Definitely worth pulling over if you ever find yourself in the area!

Oh, and much to the delight of both Jessica and Emily, the restaurant does have a small trampoline for the kids on the grass patch. Small, but much appreciated touch.

Related Link: Signature Divine | Facebook | Annie’s Art Gallery | Oudtshoorn

Coffee at the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen in Durbanville (2017-08-05) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 31 OCT 2017

Back in August the girls and myself found ourselves in the Northern Suburbs, and so decided to check in with my mom and dad and see if they wanted to join us for a stroll around Sonstral Dam. They said yes, we had a lovely walk, and then seeing as there was still plenty of time to be killed in Durbanville, I suggested that we head off and grab something to eat/drink.

So we did.

The Deeghuys group was started in 2012 and they focus on selling high quality, ready-made baked goods, both frozen and fresh – basically, quick to bake goods for those of us to lazy to make/mix from scratch!

From what I can tell, they’ve been quite successful, with stores popping up all over the place (in fact, we even have one out our way, near the Somerset Mall).

What  did however surprise me was to learn of the existence of the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen (in hindsight, makes sense, this is close to where their headquarters is based anyway), essentially a deli/restaurant that pretty much offers a taste of what Deeghuys sells in its stores (along with other more standard deli/restaurant fare of course).

Now my mom and dad have previously been here for a breakfast or two, hence the suggestion, and on the day it was a great choice given that it is relatively spacious, features loads of treats for those of us with an incurable sweet tooth, and is reasonably kid friendly. (They have a little kids play area corner which Jessica seemed to rather enjoy).

Unfortunately for us though, given that they close rather early on a Saturday (14:00), we kind of caught the tail end of service, meaning that we were pretty much restricted to a cup of coffee and whatever was already out on display seeing as the kitchen was now closed.

Luckily, these restrictions didn’t prove to be a complete bust because in the end we all enjoyed some rather nice treats.

Truthfully, service wasn’t fantastic because everyone was kind of bustling about trying to wind down operations for the day, and as a result, poor little Jessica’s order was somehow missed. Though once alerted to the problem, the friendly waitress quickly atoned for her mistake and gave Jessica a whole box of sausage rolls as opposed to just the one she originally wanted!

(Also, she was MIGHTILY pleased with her hot chocolate foam art).

It’s actually a surprisingly nice space tucked in at the back of Durbanville, and well worth a visit if you want to step away from the bustle of main road.

Bonus: It is a little hidden away, so in this case, a map is rather handy for a change:

Related Link: Deeghuys | Deeghuys Taste Kitchen

Scones, Cream and Jam at Hillcrest Berry Orchards in Stellenbosch (2017-03-05) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 09 APR 2017

As you drive through the Banhoek Valley on your way to Franschhoek, just before Pniel you’ll encounter an insignificant little entrance marked with a small signboard for Hillcrest Berry Orchards.

This so happens to be an old favourite of Chantelle’s, and we are almost always guaranteed to pull over for a quick coffee stop every time we find ourselves driving along this particular route!

Hillcrest Berry Orchards is as the name suggests, a farm known for growing a lot of varied, good quality berries. They are perhaps even more known for the wonderful jams that they produce from all these berries, though we know them almost exclusively for their wonderful little restaurant and tea garden setup – with the tables along the porch giving one an absolutely stunning view across the beautiful Banhoek Valley landscape.

The scones there are particular favourites of ours, though you must be sure to select the option with the Devonshire clotted cream! It is always great fun selecting something new to try among their large selection of jams, and from the look of things, our girls might be growing up to appreciate the scones too!

This particular outing happened as part of a fairly lengthy early March Sunday afternoon drive for the four of us  – first lunch at Eaglevlei outside Stellenbosch, then play time at The Carnival on the Weltevreden Estate, followed by a drive through Franschhoek, over the pass and on to Theewaterskloof Dam, before heading through the picturesque Viljoen’s pass to reach Grabouw, before finally shooting back home via Sir Lowry’s Pass!

(No sir, no messing about for us when it comes to lazy Sunday afternoon drives! :P)

Anyway, it really is a lovely little late afternoon spot to stop for coffee, well made scones and some particularly delicious jams.

Related Link: Hillcrest Berry Orchards | Facebook

The Coffee Petrol Start
[Partner Content] 16 NOV 2016

I dislike traffic. In fairness though, I’m pretty sure that everyone dislikes traffic. Unless you are some sort of weird sadist who somehow derives pleasure from sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, which I guess then is fine too.

Anyway, I dislike traffic so much that I telecommute, meaning that I only need to fire my car up once a work week, heading out to the relatively lovely Westlake area of Cape Town for my weekly Monday morning meeting.

This of course then means that I get to endure the fun that is Monday morning traffic.

seattle-coffee-company-take-away-coffee-cup

So given all that, Monday mornings are therefore understandably a shock to the system – meaning of course that an early cup of coffee is then obviously in order.

However, it can’t be a leisurely stop to some place where a bearded guy with a twirly moustache in a plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves lovingly pours a coffee made from beans which he first gently fished out from a large Hessian sack.

No, it needs to be good coffee which is quickly retrieved, probably best if done during the other Monday routine that is the weekly petrol stop.

fresh-stop-at-caltex

So just as well then that while my car takes in its share of some damn fine petrol, I get to savour some of that particularly tasty brew that the esteemed Seattle Coffee Company whips up on a daily basis inside the FreshStop at my local Caltex in Strand (Greenways).

Convenience, good coffee and smart fuel. Seems a good way to start a day that you know is about to become a tad more frustrating the minute you turn on to that ‘beloved’ N2 highway of ours…

stacked-seattle-coffee-company-disposable-cups

Tip: Here’s a handy map to my local Caltex. It’s probably a good idea to find your own!

Related Link: Seattle Coffee CompanyCaltex

Coffee at Lorenzo Marx in Paardevlei (2016-04-08) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 20 APR 2016

If you are looking for a nice quiet spot to enjoy some good coffee and simple food close to the hustle and bustle of the Somerset Mall area, then Lorenzo Marx coffee bar in Paardevlei (right next to the Cheetah Outreach project) certainly hits the spot.

IMG_20160408_142659 craig lotter at lorenzo marx coffee shop in paardevlei, somerset west

Paardevlei at the moment is a bit of a hidden gem, which means that you get beautiful surroundings and not much hustle and bustle to go alongside it – thus allowing you to truly take your time and soak in the dappled sunlight whilst enjoying an excellent cup of coffee at one of Lorenzo Marx’s comfortable outdoor tables.

IMG_20160408_150440 lorenzo marx coffee shop building in paardevlei, somerset west

The coffee shop/restaurant is relatively small and intimate, but comes with excellent service and great food. Certainly a stop that both Chantelle and I enjoyed!

Related Link: Lorenzo Marx

Coffee Stop at Tredici Restaurant and Bakery in Swellendam (2016-03-13) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 28 MAR 2016

It is completely impossible to miss spotting Tredici if you travel along the N2 through Swellendam, simply because its unique European style makes it stand completely out from the rest of the buildings in the area!

IMG_20160313_164250 at tredici restaurant, bakery, coffee shop in swellendam

We were returning from a very enjoyable weekend away with my folks at their place in Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, when I decided that we needed a coffee stop, primarily because I was starting to feel a bit tired, but also because Chantelle literally always says that we must stop and check that interesting place out, but we never ever actually do!

IMG_20160313_164646 chantelle lotter with jessica at tredici restaurant, bakery, coffee shop in swellendam

Well I have to say that I’m very glad that we finally did. Tredici, Italian for Bakers Dozen, is a bakery, restaurant, and functions venue situated in Swellendam. It is styled in a mix of local Cape Dutch elements, combined with the best of chic French and warm Italian styles.

The interior is as beautiful and the exterior is striking, and the artisinal bakes on display are certainly very inviting (and as it turns out, the coffee is pretty good too)!

IMG_20160313_165648 coffee and cake at tredici restaurant, bakery, coffee shop in swellendam

Chantelle was so taken with the place that she definitely wants to come here for a little more of a substantial stop, so I guess then that I had better get to work on planning a bit of a Swellendam weekend away for the two of us sometime in the near future! ;)

Related Link: Tredici