Tag Archives: deli

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!

Burgers at The Orchard in Grabouw (2021-01-03) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 25 FEB 2021

Having spent the whole morning at Adene’s Farm Flowers out in Wolseley, we took a leisurely long scenic drive back home, heading through Villiersdorp with an eye on eventually grabbing lunch from The Hickory Shack, a particularly excellent smokehouse on the outskirts of Grabouw. However, on arrival at the skull mounted shed in the Elgin Valley, we were disappointed to find Hickory Shack rather super busy – in other words, super not okay to visit during this current Covid-19 pandemic. Saddened, we pointed our nose back in the direction of Sir Lowry’s Pass and tried our luck next with a visit to Rojaal. Damn, it turns out that they have since been forced out of business thanks to all the crippling lockdowns.

Okay, no worries, we then hopped over to the ever popular Peregrine Farm Stall in the hopes of scoring lunch. Ah, should have known that with an adjective like ‘popular’ in that previous sentence, Peregrine would also be outrageously packed with people in this time of the Coronavirus! Right, so properly disillusioned now (with moans of hunger surrounding me), I threw my last dice and pulled up at The Orchard, another one of Grabouw’s famous on the N2 farm stalls.

Success at last! Almost completely devoid of people (bad for the business of course, but excellent for us), The Orchard ticked all the right boxes. Little to no people to have to work our way through, a lunch menu, and that all important option of sitting outside in the fresh air to eat. (The availability of grass to run on and things to clamber over for the kids was discounted given how hot it was on the day. You would have ended up with 3rd degree burns if you went down a jungle gym slide!)

The Orchard’s farm stall section itself is actually worth mentioning. It is particular spacious, well stocked with all the things that you would expect from a farm stall, and has a delightful array of home bakes and other sweet things to take back with you on the road. In terms of the eatery section, the menu is uncomplicated but features a little something for everyone, and on this particular outing pretty much everyone ended up having either a chicken or beef burger with fries on their plates.

So although it wasn’t originally on our lunch time venue list, The Orchard definitely stepped up to the plate for us, and honestly, sitting at a table shaded by a tree with no one one around was absolutely perfect. Definitely not looking for ‘vibe’ at least until the vaccination rollout is well and truly underway!

Celebrating with Eisbein at Sweetwell in Stellenbosch (2018-11-07) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 15 FEB 2019

Chantelle and I celebrated last year’s wedding anniversary with a day spent out and about in Stellenbosch. For lunch we opted to duck into the excellent Sweetwell farm butchery and restaurant.

Situated on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Sweetwell itself is an absolute delight. Classic white farm walls, a great view of the surrounds, free roaming chickens and particularly good food that emerges from the kitchen. I had their truly excellent eisbein while Chantelle tucked into a decadent slice of pork belly.

In addition to the restaurant, the premises is also home to the deli, which is stocked with all manner of high quality home industry product, as well as all the meat and baked goods that emerge from the onsite butchery and bakery.

It’s a classic farm restaurant experience that sits comfortably on that level just below fine dining, and is certainly a very easy to recommend spot!

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Mixing Spices at Brenda’s Deli at the Spice Route in Paarl (2018-05-11) Photo Gallery | Shopping 18 MAY 2018

Located on what was previously known as the Seidelberg wine estate, the Spice Route is a fantastic tourist destination out here in Paarl, speaking loudly to those who truly enjoy their artisan food experiences.

However, with all the action happening around the grounds of the main manor house, it is quite easy to visit Spice Route and come away having completely missed an utter gem that is tucked away in its own little lavender-fronted dwelling at the foot of the estate – Brenda’s deli.

Started by well-travelled Brenda de Jager around 2007, Brenda’s specializes in spices and preserves, with the business going to great lengths to celebrate and respect their ingredients by avoiding artificial preservatives and additives, championing flavour, and producing fresh, natural products using local sources.

As a foodie, Chantelle was instantly mesmerized by the interesting array of spices (of which there are plenty!) and food products on display, while even I walked away impressed with the very clever, very satisfying, simple but elegant shop layout.

The smells, the colours, the textures, the selection – in other words, an absolute treat for anyone who enjoys cooking their own exotic dishes, and a shop that will definitely encourage you to part with at least some money on the day! ;)

(For reference, Brenda’s products are also available at selected stockists nationwide, as well as online via their e-store).

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It’s rather a pity then that I almost immediately managed to ruin the granadilla and lemon curd that Chantelle picked up by unwittingly allowing it to curdle. At least her spices are a bit tougher and should be safe from my ham-fisted ways…

Related Link: Brenda’s Deli | Spice Route | Paarl

Cookies and Coffee at Ikigai Artisan Coffee Bar and Deli in Riversdale (2017-12-26) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 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!

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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

Cheese Platters at Healey’s Cheesery and Deli in Somerset West (2017-01-05) Travel Attractions 20 JAN 2017

If you are fond of fine cheese then I would imagine that you might be rather happy at the news of the opening of a dedicated cheese deli right here in Somerset West on the well known Waterkloof Wine Estate.

Healey’s has been producing award winning cheeses since its inception in 2005 (seriously, just take a gander at all their award certificates proudly up on display in the deli!) and now at long last have their own dedicated space thanks to a proud partnership with Waterkloof Wines.

Their world class, noble farmhouse cheddar, which is aged anywhere from eight to 12 months, is made from unpasteurized milk taken from pasture grazing cattle. The milk itself is from a certified herd and is also free of hormones and steroids, whilst the cheese produced is free of all preservatives, artificial colouring agents, flavour enhancers, and anti-mould additives.

In short, they make some rather tasty, upmarket cheese.

The newly opened cheesery and deli (it’s about a month or so old now) serves two purposes – the first is as a production hub for the cheese itself (very cool, you can watch some of the process and view all the cheese maturing on the shelves through big display windows inside the shop), and second as a storefront through which you can taste/experience their cheese and then hopefully walk out the door with a couple of bags tucked under each arm!

A spur of the moment decision lead to Chantelle, the girls and I popping in for a visit, and with everything looking and smelling so good, we decided to try some of their cheese and cured meat platter options.

Obviously, the girls didn’t really like anything on the board other than the sourdough bread and margarine of course, but Chantelle and I took delight in sampling the fantastic array of cheese and meat pairings.

So while not exactly a place of much interest to two little girls (though thankfully catered for by means of a nice patch of grass outside with a jungle gym plonked down in the corner of it), it certainly is a worthwhile stop if you appreciate good cheese, and perhaps some fine Waterkloof wine to go down with it!

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A handy map for cheese lovers then:

Related Link: Healey’s Cheesery and Deli | Facebook | Waterkloof Wines

Snacking at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel in Stellenbosch (2016-10-15) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 02 JAN 2017

One Saturday in October last year, Chantelle and I decided to take the girls out for a spot of strawberry picking at Polkadraai in Stellenbosch. However on arrival at the strawberry farm it was immediately clear that pretty much the entire Cape Town must have had the same idea as us, and so we did a u-turn and headed back towards Stellenbosch, looking for something else to do instead.

Then a brainwave hit me – I’d previously visited the five star Asara Wine Estate & Hotel in Stellenbosch for a business meeting with Distell, and have wanted to show the place off to Chantelle ever since. So I took a chance and turned in by Asara’s manned gates and stated that I was off to visit the deli (which I think I remember having spotted that last time I was there).

As it turns out, they do have a deli on-site – and surprisingly it is a pretty cool little find.

If you aren’t familiar with Asara, then know that it is an award-winning wine estate and 5-star hotel billed as being situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Breathtaking views, tranquil atmosphere, upmarket service – well you get the picture.

Previously known as Raphael’s (where I previously had enjoyed a lunch), mise en place is the new destination fine dining restaurant at Asara, while the Sansibar is their casual, bistro-style dining option.

However, the spot that we were interested in seeing as we had our two little ones tagging along with us was Asara’s main courtyard and more specifically, the deli that then opens up onto it.

I was super surprised to find the deli stocked with all manner of exciting baked treats, and was even more taken aback at how well priced the finger snacks were – pretty soon we had placed an order for all manner of niceties, before selecting a table outside and then sitting back as our array of treats was brought out to us in a manner which I’m more than happy to dub as being a ‘simple high tea’ experience! ;)

The view from the courtyard is spectacular, the service is top notch, and amazingly, this was such a cool, well priced treat that all three of my girls thoroughly enjoyed!

(In other words, I guess we’ll have to head back that way sometime soon then – though maybe without the girls this time around so that Chantelle and I can give some of their other offerings a proper go…)

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As always, a useful map:

Related Link: Asara Wine Estate & Hotel | Facebook

Food and Sculptures at Tokara Delicatessen in Stellenbosch (2016-09-17) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 29 DEC 2016

I used my weekends to visit a LOT of different places this year. One of the more visually interesting outings came about in September, when I took my three girls out for a light lunch at the Tokara Delicatessen, situated on the stunning Tokara Wine and Olive estate at the top of Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch.

Tokara is itself a very upmarket estate, so it is pleasing that the team saw it fit to create a secondary, child friendly venue in the form of the excellent Tokara Delicatessen.

Given the farm’s elevated location, you are afforded stunning views of the surrounding mountains, down into the valley below, and all the way across False Bay for that matter. Both the vineyards and olive groves stretch as far as the eye can see, and picturesque is really the only word that fits the scene as you arrive in Tokara’s parking area.

Tokara is know for four things – its wines (made of grapes from three separate districts – Stellenbosch, Elgin and Hemel-en-Aarde), its range of exquisite olive oils, it’s leading fine dining restaurant, and its extensive collection of art and sculptures.

It is this love of art and sculpture that first greets you as you exit the car, with a wide variety of modern sculpture dotted all around the grounds of the Delicatessen and neighbouring Olive Barn.

Peacocks roam freely and visitors enter the ground with an immediate sense of wonder and awe thanks to the beautiful and visually interesting surroundings.

There is a beautiful deck outside the simple but elegantly designed deli, great for warm sunny days, while the cosy interior with its walls of glass simultaneously makes for the perfect winter venue.

There is a large lawn for kids to run around and play on, with the garden itself also dotted with a host of very interesting sculptures to take in (and in some cases, play on!).

The deli’s food is of course much easier on the wallet than Tokara’s restaurant proper, but pleasingly the deli’s food is just as good, with us thoroughly enjoying what was set down before us on the day.

Naturally, Chantelle was in love with every single aspect of the place, whilst the girls were far more interested in running about outside than sitting inside with boring old mom and dad!

(Obviously I did a lot of strolling about as well, snapping loads of photos and ambling about the openly accessible vineyards and olive groves out back whenever the opportunity arose.)

With lunch done and Chantelle’s interior/product browsing curiosity now sated, the girls and I then trundled down Tokara’s sculpture path, an easy walk through the olive trees and then down the road to Tokara proper, with the route again being dotted all along with some interesting sculptures and pretty flowers to boot.

So in summary: Even if it is just a visit to the kid friendly, more accessible Tokara Delicatessen at Tokara, you can’t help coming away from that place feeling just that little more… sophisticated.

Highly recommended.

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Here is a useful map if you wish to explore the exquisite world of Tokara yourself:

Related Link: Tokara Delicatessen | Tokara

Scones and Juice at Terra Madre in the Elgin Valley (2016-09-10) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 06 NOV 2016

The exuberant and bubbly chef, restaurateur, foodie and… property entrepreneur Nicole Precoudis certainly has more than just a little experience when it comes to the food business, having both owned and worked in plenty of restaurants over the course of her career.

Grabouw’s Elgin Valley region then most certainly lucked out when she decided to make it her home, and in 2013, following a stint as partner in and head chef of Oak Valley’s The Pool Room (which both Chantelle and I love), she thew open the doors of her and her family’s 18.5 hectare working apple and olive farm and launched the Terra Madre Market, which (open on only a few select occastions) specialized in “slow-cooked regional fare, farm fresh produce, sourdough bread, baked goods and more – all prepared on the farm”.

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Fast forward to September 2016, and Terra Madre, now producing an excellent champagne style apple cider (the Terra Madre Pomme Classique Dry Elgin Cider) as well as the most delicious fresh pressed, single varietal apple and pear juice that I have ever tasted, launched their Food Barn in order to complement their growing food delivery business.

Somehow, I managed to catch wind of this opening, and because I was looking for something to do over the weekend with my girls, I headed out to the Elgin Valley and turned off onto the Viljoenshoop Road, the first time that I’ve ever actually done that funnily enough.

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Although the signage is a bit poor, the GPS got me to the right gate, which confusingly was closed. However, nothing that a quick chat over the intercom couldn’t solve, so a quick farm road hop and the girls and I ended our drive up to the Terra Madre Barn – which was open for business… more or less.

Because I was coming in blind, I was kind of half expecting a little deli or something along those lines – however, the actual setting is a by far cooler one. In essence, you phone up ahead, book a lunch slot, and then get treated to a proper family luncheon out in the middle of the orchard  – and by the smell of and description of the food being prepared in the kitchen, those lucky people who had gotten this part right were definitely in for a major treat!

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Naturally, opening day, as it so often does, was not really going entirely to plan, with a lot of running around and things happening all over the place. However, the wonderfully affable Nicole and her family immediately made us feel welcome, and so we ordered some nice little scones off of the bake table and settled in to enjoy the surroundings.

Unfortunately for us though, in all the chaos of everyone getting ready for the actual lunch service, our order was kind of forgotten about – though that said, the girls didn’t seem to mind much. They were pretty much all over the place, making themselves at home, running around everywhere, sprinkled with bouts of Jessica randomly handing out hugs to anyone she could find!

Nicole brought some of the Terra Madre apple juice for us to try, and it is by far the best apple juice that I have ever tasted – a sentiment with which both the girls wholeheartedly appear to agree with. (Also, when our coffee and scones did eventually get served, well let’s just say that the scones were some of the best that I’ve ever had as well!)

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We thanked everyone for their hospitality, and made ourselves scarce before the real lunch time guests arrived, but not before we of course took a stroll around the grounds to admire the orchards and surroundings.

(That said, both Jessica and Emily were far to enthralled with the little puppy running about outside to care much about anything else that I was trying to show them!)

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So now that I know the setup (and apparently it has since been tweaked a little bit), I look forward to our next visit to Terra Madre where I can show off what looks to be an absolute gastronomic treat to Chantelle – making sure of course to take full credit for discovering this gem before she did.

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A map in case you want to explore this interesting addition to the Elgin Valley tourism scene:

Related Link: Terra Madre | Facebook