The Lourensford Market in Somerset West has easily the nicest selection of market foods and crafts on offer, with constant live music and of course the immaculate grounds of the estate to bolster the offering even further.
I have written about this great market before and as is always the case, this particular visit was as relaxing as one could get (even if we did arrive a little too close to the market’s end). The girls had sweet treats, I went a little Portuguese, and the Everson’s ciders were (as always) superb.
And if you don’t quite feel like the market vibe, then there are a couple of restaurant options, one coffee cafe, and one wine tasting room to visit instead. Which we did.
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”52853,52854,52855,52856,52857,52858,52859,52860,52861,52862,52863,52864,52865,52866,52867,52868,52869,52870,52871,52872,52873,52874,52875,52876,52877,52878,52879,52880,52881,52882,52883,52884,52885,52886,52887,52888,52889,52890,52891,52892,52893,52894,52895,52896″]
A great way to while a lazy Sunday away then.
Last year we were away from home for at least one weekend every month. This year we’re doing it a little different, and rather going away for one big July holiday instead. However, all that this then means is that we now get to go on a LOT more local adventures every weekend instead!
(Plus, now with Chantelle no longer working at the guest house in favour of doing her own cake-related thing full-time again, there are plenty of great spots that the girls and I need to first show her around anyway!)
Not that the excellent Lourensford Market is one of those mind you. No, as we’ve already previously established, this particular Somerset West market held on the grounds of the venerable Lourensford Wine Estate is definitely one of her firm favourites when it comes to the farmer’s market scene.
On this particular day, the market as always was buzzing and busy, so the Lotter girls and I found a nice space on the soft grass banks around the water fountain, where we then took turns fetch and devouring all sorts of food whilst watching Emily and Jessica have a ball in rolling down the surrounding grass mounds.
For some or other reason, Chantelle chose to tuck in (and enjoy) this monstrosity that is apparently a bunless vegetable burger, while I far more sensibly stuck to some Mediterranean ostrich dish.
I didn’t particularly feel like taking lots of photos on the day, so I didn’t, snapping only a few quick ones so that you can get a feel for what the market was like on this particularly pleasant, sunny and windless Sunday afternoon:
[subvertedgallery columns=”7″ link=”file” ids=”44521,44522,44523,44524,44525,44526,44527,44528,44529,44530,44531,44532,44533,44534,44535,44536,44537,44538,44539,44540,44541″]
I’ve said it before, and it is worth saying again – the Lourensford Market is definitely one of those markets worth going to, even if you’re only going for the incredible setting!
Also, in case you are keen and in the area, Lourensford Market also hosts twilight market events which are pretty cool and well worth coming out for if the weather holds up. The next two of these night markets are on the 5th and 19th of May respectively, so you may as well start planning already…
Based out here in the Cape, one certainly has their pick of excellent markets to visit and make merry at. I would however argue that one of the finest markets to be found is most definitely the Lourensford Market, situated out here in Somerset West on the picturesque and art rich Lourensford Wine Estate.
After starting out from a large tent stretched out on a lawn, the market slowly grew and eventually moved into a more permanent space. However, thanks to massive storm damage in 2015, a further rebuild was required, resulting in this beautiful space that Lourensford Market now calls home.
The market is home to a good mix of both food and craft stalls, with both Chantelle and I agreeing that the food choices at this particular market are top notch. The vibe, particularly around the main square (which is surround by all the stalls), is incredible, bolstered by the almost always excellent live music being performed up front.
If you don’t like the crowded hustle of the square, then there are plenty of tables and benches scattered under and among the trees outside the main area, as well as a big lawn out to the back where all the kids rides and entertainment is concentrated.
The Lourensford Wine Estate grounds are however the biggest drawcard here. The estate is beyond picturesque, with beautiful Cape Dutch inspired architecture everywhere you look, a tranquil restaurant and a brilliant wine tasting center, not to mention a coffee shop and various art studios scattered about.
The grounds are immaculately manicured, with flowers, trees, pathways and loads of eye catching sculptures in every direction that you look.
In other words, it really is impossible to come here on a Sunday and not leave feeling impressed by everything on show!
And because pictures are worth far more than just mere words, here are some photos that I snapped on my camera from our visit to the market last October:
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”43952,43953,43954,43956,43957,43958,43959,43960,43961,43962,43963,43964,43965,43966,43967,43968,43969,43970,43971,43972,43973,43974,43975,43976,43977,43978,43979,43980,43981,43982,43983,43984,43985,43986,43987,43988,43989,43990,43991,43992,43993,43994,43995,43996,43997,43998,43999,44000,44001,44002,44003,44004,44005,44006,44007,44008,44009,44010,44011,44012,44013,44014,44015,44016,44017,44018,44019,44020,44021,44022,44023,44024,44025,44026,44027,44028,44029,44030,44031,44032,44033″]
So definitely one of those markets well worth a visit, both for the stalls and the location itself!
Two weekends ago, Jessica, Emily and I headed out bright and early to catch the opening weekend for two Somerset West markets, namely the brand new Paardevlei Farmers Market and the reopening (following the disastrous storm damage earlier in the year) of the enjoyable Lourensford Harvest Market.
Paardevlei is a massive 700 ha area of land that used to belong to explosives manufacturer AECI, and which has since been bought and rezoned by the City of Cape Town. The property is home to three heritage buildings designed by Sir Herbert Baker, and is currently a mixture of things, including high-end residential units, business units, a Cheetah Outreach programme, a brand new hospital, a brewery (Triggerfish), and a host of very rundown industrial-looking sites – and then there is of course the revitalized vlei itself.
Anyway, Paardevlei Farmers Market, run by Elsje Schoeman, is certainly brand new – and unfortunately it shows.
First problem – it’s quite tricky to find it, given Paardevlei’s size, and rundown, work-site nature (further in). Whilst I love the outdoor art installations that line the newer, developed roads, this didn’t help one bit in finding the actual market, meaning that in the end I gave up and followed everyone else, eventually arriving at the place we needed to be.
In other words, signage. They’re going to need a lot of it. (On that note, they should actually take a leaf out of the excellent Century City Natural Goods Market’s signage approach, who share a similar problem of being tricky to find! I remember this well, seeing as we used to trade there quite often back in the day…)
The market itself is housed inside what appears to be a disused factory building, meaning tights spaces, dark spots, and when there are lots of people milling about inside, a hint of claustrophobia. That said, the live music created a lively atmosphere and you certainly could’t fault the vibe one bit.
All the usual food-based and fresh produce type stalls were present and accounted for, and I’m sure over the next couple of weeks some more craft stalls will throw their lot in as well.
There isn’t much public seating available yet, and things do feel a little primitive at the moment (though perhaps that is part of the charm), but there is plenty of parking in what at the end of the day is quite an interesting area and not one that locals find themselves ever visiting.
However, the tight, noisy, busy spaces wasn’t ideal for me, my toddler or my four year old little girl, and so we didn’t hang around for very long at all!
Already a favourite of ours, Lourensford Harvest Market is a much more kid friendly market, and I’m happy to report, the structural changes made following the storm damage is definitely all on the positive side (though I am a little sad to lose the grass area).
The first big change is how you access the market – essentially they’ve now rerouted the parking to a field behind the market, where you can take either a convenient tractor ride or short stroll along the ground road, past the vineyards (in bloom!) to the new main entrance for the market (although it doesn’t look like the main entrance at all – signage, signage, signage!).
Lots of new seating options have been added, the grass area swapped out for a gravel covered one (allows for more tables to be put down), and of course, sturdier roof structures covering the main stall layout (which hasn’t changed at all in case you were wondering).
No fresh produce, but loads of food and craft stalls, and of course, the live music was an absolute treat. There is space, a giant jumping castle field for the kids, and a good vibe – meaning that this was a much better market for the girls and me!
We bought a new bedtime story book, ate pancakes (damn it Pure Pancakes, fix your recipe already so that my mouth doesn’t dry out and taste of baking powder at the end of each pancake devouring session), and indulged in some delicious chocolate fudge (which the girls couldn’t get enough of!)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”33904,33905,33906,33907,33908,33909,33910,33911,33912,33913,33914,33915,33916,33917,33918,33919,33920,33921″]
Oh, and Jessica’s favourite part without a doubt was the tractor ride back up to the car at the end of a ‘lekker’ morning out with my girls! :)
As always, last weekend was plenty entertaining for Craig and his little girls. With Chantelle working, it was up to us to go exploring, and as such, Emily, Jessica and I found ourselves making the trip through to Bellville to spend a large chunk of Saturday morning browsing around the Tygervalley Shopping Centre, darting in and out of toy, book and clothing stores – much to the delight of young Jessica it must be said.
After a refueling stop at the Tygervalley McDonalds (Jessica had pleaded for a hamburger), we travelled through to Mom and Dad’s pad where Jessica and Emily were to spend the next couple of hours alone with mom, seeing as I was joining Ryan and Dad for the big Super Rugby game at Newlands between home team Stormers and the visiting Chiefs. Traffic was heavier than usual (or as Ryan would put it, we left later than what Dad wanted to because I made myself a cup of coffee first), the result of which was that the stadium was already making a lot of noise by the time we finally parked our car!
That said, I don’t think arriving a little earlier would have made any difference anyway – lines to get in through the various stadium gates were crazy – it would look like the new ticket scan system is slowing down access into the stadium badly, resulting in a lot of angry people in the process!
Anyway, it took a little longer than expected to find our seats, but once we were sitting and settled in, we were treated to an awesome first half spectacle of the Stormers dominating the Chiefs in the scrums and just a tight, exciting game in general. Newlands had a little earlier paid tribute to the heroic firefighters who had been involved in those massive fires just a few weeks earlier, and so there were quite a lot of men in uniform dotted around the stadium. In addition, high school Stellenberg had a contingent of students doing high school track meeting flashes/cheers, which was a bit weird to see at a rugby game, but good for the atmosphere anyway!
Sadly, come second half and things changed badly for the Stormers – despite the lovely cheerleader girls doing their best to motivate the boys on, the Chiefs turned up the gears and with their superior handling and running down the wings, gave us a proper hiding and lesson in how good rugby should be played.
So that was saddening and disappointing to say the least. After all, I only go to the rugby stadium like once every 1.5 years or so, and so to finally go and then lose is quite depressing as you can imagine.
Anyway, the ride home was a lot smoother and quicker than the ride to the stadium, and after some visit time back at Spolander street with Mom, Dad and my little girls, it was in the car and back to Gordon’s Bay to close off what had been a pleasant Saturday after all.
Sunday was another glorious day in terms of weather, and so I took Emily and Jessica through to Lourensford Market for some pancake time. However, the closer I got, the more and more signboards signboards appeared that pointed out that today was the day of the big Getaway Expo held at the Lourensford grounds, meaning a snap decision was made to avoid the massive crowds, parking headaches, and bumper to bumper traffic, and instead make a sharp turn, amble leisurely through the leafy glades of Somerset West, before hitting the R44 and driving down to the always enjoyable Blaauwklippen market instead.
Interestingly enough though, it turned out that Blaauwklippen had decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s day a little earlier than the official date (Tuesday 17 March), and as such everything was decked out in green and a lot of Irish music and culture was on display – which doesn’t really make much sense considering the fact that I don’t think Ireland has that much representation down here in South Africa?
Not that it matters though, the girls and I enjoyed the vibe, and Jessica was particularly enthralled with the duo of Irish dancing girls that entertained the crowd with all their kicking and flailing about.
The pancakes were good, the girls had fun, and Jessica has already booked a horse ride for the next time that we return – which in itself is something rather amazing given her general fearful nature!
From there we were summoned to come through to the Mondeor Garden Restaurant to meet up with Monty and Cheryl who were driving through from Bellville in order to meet us for a cup of coffee (Chantelle was busy finishing up her shift for the day – i.e. this was all her sneaky plan for some coffee and cake time), which is then exactly how the rest of Sunday afternoon was spent.
The carrot cake was particularly delicious.
In other words, yet another activity packed weekend for Craig and his girls done and dusted! :)
With Jessica and Emily having slept over at Monty and Cheryl’s place on Saturday evening to allow Chantelle and myself enjoy a rare date night together, we found ourselves childless on a beautiful Sunday morning – and so with no actual morning children chores required of us for a change, we headed out to Somerset West, making our way to the beautiful and celebrated Lourensford Harvest Market (a particular favourite of Chantelle).
Since it launched in October 2014, the Lourensford Harvest Market has received rave reviews and simply put, its layout is one of the nicest around – with food, craft and fashion stalls arranged in a big, shaded horseshoe shape around a big patch of lawn where both young and old, two and four legged visitors can frolic freely.
There are plenty of tables and chairs surrounding the grassy patch, all in the shade, with lovely views of the Hottentots Holland mountains to complement the setting. These days you can even be lucky and snag one of the gorgeous white leather couches they have scattered about!
The Lourensford Harvest Market trades every Sunday from 10h00 to 15h00 and features around 77 stall spaces, including the odd food truck or two, all filled with some pretty amazing, handpicked vendors.
As expected from a market, a wide selection of varied foods and treats are available, plus some great examples of art and crafts, all handmade of course! For me, probably the most interesting of the lot is the Funki Fungi stall which features all sorts of dried and gourmet mushrooms – most of which I’ve never ever seen before to be quite honest!
However, this time around it was the cheesecake stall that won us over, and so we selected two cuts to share, namely a carrot cake with cheesecake combo, and a peanut butter cheesecake creation – both of which were particularly rich and delicious I’ll have you know!
Finally, and yet another big plus, the live music was absolutely fantastic (sadly, I don’t know the bearded artist’s name) – the guitar strumming singer’s sound and vocals suiting the summery and lively market atmosphere perfectly! Seriously, it is no wonder that this market keeps bringing in all these rave reviews! :)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”31029,31030,31031,31032″]
Related Link: http://lfhm.co.za/
Well, we certainly enjoyed a very different weekend this weekend past. Monty and Cheryl had been missing Jessica and so asked us if they could borrow her for the weekend. After a lot of careful consideration, Chantelle finally decided that she would be able to survive a weekend without Jessica’s cute little face, and so on Friday afternoon the handover commenced, meaning that for Chantelle and I, date night was on! :)
A quick change after work and then it was off to Somerset Mall, where we enjoyed some fantastic pizza at Panarottis (so high class, I know :P), before dashing out to catch Captain America, my movie pick for the night which ended up being fairly enjoyable, though certainly not a movie I’ll need to see again any time soon. (Chantelle also enjoyed it to an extent, particular the parts where Evans didn’t have a shirt on after receiving the Super Soldier serum!)
Saturday was our first sleep-in in literally months, before we eventually roused to make our way through to the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, where Chantelle treated me to breakfast at the Lourensford Deli on what turned out to be a stunning morning in terms of weather, fully complemented by the quite beautiful surroundings I might add! With our omelettes being no more and our tummies sated, we then strolled out towards the Lourensford Family Market that conveniently happened to be held this weekend, where the locals were having some fun with plenty of little stalls selling all sorts of odds and ends neatly set out, a giant bedouin tent to provide some shade as well as shelter for a pretty monotonous singer and loads of families out and about enjoying the sun and eats to be had (hint, the pancakes were delicious).
On our way back to Gordon’s Bay I popped into Mountain Streams nursery, the first time I had been to this little floral paradise in our own backyard, and must admit to being pleasantly surprised by what I found in this little unassuming operation. As it was, I picked up some cobblestone pavers to add some decoration to the cement slab work that I was planning on doing on my return home, the end result of which is actually pretty pleasing if I say so myself! :) (Chantelle slept through the whole thing!)
Outside of my epic long phone call with Candice all the way from Potchefstroom (as Chantelle was unavailable at the time), the other mission that was achieved was a fair bit of weeding, the first time our garden has seen some action in weeks! (It really did help that Jessica was away for the weekend – so much more time to do all the necessary chores and work around the house!)
Anyway, the wind eventually started to whip up, forcing Chantelle and I to call it quits and pack up for the day, prompting the decision to make it two date nights in a row, the end result of which was another trip through the mall, Simply Asia cuisine for her and Subway for me, followed by Conan the Barbarian in 3D, Chantelle’s pick for the weekend, but possible only because she wanted to lick actor Jason Momoa’s nipples.
Unfortunately for us though, the movie did drag on a bit and ended up not engaging either of us, ending up by just sapping up what remaining energy we had and sending us straight to bed!
Sunday it was an early up and at them, compared to Saturday morning’s lazy pace, as we got ready and set out on a detour to pick up Michelle Oosthuizen’s Respisense device that she had purchased from a guy out in Strand (plus a long overdue phone call to Claire to find out how life on that side of the world is treating Riley and herself), before hitting the N2 and heading out to Bellville to join up with the Montgomery Clan, where Chantelle got busy preparing the epic pork belly roast which was to be the highlight of the upcoming lunch. I in turn popped out to spend some time with Ryan, fitting in a quick three tight games of FIFA in the process, before spending a bewildering bit of time in the completely unnavigable Tygervalley which is currently undergoing major renovations in search of a cheap HDMI cable and some extra necessities for lunch that Chantelle hadn’t yet had a chance to pick up.
Back at the Montgomery stronghold it was a return to my daddy role as I played with a very joyful Jessie who is now actively rolling from her back to her tummy, clapping hands, holding her own bottle and reaching out for toys if she spots them. Lunch was served, consisting of a delicious mix of pork roast belly, pork chops, crackling, roast potato, savoury carrots and salad, followed by ice-cream, strawberries and Bar-one chocolate sauce!
It was a pretty late lunch and the day stretched into Idols which of course Chantelle needs to religiously watch, but eventually it was time to pack up the Getz, retrieve our long lost child and head back home, all without incident, before going through the usual Sunday night chorelist and at last, hitting the bed hard! :)
(P.S. For the rest of the Lourensford Wine Estate visit, check out the gallery here.)
Given a bit of a break from Jessica courtesy of the grandparents, Chantelle and I thought it best to start off the weekend with a delicious breakfast at the delightful Lourensford Deli on the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
This was followed by some chasing down of tame peacocks, followed by an amble through the Saturday morning family market.
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”4″ orderby=”title”]