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Category: Cape Winelands

Terra Madre Market – a feast to celebrate the love of good food

Terra Madre Market – a feast to celebrate the love of good food

UPDATE – NICOLE HAS SHUT DOWN THE PICNIC LUNCHES ON HER FARM AND IS FOCUSING ON SELLING HER TERRA MADRE RANGE ONLINE.  If this changes again I will update it here!   If you are passing through Elgin – one can call her and stop in to buy the products and fresh vegetables from her apple farm.    Click here to order your fresh organic vegetables and freshly pressed juice now.   My mate Nicole was raised with lambs legs gently swaying above…

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Hydroponic Herb Tour on Allee Bleue Estate – a sensory treat!

Hydroponic Herb Tour on Allee Bleue Estate – a sensory treat!

Allee Bleue wine estate is located in Franschhoek.  It was originally settled by the French Huguenots in the late 1600’s.  In 1999 it was purchased by a German family –  Elke and Wilfried Dauphin in 1999.   The initial offering of wines from the estate were launched under the Meerust label, which is the original name of the farm.  This was unfortunately a bit too close to one of South Africa’s most iconic wines – Meerlust.  As such Meerust was…

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The Long Table Restaurant at Haskell Wine Estate – a local favourite!

The Long Table Restaurant at Haskell Wine Estate – a local favourite!

UPDATE – 2019 – The Long Table has opened again!!  Yipppeeee!!  It boasts one of the best views in Stellenbosch – you literally sit next to the vines.    The focus is on freshness and the food is fantastic and well priced.   The Chef from Babylonstoren has moved here.   I am so pleased to have one of my favourite restaurants back on the radar!!  I would strongly recommend booking it asap.   BOOK NOW! Memories of the Long Table from the…

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Spice Route Wine Estate- an artisan playground of endless fun!

Spice Route Wine Estate- an artisan playground of endless fun!

All I can say is WOW!  Charles Back is a marketing genius!  By buying the Seidelberg Estate (two farms down from Fairview) – he has created a hub of artisan fun on the Suid Agter Paarl Rd that is too hard to resist. The first step of the metamorphosis from Seidelberg to Spice Route was to bring the Spice Route wines across from Fairview and to turn the original tasting room into the Spice Route tasting centre.  The odd thing…

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My new favourite summer restaurant – The Pool Room on Oak Valley Estate – Elgin

My new favourite summer restaurant – The Pool Room on Oak Valley Estate – Elgin

I am in love with The Pool Room at Oak Valley Wine Estate! This is a great addition to the foodie scene in Elgin!   The Pool Room is a joint venture between a close friend and talented Chef – Nicole Precoudis (of Cilantro and Icon fame in Joburg) – and the passionate foodie Rawbone-Viljoen family that own Oak Valley  Wine Estate.  This promises to be a marriage made in foodie heaven! A huge amount of planning, blood, sweat and…

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Douglas Green Wines – fantastic value for money…..ahhhhh Douglas Green!

Douglas Green Wines – fantastic value for money…..ahhhhh Douglas Green!

My memories of Douglas Green are of a brand that my parents enjoyed when I was a child and of course the 1980’s ad with the Japanese Sushi maker saying “Ahhhhh Douglas Green!” Douglas Green trained as a winemaker in Stellenbosch and was one of the first marketing guru’s in the wine industry.  He spotted a gap that many are following today – he saw the gap to use his knowledge to buy the best grapes he could find and…

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Organic & Biodynamic – Avondale Vineyard Tour……doing things naturally!

Organic & Biodynamic – Avondale Vineyard Tour……doing things naturally!

A book could be written about the farming practices at Avondale!  Avondale is one of the oldest estates in the Paarl Valley.  In 1997 the John & Ginny Grieve (who own Vital Foods) purchased Avondale.  In 2000 tragedy struck when a devastating fire cleared the estate.  However, out of something harmful came an opportunity.   Their son – Johnathan Grieve – rose to the challenge and used the “clean slate” to start trying to restore the nutrients in the soil by…

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What’s cooking in the Cape Winelands?

What’s cooking in the Cape Winelands?

Chef’s Table at the Liam Tomlin Culinary Studio in Franschhoek A number of friends kept mentioning that an amazing cooking studio had recently been opened in Franschhoek by the famous Aussie Chef Liam Tomlin in conjunction with Leopard’s Leap Wines.  I was desperate to get there to check it out!  But alas my little touring company was fully booked for March and then April whizzed by…..so finally I got there in May.   The school offers a variety of hands…

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Artisanal Chocolate in the Cape – from Bean to Bar!

Artisanal Chocolate in the Cape – from Bean to Bar!

It took a visit to DV chocolates to realize that chocolate has become a commodity.  Chocolate is of course made from Cocoa Beans.  These beans come from many different regions and their flavour profile not only changes from region to region – but will also be affected each year by things such as climate – eg a dry year.  As such chocolate can have an estimated 600 different flavour compounds!! So how do the big chocolate guys make their chocolate…

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Summer in the Cape – my favourite moments!

Summer in the Cape – my favourite moments!

I love summer in the Cape.  Somehow everyone seems more happy when the sun shines!  Including me!  In Cape Town it feels like our summer only really starts around Xmas – finally everyone comes out to play!   In December Cape Town starts becoming vibey – a combination of foreigners and locals are around and there is a real buzz.  To me it is a time of exploring, of sitting at side walk cafes, of enjoying sundowner picnics on the…

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