Travelling from Cape Town towards Swellendam along the N2 is often something people do when they’re on their way to the Garden Route further east. But if you plan your stops right, it can be a destination in its own right. Here are 4 farmstalls worth stopping at in the Overberg.
You’ll find all sorts of other fresh farm produce too, from fruit & veg, dried fruit, honey, jams and preserves to cheese, cold meats, bread, mosbolletjies, biltong, cakes and quiches. My favourites are the seed bread and veggie quiche, while hubby has to eat a steak pie on the spot every time we stop there and take home an apple crumble.
Where: On the N2 at the intersection with the R321 to Grabouw
2. Houw Hoek Farm Stall
Where: On the N2 from Cape Town to the Overberg, just before the Houw Hoek Pass
Don’t stop at Dassiesfontein if you’re in a hurry; it will just stress you out. Rather stop when you can wander and browse before you make a selection, whether it’s food or some of the other eclectic goods on display. Try a venison or mutton pie, scoop up some farmstyle cheese, or choose an artisanal loaf of bread baked with stone-ground flour in an old wood stove. All the usual farm stall fare too, from biscuits to baked goods.
Taste the local wines or stay to lunch on bobotie, waterblommetjie bredie or perhaps boerekos like roast mutton with a stash of soetpampoen, potatoes and rice. I have a fairly healthy appetite, but I think you need a farmer-sized appetite to finish what’s on your plate. A chalkboard shows daily specials.
Alongside the farm stall and restaurant is a rabbit warren that’s a browser’s delight, full of collectables and bric à brac – old furniture, wrought iron garden ornaments and old-fashioned hatboxes in various designs, old kitchen utensils, tins and enamelware, vintage clothing and old carpentry tools. Prices aren’t cheap, so allow lots of time to explore the treasure trove to find the perfect piece to take home.
Where: On the southern side of the N2 between Botrivier and Caledon
4. Blue Crane Farm Shop
As with any farm stall worth its salt, it’s full of garden-fresh fruit and veg, dried fruits and preserves, cheese, biltong and home bakes. A friend swears by its milk tart, so that’s on hubby’s to-do list next time we visit. It also sells homemade breads, including rye and gluten-free breads, rye rusks, gifts and roses in season.
If you need a break from the road, enjoy a light meal inside or outside in the courtyard. Choose from breakfast options to toasted sarmies, pies, burgers and salads. Some of the ingredients are grown in Blue Crane’s own garden – and you can’t get fresher than that.
Where: On the N2 3km west of Heidelberg
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Tredici in Swellendam: a taste of Europe
Food feast on the Garden Route
East Head Cafe in Knysna and why you have to visit
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