By Ron Swilling
Heading east from Cape Town? Don’t miss these five padstalle and pit stops:
- Melissa’s at Du Toitskloof (at Rawsonville, on the N1)
Celebrating all things South African, Melissa’s at Du Toitskloof is a stylish ‘food-home-gift’ shop/restaurant. Besides its delectable choice of cakes and enticing menu, there’s a vast selection of local fare including fynbos honey, rooibos truffles, rose geranium cordial and craft beer. You’re also sure to find a gift or two for an approaching birthday or an attractive addition for your home.
- Pampoen Padstal (outside Worcester, on the R60)
A colourful display of pampoene welcomes you at this quaint farm stall. It stocks fresh fruit in season, vetplante, rusks, olives, homemade ginger beer, jams and preserves. This is also a good place to pick up the sweetest tea (and cup) cosies!
- Affie Plaas Farm Stall (just west of Robertson on the R60 – closed Saturdays)
The ‘Daddy of all farm stalls’, as I’ve heard it called, is a cornucopia of South African delights with jars of jams and preserves, a large collection of craft beer from the area, ‘skaaptonge, skaapstertjies and 100% beef patties’ and a coffee and pressed juice bar. Homemade pies, plaasbrood and melktert are freshly-made daily.
- Die Kloof Padstal (Montagu)
Make a stop at Die Kloof padstal to wander among the shelves stocked with all things local and lekker, and to enjoy a meal in the grassy restaurant garden while the kids explore the play area. Music every Sunday between 11 and 3 makes this a pleasant and peaceful stop for a late brekkie or lunch. Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts adjoins the building and is a convenient place to stock up on dried Cape produce.
- Tweefontein Plaasstal (between Worcester and De Doorns, on the N1)
This welcoming farm stall offers a cup of tea and coffee on the house, as well as a glass of Hanepoort. The sign says: ‘Jy kannie sê jy was innie kaap as jy nog nie ons Hanepoort geproe het.’ (‘You can’t say that you were in the Cape if you haven’t tasted our Hanepoort yet.’) A large selection of local wines, olives, dried fruit, rooibos tea, rusks and pies fills the shop, with old favourites like moskonfyt, makataan (watermelon) and agurkies. Outside, a vine shading the stoep, heart mobiles, splashes of pink and a bevy of chickens contribute to the charm.