Before Evita Bezuidenhout came to town, the most exciting thing going on in Darling was the annual burst of flowers in spring—then the whole place slipped back into its comfort zone for another year.
Of course there were the orchids, some wine farms, the Nemesia Hotel (no, really), the fabulous butcher, but it was quiet and they liked it like that. They still do actually, but one must eat and one of the most charming places to go for a bite of something is The Marmalade Cat, right on the Main Street. Well, you can’t really get lost in Darling unless you try very hard.
Sandi Collins has been delighting the locals and visitors who pass through for many a year with her fabulous home cooking, especially the yummy cakes and baked goodies. Light as air scones, freshly baked croissants, pancakes, seed and bran muffins with jam and cheese and gourmet omelettes are irresistible breakfast offerings.
Lunch sees the emergence of things like country veg soup with toasted ciabatta, quiches, beef lasagne, ox tail pie slow cooked in red wine with mash, traditional bobotie, lamb pie, and my favourite, slow cooked Greek style lamb shank on a bed of fluffy mash—what’s not to like?
Dessert s of the best baked cheese cake on the West Coast and apple crumble with cream narrowly beat milk tart and chocolate brownies for the most popular choices.
The wine list features some of the best from this area—all at great prices—so nice not to feel your heart has been ripped out when ordering wine in a Cape restaurant.
Friday nights are pizza nights—very popular so book ahead. Service is comfortable and warm in the country manner.
Phone: 022 4922515
Words: Greg Landman
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.