McGregor is one of those little towns that time seems to have forgotten—an image which the locals go to great lengths to cultivate.
Years ago when I first visited there I was told there was no doctor in town– only a vet or two. “But what happens if you need urgent medical attention?” said I, imagining some dire possibility. “Well,” said the local who was showing me around, “if you can’t last till Robertson (some half hour down the road) you will obviously die, won’t you?”
Nothing much has changed since then but there are some excellent places to eat, one of which is the delightful Flora’s in the main road, owned and run by cook extraordinaire, Flora Barrow. The tiny place is light and airy with a cute little back stoep which is fun in summer but not the place to be when we visited in the heart of a McGregor winter. The walls are adorned with dozens of picture s of plants and flowers—a delight.
From the tiny kitchen delicious smells flow into the dining area. The cooking is Cape comfort at its very best, with generous portions de rigueur. The Ultimate Village Burger is exactly what it says it is—a huge helping of delicious homemade beef patties—two of them on two half buns, and a smattering of salad to ease your conscience. The bockwurst and mash smothered in delicious rich gravy was “the best I have ever eaten” said a diner at the table next to us. The paprika and cream ostrich on a bed of wild rice was inventively unusual without being too clever for its own good, but the piéces des résistances were the cakes—all made right there and so enticing one had to take home three or four of them just to up the oink factor.
The revealing thing is that some are made with interesting flours made of nuts and the like and are not so sweet that you have to do a glucose check after having a bite.
Service is friendly and informative, just like being in someone’s home—delightful—and prices will not break the bank. Flora is moving up the road in September 2016 but the town is tiny—you will find her—and you will love it.
Words: Greg Landman
Pictures: Jaco Voges
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.