Hoogwater Fruit Farm & Melissas
The Hoogwater Farm is 128 km from Cape Town. A beautiful scenic drive from the city, through the Du Toitskloof tunnel. Majestic mountains, showing all their splendour, on a clear, sunny day on which the coach rolled out with 33 passengers, all eager to pick their own figs. They came prepared – with sun hats, closed shoes and baskets and cool boxes to keep their fig pickings fresh until they got back to the city.
Hoogwater charges a R40 entrance fee plus R5 per punnet to go out into their fields to fill the containers (oh, and you can eat as many figs as you wish along the way). Most ladies purchased at least 4 – 8 punnets (with a few coming in at 14 punnets!) and off they went.
The heat was intense with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees for a good part of the fig picking time. Fortunately there was a breeze blowing which helped to cool us down a bit. We were out in the field for nearly an hour – a few who were brave enough to take over 8 punnets, obviously spent a bit longer.
Brian had suggested ‘freezing’ bottles of water a few days before – these were gratefully received by all!
Then we headed to Rietdakkie which is one of the ‘better’ equipped padstalletjies on the R43 route to Ceres! I said (jokingly) that they had 5 minutes to purchase in this little stall. ¾ of an hour later and we left with the coach laden with yellow cling peaches ; grapes ; biscuits ; a new Pomegranate bottle of Sparkling Wine (which flew off the shelves) and we were ready to head to Melissa’s at DuToitskloof Wine Estate.
Kit, their charming manager met us in the car park – country hospitality supreme, and they had reserved the whole air conditioned restaurant for our group – all 33 of us! We had pre-chosen our lunches so it was a case of ordering some wine or a cool drink (for some – more shopping!) and then lunch was served.
We had a choice of:
All these lunches were served very efficiently by the Melissa’s staff. Then we could all choose a cupcake (either Lemon meringue, carrot cake or red velvet). A few enjoyed a coffee and then it was unfortunately, time to head back to the city.
As the ‘organizer’ I always find it difficult to actually ‘chase’ people back onto the coach. After a glass (or two) of wine, food and excellent company, the last thing anyone wants to do is ‘rush home’ – but, unfortunately with the peak traffic ahead of us it becomes a reality – stay longer and face getting home well after 6.30 pm!
A wonderful day out in the country proving once again, just how hospitable everyone in South Africa is! Wow we live in a great part of South Africa for sure – Appreciate it whenever you can