A jolly good time!!!
Our group consisted of 13 South African citizens with one British (ex SA resident). Tom fitted in very well with the initially unknown people in the group.
We left the city just after 10h00 and headed through Du Toitskloof tunnel to Robertson where we had a stop at the On-Route Wine Deli where Tommy Foulkes warmly welcomed us all with a tasting of the famous Blush Sparkling Wine! Delicious and refreshing and a wonderful way to stand and chat to our dear friend, Tommy! Many purchases later and we headed to Van Loveren Wine Estate for our lunch at Christina’s!
Christina’s is a fabulous restaurant – some of the tables are inside and others out on their patio with a fine mist spray helping to cool the air. We needed this spray as temperatures were in the mid 30’s! Orders were placed and everyone spent the time finding out what lay ahead for the next three days!
After lunch some time was spent walking through their magnificent gardens – what a treat they are! -see the photos. We then boarded the coach for our short drive through to Montagu and the Montagu Country Hotel. A warm welcome from Adri who introduced us to a few of the staff who took us all through to our super spacious rooms – beautifully air conditioned and comfortable. We settled in and later all met in the bar for a drink before our dinner at Kokkemans over the road from the hotel.
Sadly, the evening turned sour with the attitude of one of the owners of the restaurant and left everyone very sad with the country ‘hospitality’ we received! We all met back at the Montagu Country hotel and decided to put our evening down to a bad experience and move on – after all we still had 2 glorious days ahead of us.
Saturday morning and everyone was down early for breakfast and eager to start the day. A delicious breakfast and soon we all headed to the Country market next to the church. Sadly,this was not the size of previous markets (maybe stall holders were also taking a holiday?) and we headed to Cape Dried Fruit where the tills rang happily – this factory shop has wonderful prices and everyone took advantage of this.
After this we headed to Joubert House Museum where the curator took our R5 as an entrance fee, and we all headed into this wonderfully restored house which has a fabulous history. Well done to everyone who maintains the standard of this little museum!
By now everyone felt like a coffee (and, of course, a slice of decadent cake!) – we stopped in at The Orchard and what wonderful country hospitality we all enjoyed. Efficient staff handled our orders and in no time, we were ready to enjoy what they had prepared.
Four of our party were booked on the 2.00 pm tractor ride at the Protea Farm and they headed out of town to enjoy this. They came back having thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon; the views; and the hospitality of the family who run this very special attraction!
The rest of our party had a leisurely afternoon; some sat and chatted; some went to their rooms and rested ; after all we all had a long-evening-ahead of us!
By 7.00 pm we had ‘all-glammed-up’ and were ready down at the tables set for festivity at the Montagu Country Hotel.
Several canapes were served by waitresses which included Zucchini & Blue Cheese Croquettes; onion marmalade tarts with goat’s cheese; curry battered prawns and a seafood brochette! Starters were laid out on a buffet and included a decadent chilled avocado & creamy cheese soup with watermelon & feta; pesto mayo potato salad; Waldorf salad; savoury wheat salad and a salmon, brie & nut salad. Mains were sticky pork belly ribs; a chicken, spinach and capsicum roulade; chilled beef load; mutton curry with roti’s; roasted almond green vegetables; orange & aniseed sweet potato; pommes Anna and capsicum arancini! Desserts (if you still had place) were delightful champagne and liqueur jellies; Montagu muscadel ice cream; Apple wheels with cream and strawberry& marshmallow kebabs with chocolate sauce – and even a cheese platter with local cheeses!
A sumptuous feast!
During courses, the music started and we all danced – AND danced – & danced! A happy time on the dance floor with many of the other guests asking WHO we were & WHERE we came from!
All too soon it was midnight and the Montagu Country Hotel laid on extra treats for all who were still there! Sparklers; sparkling wine and a great song to welcome in 2017! A great, happy evening and by 12h45 we all headed to our rooms where sleep came easily.
Sunday and the 1st January, 2017 arrived and we all enjoyed a breakfast – although many of us were not in the least bit hungry (wonder why – must have been all the GOOD food exercise the night before!)
We left Montagu shortly after 10h00 and headed back to Cape Town. Thankfully Affie Plaas WAS open for trade and we all found various items to spend our money on! (Not that this is ever a problem!)
We had an hour long stop at the Blaauwklippen market where long lines had formed at all food providers. Someone told me “If there’s NO line it means they have RUN OUT of food to sell” ……..a short time later we were back on the coach heading to the airport holding bay where our shuttles were waiting to take us all back home!
Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress. Charles Kettering