Thursday 31st March 2016
Numbers were down this month – we believe it to be that this trip was so close to Easter. Those that did not make the trip to the Riebeek Valley missed a day out in the country with the friendly / happy touch that Time Out has become known for!
In fact, one couple who were on their own day out and spotted us at our first venue and then happened to have lunch at the same restaurant ‘felt-the-vibe’ of happiness and the husband was sure it was ‘just-what-his-wife-needs when she retires’ in June 2016.
Our day started in Cape Town with a cool wind blowing but on contacting the restaurant Carol was told to expect sun shine in the valley. Unfortunately, the adverse weather followed us!
On arrival in the Riebeek Valley we had rain and it seemed to follow us until nearly 3.00pm when the sun came out again! However, this never seems to dampen anyone’s spirits. Some had come prepared and brollies were hauled out of the handbags / others found a plastic bag and this provided welcome relief against getting their hair wet!
We visited Het Vlock Kasteel on entering the Valley. What an amazing range of olive products they have! They had fresh Hanepoort grapes as well (the last grape Capetonians will savor until next year!) and then the olives – in every flavor imaginable. From ‘regular’ to ‘lemon’ to ‘chilli’ – difficult to make a choice! However, the choice is made easier by many bowls displayed as tasters. Very soon the store tills were operating at full tilt.
Next stop was the town of Riebeek Kasteel where the ladies could do-their-thing – some went for coffee at the Royal Hotel / some shopped at the various stores / some sought out the newly revamped art gallery / some enjoyed coffee and cheesecake at Wicked Treats / some found dinner for their husbands back in the city at Crisp – we were all on a mission!
By 12h15 most gathered at our lunch venue – Mama Cucina. The wine / cold drinks were ordered and the catching up started.
We were offered a choice of a Banting Lamb Burger (hey what interesting taste combinations!); Grilled baby chicken with Basil Mayo and a delicious salad (how many containers went home with this very generous portion) and the mains choice was a pea and prawn risotto (looked very tasty. Dessert was a berry panna cotta or a caramel/chocolate cheesecake. Country hospitality at it’s finest – very generous portions, tastefully served. The staff at Mama Cucina are very efficient and each table was given their full attention. Sadly by 2.45 pm we had to board the coach back to the city. The coach was laden with everyone’s purchases. Amazing what a good feeling it is to get home ‘warm with the company of fellow ladies’ and ‘laden with produce to stock the pantry’