Our day in Elgin started off with rain in Cape Town and reports of more in Elgin. Capetonians are just so relieved when reports of rain come in that it doesn’t dampen spirits at all!
Our first stop was the Windermere Farm where Tamsin Mullins had set up our cider tasting in the barn where they do their production of the Windermere Cider. On arrival a few ladies needed the toilet after the long journey. One lady quickly became 12 and Tamsin used the staff bus to transport them up to the house! The rest of us waited in the cold barn – by the time the ladies had returned the sun had come out and it was decided to take the coach down to the house (from where all the ladies had all just come!!) to enjoy the cider tasting under the big ‘old tree! Tamsin told us a bit of the history of the farm and the beautiful old house!
Windermere is brewed as a German-style cider or apfelwein, but they have gone one step further and have developed a pure apple cider recipe with no sugars, preservatives or additives to contaminate the natural fermentation process. At Windermere Cider apples are picked from their orchards, washed and then crushed to a pulp which is pressed to extract the juice. The next morning, the top juice from the settling tanks is pumped into fermentation tanks. Specially selected yeasts are later added, and fermentation begins. Tamsin explains that “the market wasn’t ready a decade ago for cider, but it is now”. A few of the ladies enjoyed the cider and the rest walked around the beautiful garden – the roses were particularly beautiful!
After our time in the garden many said how hungry they were feeling – after all, breakfast had been a good few hours away! Our next stop was the Rojaal Teekamer where the ladies were bowled over by the country hospitality of the staff and , Charmaine! A wonderful hostess who very quickly made sure that everyone was seated and had either a coffee or something to drink.
Our lunch was Chicken breast stuffed with sun dried tomatoes, basil pesto and feta served on savoury couscous topped with creamy Parmesan sauce and roasted seasonal vegetables – everyone so enjoyed this – evidence was that all plates were clean when sent back to the kitchen. Dessert was Mini baked cheesecakes served with seasonal berries – another hit!
It is said that the tannies of Elgin have taken an old shed and turned it into a show-off restaurant and tea room in Elgin – complete with a lounge full of couches and arm chairs.
The Rojaal Teekamer came up trumps – and after spending at least 2 and a ½ hours there the ladies were ready to ‘hit’ Peregrines, taking their delicious product back to the city.
Arriving back in Constantia by about 16h45 and Tableview at 17h45, a fabulous day out in the country spent with great company!
Message from Elaine
“Thank you so much once again for a lovely day out today.