Moerse Farm Stall, Napier (& more)

We decided that since we had the time and inclination, we would stop at some of the places we never stop at en route to and from the cottage while on our way back to Cape Town today.

Top of the list was the Moerse Farm Stall in Napier, which regularly almost entices us with its promise of “Flippen Lekker Viskoekies” & “Sexy Warm Brood”. (“Flipping Lovely Fishcakes” and “Sexy Hot Bread” to to the uninitiated…)

The actual farm stall bit of it is great, with all the traditional fare on offer: rusks, bread, milk tart, etc etc (but sadly, no FLVs, which had sold out already). The place was also filled with homemade placards of famous and inspirational quotes and quirky anecdotes as well.

This one – typical of the dry sense of humour of Manie Kriel, the owner (who also warned Alex only to pet Rosie the dachshund with his left hand, since he would need the fingers on his right hand to hold a pen when he went back to school) (Alex, not the daschsund) – caught my eye as we returned to our hectic urban existences.
But it was the nursery at the back that was so very unexpected: what an utterly amazing oasis of coolness and calmness in the 38°C heat.

The plants were healthy, happy (you could hear them singing), colourful and cool – awesome value too, especially when compared to Cape Town prices. Should you wish, you can sit in the sun (or the shade) and enjoy scones and coffee amongst the flowers before continuing your onward journey.

And – if you don’t want to miss out on the hugely popular “Flippen Lekker Viskoekies” & “Sexy Warm Brood”, simply ring ahead (028 423 3440) and place your order on the morning of your trip.

Our next stop was Dassiesfontein, which impressed me less. It’s bizarre, completely mad, and a stop that you really must make just to experience the eclectic nature of the place – rusks, biltong, antiques, leather goods, wood-burning stoves and ovens, a small restaurant, a tiny bar, cheese, chocolates, wine, and even a large range of chandeliers.
There’s no doubt that it’s a well-run and slick operation, but if this is SA Farm Stall v2.0, then I’m not going to bother upgrading. It was soulless, commercial and dangerously expensive – a far cry from our friendly, personal experience in Napier earlier in the day. If, as Dassiesfontein claim, they “represent the spirit of true South African hospitality”, then this country is in more trouble than we thought.

That said, I’m looking forward to enjoying a glass of the local “foot stomped” port (ABV 20% *whimper*) and some of the homemade cheese we bought there. And I’m glad we popped in, but I won’t be hurrying back.

Depending on how good the port is, obviously.

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