Thursday, January 17, 2019

This Week’s MENU. 2018 Overview, Lambert's Bay, Muisbosskerm, Elandsbaai, Cape Gannets, Fryer's Cove, Namaqua Cellars, Supper at Isabella's, Breakfast at Spice, lunch at Gibson's, Wine of the Week, Avocado and Sweet Corn soup, Things to do

Elegance in the air. A Cape Gannet, photographed at Bird Island in Lambert's Bay
Happy 2019. It promises to be a year of threats and promises. We are gearing up for an election with all sorts of revelations of skulduggery coming out to muddy the waters, just to add to the tales we've been hearing for the last year. The UK and Europe are gearing up for Brexit... or not, with complications setting in in Parliament. And the USA continues to play its Trump card. We'd like to remind the US President of his predecessor who said, "Mr Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" So it looks as though there will be a lot of excitement and we hope that we'll all look back at the end of the year, with obstacles overcome and a bright future.
The holidays are over and we are all back, doing what we need to bring home the wherewithal essential to staying alive and comfortable. We've had a wonderful month of exploring new areas, eating (mostly) great food and tasting some wonderful wines - most of which we'll report on below this, some of them held over till next week. We might have been on holiday, but our work is our hobby. There are already lovely events in the pipeline and we look forward to telling you about them
You will notice that we've done a makeover of our web site and this blog. It has evolved steadily ever since we started MENU in 2003, but we felt that it had become a bit too staid and needed a bit of a rev. We hope you'll like it. To open an article just click on the headline
2018 was a very eventful year for us. As we like to do each year, we had a month-long road trip in a foreign country, but we also ventured into places nearer home, some of which we visit quite frequently, others which we haven’t seen for a few years. We tasted some wonderful wines and a few we’d prefer not to write about; we had some wonderful meals and endured some less than delicious. But that’s life and, fortunately, most of it has been good. To make the good bits even better is that we were able to share it with some of our favourite people in real time and with our readers, many of whom have given us lovely feedback, through our electronic media. So here’s our 2018 Overview…
After a very busy year, we decided that a few days’ break up the West Coast would be a good idea, so we booked a house in Lambert's Bay for ten days
On the way, we stopped at the Rosemead artisan bakery in Yzerfontein for lunch, because we’d heard so many good things about it
On our holiday at Lambert's Bay before Christmas we booked to go to the most iconic place in the area. Muisbosskerm. They say "The First and Original Open Air Restaurant" We had not been there for many years, but the reports are still good. It is an informal beach restaurant, famous for its food - served in vast quantities and very plentiful in choice. We booked on line before the holiday. It costs R350 per person, not including crayfish, for a veritable feast. Crayfish is not always available, as it has a restricted season. We were lucky; it was in season…

One of our side trips on our holiday up the West Coast was to Elands Bay, just half an hour south of Lambert's Bay
We had a recommendation from friends to try the Wit Mossel Pot for good Fish and Chips…
For bird lovers, the Cape Gannet (Morus capensis) colony at Bird Island, across the causeway from the harbour is a very important reason to visit Lambert's Bay. It is well worth the charge of R50 per head to visit the island, but be warned, they only accept cash. On our first attempt at visiting the colony, we were turned back as we had insufficient cash and they were not interested in our cards. There are no ATMs in the town, but the Spar supermarket will allow you to draw cash with your card at the till…
Fryer's Cove has its wine tasting venue and wine cellar in a refurbished and repurposed crayfish factory in Doringbaai. They are famous for having the vineyard closest to the sea, kissed by sea breezes and mist and you pass it as you come into Doringbaai. They are the only wine farm in what is the smallest wine ward in South Africa - Bamboes Bay. And it is as they say "500 meters from where the cold ocean throws its breakers against a rocky shore"…
While we were on holiday in Lambert's Bay in December we wanted to visit Namaqua winery in Vredendal. This is one of South Africa's biggest wine producers.  We keep meeting the team at awards ceremonies as over the last few years they have picked up some very impressive awards, and lots of them.  Recently they won the General Smuts Trophy for the Top Wine and the Pietman Hugo trophy for quality and consistency. Yes, the winery concentrates on bulk wine, boxed wine and making wine for other people but they do have a small range of excellent wines we wanted to taste.  We made an appointment with winemaker Reinier van  Greunen and had an impressive tasting
Isabella’s on the Dock side in Lambert's Bay is where you go for seafood, we were told by our landlady
So we made a booking for dinner during the week. We took a bottle of…
During our lovely Christmas break we did go out to a couple of places. Our last dash to do Christmas shopping at the Waterfront left us depleted in many ways, so we needed some lunch. John fancied a burger, so we headed for Gibson’s on the dock side which, although busy, had tables…
We have tasted a large number of excellent wines since the last issue of MENU was published, but this one stands out, not just because it is very good, but because it is exceptionally good value. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot...
This lovely cold soup recipe was served to our guests on New Years day at lunch and went down very well. It is quick and easy to make.  Lynne loathes fresh coriander but, liquidised, it is more acceptable. If you don’t want to add a whole fresh chilli, you can add one from the pickled Jalapenos in jars from the Peppadew company, we always keep a jar in our fridge for Nachos or other spicy Mexican dishes.  You can get a mild version.  It just adds a kick of warmth. The lime juice is essential and fresh limes are in season…

Things to do
Sunday, 27th January      Groote Post’s First 2019 Country Market. For further information on the Groote Post Country Market. Contact I Love Yzer: 022 451 2202 or / • • @GPCountryMarket
Saturday, 2nd March       Harvest Festival at Muratie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.  For further information and bookings contact Nina Martin at Muratie on 021 865 2330/2336 or
Friday & Saturday, 1st & 2nd March      RMB Starlight Concert at Vergelegen. Details and tickets at

17th January 2019

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Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in our website and ancillary works are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are often unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, pleaseclick here to send us a message and if you wish to be  removed from our mailing list

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