Thursday, October 22, 2020

Early Summer escape to De Kelders

An invitation from friends to spend a long weekend at De Kelders could not be refused
We hadn't been away from our house since February and a change of scene is so beneficial
We recommend it if you are feeling housebound. The weather when we arrived on Friday was perfect 
 Happy to see us and enjoying life!
So we sat on the terrace and drank Gin and Tonics and chatted for hours
And then we had a light lunch of quiche and salad and began to relax

An indigenous wild pink pelargonium, also known as Malva, which was growing next to the deck
It seems to be the pink season for flowers now
Another flower John spotted while taking an exploratory photo walk. Lavateria orbea; Pink Cape Mallow
The house from the coastal path. We have stayed here before and know how comfortable it is, with marvellous sea views
We were given the bedroom upstairs with the balcony
The house belongs to our friend's daughter Debbie and was available that weekend
Statis or sea lavender (Limonium sinuatum) is a common everlasting that grows happily near the sea
Soft evening light looking across Walker Bay from De Kelders to the Kogelberg Mountains
As the sun sets over Walker Bay, it paints a yellow brick road in the water
and the sea turns to Opal
Fledgling swallows fresh from the nest early the next morning
John was up early and took this photo of the restio reeds in the soft dawn light
We then went into Gansbaai to the Saturday fresh produce market and were so impressed
They had good Covid procedures in practice too,
although some customers were not very good at social distancing and had to be reminded
Everything is local and Lynne bought some fresh farm eggs laid by hens that walk about in the open air
Two of those lightly boiled for Lynne's breakfast tomorrow, with soldiers; she loves really fresh eggs
And she could not resist buying a pot of mini purple petunias to give some colour to our deck at home
They had fantastic home grown vegetables, fruit, honey, eggs, even meat, thick creamy yoghurt and cheese and all local
In other words, a proper country market. And no eating there either. Someone thinks her chin needs protecting 
Those fresh farm eggs, packed in different sizes. From the farm of the woman who runs the market
And no, that is a not a giant slice of biltong, just a wooden board.
Sparrows nesting in the gutter of a building next to the market
Then we took our friends to Springfontein Wine estate in Stanford for a mini wine tasting
You do the tasting in the Ulumbaza (which means “House of Joy”) wine bar.  
The winemaker and farm manager, Tariro Masayiti, makes very good wines indeed,
including a complex blend of white Pinotage with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay
and a very, very good Chenin Blanc
The range of Springfontein wines we could taste from. We decided on two: the White Springfontein Ulumbaza 2017 which is an unusual blend of  white Pinotage, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon with intense fruit flavours; the Semillon shows first, then the Pinotage. There is Chardonnay richness on the nose and the same richness is there on the end. We also tasted the Terroire Selection Chenin Blanc; an almost musty nose, with richness and wood notes. Cooked apple and peach on the nose and palate, beautiful and silky on the complex palate followed by lively fruit acids, lime and pepperiness. Excellent
We were very well looked after by Zintle Makheta, who runs the tasting room and told us all about the wines
She is very welcoming and very knowledgeable. They do have a simple menu there, should you want to eat
The main restaurant will open when the German owners are able to return from Europe
The Peacock and the Lavender
A peacock sitting outside a farm cottage with lavender bushes
He loved posing for photographs and seemed very tame, coming right up to John
But we could not get him to raise his tail to show it off in all its magnificence
Peacock Blue - The beautiful blue head of the peacock (Pavo cristatus)
The eyes behind his head - The "eyes" in a peacock's tail feathers
Longtail - the blue Indian peacock and his tail, in profile
And a quick rummage in the Junk Shop in Stanford
and the new one next door which is very fashionable, even though it's called Tat! 
Stanford is a very pretty village
With some great old houses
Back for another lunch on the deck
Watching for whales which never appeared and watching the fisherman on the rocks
Reading or napping after lunch
Hermanus on the other side of Walker Bay, through the haze
And, sadly, clouds appearing at sunset. We did have rain in the night
We braaied some sausage - excellent pork boerewors from Spar in Gansbaai
Lolly made a sauté of vegetables and Lynne made a classic Caesar salad
Suddenly  a huge flock of cormorants appeared from the south, as if they were moving away from a coming storm
And they covered the rocks in front like a huge black sheet, we have rarely seen so many roosting at once
They packed tightly together, so tightly that some had to raft out at sea
Backward look - A cormorant watches for anything coming from behind
These are the Cape Cormorants, Phalacrocorax capensis
which look very similar to the Northern American Double Crested but are, apparently, not related
Amazing to see how those webbed feet made for water balance so well on rocks
Cormorant Invasion - Part of the huge flock of cormorants which arrived at De Kelders
Not a very elegant landing, but efficient
So graceful in flight
Our final lunch was whatever we needed to eat up in the fridge
and resulted in some interesting open and closed sandwiches
And then it was time to pack up, tidy up and head home to the cats
The remains of some of the of excellent wines we enjoyed over the three days, and some beer

All content © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

No comments: