Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Heaven on Earth

Lunch at the Bat Centre
Originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The scene is set as such: The sun shining in a deep blue sky, a wide valley surrounded by craggy mountains, mist creeping over and hiding their peaks, a nourishing river flowing along the bottom.

The land a patchwork of bright green vineyards, each row starting off with a pink or a white rose, a hedge of bright red cannas, lines of well pruned fruit trees, full with apples, peaches, pears and apricots.

Wine estates of white Cape Dutch houses, their doors open to welcome guests to taste the wines on offer: sauvignon blancs, wooded and unwooded chardonnays, sparkling, syrah, pinotage and cabernet sauvignon.

Horse stud farms dotted around, stallions kept apart from the mares who are tending their young foals.

There is nothing like wine country, the country we got to love in Italy and more especially Tuscany. The South African version is as near to perfection as could be.

We started the day off with a delicious and well-presented breakfast in the pretty gardens of La Malherebe, by the pool, before returning onto the Route 62 to Ashton, before a detour down to Bonnievale at the start of the Robertson wine route, which took us to five wineries including a very good organic one called Bon Cap. Then we put on some kilometers to get to Villiersdorp before crossing the spectacular Hottentot-Holland mountains to the up-market and very pricey Franschoek, the beautiful drive over to Stellenboash and the less than beautiful drive from there through the townships of Cape Town back to Big Blue Backpackers here in Green Point.

P.S. Yesterday's meal at Jessica's was simply amazing. We treated ourselves to fillets of steak, witha sauce of mushrooms, pecorino cheese and cashew nuts (finely ground), served with a magnificent Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon from the Springfield Estate in Robertson. We reckon we ought to eat lots of steak here as it is extremely high quality and much cheaper than back home!


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