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  • Lisa Martus


In the mountains of Magoebaskloof, things are ever-changing and your whim may have to adapt to the weather. But Blueberry Heights Farm Café is a winning choice whether it’s a sunny summer’s day with friends and family at a broad table on the wooden deck or a cosy spot tucked in next to the fireplace on a cold, wet afternoon. A tantalising tree-lined drive leads from the R71 to this country-style restaurant tucked in next to rows of organic blueberries which you can wander through in season, picking plump handfuls for a purple feast.

Blueberry Heights is a small farm on the banks of Stanford Lake and produces some of the finest organic blueberries and golden kiwis in South Africa. Owners, Jonathan and Jean Trusler moved to the family farm from London in 2011 after their first child was born as they wanted her to grow up in South Africa around the friends and family they had been separated from for seven years. Jonathan says, ‘we had experienced small pick-your-own and agritourism farms in Europe and New Zealand which inspired us to try similar things when we moved to Blueberry Heights in 2011.’ They opened their first very small café in the packhouse in 2014 which gradually grew until 2017 when it became The Mountain Café run by Renee and James Woodhouse for five years. The restaurant is now back as part of the farm business and has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings nine years ago.

Blueberry Café Manageress, Heather Gore is passionate about creating a memorable eating experience based on delicious food and excellent service for visitors to this restaurant ‘in the middle of nowhere.’ She is of the opinion that ‘there is nowhere else in Magoebaskloof that offers our cosy atmosphere and comfortable seating area on our deck looking out over the beautiful Stanford Lake.’ The most popular items on the menu include freshly-baked bagels with trout and cream cheese, pork medallions à la maison and everything blueberry from a baked pie, flapjack pancakes or ice-cream to their famous Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote. The middle of the week is always abuzz with locals coming for the one-of-a-kind Wednesday Lunch Special - a drink and delicious 3-course meal, different each week, for a very reasonable price.

Heather asserts that, ‘by working with one the greatest Mentors, Horst Dombrock and a dedicated team, we make it our business to continuously improve our visitors' experience, prioritising elements like fresh organic ingredients grown on site or sourced from local farmers. I have established a culture of continuous learning, growth and innovation which also leads to positive reviews and goodwill for the Café.’ They also have a small shop with farm products like honey, blueberry cordials, pork cuts from Mockford Farms and other local treats. There is a kids’ indoor playroom with toys and a jungle gym to romp on outside. The popular 5km Farm Fun Run/Walk every Saturday Morning at 8am, is their signature fitness and wellness event, winding through the most scenic route with views of Stanford Lake and Ebenezer dam as well as a waterfall where these waters meet.

Jonathan says, ‘we would love to grow what we can offer to visitors. With our beautiful views it makes sense to expand the accommodation available on the farm; we would like to host more functions here as well as to explore making other products like chocolate, gin or blueberry wine. I think there is something special about being able to visit an area that has so many interesting people each doing their own thing, each with their own personality. We need to continue to expose the beauty of Magoebaskloof and Limpopo - there is just so much to see, explore and do.’

Blueberry Heights Farm has a delightful self-catering bungalow overlooking the Ebenezer Dam - a perfect base for exploring the sights of Magoebaskloof. Blueberry-picking from December to February is a great activity for the whole family (R50 per punnet) and Blueberry Heights will be hosting the Blueberry Festival on 3 and 4 February 2024, where there will be live music, craft stalls, food and drinks. Blueberry Farm Café: 071 540 3800 | Open Wednesday to Sunday, 8am - 4pm.

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