Nestled in the breathtaking embrace of mountains and forests, Magoebaskloof and the small village of Haenertsburg give visitors a host of eaty-treats. As a newby to the area and coming from a career as a chef, I have spent my days meandering through the tranquil landscapes of Magoebaskloof in search of culinary adventures amongst the artisanal food producers and restaurants in this beautiful space.
Day One began with the aromatic allure of Krabberfontain Café. Grown and brewed locally, the coffee here is a testament to the rich soil of Magoebaskloof and offers a delightful caffeine fix with a simple but delicious menu. Further up the winding road, The Magoebaskloof Farmstall has tables under the canopy of trees next to the R71 and a little nursery for those who may want to take a little reminder of the valley back with them. Locally-made treats are available as well as a varied menu made with local produce. I can't resist the call of the sweet delights made by Magriets Fine Foods. Every rusk, cookie and iced biscuit is a testament to their labour of love, leaving me with a taste of Magoebaskloof's irresistible sweetness.
At Wegraakbosch Organic Farm on the famed Cheerio Road, I delved into the heart of slow food craftsmanship. The fourth-generation organic farm not only produces exceptional organic cheeses but also invites visitors to be part of a day in the life of a dairy farmer - an educational and inspiring experience. Picture yourself overlooking a beautiful vegetable garden and soaking in the tastes, smells, and sounds of the valley. It's not just about the food, it's a simple yet magical time where you can relax, enjoy, and be a part of Wegraakbosch's commitment to all things organic. Take a seat on the shady verandah, savour the peppadew mutchli or swiss alpine havarti, and let the tranquility surround you. With each bite, you're not just indulging in food, you're enjoying the essence of Magoebaskloof's rich agricultural heritage and a celebration of culinary craftsmanship. (Whatsapp 072 370 1886 / 072 361 0664)
Not far away as the crow flies, is Arrabon Farm owned and run by Phillip Spencer, his wife Trish and son, Douglas. Here the surrounding natural environment is as important as productivity. Their farm boasts free-range chickens, goats that clear the land of weeds, tunnels growing herbs, a variety of vegetables and fruit trees as well as their famous reared, antibiotic-free pork products. The farm’s on-site butchery produces generous cuts of Eisbein, tasty sausages, succulent pork steaks and arguably the best bacon in the country… to name a few. I bought some treats to cook at home and got to savour the rich, smoky notes of Arrabon Farms’ piggy perfection - a real culinary treat. Order Arrabon artisanal pork products directly from Phillip who will arrange delivery. (060 324 4858 / email@example.com)
Another organic farm in the area offers visitors a treat at their Blueberry Café. Indulging in blueberry-infused delights overlooking the beautiful Stanford Lake , I'm reminded of the delicate harmony between nature and gastronomy. Further up the road, the Pot ‘n Plow Pub is known for its pizza, rugby screens and locals. On the R71 near Haenertsburg Village, Stella’s Farm Deli showcases the area’s diverse and delectable offerings from their biltong and fine meat-cuts to the many local artisanal products. Next door, The Pancake House is a fun and tasty stop that will have the kids jumping with joy. They offer a large variety of sweet and savoury pancakes as well as crispy waffles and more-ish cakes.
Various charming restaurants in the heart of Haenertsburg have become my culinary companions over the weeks. From the tantalizing cheesecake at Inni-Berg Coffee Shop to the baked delights at The Eatery; the innovative dishes at The Red Plate and a taste of exotic flavours at the newly-opened Habibi Turkish Restaurant, each venue adds a personal touch to the gastronomic offerings. Savouring the juiciest burgers amidst the rustic charm of The Iron Crown Pub, I feel a sense of community. It's not just about great food; it's about locals and tourists coming together, sharing laughter and creating memories amidst the serene landscape.
Whichever restaurant, farmstall, deli or farm you choose to visit, Zwakala Brewery is a fitting choice to end off your day. Their craft beers tell a story of their brewing innovation and the space feels like a communal celebration. Make sure to keep an eye out for the events that Zwakala hosts regularly throughout the year. From the first sip at Krabberfontain to the final toast at Zwakala Brewery, my culinary voyage through Magoebaskloof has been a magical mix of flavours and personalities. Come for the food, stay for the peace, and leave with a heart full of memories.