Monday, 9 November 2009

A Road less Travelled

A road less travelled took me away from blogging for 2 weeks. I discovered places in this beautiful country, things about myself, where I am going and where I want to be. I met new people and made friends that I hope I can nurture for years to come.

All this sounds very philosophical, but it's not really -time spent with yourself, outside of your comfort zone, can reveal things that get lost in a normally hectic life and routine.

So, let's start off with where I was.

I had to take a 5 day business trip to a little dorp (town) in the Eastern Cape called Humansdorp. While I was very busy sorting out the reason for my visit, I did have time to drive around and see some beautiful places and eat at some really wonderful restaurants.

One of these beautiful places was Cape St Fransis and the Port of St Fransis. A sleepy little hollow, right on the coast. Here is a picture of the lighthouse and the harbour pictured above.

Two of the restaurants at which I ate stand out, firstly Le Chameleom, in Humansdorp and the second was De Viswyf in Jefferies Bay. The third place is a coffee shop, cum second hand book shop, cum bonsai nursery, also in Humansdorp.

Le Chameleon is only open during the day and not only has a wonderful restaurant, but a gift shop and farm stall where I could have maxed out any credit card! There is not a person in the area who doesn't know this little gem, and even out of season you'll be hard pressed to get a table. They do not take reservations and close at 4pm on week days. The owners are always there, keeping a keen eye on every plate which leaves the kitchen.

I do apologize for the picture quality, but I think the excitement at seeing such a beautiful plate of food was just too much for even my camera to handle!

I ate at Le Chameleon twice, opting twice for a salad - and while this might sound boring, it was everything but, more like a culinary voyage into the heights of heaven. The first salad I had was grilled pear with blue cheese, crispy bacon and bruschetta. My soul shall never know such pleasure on a plate again. That was until the second master piece of grilled halloumi cheese with pine nuts and olives. I still can not decide which was best, but I could write a Mills and Boon novel on the pleasures thereof!

The second restaurant I went to was De Viswijf in Jeffreys Bay, an award winning restaurant. It is set right on the rocks, next to the lighthouse. The menu is very extensive, with fish, poultry and meat. I had the fish, being of the belief that when in a fish restaurant you should eat fish. I started with Mussels Maison, mussels in the shell with garlic white wine sauce, topped with cheese, oven baked and served on a bed of rice . And yes this is as good as it sounds!
The Yellow Fin Sole was "to die for", and I don't say that lightly - I can think of a few small countries I would invade for another chance to savour this dish. And just because I was alone and out of town I finished off with the créme brûlée.

Thirdly was the little coffee shop - Browns Cafe, in Main Street Humansdorp. It looks like nothing from outside, just another secondhand book shop, with perhaps an old Auntie making coffee and koek (cake) in the back. Oh no, as you walk through, you discover a beautiful nursery, filled with bonsai trees and tables where you sit and enjoy the view.

I tell you now, do not to waste your time thinking about what to order - coffee and lemon meringue pie! That's all you will need to make you realize that books and covers are never what they seem!

So there you have the first part of my voyage of discovery. It involves lots of food - but there was time to do some soul searching too. But I think I will keep that for another day- just in case you needed a reason to come again and visit!


Marisa said...

I think I need to pay Humansdorp a visit! That salad looks so beautiful and the courtyard of the 2nd hand bookstore? Magical. I LOVE 2nd hand bookstores, so combining it with some excellent lemon meringue is guaranteed to keep me there for at least a few hours. Bliss!

Kit said...

It all looks lovely. So great discovering new food places - that's what travelling is all about for me!

Jeanne said...

Isn't La Chameleon the craziest, most fabulous place?? It's hard to believe it's in Hunansdorp - it's like stepping into another world. And I LOVE the lighthouse at Cape St Francis - it's quite close to my brother's beach house :)

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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