Good breakfast at the Arniston Inn. Inn makes it sound a little grander than it is as it can only take 1 family at a time; very comfortable and large bed-sit area and an upstairs lounge with a door opening on to large veranda. Our hosts, Devina and Ron are a funny, quirky and charming couple; he a retired architect and Devina, who runs the inn, which is an old, original Arniston structure is, I think, very artistic. Invited us for pre-dinner drinks. We drove to the town of Elim, which was founded in the late 1820’s by Moravian Dutch who were fleeing religious persecution. The town’s houses are largely unchanged externally, all square, whitewashed and thatched. The decedents of the Moravians still are, for the most part, the inhabitants of the town which is only a couple of streets in size, but wonderful to see the tiny, perfect little thatched houses still unchanged after 175 years. Incidentally, wherever we have travelled so far, from Franschhoek to our current location, there are a surprisingly large number of houses with thatched roofs, including the Arniston Inn. This was a skill that was brought over by the Moravian Dutch and it has clearly spread throughout the region as all the many thatched houses will show. Had a wonderful lunch at the Black Oystercatcher vineyard, from all the vegetables they grow on the property. V bought some Sauvignon to take away and we had a fabulous homegrown tomato and basil soup, as good as anything I have ever had. We shared a ploughman’s platter which was loaded with local cheeses fruits and preserves, including a superlative tomato relish which they also sold and 2 bottles of which I bought. When I get home will write the restaurant and ask them for recipes.
(Added later 29/09/12) Wrote to Black Oystercatcher for the recipes and received a charming note with both recipes attached. I have just made a batch of the tomato relish and it's every bit as good as I remember from the restaurant. I have posted the recipe for the tomato relish. When I have tried the soup, I'll post the recipe for that as well.
[Poked around the countryside and ended up in L’Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent. Very beautiful coastline, great rolling breakers, as it’s the point where the Indian and the Atlantic oceans meet, so lots of pictures taken. Home to drinks with Devina and Ron and then off to dinner in a little thatched fisherman’s cottage where the wife prepares meals for guests. V had overcooked fish but I had one SA dish that I had always wanted to try, bobotie, a kind of moussaka without the eggplant and the ground lamb sweetened with dried apricots and raisins; very good.