If you are in Cape Town in late November or December and feel like a grand day out, this is for you! Cherries have long been the food of emperors and kings. Their luscious colour and delicious taste have lured us to their trees for centuries and we have our very own cherry orchards at www.cherryfarm.co.za just outside Ceres. So pack a delicious picnic, get up early and head out on the N1. It is about a 2 hour drive but well worth it as you meander through the majestic mountains and exquisite Slanghoek Valley. Ceres is a sleepy town but there are several places to stop for breakfast if you need fortifying. Go through the town for about 20 km and turn off to Klondyke Cherry Farm.
This farm is a step back in time, you immediately feel yourself slow down as you drive through the cherry orchards and start your adventure. Make sure you weigh your own containers BEFORE you start picking.
Wander through the orchards and take time to choose the reddest most delectable cherries you can find. Children love it as they can climb ladders to reach the very best cherries right at the top of the trees. It is a delightful pastime to pick one’s own fruit – master of your own choices makes you feel empowered and rejuvenated. We have had some of our best family times as we saunter through the trees in touch with ourselves and nature.
Weigh your cherries and then find a picnic table and have a well-earned cup of coffee and a snack.
From Klondyke, head for the Slanghoek Valley, about an hour from Cape Town. There are a host of restaurants to choose from but one of our favourites is http://bosjes.co.za/en/home . Bosjes dates back to 1790 and is unexpected! As you drive up the dusty road you will notice a beautifully shaped chapel on your left. Visit it! Designed by South African born Coetzee Steyn of London based Steyn Studios,and inspired by Psalm 36.7, it is beautiful as well as very unusual. The serene sculptural form emulates the shape of the mountains but also reminded me of a delicate bird. It is constructed from a slim concrete cast shell and the roof supports itself. The reflective pond is gentle and peaceful and one can sense the serenity. Inside the chapel are large windows looking out onto the mountains and it is easy to feel reflective and at peace.
Drive on a bit further and make your way to the Bosjes (meaning small bushes) restaurant. This has also been designed by Coetzee with the contemporary décor designed by Liam Mooney. The high ceilings and glass walls make it fresh, airy and inviting. The food, orchestrated by Pete Goff-Wood of South African Masterchef fame was delectable and delicious. The service was excellent. After a languid lunch, take a walk outside, another surprise awaits you round the corner! A whimsical porcelain mural filling an entire wall brings you Bosjes Tree of Life. Designed and made by Michael Chandler and Lucie De Moyencourt, there are 366 hand painted tiles depicting over 100 species of flora and fauna found on the Bosjes Farm. The pineapple, a symbol of warm hospitality in the 18thC is featured and really this sums up the essence of Bosjes. Feast your eyes on the 6m x 6m mural and feel the spirit of the farm.
Children have a splendid playground to play in so all in all there is something for everyone.
Wend your way back to Kairos Lodge after a wonderful day out, relax in the beautiful garden and nibble on a delicious handpicked cherry or two!