The Three Musketeers

Thursday, 11 July, 2013
Shante Hutton,
I became a lady who lunches when I headed to Eat @ Altydgedacht for cake, chats and giggles.
Five generations have maintained and developed Altydgedacht and aside from the wine, the social and culinary part of the operation belongs in the hands of 3 distinctive ladies - problem is, how does one do a quick bio on three extraordinary females?

Sharon Kriel owns and manages Eat @ Altydgedacht, recently joined by close friend Benita Gouws who will take the reins in the kitchen. The sweet component comes in the form of Jandri van Zyl, owner and founder of Treat Patisserie and the Velvet Cake Company.

Sharon and Jandri have known each other for years, working together for a time. The relationships between all three ladies blossomed over wine most good things, alcohol was involved. The girls met every other Wednesday for wine and food and a bit of a therapy session, "sometimes we would go home at 7pm," says Jandri, "and sometimes it would be 11pm, depending on all the problems and the wine."

The friendship, because it is based on mutual interests and the fact that they are all business-minded individuals, keeps getting stronger - cheese and bread platters have had a big influence too, so I'm told.

They all belong to the promotional side of the Durbanville Wine Route and once a month, those involved gather together at an informal meeting which, last year, was where Sharon and Benita met.

Jandri fits into Eat with her newest cake creation that uses Altydgedahct's legendary Pinotage. "The idea was based on my loves of wine and cake and as July is my birthday month, I wanted it to be a reflection of me."

In short:

Benita Gouws
Her twitter handle is 'Wine Gremlin' but she didn't try to curse me or steal wine from me.
She was previously the marketer at Nitida and sommelier and whilst she loves wine, working at Eat is a new chapter for her that she is keen to dive into.

Sharon Kriel
She gives Red Bull wings, darting around making sure that everyone is relaxed and that Eat @ Altydgedacht continues to thrive.

Jandri Van Zyl
The cake queen - owner of Treat Patisserie and The Velvet Cupcake Company and fellow lover of the grape.

Why you should visit Altydgedacht?
It's got such a lovely atmosphere that I'm pretty sure makes it bewitched. You don't realize how long you've been enjoying yourself until you drive away and notice that the whole day has escaped you.

Changes are afoot to create an even more irresistible space for Durbanville's oldest winery. Benita has some yummy ideas up her sleeves which, for all the bribing, she refused to divulge. However, for something hearty and perfect for Winter, you must try their Pinotage Springbok pot pie or their Barbera burger, all infused with Altydgedacht wine.

Gluhwein and Pinotage cake.
R35 for a slice of lush, red cake with hints of cinnamon. Forget Red Velvet cake - it's so overdone. Paired with a glass of gluhwein (R15), this is ultimate yumminess but without the overtly sickly nature of some cakes. It's only for the month of July so get over there quickly!