Enjoy everything under the sun at Blaauwklippen Family Market

Monday, 14 October, 2013
I can’t get enough of slow food markets. The opportunity to buy directly from manufacturers, farmers and chefs is just too tempting.
A typical visit will start with an overload of sights, smells and tastes of homemade everything, and end with me driving home with bags and boxes gushing with real food, grown and reared with old-fashioned ethics, using traditional methods, prepared with passion and pride. It’s the kind of food you just can’t find at multinational grocery stores or giant shopping malls.

But market visits usually carry a far higher cost than the not-too-shy food prices scrawled in chalk. They’re usually swarming with people. Hordes of them. And though I’m obviously contributing to the multitude of food revelers, I can’t help but feel put out when I can’t stroll past stalls at my leisure, stopping to snap a pic on my phone and dip something carb-like in something oil-like and ooh and aah at the wave of flavours.

Usually, the best plan is to get in and out as early as you can. Unfortunately, this means a 7am wake-up call on a Saturday or Sunday, giving you just over an hour to get up, get ready and rush through to one of the many markets on offer every weekend. Even then, there’s a fine line between having traders cross-questioning you about standing around while they’re still setting up, and not finding a parking within 2km of the place. Still, the good markets are worth all the small inconveniences along the way.

If you’re looking for the exact opposite of market gridlock though, the answer lies in an outdoor food and craft market at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. The market runs every Sunday from 10am to 3pm, outside under the trees on one of SA’s oldest wine farms. Delivering an experience unlike any of its indoor cousins, Blaauwklippen gives you the space and freedom to have a proper look around. With loads of breathing room, and a glass of something cold in hand, you’ll be able to roam around and discover original and interesting offerings at your own pace. From trays of herb and vegetable plants to champagne, gourmet ice cream and prego rolls, there’s a lot to take in. Literally.

There’s a strange mix of hubbub and calm in the air from the moment you get out of your car. Pony rides, kids licking gourmet ice-cream cones and families tucking into lunch held together with serviettes. As you wander through...Read on.