Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Toy cottage stayover for the Wine on the river festival

This post has nothing at all to do with bikes! We did braai steak and boerewors on Friday night and we did drink a good few beers, along with a fair amount of wine. The occasion was the "Wine on the river festival" between Robertson and Bonnievale at a place called "Goudmyn" (Gold mine), a beautiful spot right on the banks of the Breede river. The reason we were in our bakkie and not on the bike was because this is when I stock up my red wine collection.........and I bought a table.
We met our friends Janet and Linda at the Dros in Robertson for a beer and a light meal and then drove through to our accommodation at "Toy Cottages" just the other side of Bonnievale.
Regular readers will remember that I wrote about this place before, it's a lovely, well appointed chalet with two en-suite bedrooms, air conditioned with a big veranda right along the front overlooking the river. Not cheap but well worth the money and we were glad to be back, our two friends were very impressed.
We enjoyed a very peaceful evening and we were on the road just after 09h00 the next morning for the 20km drive to the festival site which is right next to the Van Louveren estate.
We have often visited the "Wacky wine festival" which takes place in the Robertson Valley every year in June, this involves driving between all of the myriad estates that take part in the festival and by the end of the day driving can be a bit "tricky"!
At the Wine on the river festival all of the estates are represented in the one area, this I preferred  because it's much safer to drink and walk! Also there were a great many food stalls selling anything from oysters to hamburgers with delicious and tempting aromas wafting over the gradually swelling crowd of wine lovers.
There was a really nice boat running slowly up and down the river giving rides for a very reasonable R20 per person.
There were areas to sit and eat comprising of chairs and barrels or of straw bales where one could enjoy a meal and a bottle of wine and listen to the music.
Large tents were set up to accommodate the wine stalls and let me tell you there were a great many of the local wine estates offering their produce for tasting, we waded in happily!
Our friend Janet and I shared a plate of fresh oysters washed down with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the warm early morning sun, serendipity - the other two ladies do not eat oysters, their bad luck!
By the time we had been at the festival for two and a half hours we were "festivalled-out", it had been great, we bought our wine on the way out of the grounds and I made arrangements to collect a table that I really wanted the next day, time to head to Van Louveren Estate for lunch at The Bistro.
Back in January when we last visited the area we had lunch at Christina's Bistro and Janet had eaten the best pizza in the world, she was determined to have it again and as I don't eat that crap I was going to have the Sirloin steak which I had really enjoyed.
Luckily the pizza did not disappoint, apparently it was delicious with a thin crust and Janet managed to eat most of it, my sirloin steak was just as good as I remembered it;
After a lengthy, relaxed meal finished off with "Marula Dom Pedros" and for me a fantastic "Marula creme brule' with a lovely hard top which cracked under my spoon, we eventually made our way back to our chalet on the river.
We relaxed on the veranda and watched the sun go down, sipped wine and ate a simple meal that evening of goodies that we had bought at the festival; cheeses, home made bread rolls, olives and different flavoured salamis, an incredibly satisfying evening listening to the bird sounds over the river.
I'm thinking that I'm going to book the place for next year and the "ladies" suggested that we should get a bunch of friends to take the other two chalets as well so that we can have a really festive party before, during and after the "Wine on the river festival" - what say you friends?

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