Unfortunately, for one reason or another (planets colliding, mercury in retrograde) we have never been able to attend these delightful get-togethers.
However, last month a window of opportunity opened and in we flew. Langebaan is ninety minutes scenic drive from Cape Town and there are many guest houses available for just these type of occasions. We chose to stay at Calypso Villas, a mere half a dozen doors from Isabella’s. Calypso Villas (022 772 2920 ) is beautifully appointed and very affordable, with stunning views across the whole of Saldanha Bay.
Upon arrival at Langtafel op die DUIN we were greeted by the lovely Isabella and I was handed a glass of chilled Pieter Cruythof Sparkling Brut. Paul, not a ‘bubbly’ fan, chose to have a glass of Kaapzicht Sauvignon Cabernet.
Glass in hand we had a look around Isabelle’s beautiful home. The downstairs entertainment area flows from a huge kitchen into the dining area where you find the ‘lang tafel’ and from there onto a deck which looks onto the beach and across the bay. On the deck there were dozens of fellow foodies enjoying the midday sun and relaxing on the numerous couches and lounge chairs arranged on the deck. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and we could feel an entertaining and cosy afternoon in the offing. Oh, what a pleasure.
While waiting for the main event we were treated to a variety of delicious snacks and more sparkling and red wine.
At around one o’clock everyone made their way to the ‘langtafel’. Over the next two hours or so we feasted on a four-course lunch taken from the new recipe book, Simply Delicious, written by the very talented Zola Nene, with dishes prepared by Isabella and her very professional and industrious team. There were lovely oysters, followed by a fragrant and light Thai-influenced dish called Som Tam. Nona attended a day-long Thai cooking class with her sister during their visit to Thailand. Then there were warm and delicious mealie pot breads with curry butter which accompanied the Cabbage Curry. The main was a delicious lamb curry. Paul was treated to a beautiful piece of fish; he would prefer to be a complete vegetarian but slips into pescetarianism on occasion. Desert was a delicious peach cake.
Zola Nene’s recipes, all traditionally Zulu with a modern twist, are both tasty and intriguing, drawn in part from her childhood spent with her grandmother. Zola Nene can also be found on the Expresso Morning Show where she shares her recipes with all of us. I am glad I bought her book; there are so many unique recipes – I think I’ll be trying my hand at the Pap Lasagne next (my version will have mushrooms instead of pork mince of course). You can find Zola Nene’s Simply Delicious at Woolworths and at Exclusive Books.
And did we mention the wine? All the wines were from the Kaapzicht Estate in Stellenbosch. The wine flowed (and flowed), the conversations were at times contentious, hair-raising and amusing, what’s not to love here?
From our (Paul and I) point of view, the day was a great success. It is such a pleasure to spend time with such a diverse and interesting group of individuals all with the same delightful end in mind: to forge bonds with other food lovers.
We are so looking forward to the next one.
A big thank you once again to the lovely and warm IsabellaNiehaus.
To learn about future events at Langtafel of the DUIN keep an eye on their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Duinhuis/