May 28, 2021

A walk down memory lane



May has been my month of rekindling old friendships. There are those people with whom you simply pick up where you left off, those who finish your sentences and make you feel whole. Friends from Gaborone joined us for three heavenly days in Hermanus.  Highlights included a fun seafood lunch at Bientang’s Cave with the spray of the ocean, vibrant sunsets, and a visit to the house where our awesome foursome met more than 30 years ago. Funny how one can still feel like a student, surely it is only to others that we seem older and wiser?


And of course, there was wine. We started a day of wine tasting in a chapel – the unique Wine Lounge at Ataraxia. Greek for ‘serene state of mind, free from worry and pre-occupation’, this tranquil setting is sublime. We arrived early for our tasting of Kevin Grant’s wines, made with minimal intervention. The unwooded Sauvignon Blanc and his wooded Chardonnay were well received by our quartet. We decided that his Young Blood was aptly named for us! The Pinot Noir and red blend Serenity were equally lauded, and it was with a boot full that we departed. Sad that we were not able to connect with Kevin, who was busy toiling the soil, as we remember him from his school days. We caught up on radio instead, where we all still look good!

Jenny Handley at Ataraxia

To find out more about his process of crafting black Chardonnay, click the link to listen to the podcast from last week’s FMR Fine Food radio show.


We celebrated another friendship created many years ago on a wine estate. Two little girls, one who was the daughter of the then owner of Blaauwklippen, the other of the winemaker. What a joy to witness the reunion of these girls all grown up – Carolyn Martin (neé Finlayson), co-owner of the legendary Creation wine estate, with my friend Michelle Marshall (neé Boonzaier). This interlude alone would have made Michelle’s journey from Botswana worthwhile. I’ll be back at Creation next week to experience their Winter food-and-wine pairing. Keep your eyes on us for the full story…


Friends have been more than fantastic during my recent time on crutches, so to treat and thank my special friend Sharon, it was off to the Russian tea ceremony at Hazendal. It began with a fragrant G&T, served in a teapot, before we moved onto tea served in a traditional samovar. The table was laid with eye-catching crockery and ornaments. A selection of five savoury and five sweet treats were served on platters for each of us – including Russian potato salad, smoked salmon blini, little pies and some delectable sweets. Amidst much chatter we did justice to the superlative setting and service. It’s novel and celebratory. Next time? A four ball on their new golf course.


My bestie Anne, aka Thelma of Thelma and Louise, is a regular travel companion. We set off to Tintswalo at Boulders for a quick getaway against the backdrop of the mountain and sea. Simon’s Town was a detour which included tea and scones. After being welcomed into the cosy home-from-home luxury, five-star property we settled into our Mary Rose suite. Each of the nine beautifully appointed rooms are named after shipwrecks. We ventured back upstairs to get the best views and savoured the setting sun with a game of chess and canapés. Our rules were rusty, and the game ended in stale-mate.

Dinner was served in the intimate lounge with a crackling fire – simple, home-cooked fare cooked with care. After a sumptuous breakfast with the rising sun, we wandered down to make friends with the penguins, many of them keeping their chicks warm. Our lively conversation was peppered with anecdotes of when our chicks were tiny, many, many meals ago. I am so excited about the Winter Gourmet Getaways that will be happening here with the Chefs Warehouse team…read all about it in the Winter Gourmet Guide magazine, launching 1 June.

It’s over a meal that I love connecting with friends, and as we move into Winter all I want to do is cook for them. Hearty, heartwarming dishes. If they are hibernating and staying indoors, who knows, I may need to be their Meals on Wheels? It’s the season for sharing. May we all stay warm, healthy and safe.

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” Alan D Wolfelt

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