Friday, November 9, 2012


I have just returned from a 3-week trip back "home" to South Africa.  To me, a fantastic hidden gem with many more wonderful places to visit, than time.  Over the next few weeks, I will share a few of my favorites.

Just outside Paarl, Western Cape, we stopped in at Tea Under the Trees, a tea garden on a working farm, literally out under the huge old oak trees, for a mid-morning tea/coffee break.  The croissants and homemade bran muffins, were exquisitely served with a tray of butter, grated cheese, jams and garnished with a sprig of mint and a viola flower.   The lovely owner, Debbie Redelinghuys, stopped by to chat about her amazing little piece of paradise, the gardens, buying old china on her travels and it is evident that this is a passion of hers.  I loved it so much that I didn't want to leave, so walked off the morning snack amongst the stunning gardens, the spectacular rose garden, and stayed for the most delicious sandwich, salad and koeksusters for lunch.  If you are ever in the area, this is a place not to be missed.  The hours are seasonal, it does not open on weekends, other than for functions on Saturdays, closes for school holidays too.

The entrance drive

Gravel drive lined with Agapanthus about to bud out and bloom in a few weeks

The homestead, tables and chairs set up on the veranda too

Looking from the tea garden back to the house

And looking from the house into the tea garden, vineyards on the right

Looking towards the vineyards, three lifesize "beaded" sheep graze amongst the patch of uncut grass

Tables and chairs dotted here and there under the huge old oaks

Under each oak is a huge circular bed, each one filled with dozens of hydrangea bushes, just coming into early spring bud.  I can only imagine what a spectacular sight this would be in summertime as they burst into bloom

A swing hangs from one of the oak trees, looking out across the grape vines

A chandelier hangs from the oak tree, above one of the tables.  Each table had a simple arrangement with fresh artichokes, sprigs of rosemary or lavender, chive flowers, in a teapot or china vase
Artichokes and rosemary in an old silver teapot

White standard Iceberg roses are seen in every vineyard in the Cape wineland valleys, here is no exception

How every croissant, yes freshly baked, still warm and crispy, should be served

After lunch desert - my absolute favorite South African delicacy - KOEKSUSTERS - and only R20 (just over $2 for 4), dripping with syrup, crisp and juicy and delicious

The rose garden - this time of year in the Cape, the roses bloom and put on a spectacular summer display, seen here again the white Iceberg roses

1 comment:

  1. This is a stunning venue, I was also bowled over, stopped enroute. Bought a tea set, relax under the trees, I have Record this venue on Wiki Village, Who is what and what is what in South Africa, using some of your stunning photo's Karin Foster