Lets Hit The Road Jack - YZERFONTEIN
My beloved knew I’d be emotionally drained after our glorious six weeks in Onrus with the family. This was my weekend to be spoilt, almost an early Valentine’s treat. He made a reservation at the Yzerfontein Caravan Park for the weekend and secured a lovely campsite using the camp layout on their website. Not only that he also made reservations at the best reviewed restaurants so that I did not have to put my hands in dishwashing water for the duration.
How thoughtful is that? All I had to do was pack a few garments and my vanity bag. (The days of packing a panty and a toothbrush are long gone!) I doubt there could be anything nicer on any wife’s wish list.
Nothing comeswithout an agenda, but, this time I was in complete agreement. We’d received the Honey Badger’s new rims, had them fitted and needed to give them a good go as Joe, the manufacturer, had instructed. We were not to spare the horses.
So on the first Friday after the last of the children had left we strapped on our bicycles and set off. The quick drive to Yzerfontein is one of the big plus points. I am not a good passenger and a really poor co-driver, I fall asleep immediately unless I have something constructive to do like knitting or crocheting and it is far too hot for that.
In two ticks we had our Honey Badger settled, our ground covers neatly pegged down, our awning out and our director’s chairs, fold out table and bright Mozambique lappie (tablecloth) out. Butch got stuck right in and within minutes I had a tall glass in my hand.
Our supper reservation was an early one at KAIJAIKI COUNTRY INN AND RESTAURANT the number one spot on Trip Advisor.
The owners Renee and Mary-Anne are charming and brimming with joie de vivre. They had lovingly restored and added on to the cottage and on display were their treasured objet d’art, collected over the years. Renee is originally from the Netherlands and many items featured on the menu have a Dutch flavour like the Bitterballen a favourite starter which I opted for.
Butch, always game, tried the venison carpaccio, which looked delectable, a good colour, and air cured I thought. I enjoyed my Bitterballen, golden, crispy deliciousness, transporting me back to my short visit to the Netherlands a few years ago and in particular I thought the mustard sauce really authentic.
We were spending the weekend at the seaside so Butch immediately fell for the catch of the day, being an adventurous diner he opted for the Butter fish (a variety unknown to him). He was very disappointed as he, although assured it was not, still believes it might have been Kingklip (a mistaken identity maybe). My main course, a Rib Eye steak was disappointing as I prefer a thicker cut and not a “schnitzel” sized portion, thin and slightly overcooked. The side dishes were unremarkable. My pancake for dessert was good and Butch thought the Almond tart so-so.
We really enjoyed the ambience, Renee is a raconteur with many delightful stories and Mary-Anne his wife kind and generous. I suppose one must compare apples with apples so all things considered we were not dining in the city or Paternoster (heaven for foodies). I will recommend the restaurant if you’re looking for a relaxed evening in a small, quaint location, or if it’s mom’s night off and you’re in Yzerfontein. Do make a reservation.
I floated on cloud nine as I slept in our lovely bed, with my own linens and smells. For a while I could forget my sadness as I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Butch had thoughtfully switched his alarm off, so we snoozed a little later before setting off on our eBikes to explore. We did a comfortable 14km circular route all around the coast. Once again I was bowled over by all the development that has happened in Yzerfontein, some really interesting and original architecture.
With the promise of a cappuccino and Cinnamon bun I put foot and cycled as fast as my legs could pump to Rosemead Artisan bakery and coffee shop. I am always a trifle sceptical when I return to a “favourite” place. Can they meet my expectations again? Yes. They. Did. The staff are really friendly, the Cinnamon buns delicious, the coffee excellent and I loved the Kombucha. Of course we couldn’t resist a little take-away and left with Pasteis de Nata for tea later. Spelt Bread had just been put out, I have never tasted Spelt and didn’t hesitate to buy a loaf. It was delicious and I certainly will do so again. It suited my dietary requirements perfectly.
Lunch, indeed, we had a space for lunch, was at the YzerBru Brewery. Butch enjoyed his brew thoroughly and we were not disappointed by my pizza. The base was really thin and crispy and the topping good. Butch succumbed to the home made burger patty on the menu and enjoyed his hamburger, although he would’ve preferred a rarer patty. We rolled back to our campsite. The vibe makes this a particularly good stop and customers start arriving by mid-morning and chairs are occupied all day. Young and old can enjoy what’s on offer.
We spent the afternoon in siesta mode and only came around during the late afternoon. Supper had been reserved at Meeurots Restaurant in the centre of the village. Situated upstairs it afforded diners on the balcony a view of some of the original, older homes and a sea view. We enjoyed the walk from the caravan park and arrived just as the restaurant was filling up. After a brief chat to the owner we ordered our meals from a very predictable South African restaurant. We often enjoy something we don’t generally prepare ourselves and when we dine out we enjoy something unique or something to tease our palates.
I am not sure of our options I seem to recall I had the crispy calamari heads and Butch fish again. For starters we did order a Greek salad which arrived with our meal. This often happens as kitchens aren’t accustomed to diners having a salad for starters I assume. We do, and we’re always surprised by it! We did not have desserts. The meal was good, on a “clean” plate without much fuss. I am sure the majority of regular clients dine there precisely because they know exactly what to expect. Service was a tad slow. We enjoyed our walk home.
My last review will be LULA’S MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT just a stone’s throw from the caravan park. In fact a gate has conveniently been installed in the wall separating the two to make accessibility easier.
A typical pavement restaurant like one can find in Mozambique or near the seaside this restaurant scored the highest in our opinion. It was a lovely sunny day, perfect for outdoor dining. The menu features a range of traditional Portuguese dishes e.g. sardines, lula heads (crispy calamari heads), prawn croquettes (the best I have ever tasted) and spicy chicken wings. We were spoilt for choice so decided to do a Tapas of starters. This is always a good idea if we want to taste a range of dishes from the kitchen. It gives one an excellent idea of what the chef is capable of.
We really enjoyed our slow meal and we were introduced to the chef, a fine gentleman from Inhambane, a capital of Inhambane Province in Mozambique, near Tofo where we used to holiday. He was charming and to top it all off we were presented with a bottle of his Piri-Piri sauce, his mother’s authentic recipe!
A friend recommended this restaurant to us last year when he heard that we were camping in Yzerfontein. We did not have an opportunity to go then, we’re thrilled we went. We certainly would return now, it ticks all our boxes for a relaxed afternoon enjoying good authentic dishes.
The guitarist playing on the day was really good, a musician who could give his songs a unique rendition of old favourites. A foot tapping experience it was.
I hooked into Butch’s arm as we sauntered home to while away the hours. With my book and some music I fell asleep only to wake in time for coffee, poured into our Nespresso mugs which he took down to the beach. To feel less guilty about over indulging we walked and enjoyed our coffee sitting on the rocks until the sun set. An early night it would be. I had downloaded a movie from Netflix, we’d keep up our tradition of a Sunday night movie. I think we watched Baby Driver. A delightful movie well worth watching.
YZERFONTEIN CAMPSITE is one of the best campsites on the West Coast I think, it's well managed, easy to access, has an easy booking system, clean ablutions and the beach is right there. All the interesting restaurants are close by and once one has set up camp getting around is no problem. Walk, run, cycle it's as easy as that. Park your vehicle for the weekend.
We returned to the coal face on Monday morning, refreshed and ready to take on the new week. Our rims took the beating very well… until.
KAIJAIKI COUNTRY INN AND RESTAURANT
36 Park Road, Yzerfontein 7351, South Africa
+27 22 451 2858
ROSEMEAD ARTISAN BAKERY (no reservations needed)
Corner of Park and Volstruis Streets, Yzerfontein 7351, South Africa
+27 66 222 5076
C/o Main and Buitekant Street, Yzerfontein 7351, South Africa
+27 22 451 2608
Park Street, Yzerfontein 7351, South Africa
+27 82 413 3552
LULA MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT
Corner OF Outer and Beach Road, Yzerfontein 7351, South Africa
+27 82 396 7643