Oranjezicht City Farm Market

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One of the nicest things about living in Cape Town are the markets. When I first got here all I wanted to do was go to the Old Biscuit Mill because I thought it was the best in town (I still think it is one of the best). But the more I went the more annoyed I was at how busy it got and how impossible it was to move around and find a seat. So when I first heard about a smaller, and more genuine and farm-like, market I couldn’t wait for the next Saturday to arrive to see what culinary wonders awaited me. This market is the Oranjezicht City Farm market located in the city. When I went there the first time I didn’t quite understand it as much because it was much smaller market with less variety, but the more I went and the more I discovered the more I fell in love with it. Now it is my favorite market in Cape Town.

What is unique about the market is that the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is a community garden that is open all week long and where you can volunteer. On Saturday they have the market on a small park on the side of the farm (they used to have a tent but the wind blew it down about two weeks ago). It is a very beautiful market with a lot of wholesome and “artisanal” foods, a lot of the stands offer gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, healthy and organic options. I love to go to buy my groceries of the week from there because they sell the fruits and veggies that grow in the garden, so not only do you get very fresh and organic foods but they also use the money to pay for staff. Another plus to OZCF market is that is a local Saturday morning hangout, so if you go you will not see as many tourists as you will at the Old Biscuit Mill.

The OZCF market is one of the hidden treasures that Cape Town has to offer, it is a very special place where you can discover local foods and talent.

So my favorites are: OZCF vegetable and fruit stand, Spades and Spoons Deli (try the gluten-free & sugar-free chocolate or carrot cake!), Sababa (falafels), Wilde at Heart (cordials), O’Ways (vegetarian buns), Woodstock Bakery (sourdough bread) and stand with the gluten-free crepes.

ENJOY! it is one of my favorite places.

OZCF website: http://www.ozcf.co.za

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Franschhoek and Fransvliet

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It was my birthday over the weekend, so my boyfriend took me to Franschhoek for a surprise weekend. It is a small French town in the wine lands, with a lot of vineyards and a small colonial town center; it is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve been to in South Africa. I really recommend everyone to go there even if it is just to spend the day. We did many things, we went horse-back riding amongst vineyards, we took the car and drove along the mountains where I saw the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen, we also had wonderful dinners at two restaurants: Motte and Cafe Bon Bon (both at vineyards). It was a memorable experience and I would love to go there again sometime soon.

There are many B&Bs, guest houses and vineyards you can choose from for accommodation. We stayed at a lovely, very small and quaint, guest house called Fransvliet. Fransvliet is a working fig, olive and grape farm which also has accommodation for guests. They are known for their amazing breakfast, which really were phenomenal and I can see why people rage about them. Very good service, very very nice rooms, all in all, I recommend this guest house to anyone traveling to Franschhoek.

Fransvliet website: www.fransvliet.co.za

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Church in Franschhoek

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View from Fransvliet

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Fransvliet

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Babylonstoren

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I’ve had the chance to go to a wonderful farm called Babylonstoren (twice). This farm is about 40 minutes away from Cape Town. The experiences I had there both times were simply amazing! There are two restaurants in this farm: Green House and Babel. The first time I went to Green House and the second time to Babel. Green House doesn’t take reservations and it’s just first come first serve, I had to wait 45 minutes but it was absolutely worth it. For Babel you do need a reservation, however due to their popularity you need to make a reservation 2-3 months in advance (especially during summer/high-peak season).

What makes both these restaurants so outstanding is that they make their dishes only using the produce they have grown in the farm (except the meat); therefore their menu depends on the season and what they have available in the farm. Babel has a more up-market menu with exquisite dishes both vegetarian and meaty dishes; whilst Green House has a more simple menu with salads and sandwiches. Both restaurants are great, I would say Babel should be your first choice but eating at Green House is definitely a good second choice as well.

What I recommend if it’s your first time, is to go like an hour before so you can enjoy the farm. The farm is open to visitors, so you can walk around the property and see the olive and fig trees, the pots with berries, the pumpkins, etc. I would also recommend to take comfortable shoes because it is a big farm and there is a lot to see. The farm’s shop is also great!

If you are in Cape Town for a couple weeks I would really recommend the 40 min drive to Babylonstoren for lunch to either restaurant.

Babylonstoren website: http://www.babylonstoren.com

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