Myrna Robins

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What nicer than aromas of quality loaves baking,  wafting through an inviting deli and bakery on one of the most beautiful old farms in the winelands? If you haven't visited Boschendal recently, you are in for a few pleasant surprises as much has happened in the way of development, restoration and new attractions at this historic Drakenstein destination.

Now Executive chef Christian Campbell is presenting a bread-making workshop  weekend where students will get stuck in after lunch on Saturday with quick and easy breads, enjoy wine tasting and dinner before heading to their luxuriously equipped cottage overnight. After Sunday morning breakfast a second baking session will see visitors tackle more sophisticated breads, before finishing with Sunday lunch and heading home with a laden goody bag.

The inclusive cost of the weekend is R1 172 a head sharing or R1 660 single.

Reservations are essential at or +27 21 870-4274

Later in the year, Boschendal is planning a pasta- and ice cream making workshop, with a provisional date set for the weekend of 12 and 13 September.

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Not an easy choice with two tempting events on the same Saturday!

Saturday July 25 is the date to diarise. What could be more tempting than a day at Muratie’s Mini Port Festival as winter reaches its peak? On the other hand, it may turn out to be one of those gorgeous Boland blue-sky sunny winter days. Either way, the Cape’s top port producers will be pouring their fortified wares, while food stalls will offer fare suitable for filling the gaps, and – by way of dessert – von Geusau will tempt with delicious hand-crafted chocolates.

The fun starts at 10,30am, tickets, which include a glass, cost R100, and advance booking is recommended. Telephone: (021) 8652330 or Email:


The second Ultra Mussels Wine Tournament will be hosted on Saturday 25 July 2015 from midday until 4pm. Constantia and Cape Point will team up and challenge Elgin and Bot River in a regional friendly tournament, presenting wines from the oldest and two of the newest Cape wine regions. Mark Norrish of Ultra Liquors invited the following estates to take part: Groot Constantia, Constantia Glen, Constantia Uitsig, Beau Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Steenberg Vineyards and Cape Point. From the highland region will be Catherine Marshall, Shannon Vineyards, Paul Cluver, Iona Wines, Oak Valley, Almenkerk and Luddite Wines.

The venue is the Den Anker restaurant in the Waterfront. Tickets cost R190, and for this you will get 1kg fresh mussels, wineglass and tastings. Limited to 200 guests, tickets are obtainable through Webtickets. The event takes place from 12 noon until 4pm.

For more information please contact: Luke Krone 0823549007


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Starting on June 1, Den Anker Belgian restaurant is tempting diners with varied special offers, one for every day of the week, and continuing until the end of July.

Moules Mondays means a kg of mussels and frites (R100), Trappist Tuesdays sees diners get a cheese platter with every Trappist beer ordered and Wednesdays are meant for those watching their weight, as low-carb or Banting meals are offered for R90 including a glass of wine. Belgian draught beers come under the spotlight on Thirsty Thursdays where a range can be tried for R60, and on Fishy Fridays, diners can indulge in fish and frites plus a white beer for R90.

Den Anker goes Spanish on Saturdays with three tapas treats for R120 and on Sunday under-10s eat for free with each adult meal ordered.

Booking is always advisable on 021-419-0249. Follow @Den_Anker. .

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Visitors to Boschendal farm can dine well at four of the estate's  culinary venues for the same basic price from Monday to Thursday evenings from this week. At each there will be a main course presented in place of the usual menus: Enjoy pasta ad the Deli on Mondays, pizza at the Bakery on Tuesdays and a filling winter casserole in the striking new Werf restaurant on Wednesdays. On Thursday evenings diners will savour a heritage dish in the historic Manor House kitchen, now open to the public for specific occasions.

This tempting choice of options is the brainchild of executive chef  Christiaan Campbell,and the price for all the main courses is R95 excluding drinks and service fees. All of them will illustrate Campbells commitment to sustainably produced fare from farm and garden, that is seasonal and ethically produced.


On Friday and Saturday nights The Werf Restaurant presents its fine a-la-carte menu. Guests staying  on the farm get preferential treatment when booking, but all others are welcome, depending on availability.

Reserve your table at or +27[0] 21 870-4274


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b2ap3_thumbnail_White-Winter-Pearmain.JPGHeritage flavour: White Winter Pearmain

The Tru-Cape Heritage orchard on Oak Valley farm in Elgin celebrated its maiden harvest recently with an event worthy of three and half centuries of local pomology. The 20-odd trees, each a different species of heritage apple, were weighed down with red and green fruit, some bent over almost double. It seemed little short of miraculous that those slender twigs I saw planted back in November 2012 were now bearing so prolifically. Guests were invited to pick an apple of their choice - I went for Winter Pearmain - a variety I remember my mother buying when I was very small.

Back home we cut it up and relished every mouthful - sweet, crisp and presenting  wafts of apply perfume - something you don't find with contemporary apples, however beautiful they look.

Read more.

The apple orchard now has a heritage pear sapling as well - to mark the harvesting of Van Riebeecks first wijnappel in

April 1662, a Winter Saffron pear was planted, taken from the oldest pear tree south of the Sahara, still clinging to life in the Company Gardens in Cape Town - it yielded its first pear on April 19 1665.

 For keen cooks who enjoy sampling produce from the past, keep an eye and ear open in coming years - there's a reasonable chance that  we will be able to buy some of these heritage varieties when the trees get a little bigger. Slow Food members - take note!

Our splendid lunch in the Pool Room restaurant was as contemporary and delectable as any gourmet could wish for - while the apple pie, one of the desserts on offer, was made from heritage apples using an old Dutch recipe, popular at the Cape a century or more ago.  Enjoyable yes, but I much prefer my own apple streusel recipe, which beats any pie or crumble recipe tried to date. Its based on one by Robert Carrier, but is spicier.

I will post it in a separate blog.



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