-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Vineyard Adventures

Fires, wine, food and laughter on a rainy day in the vineyards. Fingers frozen by cold paint in the studio.

Options, plans, for TH2. Practical, reality amongst the wine fueled creativity. Freeing imagination for the loft apartment space.

Tartiflette, first introduced to us by Aly, is a French dish from the Savoie and Haute Savoie region of France, made with a seriously pungent reblochon cheese. Terry replaced the potatoes with cauliflowers and lardons with bacon bits. Radford Dale Chardonnay, the choice to accompany the cheese, although I found the Piekeniers red enjoyable. Not sure that cheese fondu will ever be the same.

The black shark flag above the beach, on a beautiful day. Kites flying above the brightly painted beach houses. Pizza, with Brian and Janet at Knead, the Art-deco interior as timeless as the surfers cavorting on skateboards.

Contagious energy. Enjoyment. Satisfaction. Fun. Enthusiasm. Chef Chris Erasmus at his new Foliage restaurant in Franschhoek. The menu is a tad mind boggling, with ingredient selections like ‘dandelion pesta’ My risotto, served as a starter portion, was scrumptious and my venison shank excellent. The earth coloured plates don’t do anything to stimulate the visual representation the food deserves. Nothing on the plate, however, compared to the excellent attention and service. Personal, in this small restaurant that needs to be nurtured and revered. Unique, special and for those, fortunate few, to enjoy and appreciate.

The restaurant opens into the IS gallery, with small bronze sculptures on the tables that echo larger works in the gallery. The art in the restaurant has none of the subtlety of the menu. Blocks of colour, bold. As are the flavours in the food. I wouldn’t take them home, but it works.

Despite the chilly air, we sat for hours watching the whales cavorting in the bay at Hermanus. Dad and Mary joined us to make the most of the sunshine, good food and wine from the Hemel and Aarde valley.

‘Turquoise’, oil on canvas 150cmx90cm. The colour finding its home in the painting of Dwarsriver. A flash of Cézanne? The first of the spring Watsonia’s demanding a place in the painting. The pink flowers echoing the pink in the rock formation.

Its pruning time in the vineyards. Wires dripping with early morning moisture.

Terroir, the fireplace welcome even on this sort-of-sunny day in the vineyards. No view to capture the imagination, and the restaurant is on the verge of dingy. The menu, a tad intimidating and certainly expensive enough to make you hesitate about trying a dish simply to see what its about. The wine list is comprehensive, but also more than we are used to having to spend for the excellent wines that come from this part of paradise.

No art on display, ensuring that all your senses are focused at the food, which is an artwork on a plate. Beautifully presented, the cooking perfect and each mouthful an explosion of flavour. We had their light Chardonnay and Pinot, which both allowed the subtle flavours of the food to come through.

My paints are packed away, canvases stored and for now its time to head back to Juba Town.

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.

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