-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Vineyard Adventures

Hidden in the folds of the Groenland mountains above Elgin, the mist parts enough to allow you to enter into another world. Fresh, at Paul Cluver, is a small restaurant with a menu crafted around the three core elements of Chef Niki Hall-Jones philosophy. Simplicity, Seasonal and Sustainable.

The food was very good, the service excellent and if we hadn’t needed to drive back to Cape Town, we would definitely have gone for a walk, returning for the dessert and more of the wine from Paul Cluver.

The Sauvignon Blanc was a miracle of delicate wine making. Crafting a wine that is subtle, intriguing and crystal clear. Reminded me of the excellent Arneis whites from Piedmont in Italy. A big plus, is that the wines in the restaurant are the same price as the wines on the estate!

As a bonus it must rate as one of the best bathroom experience in the world.

Polly disturbed by the bushbuck that has been visiting the garden in the early hours. Very pleased with herself for alerting us to the dangers faced by this interloper. Being awake early did mean that we could get out for our walk before the sun was up and the heat made it unpleasant. My bum suffering again as we start adding the hills into our circuit. Polly wading in the dam has the cottage smelling like a farm.

A drive out on quiet roads to the small village of Kommetjie. Family lunch at Fisherman after looking at options for Lesa and Alan’s retirement cottage. The sea fabulous shades of blue and green, with the sun hot on the white sands. Lots of burnt bodies about the place.

A new coffee shop ‘Cup of Chino’ has opened in Stellies that combines Internet, printing and office services within a coffee shop environment. No shade for Polly which is a bother. This while doing circles around the umpteen requirements to get my PayPal account sorted so I can get paid for sales of my painting sales. Found out we have about seven different versions of where we stay. How we ever manage to find the cottage is one of those unknown miracles.

Tamy, an experienced pro. Wayne a novice. Sabrage in the vineyards on one of those seductive Cape evenings. Caprese salad, salmon moose shots, cheeses and a bit of boereworse to go with the bubbles.

New Year’s Eve dinner at the cottage. Country terrine to start, followed by whisky soaked salmon with a honey and mustard glaze on the weber. Green veggie parcels, with Gorgonzola and citrus. My eyes closing before the midnight hour, which Polly decided was unacceptable. Particularly with fireworks crashing about the place, and took for a midnight walk.

The unusual experience of doing a video interview, rather than a written test. Of course, after it was completed I came up with brilliant answers to the questions posed!

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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