Jumping through all the hoops for compliance for the cottage. Worse than a medical as they check gas, electricity, water, beetles, structure and whether it should actually even be here!
An overcast, moody sort of start to the day. Excellent weather for an early walk in the vineyards. Legs a tad heavy after the full moon hike up the mountain at Delvera. One of those things that we have spoken about doing for ages.
Opted for the longer route, which meant a 50 minute walk from the Estate through the vineyards and up a single-track path to the start of the climb. The route is well market, however the cross-crossing network of mountain bike trails can be confusing. The step hights are on the giant side that soon had my legs in a jellyish state.
The highlight was the last section through the old Yellow Wood forest. Quite incredible. Of concern was that we were amongst the minority who didn’t have wine or beer to celebrate the walk. The sunset. The moonrise. Or, whatever! Water being our responsible choice. The cloud obscured the moon for a good bit of the trip back down the mountain, and we found the route back challenging as there seemed to be lights from different walking groups going all over the place. Fortunately Terry had a good sense of where we needed to go. And with the moon brilliant, we managed the last incline, to find that we were also prize winners of a new pair of hiking boots!
The Chef’s dinner table at the Wild Peacock. They aren’t known for the quality of their chef, who focuses on cafe style meals, but for the quality of their food deli. They provide speciality deli foods to most of the top restaurants, and have a cellar of select wineries.
The evening weather was beautiful and we were able to sit outside, with the breeze carrying a faint chill to keep you awake. Visually the food was stunning. The pistachio nuts in the terrine, a diagonal line of green on the plate that picked up the green of the rocket leaves, contrasted with the pale yellow-green of the apple compote. A necessary flavour balance to the rich duck Pâté. The candied tomato was this brilliant spot of red, softened by the red pepper essence mash and Sea Bass. The Parmesan crisp a neutral balance that tasted yummy. A morsel of ancient cheese with fresh figs and a sprinkling of honey. The candle light creating a seamless flow of golden colours through the shimmering honey and muscadel wine. A dessert of white panna cotta across which the red berry coulis danced.
The wine selection was equally good and they made each serving size small enough that you weren’t overwhelmed. Instead excited by what was still to come. Excellent stuff.
Hydrangea’s and Day Lilies, a painting from the summer garden at Le Petit. Clever planting created the contrasting colours. The larger canvas, after a month of painting small paintings giving me more freedom. Although I did find that I needed to get back away from the canvas to the other side of the cottage to see how the various tonal aspects were working together.
Secured a lease on the house on Leisure Island for the nine months until January. Will see what we can sort with the studio in that time.
It meant a trip to the far side of the world at Hout Bay. Visited a couple of galleries with great pieces. Much larger than I have been painting, and they certainly need big spaces to be appreciated. The seascapes in particular were intriguing and pose a challenge to my approach.