Free Range Coffee Shop – Imhoff Farm
Iced coffee & country charm
Free Range Coffee Shop is situated on a historical Cape farmstead conveniently located en-route to Cape Point Nature Reserve. If I should hypothetically play the free-association game with Free Range Coffee Shop, it would conjure up images of great, hearty food, lots of laughter over casual meals, lovely outdoorsy seating areas and just an all-round feeling of total content. Like you would imagine happening in French or Italian sidewalk bistros on a hot summer’s day. Free Range Coffee Shop has become a household brand in our lives. Where to take the out-of-town visitors for a lovely breakfast? Free Range Coffee Shop. Where to enjoy cake and a super indulgent iced coffee for a quick couple’s breakaway? Free Range Coffee Shop. Looking for a relaxed but funky place to meet friends over lunch? You see where this is going.
Three course meal…
I can write books about Imhoff Farm itself, but this article is purely dedicated to the humble, unassuming farmhouse deli/café that produces the most amazing fresh produce and modern food, without losing any of its olden-day country charm.
The coffee shop has that typical country-house feel, with light, airy windows and French doors that open onto a lush courtyard garden, and rustic wooden finishes in pastel colours. It’s clean and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, with a kind of worn-in feel that makes the very minimalistic furniture look striking and well placed in the dining area. There are several tables outside under the trees, and from here you have a bird’s eye view over the kiddies’ play area, as well as all the other activities around you.
Each item on the menu sounds as delicious as the next, and they are very aware of banting, vegetarian and vegan dishes, which are clearly indicated on the menu. Gluten-free options are also available; they even offer gluten-free dark chocolate cakes, made with almond flour! I would say they specialise in breakfasts and sweet treats, but maybe that’s just because I’m a breakfast person. The most amazing part of it all, is that you can buy your own miniature sweet treats in the farm shop to take home and share (or not!).
We called by on a Saturday morning as part of our weekly “Saturday morning breakfast adventure”, except…we already had breakfast at that point, so ended up going for post-breakfast coffee and cake (gasp all you want…weekends are meant for foodies!).
It was a sunshiny morning, so we chose a table outside in the courtyard. There was a pleasant buzz all around us; the sushi place was slowly setting up for lunch, a few kids were monkeying about in the play area, the art galleries were slowly crawling with tourists and locals alike. People were idly browsing in and out of the little shops that lined the courtyard, appreciating the various arts and crafts on display, or inquisitively sticking their noses into the little second-hand bookshop. There was, as can be expected, quite a bit of activity at the little chocolate shop, where you can buy all sorts of homemade goodies.
I ordered an iced coffee and a slice of baked cheesecake; Karl opted for a decaf Americano and the most indulgent of chocolate caramel cakes. The service was great, the coffee steaming, the iced coffee freezing and the cakes beautifully generous. So generous in fact, that I left with a tummy ache, but that’s beside the point and in no way a reflection on the café…rather on my gluttonous approach to good food and my inability to stop (even when my body rebels wholeheartedly and I choose to ignore it’s desperate pleas for mercy).
I couldn’t decide if the iced coffee was sugary sweet, or coffee-bitter. It was that uber-pleasant mix of bittersweet that makes you frantically crave more and more until you’ve slurped up the last dregs at the bottom, and then wipe out the glass with your index finger. It was laden with good quality vanilla ice-cream and served in a typical sundae glass, filled to the brim and condensating on the outside. Nothing skinny about this latte! Karl’s decaf was…well, just that. I can get excited about many food items, but a decaf coffee isn’t one of them. Moving right along…
My cheesecake was topped with a berry coulis which cut through the richness of the filling. The pastry was crumbly and moist, and the cake baked to perfection. Karl’s chocolate cake was any chocoholic’s dream come true; layers of rich chocolate cake, wedged together with a caramel sauce and buttercream. Nothing more, nothing less. Simple ingredients and freshly baked. Our HedonisMMMeters were filling up very fast and we left feeling spoilt (and stuffed!), as usual!
I’m saving the best for last. So, you know when you can’t decide which cake to order from the menu and when you do, you regret your choice for the rest of the day because someone else ordered something that looked yummier than yours? Well, have a meander into the farm shop and you come across the most heavenly display of miniature cakes for sale! Now you can sample all the ones you wished you ordered. Genius. The table metaphorically groans under the load of hedonistic treats, which also includes some savouries like mini-quiches and samosa’s. There’s also a deli counter, fresh fruit and veg stand, and plenty of other organic produce to graze on or take home.
All in all – consistently a wonderful experience for a myriad of reasons. Imhoff Farm promises something for everybody, including the kids! Choose from fancy dining, sushi or casual eating, to homemade chocolate, second-hand books or arts and crafts. Nursery? Check! Horse-riding and snake park? Check and check! Camel rides?! Check! Not to mention the Higgledy Piggledy farmyard, or Mazeworld. The list goes on. A fun day out for the whole family. Ugh, now I sound like every cliché tourist website and infomercial in the history of sales-marketing, but I can’t stop singing my praises for this all-in-one wonderland. Every time you visit Imhoff Farm, you leave having indulged in yet another different type of experience. No visit is ever the same, but the food is always worth it’s weight in gold.