{experience} The simple pleasure of Groote Post’s Country Markets

They say variety is the spice of life. Give me a variety of food and drink, a beautiful summer’s day, lovely surroundings and my life is simply complete. That is why I’m such a fan of the Groote Post Country Market. When I was recently invited to attend the August country market as a guest of Groote Post, I just couldn’t wait to kick back and indulge in a day of simple pleasures.

The farm

Since my first accidental visit to Groote Post, I’ve only ever been looking for a reason to take the road up the West Coast to return through its gates. It’s one of those places that makes you intrinsically happy; not just because of their stunning range of wines, but also because of the natural beauty surrounding this family owned estate, and the true South African hospitality with which you are received.

Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the historic Groote Post farm, owned by the Pentz family and situated in the Darling Hills, presents a rustic and rural atmosphere. In addition to a wide range of award-winning wines, Hilda’s Kitchen’s superb culinary experience and farm drives through the private game camp and vineyards, Groote Post also offers spectacular views of the Atlantic coast and Table Mountain, nature walks, bird-watching in the hide on the dam and spectacular West Coast flowers in spring.

The market

Every summer the Pentz family throws open their beautiful farm to host a series of Country Markets. The Groote Post Country Market is organized by the vibrant ladies from I Love Yzer to not only boost South Africa’s already flourishing tourist industry, but also to reward the locals for their year-round support of local brands and businesses.

At the end of each month, between September and April, the farm turns into a hive of activity, brimming with delicious and beautiful country offerings. Guests can expect artisan foods, arts and crafts, home ware and décor, live entertainment, lots of fun activities for kids, and of course, Groote Post’s well-loved wines. 

Kids will love the rolling lawns, playground, tractor trips and guided horse rides. All Groote Post’s wines will be available for tasting and purchase by the glass, bottle or case. Groote Post’s award-winning restaurant will be open as usual and visitors will also have the opportunity of going on a farm drive through the game camp and vineyards in Groote Post’s bona fide game vehicle.

The experience

I decided I couldn’t hide this opportunity from my loved ones, so we turned it into a super-special afternoon filled with family; old and new. We arrived early on the Sunday morning, but even before midday the farm had already come alive with music, activities, browsing visitors and the sounds of children’s laughter. The lawn in front of the cellar was converted into a rainbow scattering of stalls, selling all sorts of local arts, crafts, curios and of course, food! There was a larger food court next to the tasting rooms, and the smells wafting across the lawns were making me hungry, even though I just had breakfast before leaving home!

We lazily browsed the stalls and made a few mental notes about what to eat for lunch. By now the sun was high and we decided to find a shady spot to call home for the rest of the afternoon. Seating and shade is not an issue at Groote Post; they have made ample provision for sit-downs with rustic tables and hay-bales under every tree and on every lawn. We meandered up towards Hilda’s Kitchen, and found a gorgeous spot under the giant blue-gum trees where we set up camp.

A quick visit to the tasting room revealed secondary festivities, as Groote Post was offering free wine tastings to all visitors in the cool comforts of their cellar. I was kindly given a massive bag of ice to chill our wine and a handful of glasses, and on the way up we did a lunch run.

What a feast. That is all I can say. From where we were perched at the top of the farm we could watch all the activities with a bird’s eye. Behind us were horse rides for the kiddies, in front of us was the bustle and hum-drum of the food court and tasting room; to our right, families dotted the expansive lawns, delighting in bottles of icy wine and happily sharing out platters of food. We toasted our frosty glasses of Rosé to new beginnings, family, love and prosperity, and hungrily tucked into our lunches.

We ordered food from The Flying Pig and Burger Fellers. Two ploughman’s platters, two smoked pulled pork and coleslaw roosterkoeke, a chicken burger and The Flying Pig’s scrumptious take on a cuban sandwich. The food was fresh, local and deliciously filling. Coupled with the delicate Groote Post limited edition Pinot Noir Rosé 2017, it was a meal from the sunny heavens above.

Groote Post Limited Edition Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

I must simply write something about this beautiful limited edition wine. When I was much younger, rosé was overly sweet, gritty and the type of stuff headaches are made of. And usually came in 1.5 liter bottles. Recently, rosé has made a strong, more mature comeback in the form of pinot noir rosé – an elegantly dry, yet silky smooth, version of it’s very immature childhood alter-ego.

Groote Post once again hit the nail right on the head with this soft, delicate and beautifully fragrant rosé. This is definitely my summer anthem heading into the warmer weather, and it’s perfectly pairable with most food dishes. Its rich colour and delectable palate reminds of soft red fruits with a hint of creaminess and rose water. Best served cold and shared with loads of friends. 

Conclusion

The rest of the day was spent talking, laughing, indulging. The atmosphere is peaceful, but vibey. Rustic, but colourful. Busy, but not overwhelming at all. And whilst you’re here, take a leisurely stroll to the bird hide by the dam, where you can while away a few hours at the water, taking in the diverse bird life of the area.

At the Groote Post Country Market, time ticks at a different speed. The tempo of the world is more luxurious, filled with cherished family time and good, old-fashioned outdoor fun. This is where people come together, slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures of life. Do yourself a favour, escape the bustle of the city, and pull in at Groote Post for the ultimate market experience.

Logistics

Entry to the Groote Post Country Market is free of charge.

Groote Post Country Market dates: 28 September, 26 October, 30 November and 28 December, 25 January 2015, 22 February 2015, 29 March 2015, 26 April 2015.

Groote Post Country Market opening hours: 10h00 to 15h00

For further information on the Groote Post Country Market:

Contact: Eldré Strydom: +27.828776677 or Email: eldre@iloveyzer.co.za
Visit: Facebook: www.facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket | Website: www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za | Or follow on Twitter: @GPCountryMarket

Second photographer and photo credit: Timothy P. Gibson

The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.

Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my capacity as photographer/writer as part of a media outreach. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.

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