A celebration of books and writers Booking early is essential to ensure that one gets some great accommodation and the appropriate tickets to attend the events at the festival. The classic accommodation that we found, having left it somewhat late, was Elephant Lodge, set on the mountain slopes with some of the most superb views of the Franschhoek valley and surrounding mountains. Our room was sophisticated and rather stylish, with a big plus being the under floor heating. Events Watching Redi Tlhabi doing what she does best at our first event – ‘A Story to Tell’ – interviewing Ruth Carneson (Girl on the Edge), Pamela Nomvete (Dancing to the Beat of the Drum) and Maria Phalime (Postmortem : The doctor who walked away) was a great introduction for first attendees at the festival. Highlight of the event was the early Sunday morning topic of ‘Is Anger Underrated’ hosted by Eusebius McKaiser, whose panellists included psychologist, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, novelist, Thando Mgqolozana and brilliantly funny journalist, Marianne Thamm. Coming out of that hour session affirmed for me the lack of understanding we have of fellow South Africans and the need for us to learn to engage better with each other about our emotions, anger and expectations.
Places we ate at
From homemade hamburgers for lunch at Paulina’s on the farm Rickety Bridge, to the mussel for dinner at the French Connection, to the best find, restaurant wise of the weekend, Café Bon Bon on the farm La Petite Dauphine. Café Bon Bonn is set in beautiful scenery, luxurious comfort and absolute convenience, situated just two kilometers from the village of Franschhoek in the heart of the Cape Winelands. We enjoyed the top seller, which is the Roasted Pork Belly – with wonderful crispy cracking and served on wasabi mash potatoes and pickled red cabbage.
Wines we drank
Suggested pairing with the hamburger, was a glass of the Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc 2012, which showed layered red fruit with smokey undertones. Finish showed lingering intensity. The great find, wine wise of the weekend was the delicious NV Brut Classique from L’Ormarins, served by the glass at the French Connection and which paired beautifully with the mussels we enjoyed. The Brut Classique is elegant with rich white fruits and crisp acidity, giving it a rounded creamy taste. Also enjoyed was the Colmant Brut Rose NV with ripe sweet red currant fruit on entry, full and rounded in the mouth, with a lively finish.