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The Gatsby – A Cape Town Submarine Sandwich

gatsby sandwich

When you hear the word ‘Gatsby’, you probably remember the story – or the film – about the mysterious millionaire, the parties, cocktails, flapper dresses and broken American dreams. But when residents of the Mother City hear it, they picture a great foot-long sandwich stuffed with hot chips, dripping with sauce and crammed with all sorts of delights from steak to seafood, and chicken to cheese.

So the two are poles apart, except for the association with decadent excess, but apparently this stupendous stacked sandwich that’s become the trademark of Capetonian fast food shops was actually named after the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

We at Penny Lane Lodge have heard that the story goes back to 1976 when Rashaad Pandy, a shop owner in Athlone, found he had nothing to feed the labourers who’d been working on a piece of property for him. So he grabbed what he had to hand and stuffed a round Portuguese roll with polony and chips and topped if off with achar then chopped the loaf into four so they could all enjoy a piece.

On tasting the roll, one of the men, called Froggie, who had recently watched the film The Great Gatsby at the Athlone Theatre, gleefully exclaimed, “this is a Gatsby smash”, meaning, it’s a winning dish,. The following day, Rashaad put out a few of the all-in-one buns for sale in his store. Suddenly the Gatsby was born and it went down a storm!

jay gatsby

Today, the round roll has been replaced with a long loaf so it’s easy to cut up (Gatsbies are meant to be shared amongst several people), and many new fillings have been invented. You will find everything from a masala steak and cheese option to a calamari and fish combo, to a vienna, russian sausage and polony creation known as a Full House. However, the Gatsby’s popularity remains unchanged and for many people, especially those living on the Cape Flats, this spectacular sandwich has become a cultural symbol and an important part of their heritage.

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The Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Barrel Head Exhibition 2015

barrel head

The theme for this year’s Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award is “Connections”. The works of the finalists will form the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Barrel Head Exhibition which will be held in the cellar of  the Bouchard Finlayson Boutique Winery in Walker Bay. This unique exhibition of tondi (circular artworks) displayed on the ends of barrels in a gothic, working wine cellar is the culmination of the competition. Artworks comprise paper, canvas, board, Perspex, fabric, embroidery, collage, mixed media photography, digitally/mechanically produced and photo-based media so it’s an exciting exhibition with a huge range of artworks on display. This year I’ve entered 3 paintings:

The exhibition is part of the Hermanus Fynarts Programme which runs from 05 to 16 June.  The programme features music, art exhibitions, talks and workshops as well as great food and wine.  It’s going to be well worth a visit and I’m delighted to have an opportunity to participate!  And it’s only about an hour’s drive from Penny Lane Lodge.

New painting – “Victoria Falls”

An insight into my creative process…

©Di White 2015 'Victoria Falls 1' - framed acrylic: 980mm x 800mm. R9500.00 ©Di White 2015 ‘Victoria Falls 1’ – framed acrylic: 980mm x 800mm. R9500.00

Click on this link to find out how I created this painting: http://t.co/BetDPiMrqd

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Riebeek Valley Olive Festival: Sat 2 – Sun 3 May 2015

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Enjoy a weekend of olive and wine tasting, art and live entertainment!

A little over an hour’s drive from us at Penny Lane Lodge, the otherwise sleepy Riebeek Valley comes alive on the first weekend of May each year to host the largest olive event of its kind in Southern Africa. Established as the primary olive oil and olive producing region in South Africa, the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is hosted by the beautiful twin hamlets of Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel.

The Riebeek Valley not only boasts four of the top olive producers in the country, it is also home to two Italian trained olive oil graders. The wines from the Swartland are also of an extraordinary quality and very much in demand winning prestigious local and international awards.

Winner of the West Coast Tourism Awards in the “tourism event” category the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival offers every imaginable twist on olives and olive oils, preserves and tapenades, as well as a wide selection of olive-based beauty products.

Although the olive is the star attraction, the event has a lot more to offer. Aside from olive sampling sessions, festival-goers can also fill up on cheese tastings and enjoy a range of jams, preserves, deli products, fresh produce and freshly baked breads on offer at the estates.

olive fest view

Events and activities running throughout the weekend include art exhibitions, performance-art shows, music, dance and acting. For the young ones there are plenty of activities including face painting and jumping castles.

The Riebeek Fresh and Funky Market also springs up for the duration of the festival. This quirky outdoor bazaar is a real country affair, with good home-cooked food and locally made arts, crafts, handmade clothing and delightful gourmet goodies.

A shuttle service, included in the ticket price, will take festival-goers from the central hub of the Olive Emporium in the town’s square to the other seven participating venues: Kloovenburg, The Olive Boutique, Riebeek Cellars, Het Vlock Casteel, Pulpit Rock Winery, Allesverloren and Groenrivier.

olive fest end

Weekend passes for the food and wine festival are available via Webtickets.co.za or on the day at any of the participating venues. Adults cost R70 per person; under 18s are free. Tickets include access to all eight venues. Tasting glasses and tasting coupons are available to purchase throughout the weekend at participating venues.

For more information:
T 022 448 1545
E olivefestival@gmail.com
W http://www.riebeekvalley.info/

 

Local Markets near Somerset West

If you love fresh produce, delicious drinks and a great family atmosphere, you’ll love our local markets! Each weekend there are a host of fantastic markets offering food and drinks, live music, arts and crafts, gifts and souvenirs – all within easy reach of Penny Lane Lodge.

Root44 logoThe Root44 Market, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, has an awesome vibe, where patrons can come enjoy great food and drinks, live music from some great local artists. With loads of parking it’s free to enter with something for all the family.

Root44 Market Audacia Farm | Cnr R44 & Annandale Rd | Stellenbosch | 021 881 3052

 

 

slow marketThe Slow Market, held every Saturday from 9am to 2pm, has more of a culinary focus, and accordingly, it offers foodies the chance to tuck into delicious organic treats from local suppliers, indulge in craft beer culture and also treat themselves to some really good retail therapy.

 

Slow Market Oude Libertas Estate | Oude Libertas Road | Stellenbosch | 021 886 8514

 

The Blaauwklippen Family Market, held every Sunday between 10am and 3pm, is for relaxing with family and friends while appreciating beautiful scenery, live music and delicious food and drinks. There are fabulous food stalls, drinks ranging from coffees to cocktails and beers and Blaauwklippen wines. Stalls selling local arts, crafts, clothing and accessories abound. For kids there are pony rides and many other entertainments.

Blaauwklippen Family Market Blaauwklippen Wine Estate | Strand Road | Stellenbosch| 021 880 0133

 

The Lourensford Harvest Market made its debut last October. Open on Sundays from 9am to 3pm, it has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. It is rustically housed in an unused area where they have set up a set of wooden stands with a permanent roof structure – making it an all-round weather market too. Delicious food from the best Lebanese hummus to real ginger beer, fresh eggs and aromatic coffees. Of course you can enjoy the Lourensford wines, as well as the new beer, ABRU, made on the premises by the Aleit Hospitality group.

Lourensford Harvest Market Lourensford Wine Estate | Lourensford Road | Somerset West | 021 847 2333

 

woodmillThe contemporary Woodmill Market, which is held on the last Friday of every month between 5:30pm and 10pm, is an indoor night to-do that prides itself on its artisan food, live music, kid’s play area and vintage fashion stalls.

Woodmill Lifestyle Market Vredenburg Road | Devonvallei | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | 083 755 2877

 

Root44 view

 

A long holiday weekend

Diane's tidbits

Today sees the start of a long holiday weekend with two public holidays coming up either side of the weekend. Freedom Day is celebrated on 27 April. This was the day in 1994 when the first democratic election was held in South Africa, when all adult citizens could vote irrespective of race or colour.  It was also the day in 1997 when the new South African constitution took effect.

Workers’ Dayhas been celebrated on 1 May of each year since 1994. In pre-1994 South Africa, the demand for the annual observance of the day as a public holiday became a rallying point for workers and their trade unions and was one of a number of annually significant days to symbolise and mobilise resistance to the Apartheid government and its racial policies. Many countries recognise the May Day holiday of course. Given the role that trade unions played in the…

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A New Adrenaline Adventure

Cape Canopy Tour logoUnder an hour’s drive from us here at Penny Lane Lodge in Somerset West is a fantastic new adventure activity for nature enthusiasts.

Located in the picturesque Elgin Valley near Grabouw and scaling the rugged Hottentots Holland mountains, Cape Canopy Tour and Cape Nature offer a fully guided zip tour to take you into a previously inaccessible and pristine part of this amazing World Heritage Site. The tour enables you to fly like a fish eagle, one of the many bird species found among the reserve’s craggy mountains, over waterfalls, through bright carpets of wildflowers and across beautiful serene pools.

Designed for nature enthusiasts from 5 to 75 the Cape Canopy Tour opened in 2014 and features 13 platforms, 11 slides (of which the longest is 320m long) and one suspension bridge, all tucked away in a picturesque corner of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. The entire course takes about 4 hours to complete and ends off with a light lunch at the Sunbird café on the site.

zipline pic

Following a safety briefing and kitting up at the reception, guests are transported by 4×4 vehicle up into the mountain range. Two professional guides accompany each small group, ensuring strict safety standards and providing educational facts about the nature and geology of this area. Departure times are on the hour from 8am to 2pm, and each tour lasts approximately 4 hours. It is advisable to bring warm clothes and comfortable shoes. Rain gear will be provided in wet weather.

Cost: R595 per person; R40 discount with a Wild Card

Where: Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, on the R321, Elgin

Contact:
T.  021 3000 501
E.  info@capecanopytour.co.za
W. http://capecanopytour.co.za/

Wine Pairing Opportunities in and around Somerset West

wine loves choc

Lourensford Wine Estate

Located here in Somerset West and just 10 minutes’ drive from us at Penny Lane Lodge, the Lourensford Wine Estate is situated at the foot of the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains. The estate property dates back to 1700’s and was originally a fruit farm established by the Dutch settlers. Now it boasts one of the most technologically advanced wine cellars in the Southern Hemisphere which is open to the public for viewing by appointment.

lourensfordThe tasting room offers a delicious chocolate and wine pairing with three reds and their speciality Honey Liqueur. Alternatively you can sample a selection of five of their current vintages.

The hand-made chocolates are available for sale. Cheeses, olives and olive oil and a range of freshly ground coffees also on sale.

Lourensford Wine Estate is open daily.

 

The House of JC le Roux

Located on Devon Valley Road off the main R44 through Stellenbosch, JC le Roux, makers of a range of champagne-like sparkling wines offer three different sweet pairings and a tasting of their special Méthode Cap Classique wines.

JC le RouxBubbly and M&Ms – 5 different sparkling wines paired with a variety of meringues and marshmallows.

Bubbly and nougat – 5 sparkling wines with nougat and Turkish delight alongside.

Non-alcoholic and fudge – 2 non-alcoholic sparkling wines with jelly tots fudge, coconut ice and cranberry fudge.

MCC tasting – 5 Méthode Cap Classique wines selected by the Cellar Master.

All tastings/pairings need to be booked in advance via their website: http://www.jcleroux.co.za/

 

Spier Wine Farm

One of the very first wine farms in the area, established in 1692, Spier is located between Somerset West and Stellenbosch on the R310 Baden Powell Road. Despite the age of the place it has a modern outlook in stunning surroundings.

Tastings include:

spierSpier Tasting: three wines from the Signature range and one from each of the two premium wine ranges, 21 Gables and Creative Block.

Chocolate and wine tasting: Spier’s chocolatiers have developed chocolates that complement the Méthode Cap Classique and Spier Creative Block blends

Children’s Grape Juice Tasting: the ideal way to keep the kids busy with a tasting of three different grape juices and an educational activity sheet highlighting the role insects play in the vineyards – all tremendous fun!

There are lots of other activities here too with two restaurants, picnics, a deli, art gallery and local craft market. Best of all is the Eagle Encounters which we recommend to all our guests, especially those with children.

http://www.spier.co.za/

A Basic Guide to Wine Tasting

wine tastingA ‘swirl and sip’ session is a very popular activity around here, with the Cape Winelands right on the doorstep of Penny Lane Lodge.

Not everyone is a ‘wine aficionado’ so here are a few tips for getting the best out of those wine-tasting and wine-pairing sessions which so many of the wine farms up the road have on offer. The more refined your senses the better you’re able to understand and enjoy the wines you come across, so you can get the very best out of your tastings. And you’ll look the part too!

Take a good look

Hold up the glass by the stem and tilt it slightly. Look through the glass against a white background if you can. You are looking at the clarity and intensity of the colour. Colour indicates age: a lighter liquid is usually a fairly young wine, while a deeper, richer colour suggests an older wine. Older red wines can sometimes be a brownish red.

Next swirl the wine around the glass to create a thin film of wine on the inside. You will see the ‘legs’ running down and it is these which determine the body or texture. The thicker the legs the fuller body. Full-bodied wines are bold and powerful, and tend to have a higher alcohol content. In contrast, light-bodied wines are more delicate and refined.

Inhale the aroma

A good swirl is needed to release the full aroma of a wine. As you swirl the wine in the glass it increases the exposure to cartoonthe air and allows more of the aroma to be released. Put the edge of the glass up to your nose and your open your mouth a little. Take a deep sniff to get your first impressions of the wine. Try to identify types of scent rather than specific ones – floral, fruity or grassy for example.

If you get a musty smell the wine may be ‘corked’ which means the wine has been contaminated by an airborne fungus that infiltrates the cork. The fungus is harmless but the smell – and therefore the taste – ruins a wine.

Get the taste

To taste the ‘palate’ try to take in a little air as you first taste the wine. This will aerate the wine and release more of the aromas. Roll the wine over your tongue and as you swallow, breathe out through your nose so that your sense of smell and sense of taste work together. With the next sip and move the wine around your mouth like you would a mouthwash. The idea is to then compare the scents and aromas you discovered with your nose with those you experience with your mouth.

The taste of a wine comprises two basic elements: flavour and structure. Flavours will be things like blackberry, chocolate or strawberry; the structure is about the level of sweetness, alcohol, acidity, and tannin.

Dry or sweet: dry does not mean the wine is bitter; it just means it isn’t sweet. Dessert wines are usually sweet.
Alcohol: this is that slight burning feeling you get at the back of your throat after swallowing some wine. The more heat the higher alcohol content.
Acidity: a good level of acidity makes a wine taste crisp and fresh.
Tannin: if a wine contains a lot of tannin your mouth will dry up a little when you sip the wine. Such wines are better with food.

If these elements are balanced with no single element dominating, then this usually indicates a good quality wine.

Go for the finish

The last impression of a wine is the finish: The taste that stays on the palate after the wine has been swallowed. The length of the finish is the final indicator of the wine’s quality. That taste can be short and crisp, or it can linger for a minute or more, continuing to unfold the flavour secrets of the wine before finally fading away. Generally, more extensive finishes will be evident in higher quality wines.

When drinking a dry white wine, you will usually find a clean, crisp finish. With age, the wine tends to soften and the finish will become more round (subtle changes and fading) and long. Oak aging imparts a longer, more complex finish. Young reds tend to be lighter in taste and are more approachable for the uninitiated palate. But the truly world-class reds produce a long, lingering taste in the mouth which continues to develop and which is as complex as the wine itself.

glassesDeveloping the skill of wine tasting takes practice. The more wines you taste, the better you will become with the whole sensory process. Sounds like a good excuse for another tasting trip…cheers!

Next time we’ll start to look at some of the local wine farms where you can put this into practice.

Group Exhibition at Kirstenbosch Gardens 6th to 19th March

I’m thrilled to be exhibiting alongside such a great bunch of South African artists!

Art Portfolio Invitation

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