So we’ve all been there, right? Driving for 3 hours straight, almost hearing your tummy rumble over the playlist in the background, which has probably repeated at least twice by now. But you don’t even notice this because you are having painful regrets about those 3 bottles of water that you chugged down along the way. And what better excuse to work in a cup of moer koffie and a freshly baked pie, than a much-needed bathroom break?
The N2 has to be one of the most beautiful tourist routes in the country. From the ocean views on Sir Lowry’s Pass, past the rolling canola fields near Caledon, and all the way to the almost black forests in Knysna, it’s become a personal favourite of mine. And I have made it my mission, as a regular traveller on this route, to give all of the farm stalls along the N2 a try.
To the thousands of locals, and ‘valies, travelling on the N2 every year, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite farm stalls to get your coffee, jam and pastry fix:
1. The real king of pies: Peregrine Farm Stall, Grabouw
Peregrine’s is not only the first stop on this route but also my first choice overall. When I leave my flat in Somerset West to visit the parentals in George, I always conveniently ‘forget’ to eat breakfast, because I know what’s waiting for me in Grabouw. If you’ve experienced the queue for their freshly baked pies, breads and quiches, you’ll agree that I’m a fan for good reason.
They sell a whole range of fresh produce, all of which are sourced from the local Elgin farmers. They even recently came up with the idea to provide a free apple to every kid. Neat, right?
I would recommend that you stop for one of their famous freshly-baked pies (the chicken and mushroom is amazing), while the kids get rid of their bottled-up energy in the outside play area.
They are open from 07:30 to 18:00 every day.
2. ‘Hoeked’ on Houw Hoek Farm Stall, Elgin
If you’re not keen for the busy buzz of Peregrine’s, I recommend that you keep going for the next 12 kilometres and stop at the Houw Hoek Farm Stall, located just before the Houw Hoek pass.
Also a top-contender in the pie-wars, you just have to squeeze in another one, or at least take one to go. If you have a little more time to spare, sit down at one of their tables for a lekker cup of coffee and one of their freshly prepared meals. That is if you manage to get a spot at this very popular stop. Otherwise, if the weather allows, get some fresh air and enjoy a picnic basket somewhere in the shade.
The shop also stocks some of the best fresh produce, from local wines and fruit, to freshly baked goodies.
They are open from 07:30 to 17:30 every day.
3. Be pleasantly surprised by Dassiesfontein, Botrivier
Dassiesfontein is every antique-lover’s dream come true. Be ready to get lost in the endless sea of goodies, stacked in every corner possible. Ladies, this place is a totally valid excuse to to pull over for a break.
Situated on the N2 between Botrivier and Caledon, it’s hard to miss this thatched roof gem. The exterior looks a bit rugged, but once you’re inside and the smell of freshly baked bread hits your senses, you are more than happy to spend at least an hour exploring all their their goods.
With traditional South African cuisine, boeretroos and ice cold beer, this place simply speaks to every true South African.
They are open from 08:30 to 17:30 every day.
4. Next stop: Blue Crane Farm Stall, Heidelberg.
Now that your tummy had a while to process all that pies and boerekos, get ready for your next stop. Only 3 kilometers from Heidelberg, there is no way you can miss this popular blue-roofed stop. It can be like one of those “whoever spots the sea first, gets an ice cream” games.
With Blue Crane being half coffee shop, half farm stall, they cater for everyone. You can either browse through their collection of biltong, dried fruit, fresh produce and assorted cheese, or sit down for one of their delicious light meals. The kids would also be more than happy to run around in the play area or snack on something from their kiddies menu.
They are open from 08:00 to 17:00 every day.
5. Fuel up at the Kontrei Padstal, George
If you are on your way to Plett and you missed out on any of the other farm stalls along the N2, you might just be in time to catch this one while it’s still open. Conveniently located at the Sasol garage on the N2, you can fill up on gas while you refuel your tummies at the same time.
This is another one of my favourites – and not only because my mom regularly suggests visiting Kontrei for breakfast or lunch on her. The vibe is lively and the food is to die for. Supporting the local farmers by using the fresh produce from their farm stall, you can feast on freshly baked breads, real South African cuisine, or just enjoy a good cuppa.
They are open from 08:00 to 15:00 every day.
Have you been to any of these farm stalls along the N2? Tell us about your favourite experiences in die comment section below.