Lelieblom Farm

 I live in the "big city" but am really a farm girl at heart. Give me wide open spaces, wet-nosed cows and wellington boots, and I'm in my element. So when the lovely man booked us lunch at Lelieblom Farm, just out side of Darling, I was thrilled.
We were originally quite concerned about the weather, as when we left Cape Town it was raining on and off. However, when we reached Darling it was perfect - beautiful billowing clouds above an endless landscape, rain threatening, but staying away.

Situated at the end of 13km of dirt road, you drive through fields of cows and horses before arriving at the farmhouse for lunch. This is a working, non-commercial 450 ha  farm, stocked with goats, sheep, cows, horses and pigs. Karen, who owns the farm with her husband, invites you into her own dining room for a hearty 3-course lunch. Don't expect waiters, menus or a wine lists. Everything is made and served by Karen, and you are encouraged to bring your own bottle of wine. We stopped by Cloof Wine Estate on the way there, and picked up a bottle of their Very Vivacious Viognier .

When Karen first opened her home to welcome guests, she said that she knew there would be a few nights of "bread and butter" for dinner, but sharing her home and life with guests was something she felt passionately about, and she was prepared to put in the hard work, and make the sacrifices to make it happen. I little lesson for me there! Lelieblom offers accommodation on the farm, and also caters for functions and weddings.

Karen's dining room is made up of 4 long rectangular tables, with chandeliers hanging from the roof, and an assortment of plates, pictures, umbrellas and dressers adorning the walls. Think colourfully eclectic and rustic, but above all, homely. Where you dunk farm bread into thick, creamy soup, where you eat lunch to the sound of newborn goats bleating in the next room.
The table was decked with real silver cutlery, and a fresh farm loaf and butter awaited us, before our first course of pea and bacon soup arrived. I loved the mismatched crockery and bright tablecloths.
    That was followed by an generous plate of Sunday roast - almost spilling of the sides of the plate. This was traditional South African cooking at its finest - roast chicken, roast lamb, sweet potatoes, bobotie, rice, broccoli and mixed vegetables. I managed to get through about half of mine...after moving the remainder of the chicken to the lovely man's plate!
  Before attacking the coffee, and to help aid digestion, we took a wander outside, where we discovered four 6-week old kittens. Karen was giving them away with lunch, so to speak - unfortunately no animals allowed in my flat (I sneaked my fish in) otherwise I would have loved to take one home. 
Other residents included Charlotte and her two piglets (destined for a life of farm-pampering). Karen has a deal with her husband, that all the animals she's named will remain on the farm, and not end up on someone's plate. We joked that she could very easily go out into the paddock and start naming all of them, although not sure how well that would go down with the husband.


About 3 hours after we arrived (yes, we were still there) it was time to feed the goats. When the saw Karen approaching with their bottles, they ran across the courtyard full force. I was allowed to feed one - although it was a miracle that the bottle remained in tact, they way they were pulling it...

 We spent around 4 hours at the farm, between eating, wondering through the open fields, playing with animals, and after we left with a hug from Karen, it really felt like you were leaving an aunt's home in the country. I would love to go back (and now that I'm prepared for the dirt roads, I'm looking for any occasion to take a few friends). It's indescribably beautiful just spending some time away from the city, walking in fields where you can't see another building as far as the horizon.

If you'd also like to go visit, you can call Karen on 082 573 7736 or email her on karen@lelieblom.co.za. A three course lunch costs R160 per person, and you have to book.



Post a Comment


Meet the author

Google analytics

On Twitter : @AGorgeousLifeSA

On Instagram : @agorgeouslife