Guests were spoiled rotten by the chefs from the Franschhoek restaurants – all of which feature in the book. Neil Jewell of Môreson’s Bread & Wine restaurant brought a variety of their famous charcuterie and breads; Margot Janse of Le Quartier Français offered a sumptuous Eisbein and rabbit terrine with pear and rooibos relish; La Brasserie’s own Melize Oliphant provided sweet pastry cups filled with chocolate custard and fresh strawberries; and from Reuben’s came warm tomato tarts with tapenade, basil and Sauviginon Blanc crème.
The chef at La Petite Ferme proffered smoked salmon cheese cakes on cucumber topped with caviar; and ensuring that nobody went thirsty, Achim von Arnim’s Pierre Jordan Cap Classique sparkling wines and Graham Beck’s a superlative range of reds and whites from Graham Beck completed the feast in a fitting fashion.
As the shadows of the oak trees lengthened with the progress of the afternoon, the last guests lingered, chatting amiably with the author. Cognoscenti Topsi Venter and Arthur McWilliam Smith swapped reminiscences with Hildegard von Arnim of meals shared and bread broken over the years in this extraordinary valley.