Snugged up against a koppie a few 100 metres off the N1 between Richmond and Hanover is a white shed with the word ‘Padstal’ painted on the roof in bold black letters. Plus an entirely red guesthouse.
The Karoo Padstal is no ordinary farm stall. Yes, there are preserves, and yes, there is biltong. But there is also some of the best cheese the Karoo has to offer (notably from Langbaken near Williston). There are little milktartlets, homemade muesli bars and old-fashioned chocolate peanut clusters.
The chocolate chip cookies, ginger biscuits and rusks are made with real butter. The eggs used for baking are laid by the padstal’s own chickens, a squadron of comely Rhode Island Red hens, protected by their outrageously handsome rooster.
It is thanks to chef Yuriëtta Stevens, assistants Syton Mbughi and June Matthews, and baristas Portia Ramantsane and Henry Gerber that the Padstal smells of fresh roasted coffee, heavenly biscuits and pastries as the doors open at 8am.
Have a look in the fridges and you’ll find Karoo lamb chops and other cuts from surrounding farms. There might be halva, or springbok and mutton salami made by Jules of the Karoo, along with their somewhat addictive cheese-grillers and venison wors. You’ll find organic pecan nut butter, pomegranate syrup and peach preserves.
On the counter you might find fairytale castles of lemon meringue, peanut butter truffle cake, chocolate éclairs, sourdough bread, meringues, Greek shortbread. There are curried mince jaffles, quiches featuring green figs and biltong, lamb and venison pies.
There are spectacular ‘mud’ chandeliers for sale, the dearest wooden bird houses, draadkarretjies, knitted sheep, craft gins and fine wines from unusual places. There are leather aprons and leather bags, handwoven absorbent cloths from Mungo outside Plettenberg Bay and Beatrix Potterish tea cosies knitted by a tannie outside Bloemfontein.
- The Karoo Padstal is open from 8am to 5pm every day including Sundays.
- Pets are welcome.
- For more information and their latest offerings, look at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/karoopadstal/