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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Piket-bo-Berg Tea Garden








It's a long way to drive...and then: A tiny tea garden high in the mountains! The first pass was built in the nineteenth century, using only picks and shovels, around twenty men and some oxen. It has been inproved in the 1950's by Versveld, a local entrepeneur and eccentric. Today we are thirsty and interested in another local "eccentric", the owner of this very distant tea garden!


You reach it after quite a long drive to reach the summit. Then suddenly the bright yellow welcoming sign is there! A red hand painted arrow points upwards into a treed lane. After turning in, motorists are requested to hoot three times! Once you find the five or so tables under the trees, it is best to reach for your newspaper and wait. Suddenly Henny Visser is there, announcing slightly out of breath that her home sits lower down and she was tending the Sweet Potato Cake baking in the oven. With great care and speed she covers ALL the tables, not just one, with checkered cloths. A moment later three little blackboard menus hang suspended between two bluegum trees.

Soon we are enjoying a light lunch, fresh cakes and coffee, chat like old friends with Henny and admire the hills planted with lavender. We also hear of a beloved Afrikaans author, the late George Weideman who had often spent time there in winter, writing by the small inside fireplace. On this lovely summer's day we can only wonder what winter would be like up here! On leaving, we are loaded with aloe plants, applesauce and lavender oil from the farm, which are sold in the tiny shop on the premises.

15 comments:

  1. Love this tea garden post. The minute I saw the thumbnail on my blog roll favourites, I had to dash over to view properly. Not disappointed by either the painting or the lovely story of your visit.

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  2. Marie, You make everything sound so quaint and charming, like a fairytale land. The then you document it all with your lovely paintings. Look forward to the next post!

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  3. What a fabulous post! I'd love to be at that lovely tea. Oooh... and the hills planted with lavender.... how perfect!
    Your painting is terrific ...btw!!

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  4. What a fabulous visit you had! I am rather envious, in fact. This just sounds like a most beautiful day all the way around, Marie! I love too how you've posted your photographs. The blue lettering on that sign keeps drawing my eyes up to your painting. Such a beautiful and tranquil scene. I love hearing about your jaunts and your homeland. (And no worries on the print. It is a beautiful gift from you to me and it will be treasured no matter when it arrives.)

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  5. BEAUTIFUL painting Marie! Every time you do a post, I first have to Google the area to see where you were - I'm learning a great deal about our country and the litle piece of heaven you live in!

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  6. Marie, thanks for another handsome painting and a slice of the wild coast life. Beautifully executed with the lavender dominance. The shadows on the path are just lovely.

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  7. Your painting matches the special and beautiful place you so wonderfully described in your post. If I win the lottery, I must visit your lovely area.

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  8. This sounds like you had a beautiful day filled with great memories.Hugs

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  9. I love love love this story and description of the tea garden! Such a homey atmosphere from another time...and it still exists where you are! Beautiful soft mauves and greens in your painting. Just the right feel for a summers day in Picket-Bo-Berg.
    So, what is the winter like there?
    Thanks for your kind and positive comments on my blog. wouldn't it be nice to get famous from one painting :)

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  10. You really had a great time there Marie! Loved your painting along with the interesting information!
    Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. You are very kind and encouraging with your comments.
    Best,

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  11. So exotic and enchanting! The paintings are beautiful, too!
    Here in Southwest Florida it is quite chilly.

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  12. beautiful painting...i love your soft colors...the blues really draw you in...the path is so inviting...great documentation

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  13. Great thanks! I am very thrilled with the reaction to this post and will visit you all.

    I had e-mail where somebody told me that in many modern cities one grabs a paper cup of coffee and eats the cake from a paper bag, probably while driving the kids to school or some other multi-tasking! Yes, we really have another pace of life in these tiny hamlets!

    Catherine's question about what winter gets like up there, gave me an idea! When you select the word "winter", it will take you to some winter scenes up in the Piket-bo-Berg. If South Africans yearn to see some snow (that would be July, August) we have to visit the high mountains of our country!

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  14. Charming painting and what a delightful story to go along with it!

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  15. We once spent a leisurely lunch and tea there with my sister and old friends. And another visit with a bee-keeper friend.

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