I’ve never been one for spontaneous adventures and the great outdoors. You’ll usually find me relaxing with a Harry Potter book or watching series in bed. Adventures seem risky and dangerous. Where are we going? What time will we be back? What’s happening next? Yep, I’m an annoying adventureless girl, who was exposed to an olive farm adventure with Buffet Olives and had a (surprisingly) good time.
A group of 24 journalists set out to travel the Buffet Olives farm in Paarl. As we arrived, we received a cute yellow blanket with name tags attached, perfect for the overcast and chilly weather. Blankets on, we were loaded up onto bakkies and headed off on a tour of the Buffet Olives farm.
The ride took us to the highest point of the farm. We drove up, trying to capture the awesome view of the mountain and lake below us. The bumpy gravel road made it quite difficult to use social media without fearing our phones would topple off into the vegetation below (I told you how risky adventures are).
A Champagne-decked table, decorated with beautiful white lilies, awaited us after our bumpy ride. We took in the breathtaking views while John Schringer and Richard Allen from Buffet Olives gave us a lesson about olives in the Cape. Did you know, for example, that all olives are green and then cured to get their purple and black colours?
Carolyn from the Anna Foundation, a regional after school programme for kids, also told us about their achievements and their upcoming Anna Foundation Bike Project. They’ll be opening a pump track and focusing on their planned academic and recreational curriculum for the children.
We then ventured off to the Buffet Olives factory, where we shied away from the cameraman – we must’ve been a sight to see in our blankets and unflattering hairnets. The factory tour was really interesting. We saw how olives are sorted, from sliced to pitted and stuffed, and also saw how they are packaged and filled with an oil solution to keep them fresh. By this time, we were all starving and headed over to the spectacular Cascade Country Manor for lunch.
We were welcomed with olive martinis made with a splash of lemon, and delicious olive canapés. Naturally, we first had to squeeze in a photography session so we could capture the food, drinks, table setting and stunning view before lunch. We were treated to a variety of olive tastings, and the ‘olives for days’ phrase seemed to pop up on everyone’s social media accounts.
My eyes widened as the chef and waiters laid out platters of succulent beef with mushroom sauce, tapenades with fresh breads, seasonal roasted veggies, fish and chicken for us to enjoy. The food was paired with delicious wines from Mellasat Vineyards.
Dessert was one of the highlights of my day: blankets wrapped around our shoulders, we took a short walk through the manor grounds and ended up at a stunning waterfall, where we enjoyed cake made from olive oil, topped with fresh cream and assorted berries.
So, thanks to Buffet Olives in Paarl, this adventureless girl had a ball of a time and learnt a lot about olives in the process.
Photography courtesy Paul Lotter, Go4Word PR