A time to Chillax

Here, in our part of South Africa we live with the advantage of diverse, multi-seasonal days – not unlike the Rainbow Nation that populates the country! It makes things very exciting – you never know what to expect, but you can bet your bottom buck that no matter the weather, there is always time to take a moment.

Summers are really long and the early mornings stretch out into long, hot days. Over weekends, brunch and lunch turn into all day alfresco affairs. Just when the soul grows weary of the roaring temperature, dusk settles in and to pay tribute to the day that was, there is always a little wine-time in the cool shadows of the trees or on the stoep with the dog. (Although this kuier can get noisy – there is strictly no moaning or whining allowed!!) Refreshments are cold – food is snacky and delish – and the conversation is light hearted.


The Winter months bring with them mellow sunshine to flush cheeks and defrost stiff limbs. The opportunity to get cosy around the fire – maybe inside in the lounge; or outside around a braai is a temptation that is eagerly given in to. Soon the chilly air is forgotten as chatter heats up. The food is nourishing and hearty and the tipple is rich and full-bodied.


In between, there are crisp, chilly mornings to contend with; mozzies to fight off; some rain (here’s hoping and praying) and work to wade through. The wind blows every now and then; and on extremely rare mornings there may be a visit from Jack Frost. But we survive, if just to have an excuse to take a moment to chillax.


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Tolbos Coffee Loyalty Card

Warning! This post may contain dangerous information for Coffee Addicts!!!

Caffeine connoisseurs, get your newly launched COFFEE Loyalty card at #Tolbos. Keep caffeine levels at optimum level, on every visit ….. and fill up with the 10th cup on the house! For Free! #Gratis! Niks! That’s how we roll at Tolbos.

We understand long, hectic days are just not the same with a coffee shot. And that is why we pride ourselves on using only the best coffee beans from our supplier, #mastertons in Port Elizabeth. This family-owned Roastery has been in the coffee business for yonks – and boy, you can taste it in the freshly brewed cuppa joe! The girls at Tolbos pride themselves on being somewhat snobbish when it comes to their #caffeine fix of choice. If it is not wine o’clock, it is most definitely a quarter past  where’s-my-coffee?!?

First Loyalty Card User - Marieka Mostert

First Loyalty Card User – Marieka Mostert

Whether you are passing through #Patensie for pleasure or some serious business – boost your spirits with a shot of espresso. Locals, whether yummy-mummies of the PTA  or salt-of-the-earth farmers,  rely DAILY on our #bistro for their coffee fix to bolster their mood! REMEMBER TO PASS BY AND COLLECT YOUR LOYALTY CARD from Tolbos. Its legal and FREE! For more info about Mastertons coffee, visit their website at mastertonscoffee.co.za or go and check out their Facebook page.

Aaah, I’ll take mine with hot milk and 2 sugars, please…

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Even teeny, babies-on-the-way are most welcome at Tolbos #StorkParty

Tolbos is a fantastic venue for any party, special occasion or private function.  We were privileged to host this Stork Party with yummy eats and even better company! Here are a few pics of this glorious day. Select to view larger version

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Gamtoos - Patensie Valley

What a great place to wake up every morning!

I have had the privilege of living in so many parts of the world, but the best place to see the sun rise and set every day remains right here, in the farming community of the #Gamtoos Valley.

Patensie - Gamtoos Valley

I may be somewhat prejudiced because I was born and bred right here on the family farm, #Gonjah, en-route to the world-famous heritage site, #Baviaanskloof. But that aside, I still feel smug that I get to live this life and take in the scenery, while other poor souls are slogging away in the city, grinding through daily traffic and trying not to get too depressed by the concrete jungle. On a bad day, while travelling to #Tolbos, in the centre of our #citrus town of #Patensie, me getting ‘caught’ in the traffic may involve slowing down for a tractor or waiting for a guinea fowl family to scatter across the road!

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man (or woman!) healthy, wealthy and wise,” is such a relevant proverb – especially here in the country. Luckily, most mornings we are blessed with the most stunning sunrise, which gets every one pumped for the long days, filled with the productive busyness that goes with running a farm and providing essential services to all members of the community. And then, just when you think the day will never end, the sun is setting into the horizon we are engulfed by a spectrum of feel-good colours.

Time for retrospection, gratitude and a cold one on the stoep….

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Back to basics – #Cupcakes

The resurgence of the cupcake’s popularity in the past decade has made it a must-have at birthday parties, bridal showers, stork parties, weddings, hen paries (cue rude, anatomically correct, male body parts) and  larny corporate canteens.

In fact, a few years ago, this #foodie ‘fad’ whipped right out of hand and suddenly there were #cupcake shops on every corner and renowned chefs – heck, even domestic goddesses – were bringing out glossy recipe books and dedicating entire TV cooking show seasons to the art of creating the perfect cake-in-some-fancy-paper!

This party-pleaser was originally a bite of vanilla sponge (chocolate if you had been good) smeared with sickly sweet icing in Mom’s colour of the day and served at kid’s parties. Snotty toddlers on sugar highs would then lick off the offensive icing  take a bite of the cake and abandon the leftovers in the dirt under the swing for Rover.

Grey High School #koekntee

Grey High School #koekntee

Suddenly this sweet treat evolved into an ‘adult’ anomaly, with celebrity status – and would be the showstopper at any soireé, if you were a half-decent hostess. New, divine flavours unheard of by the common ‘housewife’ , popped onto the scene….from Salted almond brittle and creme brulee to #Tiramusu-with-a-twist.

Competition was fierce and everyone wanted a bite of the action. Non-bakers took classes, TV channels aired 24/7 in every home and even gym bunnies got fat.

These kitchen creations  were bedecked and bedazzled with pedigreed frosting and  (in)edible sugar trinkets that most kids refused to eat or, ironically, would prove to be a serious choking hazard. I will not digress further by going into the cost and logistics of trying to evacuate a fondant fuschia flower out of an eleven year old’s ear.

Of course, as each baker tried to outdo the next, win a car or create  life-like English roses with an ombré effect, the cost per cupcake soared. We lost perspective and common sense. We focussed on looks (colour, bling and expensive casings); and forgot about the inside – the CAKE bit. So the whole fad became a rather unpalatable affair and even avid cupcake converts began to wonder if it was not a tasteless facáde as plenty of these showpieces lacked substance. There was no real value on the inside.
At Tolbos, we have learnt that what is in a cupcake is definitely just as important as what’s on top. We use generous, tried-and-tested recipes. The sponge is soft, fluffy and full of flavour.

Ask for our fresh bakes daily.

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