The road to Cathkin Peak has it all: soaring purple peaks, rolling green hills and a wonderful crop of food options – from craft breweries to artisan cheese and chocolate shops.
Valley Bakery began as a test site for the stone-ground flour mill, but has become a fully fledged – and thoroughly popular – bakery and café. The 100% natural, additive- and GMO-free unbleached flour is the base for magnificent breads, croissants and cakes – and their breakfasts are pretty tasty too.
Serves: Incredible pies, croissants and other café-style dishes
Best for: brunch or lunch with the family
Average main meal:R40 to R80 for breakfast; R70 to R95 for lunch dishes
Star ratings: Food 4, Ambience 4, Service 4
Breakfasts (served until 10.30am) are hugely popular here. Tuck into a huge, moist croissant with creamy scrambled eggs, or opt for savoury mince and eggs on great ciabatta. There’s rye bread for the wheat-fearing and a banting Benedict served on mushrooms for the carb-fearing.
At lunch, the thing to order are the pies. Fantastically golden, flaky pastry is loaded with saucy, meaty fillings. Try a Cornish pasty, or a scrumptious sausage roll, served with either chips or a salad. Else try the soup. The roasted red pepper and tomato option on the specials board on the day we visit is fabulously creamy and richly flavoured and, best of all, comes with a giant soup roll for dunking.
Also on offer are pizzas, generous salads and open sandwiches.
Peruse the cake counter before making your choice between vast slices of coffee cake, vanilla cake, yoghurt-and-apple cake and pecan pie. Our favourite? The jam doughnuts, which are perfect, fresh, jam-filled pillows.
Don’t leave without buying a bag of biscuits and some fresh bread – the ginger biscuits get our thumbs up.
Coffee is by Terbodore – a great roaster born near here in the Midlands. Else order a decadent milkshake or an icy crush.
Friendly and switched on. Things can slow down when the restaurant fills up.
The restaurant unfortunately doesn’t look out at the spectacular view, but the scents of baking cakes and breads and the lovely rose garden make for a pretty pleasant place to pass a morning. (There is one table under a little white-cast iron shelter with mountain views, but you’ll have to contend with the extractor noise.)
They have two play areas – one for littlies and one for bigger kids, with a zipline.