Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Morning in the Midlands

My sister-from-another-mother, Lisa, came out from the UK to spend a week with us in May.  An unexpected and lovely treat! We did all sorts of fun things during that week, including a brief visit to the Midlands.

We started our morning with a visit to Piggly Wiggly Country Village in Lions River.  I highly recommended this stop on the Midlands Meander.  

Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly

There are loads of lovely shops, a superb deli, a couple of restaurants and plenty to entertain the kids, including Putt-Putt, a jungle-gym and on certain days a little train.

For lunch we made our way to The Farmer's Daughter.  

The Farmer's Daughter

We've been to The Farmer's Daughter several times now and I have somewhat mixed feelings about it.  There is lots to like and the food we've had has always been excellent, but I have a couple of gripes too.  

On the positive side - the restaurant has a quirky, whimsical, almost Alice in Wonderland feel to it, it's very appealing.  If the weather is good I would strongly recommend booking an outside table (booking is always recommended as they fill up quite quickly by the look of it).  The outside tables are dotted on the verandah and in the charming garden.  

It's the perfect spot for children, with a small animal farm, a large bunny hutch and a trampoline, as well as some kiddie-sized furniture.

We were served complimentary mugs of  sweet/savoury (hard to explain!) seeds once our order was placed and these were delicious, very moreish!  There are a variety of freshly squeezed fruit/veggie juices on the menu as well and milkshakes and soft drinks.  This is not a licensed venue (well it wasn't when we were there, perhaps that will change) but people at a nearby table had brought their own wine and there seemed to be no problem with that, I'm not sure about corkage fee. 

As far as meals go, on this occasion some of us chose Eggs Benedict and the others lamb burgers and we were all satisfied with our meals - the eggs benedict in particular were really good. In the past I have had the Harvest Platter, but that wasn't available this time.  There were a variety of cakes, lemon meringue pies in a jar, and milkshakes for dessert.

Now for my gripes - firstly, we have generally found the waitrons to be lacking both in their English skills and with regards to knowledge of the menu and secondly, we have found that a large number of menu items have not been available each time we have visited The Farmer's Daughter.  On this visit my daughter ordered a milkshake - it wasn't available, she then chose another - it wasn't available, at which point she asked which shakes were available and was given a list of about 3 shakes.  I think it would be much better if they had a chalkboard menu listing the items that are available on a particular day, rather than a large printed menu with numerous items not available.

Our final stop on this short Midlands Meander was at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site.  I personally feel that the powers-that-be have done a great job with this monument.  The Capture Site houses both an amazing sculpture and also a museum.  A new museum building is currently under construction at the site, so for the time being the temporary museum is housed in a converted shed.  

The sculpture is, in my opinion, amazing.  A collaboration between artist Marco Cianfanelli and Jeremy Rose, the sculpture is reached by taking a "long walk" down a paved path - a perfect opportunity to contemplate the life of our beloved Madiba.  Initially, the sculpture appears to be nothing more than a group of weird sticks... but gradually, as you get closer, those "sticks" transform into a profile of Madiba's face.  Brilliant!

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site

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