Summer view to mountains
Entrance to the farm stall
Many creatures on the approach road
MOOIBERGE FARM STALL
This is always a good place to have lunch in the Stellenbosch winelands area as it’s easy to get to, the prices are very reasonable and it’s a lot of fun.
Mooiberge means “pretty mountains” in Afrikaans and the view out here certainly is that, as it’s right below the Helderberg Mountains.
A Springbok (SA rugby team) and a Wallaby (Australian team)
A Stormer (Cape rugby team)
On the R44 road between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, this landmark farm stall is hard to miss, as much of the property is “fenced” with a line of colorful art creatures/’sculptures’ (can we call them sculptures?) that the farm calls scarecrows and transportation creations. They are colorful, whimsical, and sometimes naughty scarecrows! Many of them are animals representing various sports teams, both South African and other countries. For many people, Mooiberge is “that farm with the crazy oversupply of scarecrows.” We wondered how it all began and in fact, the menu explains some of the history.
It started off in the 1950s as a farm stall selling strawberries, run by the Zetler family (Samuel and Josie Zetler and 5 sons), who later added sweet peppers too. As the roadside cart grew too small, they built a bricks and mortar stall that blossomed/mushroomed out into what we see today—a colorful, sprawling complex.
Some of the crafts in the modern farm stall
Cape gooseberries for sale
What about some Mama Africa’s hot sauce?
Thirsty Scarecrow play area
Some might say it’s a kitschy produce market-cum-wine shop-cum-market for bottled goods (jams, sauces, olive oils for example), cakes, nuts, biltong, local crafts, wine barrels, fruits and vegetables. But, it’s undoubtedly a lot of fun. We once bought a bottle of wine for R25—one of their advertised specials. They seem to have many of the specials for various airlines.
It’s a great place to take kids in the strawberry season (November-January or February), as the strawberry picking is very popular. There’s a wonderful play area called the Thirsty Scarecrow, which the kids in our group loved on the last visit.
Caroline M, Rod M, and Anthea K enjoy lunch
Over the years we’ve been here many times to eat lunch and it’s always been great. In the winter, there’s obviously no strawberry picking and the rows of plants are all covered in plastic. But, it’s still a great lunch place, as it has a fun atmosphere because of the setting and very good food—a tasty meal, with very generous servings, of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
The outside deck where you can sit looks out over the kids play area and across the pepper/strawberry fields to the mountains, the whole view enlivened by the bright, quirky, animals (mostly) sculptures—which in general you’d say don’t fit into this (wine) environment, and yet they’ve become a local fixture and a tourist feature and attraction.
Miss E at entrance to Farmers Kitchen
One of their delicious salads
Rod M has the lamb burger
The restaurant is called the Farmer’s Kitchen, which re-opened in September 2011 after new owner Kelly Zetler revamped it, to “French colonial meets rustic countryside comfort”. Its hours are 8:30am-5pm, and they specialize in breakfast, snack meals and lunch, with many dishes featuring strawberries in season.
At different times over the years, members of our party have tried many items on the menu. Some of the favorites are a huge lamb burger with Greek-style cucumber-yoghurt sauce; an avocado and chicken wrap; a bacon, brie and walnut pizza, served with salad; a parma ham and fresh fig salad; and a fresh salad with pomegranate and goat cheese. They also have very good meat and cheese platters. The house wine is Du Toitskloof sauvignon blanc and there is also beer, hard cider and all kinds of cold and hot drinks.
Another great salad
We look down at rugby player scarecrows from the restaurant
Also in the Mooiberge complex is the Thirsty Scarecrow Bistro-Pub, open Mon-Sun 11am-11:30pm.
Mooiberge the Farm Stall is open Mon-Sun 8:30am-6pm.
This should definitely be on the list for anyone visiting the Cape Town and Stellenbosch winelands.
Mooiberge’s first tractor