Above: Drivers of too-fast cars while wearing their too-stylish shades are likely to zip right past Red Barn Restaurant and its delectable treats at Fern Gully Farm near Knysna. Lucky for you if they do.
Please don't speed when driving along the highways of South Africa's Garden Route.
This has got nothing to do with road safety. It's got everything to do with you potentially missing the quaint hand-painted signs and the tiny-lane turnoffs to some of the freshest, most delicious breakfasts, lunches and snacks you could hope for on a road trip.
Take Finebush Farmbush Farmstall and Country Kitchen, for example. Its address is listed simply as "Off the N2 highway, east of Stormsriver Bridge between Plettenberg Bay and Humansdorp". Go by too fast, however, and you would miss the treats from Carla's kitchen, such as this cheese and cured meats platter -- arranged as such if you're hanging out for a while, or packable into a picnic basket if you are on the run.
But really, why run when you've got such charming indoor and alfresco space to choose from?
If you time it right (or dawdle long enough) Carla might even offer you a pinch of whatever dessert she's making fresh that day. If it's a chocolate brownie (right), do not, under any circumtances, resist. Not that you'll be able to, because you'll have been smelling its maddening fragrance for about 15 minutes before it slides seductively out of the oven in the open kitchen right next to the dining room.
Over by Knysna, if you've had enough of the over-built up waterfront, drive towards the hills to Red Barn Restaurant, find a spot on its shaded patio, and tuck into meals where many of the ingredients are sourced onsite and from nearby farms.
Babs and I chowed down one morning on french toast with bananas and an English breakfast fry-up, with a couple of excellently made cappuchinos. The breakfast of chubby champions.
Finebush Farmstall and Country Kitchen
Off the N2 highway, East of Stormsriver bridge between Plettenberg Bay and Humansdorp
Tsitsikamma, South Africa
+27 42 280 3503
Red Barn Restaurant, Fern Gully Farm
Rheenendal, Knysna, South Africa
8km from N2 turn off
GPS coordinates: -33.978325, 22.96437
+27 82 739 0962
If interested, here's a longer list of farm shops, markets and kitchens on the Garden Route.