(images: Midlands Business / Janine Avery)
Our faces were flushed; the smiles stretched from ear to ear and dust covered our jeans. We had just spent the past hour blasting down the mountainside on an overgrown version of a childhood push scooter. The views of Cathkin Peak and the exquisite panorama of Central Drakensberg stretched out behind us. And as we zoomed along mountainside single tracks and through forested yellowwood canopies, following our Scootour guide, our stomachs gave a grumble. We were famished.
And so it came to be that we arrived at a bakery quite like any other. Nestled down a dirt road, on a farm in the Central Berg area, Valley Bakery is the stuff childhood dreams are made of. The property has paid its dues as a working farm, and then a grain mill and today pays tribute to its tasty heritage with delicious home baked goods including amazing pies and breads.
The tin-roofed building just exudes charm and as snow covered mountains formed the backdrop we dragged ourselves away from the treat-lined counters to a seat at the back, next to the fire. Looking up, local artwork lined the walls and it was hard to believe that here in the middle of the Berg we had found a refined eatery that could just have easily made its home on the trendy streets of Woodstock back home.
And while dainty quiches, pies and tarts lined the trays at the front of the store, the meal we enjoyed at this quaint stop, definitely filled the gap. Think salads piled high with bacon, butternut and feta – so packed full of fillings that you even had to search a little for the lettuce! The added touch of homemade mango chutney added a kick reminiscent of traditional South African cuisine. It was so good that we even had to buy three bottles to take home.
And while we would have loved to stay all day, trying each of the scrumptious looking cakes on offer, a quad bike adventure through the farm fields awaited. And so when it came turn to leave our little bakery in the Berg it was with full bellies and satisfied grins plastered to our faces. Till the next time!
Find Valley Bakery at Dundubala Farm, R600 Road, Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal.