So, yes, I’m still harping on about my birthday. In my family, birthdays are a big deal. Even when we didn’t get a birthday party, there was always cake and a gift. My maternal grandfather was a chef you see, and he lived with us until his death (I was about 9 years old), so cake was mandatory. As children, we would loiter in and around the kitchen whenever he or my mother would bake, waiting to offer our clumsy assistance and mostly, to lick spoons and mixing bowls clean. After his passing, my mother carried on the tradition until I was old enough to take over. I would bake for my family, for school, for church mates. Yes, food is a love language of mine. So birthdays, even when not my own, excite me to the point of feverish dancing and high pitched screaming. (I’m not lying about the high pitched screaming).
Anyway, for the longest time I’ve wanted to go away for my birthday but because I’m just so poor at planning and wrangling my friends together to do this, I just had never gotten it done. This year, I had a cheat code – Fave Human. He’s a stickler for time and timetables are to him what the pop of a champagne cork is to me. (I’m convinced). He had a the best time searching for houses on Airbnb and Booking.com, trying to arrange a spit braai, budgeting for all the food and beverages and the biggest high, was how he scored a massive discount for our shuttle to and from Hermanus. He missed his calling as a very well paid events planner because wow. And it was all worth it in the end. The weekend was incredible and I felt special and loved.
I had originally planned to ambush everyone with a #beccaswineswap, so I got a nice selection of bottles for it. Upon arrival however, the vibe was too good to have organised fun. Besides, if I can’t have unbridled, work free fun on my birthday weekend, when can I?
The standard stash of my favourite MCC, the Swartland Cuveé Brut (which I’ve reviewed in earlier posts), a Raka Spliced – a dry red blend with a hint of spice and smoke, a bottle of the award winning Asara Cape Fusion, a pinotage, shiraz & malbec blend, my current darling, the Kumusha Red blend, the Roodeberg Red blend – berries and oak, and a Reyneke Organic red – shiraz and cabernet sauvignon blend. Because we were super ambitious, and went out, and had more additions to the stash, some of these didn’t even get opened. Perhaps I should recreate the list…
We walked from our house, (a beautiful double storey, positioned such that the view from both levels is breathtaking – it also was one of the first building ever erected in that part of town) to the Hermanus Country Market where we spent the afternoon laughing and imbibing. One of my favourite memories are the ginormous tree of life metal pieces at one stall (I have a bit of an obsession with them and the symbolism) . Also, GAME BILTONG!
Then we found the best thing, a wine stall!! And not just any wine stall, a Creation wine stall. Creation wines are just outside Hermanus and the entire experience looks amazing – they have great gelato pairings, chocolate pairings, cheese pairings, charcuterie parings and VEGAN pairings. If you’re into that sort of thing. We were too cold, broke and too lazy to head out there but it all worked out in the end because Creation came to us!
The second best thing that happened to me that day was this discovery by my friend, DEP FRIED MILK TART!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot describe this thing. As my grandmother used to say “abelungu bagangile” but I’m not even mad. This is some genius behaviour. Imagine the custardy goodness of a regular milk tart but without the jiggly mess? Thank you do whichever tannie came up with this, my day was made.
The memory starts to blur at this point. There must have been more bubbly. Another walk? Supper? Although some of it is fuzzy, at midnight, I’m quite certain there was some vigorous singing and bottle popping that took place as I ushered in another year, surrounded by love and warmth. The kind that you wish you could bottle for those rainy days. Thank you to my friends, Fave Human and the sleepy but stunning town of Hermanus, for showing off for us. (Others claim they saw whales but we weren’t there so we don’t know).
Here’s to more birthdays with people that never make you feel old.
The Empress xx