On the outskirts of Silver Lakes, Pretoria East, down a gravel road, past enthusiastic mountain bikers and cows… wait, when you see the cows you’ve gone too far! On the banks of the Pienaars River, you’ll find Hazeldean Farm (since the 1940s), home to the old barn that is the Cowhouse Market.
Ever visited a good ol’ cattle auction? Then you’ll know what I’m talking about. I like a decent market, but parking and seating almost always cause headaches! Ha! Not here – think farm, open air and rolling veld… If the barn could house 640 dairy cows, the barn can host you!
Kiddies’ horse laps, a mountain bike track, live entertainment, coffee, cake, cheese and wine, there is something to satisfy and entertain each member of the family. That’s right – this is a market with a family vibe. Families flock to the farm each weekend for this market, which is on every single Saturday and Sunday. Come rays or come rain, the venue’s got you covered!
A new trend has started rearing its head, which I would like to coin the “Agri Culture”: like South Africans of the 1930s, we’re escaping the bright lights of the city and want to feel close to nature again; we eat organic, buy fresh and want to experience things first-hand. The Cowhouse Market provides just that.
The Hazeldean Brewing Co. supplies the brew. Their Vienna Lager was awarded a Top 15 spot in the 2015 SAB Craft Beer Championships. And with International Beer Day being celebrated on 5 August, what better way to raise a glass to the occasion.
Farm-fresh produce includes bottled beetroot chutney, curried green beans, copper penny carrots, farm chickens and syrupy sweet koeksisters – just like gran would have made them.
And what is a farm stall without a vetkoek? But wait, this is no ordinary vetkoek. Do take note that we’re at a market with the slogan: “Gourmet Food, Gourmet People, Gourmet Life”. From pulled pork to Moroccan beef – choose your filling well. Other delicacies see American ranch-style burgers, Mexican tacos, Western Cape calamari and, of course, a Braai stand – pink, succulently soft rump, T-bone, fillet – complete with a braaibroodjie! The local cheese lady will gladly put together a platter to pair with handcrafted fine wine from Delalmar (a boutique wine estate and guest house in Shere, around the corner).
Children were running around with gigantic candyfloss clouds (any child’s heaven) and The Coffee Snobs, a musical duo from Groblersdal, entertained us mature folk well into late Sunday afternoon with their sultry sounds: from old classics, to contemporary hits and their own compilations.
Time flies when you’re having fun and so, before the cows came home, it was time to gather my padkos, collect my cake and pack up my wagon for the rattling road back to the big city life.
By Anzelle Hattingh