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How the weekends roll on so quickly, I still don’t understand.  And now we’re into the final lap of the year… and silly season is about to descend!  I’ll be updating my list of Christmas Markets shortly (a few new exciting additions), but here are my top picks for the weekend ahead…

Cherry-picking at Klondyke Farm (Ceres)

Cherry-picking season is now open!  I’ve been wanting to go for years and finally got my act together this time around.  I’m a forager by nature – there’s something so satisfying about gathering your own food and then feasting upon it afterwards.  Quite a bit of my hoard is now infusing nicely with some Absolut Vodka… mmmm, looking forward to seeing how that turns out!

Anyway, from now until the New Year weekend, Klondyke Farm in Ceres will be open every day (7 days a week – except for Christmas Day) from 8.30am till 4.30pm.   The entry fee and price is R15.00 per person to come in, children under 6 years ‘free’. The price for the cherries you pick is R40.00 per kg (you can use the plastic punnets they provide, or bring your own container which then should be weighed before you start). www.cherryfarm.co.za.

Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival

3-5 December 2010.  Franschhoek.  R180 day pass.

The centrepiece of the festival will be a grand marquee on the sprawling lawns surrounding Franschhoek’s famous Huguenot Monument, where Cap Classique and Champagne stalls will be interspersed with restaurants offering delicious delicacies to match.  This year the festival will take full advantage of the Cape’s glorious summer evenings, with the festival open from 6pm to 10pm on Friday the 3rd, and then between 12pm and 6pm on both the 4th and 5th.

Entrance fee is R180.00 per person – includes access to the festival, a tasting glass and a complimentary booklet of tasting coupons. Thereafter all tastings will be charged on consumption.  www.webtickets.co.za

Stellenbosch Fresh Goods Market – Christmas Candlelight Market

Friday 3 December 2010.  5pm-10pm  (continues on following day)

Stellenbosch in summer, at night, with candles… sounds just about right to me!  This is one of my favourite markets for ambiance and good food – and it sounds like they’re going all out to make this a really special evening.

“A big christmas tree, German Bratwurst, Turkey Stuffing, Brandy Butter, Gingerbread Cookies, Mince Pies, Gammon, Roasted Nuts, Pudding, Festive Decorations, Design, Gifts for Family & Friends, sunset & vineyard tables on the piazza…”

Location:  Oude Libertas, Stellenbosch.  Date: Friday 3 December 2010 5pm-10pm (market continues on Saturday 4 December, 9am-2pm).  Website: www.slowmarket.co.za

Lourensford Farmers Market

Every first weekend of the month Lourensford Wine Estate buzzes with excitement as people come and enjoy the Family Farmers’ Market.  I haven’t yet been, but I’ve heard good things about it… On offer:  food products, such as fresh breads baked by the French baker, vegetables and fruit from Lourensford, gourmet burgers by Saffron Cooking, breakfast pitas and fresh fish from the farm.

Saturday 4 December 2010.  Starts at 9am.  Lourensford Estate, Somerset West.  021 847-2259.  www.lourensford.co.za

Wynberg Village Market

Saturday 4 December 2010.

I’m not certain of full details, but there’s apparently a small Wynberg Village market that’s happening on Saturday 4 December 2010 (only 17 tables).  There will be stalls selling olives/olive oil, biscuits, baked goodies, fabric, antiques, jewellery, and organic veggies/seedlings.

Obs Holistic Fair

Sunday 5 Dec ’10. 10am-4pm. R10 for adults, u/16?s free. Observatory Recreation Centre, corner of Station, Lower Main and Drake streets.

Holistic therapists and life readers; vegetarian and organic food; ‘green’ products, plants and herbs; esoteric books and world music; unusual handcrafted goods; funky clothing, body art and jewellery; décor, unusual art and crafts: you’ll find all this and more at this popular bohemian lifestyle market in Obs this Sunday, and again just before Christmas (19 December 2010 – Christmas market).

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts: Mango Groove

Sunday 5 December 2010.  5.30pm

This is certainly a blast from the past… Mango Groove and lead singer Claire Johnston have a career that spanned a turbulent time in South Africa’s history. Their first single went multi platinum in 1989 and they have since become a household name in this country. Their eclectic music can be described as South African pop.  Gates open at 16h00. Concerts are held between 17h30 and 19h00 and go ahead irrespective of the weather.

As for me, I’m going plum-picking with Slow Food Mother City at the lovely Avondale Farm… and very much looking forward to doing a bit more foraging!  Have a great weekend, y’all.

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