Farmstay foods generally involve lamb chops, venison, wors. But at Hillston Farm, things are different.
The secret lies with Adrienne, eldest daughter of Riana and Jonathan Southey, who own Hillston Farm. There has never been a time when Adrienne didn’t want to be a chef. She used to have a little ‘restaurant’ under the pepper trees with a cablespool table and improvised chairs when she was only a little girl.
Later she spent three years at Silwood and worked in India and the Middle East.
Now she’s happy to be back at Hillston, cooking for guests.
Guests are welcome to self-cater, but Adrienne will also bring meals to the sprawling Northmead farmhouse or to the ironstone cottage.
For breakfast, you might find animal shaped flapjacks – which delight the kids – atop yoghurt and drizzled with her homemade strawberry jam.
You might have breakfast ‘soup’ (a delicious fruit smoothie). Even the standard breakfast of bacon and eggs is different – maybe it will be an egg and bacon soufflé with grilled sausage and tomato on the side.
Or there may be some of Riana’s unbeatable banana bread, made into French toast, cubed and served on a porcupine quill.
Lately, Adrienne has become fascinated by molecular gastronomy. “Basically, it’s food that messes with your mind”, she explains with a smile.
So you might find that a fried egg on your plate is in fact a mango puree on yoghurt. Or your prickly pears might be served up with yoghurt ice cream, almond smoothie, lemon foam and red caviar (which is actually prickly pear syrup heavily disguised).
Dinners are as light or as sinful as you want them.
Adrienne’s culinary talents have attracted many cooking classes or demonstrations.
For adults, she’ll teach Thai cooking, or Moroccan, Greek, Italian or Indian. And the kids love her icing classes. Everyone loves learning how to make their own sweets – coconut ice, fudge, peanut brittle and nougat.
For more information on Hillston, visit www.hillstonfarm.co.za.