Visitors to Cape Town will be aware that the first European settlers in South Africa came from the Dutch East India company who established a victualing station in Cape Town to provide their sailing ships with fresh produce and water. Known also as the Cape of storms, Table Bay was not a hospitable anchorage during the winter and many of the sailing ships were wrecked in the Bay. Simon’stown, nestling on the shores of sheltered False Bay offered a much more hospitable refuge but the task of getting supplies from Cape Town was arduous. It was therefore decided to establish farms at Noordhoek and Fish Hoek . The Commissioner of the Cape, impressed with the farming of the widow Christina Rossouw, gave her a gift of land in 1743 near the Slangkop Ridge, Kommetjie, and which subsequently became known as Imhoff’s gift.
This historic farmstead is located on the road to Cape point and offers an interesting and enjoyable family destination, either as a stop during a tour of the Peninsula or as a day outing and is open 7 days a week. Located opposite the township of Ocean View, you will be unlikely to miss Imhoff’s farm as the name is painted in large white letters on the green tin roof of what was once a barn. The converted farm buildings now make an interesting browsing or shopping experience and one will find a first rate free range Farm Shop in the barn, as well as a bakery and tea garden. In addition the erstwhile stables, silo, smithy, slave quarters and milking sheds are now occupied by local artists and interesting craft, furniture, clothing and food shops including a cheese factory, chocolate factory, a well-stocked wine shop and local crafts, antiques and collectables.
The farm stall offers their own including our own organically grown fruits and vegetables, homemade pies, quiches, specialist breads, olives, homemade jams & preserves, chutneys, salad dressing & pestos, and a range of cheeses produced on the farm . Goat’s milk cheeses are now made from their own herd of milking goats. The goats are milked in the parlour next to the dairy at 4pm daily, and visitors are welcome to view the milking; this will be a great experience for children. A range of cow’s milk cheeses is also produced, including the popular fynbos cheese, various other fresh cheeses infused with herbs and spices, Goudas, mature cheddar, and a blue and white mould cheese with milk coming from a neighbouring farm.
Exciting attractions for children are the Snake and Reptile park as well as the Higgeldy Piggeldy Farmyard which has some very friendly farm animals – including goats, pigs, sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and a pony. The more adventurous will want to try the Camel rides. Camel riding is different and just getting off the ground is an experience; first you are tipped forward by the rear ascending and then the front legs finally rise when you will find yourself two meters up as you embark on a jerky saunter around the farm.
The farm has 2 great restaurants. The Blue Water Café is located in the original old Cape Dutch farmstead dating back to 1743, with several dining rooms which offer cosy fires during the winter months. In the better weather diners choose to sit outside on the stoep or the expensive lawns where tables shaded by umbrellas offer truly spectacular views across the wetlands to the Atlantic and the slopes of Chapmans peak at Noordhoek. The Bluewater cafe offers breakfast lunch and dinner but is closed on Monday. Although the menu caters for most tastes and includes fresh fish and steaks, their speciality is a range of home-made pastas and thin crust pizzas. Look out for the daily specials on the blackboard as you enter the restaurant. When dining there recently with friends they raved over the seafood Tagliatelle, Calamari with wasabi mayonnaise and French fries and seafood pizza while my own perennial favourite on the menu is the Blue Water Carbonara, a huge bowl of homemade pasta served with wild mushrooms and creamy mascarpone and crispy fried pancetta, topped with rocket and herbs. Perhaps due to its on-going popularity we have never found the service at the Blue Water cafe either particularly friendly or efficient.
The Pickled Fish has become well known for its offering of fresh fish and seafood at affordable prices. Their signature dish is the mild spiced Cape Malay Pickled Fish, served with farm seed bread). The ambiance is casually evocative of the farm, with terracotta floor tiles, rustic furniture, uneven walls and reed ceilings but the white and aquamarine interior is clean. Service is professional and attentive and dining here is altogether a pleasant experience.
Imhoff’s farm will delight the whole family and is just a few minutes’ drive from our self-catering Noordhoek cottages