This year’s SA Cheese Festival (at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch) was  pretty damn insane!  The sheer size of it had me totally overwhelmed… There were various large tents filled with stands where you could sample & buy goodies.  Then there were tons of freestanding stands outside serving up delicious food & wine for you to sort yourself out with a little picnic setup while listening to some live music.  There was definitely a great festival vibe and it seemed like pretty much anybody & everybody was there to experience it. :)

I found myself just standing with my mouth hanging open, dazed & confused, for quite some time before I plucked up the courage to hit the first tent.  The tents were packed with people inside, certainly great exposure for all the exhibitors involved…

Most stands had a pretty simple setup while some went the extra mile to really make their stands pop, like this Sweet Temptations one selling soft toffee treats:

Getting through just one tent really took it out of us, so we opted to get some fresh air before attempting the next one.  Walking around the massive estate, we also stumbled upon the area where parents could drop off the kiddies after consuming way too much sugar, the Carnival Park.  Brilliant idea I though:  let them run around like crazy all day, then they sleep like little angels when they get home while mommy & daddy get to enjoy some of their fabulous wine discoveries from the day. ;)

In the food court area I also had a little giggle at this logo for “Die Wors-rol” stand:

I totally understand the thinking here: How do we make boerie rolls more sexy? Hmmmm.  I would have gladly been their model though.  I looooove boerie rolls!

Now I’m not going to bore you with any more pictures of stands and such – there were just waaaaaay too many.  Instead I’m going to take you through the awesome pile of goodies I went home with.  All things I felt were just way too good to leave behind.

First up, of course some cheeses.  On the left below: Lavender infused goats cheese by Dragonfly Farm and then on the right some Foxtail goats cheese from Foxenburg:

Goats cheese was HUGE at this year’s festival.  And there were so many yummy options.  But these two were my favourites.

Some creamy, totally delicious butter from Middelpos:

Mmmmm… doesn’t real butter just rock your world?

These fresh & inventive cordials from Wilde at heart – one bottle apparently makes 7 litres of refreshing drinking heaven.  I opted for the Buchu & Rose Geranium varients, but their lemonade one was really great as well.

This “Chillout” herb & garlic infused chilli sauce from Hill Billy:

A seriously hot & spicy little number…

Also this beautiful balsamic reduction from Olyvenbosch:

I’m obsessed with balsamic reductions at the moment.

Then I didn’t know this, but Sally Williams now also does Belgian chocolate slabs with crispy nougat.  We got them as part of a “party pack” of Sally Williams treats which we got at a total steal of only R100:

Normally I’m a milk chocolate girl, but the dark chocolate one is actually my favourite out of these two.

Then I simply couldn’t resist the eucalyptus blossom honey from Busy Bee:

We even got to watch the little bees in action at their stand.  Very cool.

But I think my favourite purchase of the day had to be my new doggie, Frank!  I got him for only R35 from the SPCA stand and I love him to bits.

Say hi Frank!

I will need to send a letter to my body corporate for approval though as they have a strict pet policy. ;)  But Frank has already made himself at home and is even sleeping on the bed…

Bad doggy…

I know, I know – I really shouldn’t let him.  But who could say no to those big eyes!?

Anyhoo, I’m currently thoroughly enjoying the spoils of my SA Cheese Festival outing.  My kitchen now feels like a little gourmet deli of sorts.  Something which is really unusual for me as I normally only have Woolies ready meals and dry crackers at home.  Am I possibly getting closer to being a domestic diva?  Nah, probably not… I still can’t cook so save my life… but at least this is a tiny step in the right direction I think.