No road trip through the beautiful South African countryside is complete without a stop at a roadside farm stall or 'padstal' as they are known in Afrikaans. Offering a welcome break from the road, farm stalls give you the perfect opportunity to re-stock your 'padkos' reserves with local fruits, drinks and snacks, as well as meeting the interesting locals.
Each with its own unique flavour and character, farmstalls always seem to be on the edge of nowhere and the outskirts of town. It's interesting to meet their owners each with funny and interesting stories to tell. We have compiled a list of four padstalle that are definitely worth stopping at next time you are passing by.
Daggaboer Farm Stall
The name alone is enough to make you stop at the Daggaboer Farm Stall as you drive between Cradock and Port Elizabeth, but if you go in search of the magic dragon you're bound to be in for a bit of a surprise. Instead you will meet a welcoming Charl Pansegrouw with a glass of their famous homemade ginger beer in hand.
The stall is named after the area which is called Daggaboer, and the legend of how the name came to be is widely disputed. Some believe it came about because of the local farmers greeting each other with 'dag ou broer' (good day old brother) which eventually became Daggaboer. Another story involves early British Settlers who set up a farm to harvest marijuana which would then be used to feed to their horses to give them added stamina.
When the Daggaboer originally opened it stocked the likes of sheep skin slippers and great roosterkoek. The shop has since grown, but has kept its honest roots and offers the best of local food and crafts such as their famous fresh roosterkoek filled with cheese and biltong, local honey, dried fruits, syrups and organic cheeses. You can also buy a good mohair blanket.
Just outside of Kakamas in the Kalahari is the Pienk Padstal, a farm stall filled with character and great local products. Almost everything is pink, from the rose garden and shade nets to the tables, chairs and decorations inside the farm stall.
The store sells a variety of local, home-made foods including baked goods, dried fruits and jams, as well as local liquors including mampoer and witblits. The stall also showcases some of the local arts and crafts, allowing you to pick up something unique from this remote part of the country.
In 1988 the area saw a great flood that reached waist deep near the stall, and visitors can view pictures and water level markers documenting the flood.
Ronnie's Sex Shop
Years ago Ronnie wanted to open a farm stall just outside of Barrydale on the R62, and painted 'Ronnie's Shop' on the side of his building. One day his friends decided to play a prank on him and added the word 'sex' to his sign. At first Ronnie was a bit angry about the name change, but kept it up while he finished fixing the building. The shop started getting attention as passersby would stop and come in to find out about this strangely named store, a few of which left rather disappointed. One day someone suggested also opening a bar, and so it was decided to make Ronnie's Sex Shop a permanent fixture.
Today Ronnie's Sex Shop is a popular stop on Route 62 with a bar, restaurant, curio shop and B&B to follow on from those long nights in the bar. The roof of the bar is decorated with lingerie, and the walls are covered with graffiti, making for a unique and fun atmosphere. Many people stop for a beer and to chat with Ronnie to hear his interesting and funny tales.
Peregrine Farm Stall
One of the larger and more popular farm stalls, Peregrine is a popular first stop for many Capetonians heading up country on the N2 passing through Grabouw. It's a great first stop especially if you've forgotten to pack those essential nibbles for the road, or if you're simply needing to restock. The fresh crisp air makes the perfect setting for morning coffee as you head out on your journey.
One of Peregrine's greatest draw cards is the wide variety of good local produce on offer. Peruse aisles of fresh fruit and wine, and enjoy some of the home baked bread and sourdough loaves. One of the highlights of the store is their fresh, hand-pressed apple juice.
If you're on your way to Cape Town, Peregrine is a great place to stop off and stretch the legs before the final part of your journey. The kids can even run off some steam and pet the residents animals - Josy the pot-belly pig or Bok the hand reared springbok.