The Shongweni Farmers Market celebrated Women’s Day this year with the amazing Craft Fest – a festival filled with Craft beer, gin, cider and wine, as well as delectable food, live music and stalls. This was the first Craft Fest that Hubs and I have attended, but it wasn’t just a first for us – it was our first little family outing with the new greyhound puppy Luna!
The day was chilly and overcast, with snow in the air, so we dressed up warmly and headed for an afternoon of good food, drinks and bonding time. We both loved that the tasting glasses that came with the tickets came in a few different styles, and we both went for the stemless option – perfect for our GnT’s at home.
Craft Fest displayed some of the fantastic stalls that the Shongweni Farmers Market usually hosts, along with new stalls, arts and crafts for the young ones and so many new and different eats and drinks that Hubs and I just couldn’t make up our minds where to start. We chose to start at an old favourite that we knew well – the Standeaven Brewery! I opted for the pomegranate GnT on tap (I adore this stuff, it just tastes like more), while Hubs tried a beer he hasn’t had before, the Lager X.
We browsed the array of stalls, and it took forever to decide where we’d grab a bite to eat. There were cupcakes, Mexican, Vegan, pastries, pizza, burgers and more. Hubs eventually went for a cheeseburger that he wolfed down faster than I could photograph (he apparently ‘wasn’t that hungry’) and I FINALLY tried the steamed pork buns from the small Asian stall that is there every Saturday, but is always too busy for me to even contemplate. Since we queued for a little while there, I also bought a portion of their chicken dim sum too, and although both were incredibly similar other than the meat inside, they were perfectly full of flavour and light as air.
With our tummies warm and full, we took a walk, but Luna had other ideas, and kept sitting down in the middle of the walkway. I think it’s because she knew that everyone would stop and love her when she did this, and she just couldn’t resist the cuddles and cooing from all the strangers!
I have been dying to try the local craft offerings from Distillery 031, so when I saw they were making cocktails, I had to have one. I opted for something a little different, the 031 Coffee Signature GnT (D’Urban Barrel Aged Gin, Indian Tonic, Heart of Darkness Coffee Liqueur with a twist of lemon) and it was phenomenal. You could taste the gin and the lemon from the twist, yet you could also taste the richness of the coffee liqueur. It was refreshing and would have been so perfect for a summer afternoon, so I plan on getting my hands on a bottle of the 031 D’Urban Barrel Aged Gin and trying to recreate it.
Also, when did Pongracz release a new sparkling wine??? I had no idea, and made a point of buying some, and let me tell you, this Noble Nectar is divine. Not sweet, yet not dry, and so light and fresh on the tongue.
We tasted a few more beers and wines, and the standouts were the 1000 Hills Brewing Company and Everson’s Cider. Love the Everson’s Ciders, and planned on heading back there to try their Blueberry Cloudy Cider (blueberry and cider, two of my favourite things!), but we were eventually so stuffed to the brim that we just couldn’t eat or drink anymore.
Shongweni Farmers Market – please have Craft Fest more often! It was a wonderful day out with my little family, and I cannot wait for my next one.
All Photos and the blog writeup are done by Siobhan Yeatman of Sugar & Spice blog.