This past weekend, we had the chance to escape to the West Coast for a full day’s relaxation. It’s been about three years now since I headed that side but fond memories of the small, seaside town, Yzerfontein had me eager to pay this region another visit.
With an overnight stay awaiting us at !Khwa ttu, we had some spare time before check-in and how better to get to know the area than by visiting one of its most popular pit-stops: Beulah Farm Deli?
The deli unobtrusively lies just off the main West Coast Road (R27), a few kilometres outside of Yzer itself, and is visible only by some signposts bearing its name and contact number.
This quaint, yet decidedly charming, country-style deli is the quintessential Cape farm stall and roadside eatery, for not only is it found on a farm but it is also charmingly housed within a carefully renovated former barn, which has nevertheless retained an element of its rustic feel.
What’s more, in addition to its own wares (like scarves, quotes and other purchasable things) and edible goodies, Beulah Farm Deli also offers guests a busy, sweet-smelling bakery in Rosemead Artisan Bakery and Patisserie.
We wandered in first at that entrance, after crossing onto the long cement porch, where some few tables and chairs can be found, and proceeded to watch in mild fascination as the talented and ultra-capable baker began tackling the next vast, expanding mass of fresh dough.
Nearby, dotted about the working bakery, mouth-watering looking breads and pastries (prepared by his equally talented wife), rested on steel and wicker shelves, carefully lined with baking paper.
Beulah’s welcoming owner, Karen Linde, explained to us that Rosemead is efficiently run by a former employee of Stellenbosch’s most popular bakery, Schoon De Companje… He has plans to expand into Yzer itself, though Beulah Farm Deli will remain a home for his fresh wares. (Please note: Rosemead is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.)
Ciabattas, baguettes and Pasteis de Nata left us all but drooling in anticipation before we made our way into the barn’s next and main adjoining section of Beulah Farm Deli proper.
Here, visitors will also find Viviana’s Kitchen, which makes up the final section of this three-part space.
My eyes immediately took in the communal tables and chairs where guests chatted – as they tucked into an assortment of hot beverages and hearty, country-style meals – before they settled onto the delicate, yet striking Biblical Scripture verse painted in black on the floor near Beulah’s main entrance.
I already knew the story of how the deli got its name, which is why I searched for the word ‘Beulah’, a rather old-fashioned but strong name.
As the story goes, when Karen first began realising her dream of opening this now bustling, popular roadside deli, her friend called her up one day and asked if she had chosen a name yet. She hadn’t so it was particularly fitting that in Isaiah 62:4, her Amplified Bible used the word Beulah in place of the usual “married” term. In a nutshell, this powerful verse states that the Lord will not let the land be desolate any more, but instead, it shall be called Beulah and it will be owned and protected by the Lord.
This is even more fitting when you recognise the effort, sacrifices and challenges Beulah Farm Deli’s owner, Karen, has faced since its opening… and yet, as she reflects, Beulah has shown itself to be protected (and blessed) by something truly unique and precious… It is also every bit the realisation of quite literally taking a leap of faith into the unexpected.
At Beulah Farm Deli, it certainly feels as if there is something different in the way the staff act and warmly welcome and serve visitors, none less than Karen, who busily attends to each and every customer.
Despite our arrival falling firmly in the middle of what can only be described as a weekend lunchtime frenzy, Karen kindly set aside a large portion of time to chat to us after we had finished our meal (which I will elaborate on in a bit). Even so, she still made sure that every guest was well-attended too and given a friendly greeting or good-bye.
I commented on how, sadly, this kind of dedication and hospitality is scarcely found within the city’s bigger, well-known spots where very often, the general consensus among diners is that good, friendly service is an afterthought (if you’re lucky…). It was not only hugely refreshing to us but also really wonderful to experience this kind of marked difference first-hand. It was clear to me after just a few minutes here why Beulah Farm Deli has such a consistently good rating on TripAdvisor.
Another amazing thing that you definitely won’t find in big cities is that Karen lends books from her bookcase out to visitors – and not only do they often return (and sometimes even bring new friends with them) but she has also relied on a system of trust when card users need to pay but the electricity or signal is down. She explained how she gives visitors her bank details and not once has she ever had someone not get home from their travels and pay her… This revelation quite literally gave me goose bumps.
Beulah Farm Deli works on faith, love and loyalty and it shows in Karen’s living testaments and the place’s overall atmosphere. Staff serve you with a ready smile and a greeting, irrespective of what you order or who you are. It’s the kind of congenial hospitality we grew up with in our hometown of Montagu. (Even now, when I go home and visit my parents, I always find myself chatting conversationally to cashiers and shop assistants.)
The deli has an adorable little coffee bar, which also has a few pretty sale items tucked alongside it, so naturally, my man and I both started off our visit with a coffee: having an Americano and cappuccino respectively; we both rated our drink 9/10. I still insist it is one of the best cappuccinos I have had in ages! A perfect blend of strong, yet delicious coffee. These were served in gorgeous, dainty bone china cups and saucers, and were reasonably priced, with the cappuccino priced at R20 and the Americano at R18.
Nearby to the coffee counter, along with comfy couches, you will also find a fire roaring warmly during colder months. (Although it was tempting to sit near it, we opted instead for one of the communal tables, which we shared with a family of four.)
After our yummy coffees, we were ready to order something to eat from Viviana’s Gourmet Kitchen (located at the back of the sizeable barn). There is an additional blackboard showcasing a few options near the coffee counter but the simple menus were easier for me to read off.
For breakfast, you can order the likes of toasted banana fritters (with bacon, brie and maple syrup), West Coast eggs (poached or scrambled) and bacon on toast, a mini omelette and more. (All the breakfast choices sound scrumptious.)
Hearty lunch options include: a selection of pizzas, cream of butternut soup (with homemade bread), West Coast fish cakes, smoked pulled pork, wraps, as well as quiches and pies, served with either garden salad or potato wedges. Prices are between R45-90 and the portions are good.
Other menu options include desserts – like tangy lemon meringue or chocolate brownies with homemade ice-cream – and additional extras you can add onto your meals, such as bacon or sauces.
It was a difficult call but in the end, we opted for the following two lunches: spinach, feta and pepper dew quiche, with potato wedges and tomato sauce – and the chicken pie (again with potato wedges and tomato sauce). Both meals are priced at R60 and were attractively plated with some colourful garnishing.
They were enjoyable and served piping hot. The pastry was quite unusual and is perhaps a softer, more buttery country-style approach but the fillings were tasty, and we both enjoyed our light golden wedges too. We both enjoyed our picks and rated them equally at 7/10, but it was my cappuccino that personally made the greatest impression on me.
The service and staff at Beulah Farm Deli, Viviana’s Kitchen and Rosemead Bakery are all solidly welcoming and friendly and have clearly been well-picked by Karen to represent her establishment.
Beulah Farm Deli also believes in supporting primarily small, local suppliers but disregards trendy catchphrases – which dog food circles these days – like “organic” or “free range” – this is just good, ol’ fashioned farm and country produce… Which is shown not only in the wholesome offerings (they do still offer modern take-away coffee, though!) and purchasable home wares but in the warm hospitality, which visitors feeling like old friends.
Karen, in particular, offers a natural, helpful approach and service to her customers and pours a lot of her time and effort into Beulah Farm Deli. Her family resides in Stellenbosch so she sacrifices spending a lot of time with them to run the deli, though she does take Mondays off as the day of rest. (Please note: On Mondays, Beulah Farm Deli is closed.)
After we had bought a sweet-smelling, still warm ciabatta loaf (which was soft and delicious even a day later) and paid for it at the till (which caters to all three, on-site business operations), we were back on the road again, feeling like we’d already enjoyed a truly special start to our short and sweet West Coast visit… with a mind to return again soon! (In fact, we did the very next day!)
Thank you very much to Beulah Farm Deli, Karen Linde and staff for ensuring a memorable visit, as well as to Beulah Farm Deli, Viviana’s Kitchen and Rosemead Bakery collectively for their wonderful service, tasty offerings and delightful country vibes.
Beulah Farm Deli is open on Tuesday – Sunday, from 8:00am – 16:00pm.
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