Knysna Is Mine Oyster

Moving to the Cape has opened up a whole new set of experiences for me to drag the Photog to, taste/drink and blog about.

Not that I had to do any dragging when I mentioned the idea of the Knysna Oyster Festival. I’d never been but when the name of a festival contains one of my favourite foods, it’s guaranteed to be a good time. Before he met me the Photog wasn’t a big oyster fan, things have changed (luckily for him). So we packed up, found a kitty feeder and embarked on our first proper weekend away since the big move.

We arrived on the Friday and I was in such a state of anticipation of that first tasty mollusc that we just threw our things into our room, took a photo of our view and made our way into town.

Even though neither of us had been to Knysna before things were made super easy thanks to Tabasco, their oyster hotspots, and GPS. They compiled a great list of places serving all sorts of oyster specials, from the fancy schamcny, to the downright budget. All we had to do was look at our list and pick where we wanted to try first. I chose Harry B’s because I liked the sound of oysters done in sherry and it was just down the road from our B&B.

They had more than just oysters cooked in sherry. There was a whole array of scrumptious sounding dishes, from steak stuff with oysters to oyster stuffed calamari but we’d already booked dinner at Cafe Z in the Pezula resort so we just had some fresh oysters to get our tastebuds in the mode of the weekend and the sherry ones. I’ve never been a big fan of cooked oysters, often they’re cooked into rubbery balls of tasteleness but this was not the case with the sherried beauts. Delicious sauce and soft, juicy oysters made our first hotspot a very good one.

Dinner was Cafe Z in the stunning Pezula resort. I’d seen some good reviews of it online and happy customers tweeting about it so we booked on our way down. First stop was a good cocktail in front of a roaring fire and my exhortation to the Photog to find a way to keep me in this sort of style constantly. The thing I love about 5 star places is the service. From walking in the door, to ordering at the bar to the restaurant we felt like the most important people there; a girl could get used to that. The food was worth the trip, especially for the chocolate brownie ice cream peanut brittle mouthgasm.

Saturday started off with the Photog’s man flu taking him down for the count. Luckily I’d bought the pharmacy with me so I dosed him up and head out scouting our day’s activities. At lunchtime he felt up to continuing so we made our way to another hotspot, the Oystercatcher, for some lunchtime oyster goodness and bubbly. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten 12 oysters at a time so the level of happy was quite high at this point.

It just got better with a stop off at the Mitchell’s beer garden. Knysna is home to the Mitchell’s brewery but it was closed on the weekend so we settled for a tasting of all 8 beers. Then we needed to find warmth so we klapped another hotpsot, the Turbine hotel. It’s a really cool hotel in a power turbine. They’ve restored everything beautifully and the hotel bar feels like you’re inside a steampunk watch.

Too much fun was had and we hit the flu wall so it was an early night in our very warm room at Bradach Manor, complete with bath in the enormous tub and some champers. Sunday was the last chance for mollusc madness so I quickly slurped a couple more. Oysters before 11, another first for me.

And then it was off home with a tummy full of deliciousness and a happy pair of explorers.


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