As the Western Cape enters the waterblommetjie season, one can see pickers harvesting this indigenous flower that thrives in shallow ponds from June to September.
The waterblommetjie, or Aponogeton distachyos, holds a special place in South Africans’ hearts thanks to its culinary and cultural heritage, including a long history of use by the Khoikhoi, who valued it both as a medicinal herb and a nutritious food source.
This year, Windmeul Cellar and Rhebokskloof in the charming Boland town of Paarl have united their efforts to showcase this seasonal delicacy during the eagerly anticipated Waterblommetjie Festival on Saturday, September 2.
Conveniently located less than 5km apart, both venues promise an array of family-friendly activities and a tantalising assortment of waterblommetjie dishes.
At Rhebokskloof, visitors will have the chance to indulge in great waterblommetjie dishes perfectly complemented by award-winning wines. The atmosphere will be vibrant with live entertainment to ensure a delightful experience for all.
Families can revel in the green lawns and breathtaking views while kids enjoy jungle gyms, jumping castles, and water slides. Meanwhile, the adults can indulge in the various waterblommetjie creations paired with a glass of fine wine.
At Windmeul, the customary potjiekos competition awaits participants with exciting prizes up for grabs in both traditional and non-traditional categories, as well as the best stand award.
The entry fee of R200 per pot includes a bottle of Windmeul wine, 1kg waterblommetjies, wood and braai drum. The competition promises a thrilling cook-off where aspiring chefs vie for the coveted title and the bragging rights as the overall winner.
Entries to the competition close on August 25. To register and find out more details, reach out to [email protected].
Coinciding with the Waterblommetjie Festival, the monthly Windmeul farmers’ market offers visitors an opportunity to stock up on fresh local produce, including locally grown waterblommetjies.
Moreover, an exclusive waterblommetjies and wine pairing session, featuring the cellarmaster Danie Marais’s original waterblommetjies recipe, awaits the curious connoisseurs.
To accommodate families, a dedicated play area with a jungle gym will keep the young ones entertained, while live music performed by Ruan Theron and Wynand Windpomp will add a musical touch to the festivities.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Run the Vines trail run at Windmeul provides the perfect prelude to treat your taste buds to delectable waterblommetjies.
With various distances to choose from – 3km for juniors, 5km, 10km and 17km – the trail run caters to all fitness levels and interests.
The starting times are set between 8am and 8.45am, and online entries are available at different prices ranging from R80 to R180, depending on the chosen distance.
Free entry to the venues can be secured with the donation of one tin of canned food per person. The cans will go towards the official festival charity, Athlone House of Strength, a shelter for abused women and children in Paarl.