Festival showcases indigenous delicacy

The annual Waterblommetjie Festival in Paarl takes place on Saturday September 2, from 9am until 4pm, and visitors can expect a day filled with wines, live entertainment and this much-loved local culinary delight.

The waterblommetjie – little water lily – is one of South Africa’s most popular foods and can only be harvested from dams in the Boland region during winter.

These little flowers will be the culinary stars of the day and will be served in several ways ranging from traditional potjiekos, stews, pastas, pizzas and even ice cream.

This year, the festival has expanded to include four Paarl wine producers located within a five kilometre radius.

Each participating venue will present its own programme and the close proximity ensures easy access to allow visitors to experience the offerings at Boland Cellar, Rhebokskloof, Under Oaks and Windmeul Cellar.

Boland Cellar will be offering waterblommetjie tapas, a pop-up shop with waterblommetjie-inspired arts and crafts, childrens’ entertainment, henna tattoos and wine promotions.

Food editor Vickie de Beer and food blogger, The Food Fox, will host a food theatre from 12 noon until 2pm.

Space is limited and bookings are essential. Tickets cost R250 each. Local artist Ivan van der Merwe will be performing from 10am.

Activities for younger visitors will be a big draw card at Rhebokskloof.

The latest addition to its programme is a Super Hero Adventure Race, where participants can tackle the obstacle course dressed as their favourite super heroes.

Register at Hero Adventures on the farm on Friday, September 1, between 3pm and 5pm. Entry costs R30 for children aged 6 to 12, while tweens over 13 pay R60.

Entry is free for toddlers and children under five.

Other activities include face painting, pony rides, jumping castles and Zorbing. Adults can enjoy live music and food offerings at the pop-deli, including waterblommetjie ice cream and stews as well as oysters and bubbly.

Wine lovers can join Shiraz tastings and take advantage of the many wine specials – open from 8am to 5pm.

At Under Oaks, waterblommetjies can be tasted in muffins, pastas and even as a pizza topping.

Herman Lensing, editor of Sarie Kos, will share his cooking tips during food demonstrations at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Savour the special Waterblommetjie and Wine pairing at R100 each or join winemaker Bertus Fourie for his entertaining and informative wine theatre in the private cellar at R150 each.

Stock and seating are limited, so pre-bookings are essential.

Windmeul Cellar will be serving a farm breakfast for the early birds. Visit the farmers’ market for fresh local produce and home-made treats.

Enter the 5km or 10km Run the Vines trail run, while children can have fun on the jumping castle or in the designated play area.

The winemaking team will present a tasting session featuring a Windmeul wine with a waterblommetjie dish between 10am and 12 noon as long as stocks last.

Watch the experts in action during a potjiekos competition and stock up on some fresh waterblommetjies to try your own recipe at home.

Artists Wouter van de Venter and Die Wildberries will provide live musical entertainment. Open from 8am to 4pm.

The Haven Night Shelter in Paarl is the official festival charity and festival goers can obtain entry to all four venues by donating one tin of canned food per vehicle.

Collect a stamp from all four participants in the festival passport to qualify for prizes such as gift vouchers and product hampers.

For more information or to book for tastings and demonstrations, contact the individual participants:

Boland Cellar at 021 872 1766;

Rhebokskloof at 021 869 8386;

Under Oaks at 021 869 8045; or

Windmeul at 021 869 8100.