A trip to Stanford is never complete without a pilgrimage to Marianna’s Bistro.

Sunday was no exception. The first weekend after the long winter close.

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The Mother and Daughter – the morning after (checking for left overs).

We were greeted by a slimmer and more relaxed Marianna and her newly shaved Pieter. Soentjies en drukkies all round – and in the case of Pieter, it’s boys on the lips!!

The Stanford farmers are bottling a not too shabby rose these days and gazing over at the Kleinrivier mountains from the stoep is probably as close to the Luberon as you can get.

The menu has evolved. From starters of asparagus and beans to souffles and artichoke soup. However, its down there amongst the mains that the real magic has happened. A Springbok ragu was pronounced ‘amazing’, the trout ‘exceptional’, the skaap en dinge (lamb shanks to the unitiated) ‘up to standard’ and the famous Chicken Pie has just got – well, more famous. Crammed full of flavoursome chicken and light pastry, there is only one solution: a two-pie option. One is never enough and when you smother it with Marianna’s atchar………….

rumours abound in the big Cape village that Marianna is about to write a recipe book divulging all her secrets – even the atchar recipe. Maybe the chicken pie, too?

Now, if we could only get the two of them to transform the hoenderhok into a sales outlet for the olives, preserves etc!

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[It’s not bad when the waiter takes your order sitting down at your table]

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[You need this warning after the chicken pie, believe me]

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[You know the food service is over and the hosts have started to drink when Em arrived through the garden fence]

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[An opportunity waiting to happen – imagine the hoenderhok? Think of Healesville Hotel, Maison Gouin, guys]

Totsiens – tot later

Lovonne and Simon

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