I have lived in Jo’burg for 13 years now, and have never really gelled with the place, my impression will always be of cold, hard, sharp edges, a half-starved model who shuns embrace. I am a Natal girl at heart and always will be, sweet Natal ever soft and warm. Still a day like today softens my perceptions and leaves me happy to be here. Ludwig’s Rose Farm is an 80km drive from our home in Boksburg and well worth the trip. The first flush of Spring blooms is in the 1st week of October and the display is absolutely breathtaking. It’s hard to absorb so much colour and scent. There can’t be a rose available in South Africa which can’t be found here, in fact most probably come from the farm. I find the rose names quite fascinating, no matter how pretty I could simply never buy a ‘Steve Hofmeyer‘ or ‘Patricia Lewis‘, ewwww! There is a ‘Leigh Matthews‘ which is poignantly sad but also a very special way for her to be remembered. At home we have a ‘Joseph’s Coat’ climbing rose (bought on a previous visit to Ludwig’s) which lives up to its name.
I LOVE outdoor restaurants and the ‘Spiced Coffee Restaurant’ is one of the best around. Sadly I didn’t have space after lunch to fit in a cake or treat, next time I must remedy this. Another draw card for us is a good play area, the wonderful play ground is one of very few where the whole area is grassed.
We didn’t buy any rose bushes this time but I made some very yummy purchases. I have been using a synthetic ‘Rose essence’ in baking which I bought at a baking store, I was delighted to find a bottle of Kuhestan ‘organic rose extract concentrate’. At home I opened both and sniffed each, suddenly the synthetic one hardly smells of roses (and has subsequently been binned). When we were in Magoebaskloof a few years ago we bought a bottle of Kuhestan Rose cordial which was delicious. My other purchases were all manufactured by Ludwig’s and I’m very excited to try them out.
Cheerio, I’m off to make some Rose Essence icing for vanilla cupcakes, anyone for tea, a rose milkshake or soda with Rose syrup?