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South Africa: Cheese lovers fall in love again

After watching a vermilion spring sun rise over whales lolling in Plettenberg Bay, my husband and I fell in love again over an unforgettable lunch at Fynboshoek Cheese, near Tsitsikamma (27-42-280-3879). Located a pleasant hour's drive east of "Plett," Fynboshoek Cheese offers no menu, only the young owners' impeccable goat and cow cheeses, made on the farm, plus gorgeous salads fresh from the garden and excellent wine. You must call to make reservations, because seating is limited to only 20, and driving directions are essential: You won't find the farm on your GPS, a fact that becomes a charming part of the whole experience. After steering down a bumpy dirt road between idyllic pastures of grazing dairy cattle, you arrive at an even bumpier lane, shaded by a dense canopy of old trees. You feel as if you're being swallowed up by nature…until you round a corner and the landscape bursts open upon a sun-washed farmhouse, surrounded by lovely vegetable and flower gardens and overlooking a cerulean lake. On the day of our arrival, the air was crisp, so we had a glass of cabernet on the back terrace and then took our lunch in the sunroom, near a crackling fire from the potbelly stove. After a small cheese-crisp appetizer, we delighted in a bowl full of leafy garden greens topped with Parmesan slivers. Then came a caprese—and, oh my, was that mozzarella fresh and those tomatoes ruby-ripe! The "main course" was a generous sampling of fresh and aged goat cheeses made from the farm's livestock, plus a wide variety of cow cheeses also made on the farm but from a neighbor's milk stock. I confess that I am a goat cheese aficionada, so every bite made me moan with pleasure. It was one of the best dining experiences of our well-traveled lives. Fynboshoek Cheese invited us to slow down, relax, and enjoy the richness that comes from simple perfection—all for a shockingly low price: R70 (about $7).
—Debra Di Blasi, Kansas City, Missouri

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