One of the first hikes Lou and I checked out when we moved to PE was the Sacramento Trail. The trail lies within the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve between Schoenmakerskop (Schoenies) and Sardinia Bay. It's a nice, easy trail just minutes from our house on the Sardinia Bay side, and has become a relaxing way for us to spend a weekend morning/early afternoon. We take our time starting at the Sardinia Bay parking lot and trek across the ridge to Schoenies. On the return trip we usually take the beach route to enjoy the sand, surf, and the coves surrounded by rocky outcroppings. The entire outing takes us about three hours. On the hike we have with us fruit, trail mix and water but by the time we arrive back at our point of origin I feel like sitting and having something a little more substantial. Now, if you start the trail at Schoenies, you can have post-hike refreshments at Sacramento (see June, 2011 post) which is just a stone's throw from the trail head. On the Sardinia Bay side, however, there's only a small concession stand in the parking lot.
A brand new place has recently sprung up, though, only a few minutes' drive from Sardinia Bay beach. Grass Roof Farm Stall and Coffee Shop, located on the corner of Seaview and Heron Roads in Sardinia Bay, opened for business at the beginning of August. The first thing I noticed as I entered the grounds of Grass Roof is that there's really grass growing on the roof of this new building! When I asked owner Nicky Charlewood about how she came up with the idea and, hence, the name, she said she wanted something new and different and it just came to her. The grass roof is so cool and it ended up being a conversation topic amongst the Crawlers on Thursday. We all wondered about the upkeep of the roof....watering, cutting, weeding. Then, lo and behold, during the Crawl we got front row seat viewing of how they go about watering the roof. As far as cutting goes, Nicky told me that the gardener just gets on the roof with a weed whacker every now and then.
|Meet the Manager and the Owner|
Simba and Nicky
|The roof needs watering!|
The second thing I noticed about Grass Roof was how sparkling clean the farm stall and coffee shop are and how extraordinarily friendly the staff is. Manager, Simba, was so helpful in showing us everything that the farm stall and bakery have to offer and pointing us in the direction of the coffee shop. The whole complex is way bigger than it appears to be from the road. The coffee shop seats sixty people inside and at least that many outside on the terrace and on the lawn. There is a kids' play area on the premises which makes for a wonderful setting for a Moms/tots play group.
The Grass Roof menu includes breakfast, lunch and daily bakery specials all made on-site. Illy brand coffee is served up by Barista Robert. Other beverages include a variety of teas, shakes and cold drinks. Grass Roof hours are Tues-Sun, 8-5; closed on Monday. Lou and I will definitely be stopping by after our next hike on the Sacramento Trail.
|My cappuccino made with lots of love|
|Meet the Barista|
Crawlers, Gail Darne, Stella and Beryl Dawson, Beth Vieira, Fran and Keith de Beer, June and Cayle Nash, Leanne and Luke Waller, Margaret and Arthur Marshall, Lee Rodwell, Nicolette Hijmans, started off Thursday morning by browsing through the farm stall/bakery and making purchases. Once seated with our coffee and tea served, we all faced a most difficult decision....which of the luscious cakes to order. Many of us remembered that when the Crawl started back a few years ago there was the unofficial No-Food-On-The-Crawl-Rule which we all agreed went out the window when my son, Jeff, came to visit. I guess we can blame him for any weight we've gained along the way. I have to say that Thursday's choice was one of the hardest for me of all the Crawls to date since each of the freshly baked desserts looked equally tantalizing. I ended up getting the Chocolate Eclair Cake which I now highly recommend.
|This Week's Crawlers|
Beryl, Lee, Nicolette, Margaret, Arthur,
Gail, Beth, June, Cayle, Fran, Stella, Leanne, Luke
not pictured - Keith
|Yummy Chocolate Eclair Cake|
|Scones and Tea anyone?|
While waiting for our cakes to be served we talked about the upcoming International Food Night. I have been asked yet again to bake numerous "American Apple Pies." They are usually quite a hit. Only one problem.... Thanksgiving falls shortly after the Food Festival and I'm running low on Crisco. Unfortunately, I don't have enough to make pies for both occasions. What a conundrum I'm facing. Guess I'll just have to pick the brains of the amazing bakery chefs at Grass Roof for alternate crust making methods! Any suggestions from readers for making flaky pie crust sans Crisco is also welcomed....drop me a comment!
~Thank you to Nicky and the Grass Roof staff
Until next week,