I’m sure I’m not the only one who misses dashing out of the office to meet a friend for a coffee or a quick lunch, or enjoying a solitary sundowner at the waterfront after work, or a leisurely meal in our valley with fine wine. I still marvel at how I used to take those treats for granted – and how long ago and far away it all seems now.

Megan McEwan and Justin Dods of Tulip Coffee Roasters, Rickey Broekhoven of Maillard & Co and Victoria Young-Pugh of Victoria’s Pantry have joined forces to create the Hope Street Market. PHOTO: Taylum Meyer

Having grown accustomed to a pristine kitchen (because I used it so seldom), it was quite an adjustment to have my grown-up (but still studying) children living with me again during the lockdown. Suddenly there were meals to be prepared every day and even though the burden was split three-ways, the kitchen seemed to be in a permanent state of total devastation.

Huge was my relief when restaurants were permitted to deliver food again, and I placed my orders with the added pleasure of knowing that I’m supporting a few local businesses, albeit in a very small way. The enthusiasm with which chefs and restauranteurs prepared and delivered the food – more often than not in person – was truly heart-warming. And when they started supplying alcohol, too, well, what more could a woman want? No standing in liquor store queues for me, thank you very much.

Two of the most impressive dishes on the Creation Cocoon Menu: 1) the Confit Duck. PHOTOS: Creation Wines

One experience that I simply have to mention is the Creation Cocoon Menu, which offers delectable options such as Bouillabaisse with crayfish and abalone served with crispy olive ciabatta; Honey-glazed Pork Belly with mustard mash, apple and pickled onions; Confit Duck with burnt sage gnocchi and roasted winter root vegetables; and a Compressed Apple dessert with caramelised white chocolate and almond cream. Honestly, it was fine dining at its best – in the comfort of your own home (except that there were still dirty dishes at the end of it all!). But the quality of the food and the attention to detail was simply mind-blowing.

2) Compressed Apple dessert. PHOTOS: Creation Wines

So if you are longing to have a really special dining experience during this time of no-eating-out, do yourself a favour and check out the Creation Cocoon menu on their website, or go straight to shop.creationwines.com to order both your meal and wine. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

And for those who are missing the Hermanus Country Market on a Saturday morning, why not pop into the new Hope Street Market at Tulip Coffee Bar? You’ll find many of your favourite market items right there on the corner of Hope and Dirkie Uys Streets. Here Justin Dods, the owner of Tulip Coffee Roasters, has teamed up with Victoria Young-Pugh of Victoria’s Pantry and chef Rickey Broekhoven of Maillard & Co to bring together the best coffee, freshly-baked bread, cakes and rusks, cooked take-home meals, fresh produce and farm eggs, dry goods, jams and sauces, olive oil, honey, dried fruits, nuts and chocolates… you name it!

“It just made sense for us to pool our talents and resources and do this together,” says Justin. “It also means we can share costs instead of all paying our own rent and overheads.” With this initiative Justin is also sustaining 15 informal businesses who can no longer peddle their goods at the market but have found a new home at the Hope Street Market. So among the many edible delights on offer, you’ll also find clothing, bags, leather products, jewellery, fresh flowers and bird feeders. This group of young, energetic entrepreneurs are so worthy of local support – make sure you pay them a visit the next time you’re in town.

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