All posts by JamesFouche

Crime author and travel writer from the Garden Route of South Africa. Owner of Polvo Coffee in Knysna. Wine lover. Daddy.


There are 2 routes to travel between Cape Town and the Eastern Cape. One is with the N2 national road. The never-ending stretch of tar accommodates many trucks, taxis and other nervous motorists. It’s not the most scenic trip, either. At times, the ocean is visible in the distance. Other times, there are hours of bland countryside, not a soul in sight.

The other route is with Route 62, otherwise known as the wine route. The R62 takes the traveller through the Langeberg region, the heart of the Western Cape winelands. It snakes along scenic countryside with breath-taking mountain ranges, through beautiful towns like Bonnievale, Robertson, Ashton, Montagu and Swellendam. Within the Robertson Wine Valley there is a fine network of roads linking to all the wine estates. Why people opt to take the other route is beyond me.

Every year the Wacky Wine festival calls all the attention to the region. This year the event runs from 6 – 8 June 2014. Most of the wine enthusiasts find themselves drawn there, and rightfully so. There is so much to do for the whole family. Whether going from estate to estate for wine tastings, enjoying the local cuisine, braving the many outdoor activities on offer, or engaging with the locals, it is easy to lose oneself.

For the next month or so I will do a series of blog posts about what an author gets up to at the Wacky Wine Weekend festival. I will be in the area for the duration to review some of the restaurants and guest houses. I will also critique the finest SA wines, try out a much-anticipated spa treatment, attend a speciality coffee tasting, do a bit of hiking, and much more

There will be competitions for readers, with great prizes up for grabs, so watch this space. Next blog post will be very soon…




Coffee and the cult

Hoping to finish my next book, I took a trip to Cape Town. I was looking for places that would boost or at least aid the writing process. By means of a twitter pole, locals began recommending worthy venues. Soon my trip became a mission. 10 coffee shops in 10 days. Here was what I thought of my favourite spot.

Truth Coffee Cult (Buitenkant Str, Cape Town) twitter: @TRUTHcoffee


The mother of all inspiration, and by far my most productive stop in Cape Town. Truth Coffee Cult has managed to blend the fascination of the early industrial age with a childlike sense of adventure. It felt as though I was boarding the Nautilus (Captain Nemo’s vessel in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea) or stepping into The Time Traveller’s laboratory (as described by HG Wells in The Time Machine). I was transported to another place, where every sensation and every emotion could be scrutinised and documented in detail. It was steroids for the imagination. All the furniture and accessories that made up the decór, had been purposely added to the collective whole to baffle the mind. And then, the coffee…


For a change I ordered the Café Mocha, a drink I am most critical about. It was superb! Being able to drink a Mocha without sugar and without milk, is a tricky thing to accomplish. If the chocolate element is too creamy, one is inclined to add sugar and if it is too sweet, one is inclined to add milk. If the combination is done to perfection, the intensity of the coffee grabs hold of you, and the intricacy of the dark chocolate lingers on the palate long after the cup has gone. This was all I needed to plough through my writing work. Well done to the baristas! You are artists, all of you. I have even decided to mention Truth Coffee Cult in my next book. How could I resist?

At Truth Coffee in Cape Town with my wife, Marlene.
At Truth Coffee in Cape Town with my wife, Marlene.

It is very stra…

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon it says, “Work!” After beefsteak and porter, it says, “Sleep!” After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don’t let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain, “Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity! – JEROME K JEROME

This quote by Jerome K Jerome describes how I wish to proceed with this venture. I wish to focus mainly on food, drink and merriment. The first couple of posts will be introductory posts, just me settling in.

I am open to suggestions in line with the themes mentioned. If there is a wine, a venue or a particular feature you would like to see here, then let me know. Companies wishing to market themselves or to be reviewed here, can do the same.

So, until the time comes when we will be denied anything enjoyable and wholesome, let us cling to every second, passionately.