Happy 2017! If you’re back at work, I hope this post can provide you with a little break from reality, and if you’re still on holiday, then lucky, lucky, lucky you. Festive season for peeps in the hospitality business means work every day, family and friends having to see sneak bits of us when they can, and saying no to lots of fun invitations that involve driving anywhere out of a 15km radius from work. When my little brother was visiting however, I couldn’t waste the opportunity to get out of town for a tiny road trip to Hermanus, and of course, to eat at ELL269 – Norah Hudson’s new little plant-based eatery in the centre of town (in the Carriages Building, to be precise, right opposite the road from the entrance to Woolworths).
Immediately we were struck by the aesthetics of the place – my brother declaring it, in only the way he can, “very trendy”. It’s clean, calm, simple and fresh with charming touches like beautiful wooden sculptures of farm animals, as well as seating made out of wooden crates. I first met Norah and her daughter when they were eating at Nomad. Well, actually, I kinda introduced myself! I had heard via the vegan grapevine of this wonderful lady introducing delicious vegan meals to the menu at ELL at Spookfontein in Hermanus and I just had to meet her. Norah is as lovely as I remembered, and was quick to find us a spot and rattle off her recommendations for her favourite drinks. We went for fresh red and green juices, as well as cappuccinos made with their own homemade almond milk. The service was quick and friendly and the worst thing about the entire experience was attempting to choose what we wanted to eat! I settled on an Oriental Surprise box, filled with spring rolls, rice paper rolls, vegetable sushi and mushroom dim sum, while Chris went with the spicy faux chicken burger and sweet potato chips. I think the box must be the most popular dish, as I saw so many going out – and I soon could see why! It was delicious – light and tasty, but also healthy and filling – the perfect meal for summer – and to allow me room for a dessert (who am I kidding? I would’ve ordered one anyway!). I treated myself to the yummiest pavlova and Chris wolfed down his chocolate mousse, a very happy grunt escaping from his general facial area now and then.
When I say I didn’t want to leave ELL269… I’m not joking. There is such a lovely, relaxed and gentle vibe about the place that I could have sat there all day, ordering various items off the menu as the hours went by. I couldn’t wait to go back! And so I did. Yesterday with the whole family! And it was, once again, so good! Highly recommended that you support this lovely spot if you’re in Hermanus – and if you’re not, head on out for a day trip. You won’t regret it, I promise.
Follow ELL269 on Facebook and Instagram. Copies of my guide, A Guide for Wildflowers, are now available at Ell269 and profits will go to the Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary, so be sure to pick up a copy if you’re there! love x