Relax, Unwind and Tuck in at The Larder, Claremont

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5 Grove Building, Grove Avenue, Claremont

One of my all-time favourite parts of writing this blog is discovering the behind-the-scenes stories of the businesses I write about. And what inspires me the most? The sheer courage of each person who decides to follow the dream, wherever it may take them. Sonja Eldridge, the owner of today's find, is one such person; after years of working as a food stylist, private chef and author Sonja packed up her life and family and moved back to South Africa, to revitalise the on-site cafe at the behest of Block & Chisel in Diep River. The success of the original has led to a second cafe in Cavendish - read on to find out why I LOVE The Larder.

I must say that the recently opened Claremont shop is quite unassuming from the outside, and is tucked away in one of the older buildings in the area. Sonja is in the process of upgrading the outdoor eating area, but I reckon indoors is the place to be for the fun factor. We received an incredibly warm welcome into this cosy space which features cool window-seating, funky cheese grater-styled lighting and a large blackboard menu. Sonja sources her produce locally and has gathered a number of suppliers who she trusts to provide only the best free range and organic ingredients. She also takes inspiration from internationally renowned chefs and foodies and one can see that her books are well thumbed!

We decided to order lunch items due to the time of day, but I am definitely going back for the Johnny Depp breakfast - two poached eggs, three rashers of crispy bacon, roast tomatoes served on sourdough toast and topped with silky Hollandaise sauce. Apparently it is his favourite - Sonja would know this because she used to cook for the man himself!  I tucked into the delicious Gammon, Brie, Pickle and Larder Chutney sandwich (yes they also make their own range of goodies!) served on sourdough (R55) whilst my youngest devoured her generously portioned Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Lemon and Rocket open sarmie (R55). I have also heard great things about the Sausage Rolls, and there are delicious freshly baked goodies, like brownies, date balls and lemon meringue tart on display if you want something sweet, or to take away for later.

The Larder provides a haven from the bustling streets outside, and the combination of chilled vibe, great food and warm service make it hard to leave. There are plans to add pizza to the menu and Sonja would also like to open The Larder doors on select evenings during the week.

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by Philippa McRae
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by Phil

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