A strictly South African delight: Muisbosskerm (Mouse-bush-hedge)
We were in Lamberts Bay for a few days to see the gannet colony and just to rest by the ocean. Bruce had heard about Muisbosskerm from a fellow bon vivre, so we decided to phone and see if they were open for a traditional West Coast fish braai (barbecue). The next evening, we were careening down a dirt road in our sister Laura's old Golf (Shhh! Don't tell her!).
Soon, we could see a big brown hedge behind the sand dunes. The sun was already low and we were in urgent need of food and drink after a full day of exploration, so we accelerated even more in the old Golf making a big cloud of dust behind us. As we neared, we saw a clutch of SUVs seemingly parked in the middle of nowhere. We stopped next to one. As we got out of the car, we could hear the chatter of happy voices and see a puff of smoke rising from inside the high hedge of thorny mousebush. Inside, a fantastic view of the Southern Atlantic and the smell of snoek greeted us.
As we were ravenously hungry, we didn't remember to take a photo of the view. We have therefore borrowed the photo above from the official Muisbosskerm website. It looks rather lonely in the photo but in reality, we were surrounded by a big crowd of happy and loud Afrikaans-speaking locals.
As the sun sank into the ocean, we happily sank into the local wines of Swartland.
The cooking was being done not in a separate kitchen away from the patrons' eyes, but right in the middle of the restaurant. Soon we were being offered beautifully braaied snoek, tuna, crayfish, prawns and calamari -- all fresh from the ocean. It was impossible to choose!
Once the seafood had been served, pots of traditional boere coffee with condensed milk went on the coals.
Mmm, what a great way to finish a fish braai in an open-air restaurant surrounded by mousebush right by the ocean!