Ideal Throwback Thursday story. Zelda Furstenburg of Lanzerac asked me what the cheese lunches cost when I was manager there in the 1970s. I actually don’t remember what they cost then. I do remember going to work at Lanzerac in 1966 and the Cheese Lunch which was served in the Tent Bar was 95 cents.
Each day we had hot soup, served in a copper pot over a flame. There had to be 20 cheeses, 6 different kinds of cheese biscuits, a loaf of Lanzerac Brown Bread made with Nuttiwheat Flour which was ground by the Haldenwang Family in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch. The recipe came from Mrs Huberte Rupert, her husband Dr Anton Rupert, a frequent guest at Lanzerac. There was a salad, pickled onions, green figs, watermelon preserve and chicken liver paté. You were given a choice of a glass of wine, served in a 125ml Paris goblet, of Lanzerac Rosé, La Gratitude and Chateau Libertas. This was followed by coffee, served in a small after dinner cup. When Christo Wiese owned Lanzerac, they reintroduced the Cheese Lunch and sold it for R95.
The cheeses, many of which were imported, were of such a variety. I remember a lovely cheese called Mariroux which we served with honey. Mr and Mr von Wechmar, an enchanting old German couple owned Wechmarshof, a cheese factory in the Banhoek Valley. They made Brie, Camembert and a cream cheese called Quark.
I spent 6 years at Lanzerac working for the legendary David Rawdon and they were happy times. I met some wonderful people, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, Jean Shrimpton, Stefan Grapelli, and all manner of Stellenbosch academics including the great Afrikaans poets and writers like van Wyk Louw, Opperman and Rosa Nepgen, and composers. Danie Craven and his dog Bliksem were frequent visitors and he would sit the dog outside the front door by one of the big whitewashed lions and he would sit there while a long lasting boozy lunch took place inside. Paul Sauer used to come and sit on the stoep and drink a bottle of Tassenberg with his wife.
Hermanus Anthony worked as Barman at Lanzerac when I got there in 1966. He is still there, and must surely be the longest working barman in a top hotel in the country.
Here is a lovely picture of him and me taken recently. We knew him as Manie.
Lanzerac today is well worth a visit.