This week: Village Trading Post, De Rust.
Join me on this caffeine journey where I will share some of my favourite coffee shops and coffee spots in Port Elizabeth (and sometimes – like right now – elsewhere) because let’s be honest, everything gets better with coffee.
Take a Coffee Break in De Rust at Village Trading Post
The Village Trading Post is a restaurant-bar-kuierplek-gallery-shop that runs on passion, love, art, nostalgia, good coffee and hearty meals; it’s a place of serendipity and stories, a corner puzzle piece in your De Rust visit.
The Village Trading Post is not a new discovery for me (even though it feels like you always see something new and quirky with every visit), I’ve visited before, a few times actually…
Many years ago – when I did a road trip with a friend that took us from Port Elizabeth to Steytlerville, to Willowmore, to Uniondale, to Oudtshoorn, to Wilderness and lastly Storms River Mouth, we stopped for a quick coffee at the Village Trading Post.
Why we stopped at this exact spot for coffee is still a mystery, it might have been the rooster on the corner of the street, it might have been a drop in the serendipitous bucket, the beginning – the scratching of the surface – of my dance with De Rust.
We had our coffee (and I think cake) in the corner table in the courtyard known as Frida’s corner because of the Frida Kahlo art on the wall, and every time I drive through De Rust, that’s where I stop for coffee, and every time that’s where I sit for coffee.
As the years have past, my coffee stop turned into a coffee-and-onion-marmalade-stop after my parents had a breakfast there en route to somewhere else; they raved about the onion marmalade and it was love at first bite. I always make sure I have at least one jar in the fridge, and one in the cupboard, it is a great addition to salads, snack platters, sandwiches or pizza.
What makes the Village Trading Post such a unique place is the tangible love and passion that is poured into every corner, plate, glass, cup, nook and cranny by Niekie Eksteen and Soan Jacobs. In 2007 the two, a chef and jewellery maker, waved Pretoria adieu, moved to De Rust and with a restaurant, a shop in the back and accommodation on offer, the rest is history.
Nowadays, 12 years later and counting, people from all over make this a halfway and a ‘kuier’ stop, and you can’t blame anyone for coming back again and again. Here at the Village Trading Post they are always ready for a ‘geselsie‘, the smiles of Niekie, Soan and every staff member can light up the world, it makes it feel like home, as if you are visiting family, their eyes glitter, it sparkle with love – genuine love – and you want to take a piece of the warm embrace home with you, you want to put it in your bag and hold it close to your heart, you want to put it on display and fold it snugly in a napkin to keep the dust away.
There is something special here in De Rust and at the Village Trading Post, something deeper, something serendipitous. And I always knew it, but it took me six visits and more than half a dozen of jars of onion marmalade to stay over, to slow down and stay in De Rust, to begin to scratch the surface of this precious rare Karoo pearl. There is something special here in De Rust and at the Village Trading Post, something deeper, something serendipitous and I know, there is something more to explore.
If you stumble upon a rooster in De Rust, just know that you are at the right place. Go for the coffee (it starts at R20 for an Americano), have cake, eat a meal and take home a jar of onion marmalade, but make sure you go back and stay for the stories.
On Sundays there is a buffet-and-weigh lunch (starting at R20) from 11:00 to 14:00 with a variety of dishes.
Want to visit? Village Trading Post Details
Coffee-meter: You can’t go wrong with a lekker strong Lavazza.
Address: 29 Schoeman Street, De Rust.
Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 to 15:00, and on Wednesdays from 18:00 to 21:00.
PS: Besides a big rooster, there is also a pink elephant in De Rust standing in front of Herrie se Plek which is the only restaurant (I know of) that is open every day until either 21:00 or 22:00.
Want more coffee?
And there is also a coffee experience in Johannesburg: