Girl wants Diamonds, Man wants Beer!

Braai day rolled in, overcast, drizzly, but luckily on a Saturday.

In anticipation of the actual event we took a drive to Cullinan, where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905.

Now we weren’t expecting on coming across any diamond at all (though the opportunity for early retirement wouldn’t have been so bad), but instead were hoping to stumble across a couple of gems in the eating department.

So after a 30 minute drive east on the N4 out of Pretoria, and by some small miracle taking the correct off ramp, we managed to find our way to Oak Avenue, what appeared to be the main street running through Cullinan.

A quiet, and very wet Oak Avenue

An interesting collection of shops and restaurants awaited us at the end of Oak Avenue, right before the entrance to the Cullinan Diamond Mine. Amongst these were As Greek As It Gets (to be tried on a future visit), Rust in White, and the Cockpit Brewhouse.

After a slight bit of overspending at Rust in White, selling everything from traditional camping coffee mugs, to natural soaps made from things which probably shouldn’t really be in soap (Rooibos, Cranberry and other flavours I have never even heard about – I even consider Dove to be a luxury), to antique sewing machines to rusted spades. But if you care to spend the time here, there are a few good finds to be had.

We quickly made our way down to The Cockpit Brewhouse, a craft brewer nestled near the end of the street (silly brewery thought it could hide away from me!).

Apparently the resemblance to an aeroplane tail is on purpose.

The brewery has 6 beers on tap, or to take away in 500ml growlers. These range from a very commercial lager style “Helles Belles” to other, more traditional, strong stouts.

Ranked in my order of preference, 1 being my favorite:

1. Mustang American Pale Ale (I ended up taking 2 growlers away with me)

2. Fokker Weiss, a hefeweizen beer (Not normally a Weiss fan, but ended up with another 2 growlers of this)

3. Spitfire English Pale Ale

4. Helles Bells

5. Black Widow Porter

6. A stout beer, whose name escapes me at the moment, but mostly because after already finishing 5 beers, anything was tasting good!

The contents of my bag of goodies!

This place was a real find, it also offers food, but we had already made plans for lunch, so had to skip it this time (I was also looking for any excuse to come back here to restock). There is a traditional bar inside, which is where I would suggest you sit, due to its proximity to the taps.

The brewery also offers ciders, however as these come from Clarens in the Free State, we thought to save them for a future planned trip. But also I’m just not that in to Chick drinks.

It was then just a quick drive up the road to the Sir Thomas Restaurant for some lunch. The restaurant is normally jam-packed full of bikers, but was relatively quiet on account of the weather and the fact that bikers and breakfast runs seem to be allergic to Saturdays.

We were both craving some pizza’s, and luckily for us Sir Thomas caters for that. Now I wouldn’t go as far as calling these gourmet pizza’s, but they did satisfy the craving!

Lunch!

We shared a medium 3 Cheeses pizza (Mozzarella, Cheddar and Feta), and a Florentina (Mozzarella, Tomato, Bacon, Feta & Avo)

Turns out mediums were more than big enough for the two of us, despite having walked around most of the town. We even managed to save a few slices for breakfast the next morning. It was a welcome relief to have escaped the city prices, and it turned out to be a pretty reasonable lunch, even on the pocket.

With the Bulls – Lions rugby game swiftly approaching, we made our exit from Cullinan, heading back in to Pretoria, with our stomach’s full and our interest piqued.

The only diamond we managed to find!

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