South Africa: Retro and Cool Brews, Brandy and Milkshakes At the Gateway to the Klein Karoo


Barrydale is affectionately known as a drinking town with a farming problem, but there are some gems tucked away in the Karoo dorpie.

Barrydale is a deceptive little place. I've been visiting for years, always staying at what is now called the Karoo Art Hotel, never venturing any further. This was due to two things: I was usually at the hotel for a music gig or festival - most of which I'd booked and arranged in my role as a one-time band Miss Management - and second, the inevitable hangover the next day.

It turns out it's a lot bigger than I thought and 24 hours wasn't nearly enough time to explore all the food and drink options. A person can only eat so much, although the capacity for drinking is camel-like. Fun fact: A thirsty camel can drink more than 110 litres of water in less than 15 minutes. Okay, maybe I'm overestimating my ability.

All things considered, I think I did pretty well. On the recommendation of the nice people at the Karoo Art Hotel (where I was spending the night, of course), I booked for dinner at Mez Karoo Kitchen. It's a block from the hotel. When...

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