A recent mid morning breakfast with some friends at The Piggly Wiggly Coffee Shop in the beautiful Natal Midlands, proved to be the perfect start to what turned out to be a rather enjoyable and memorable weekend. The drive from Pietermaritzburg to Lion’s River is more often than not a pleasant one and this occasion was no different – the greenery of the Midlands still in evidence, despite the approach of autumn and its many changing hues.
Flanked by sprawling vineyards and rolling green pastures, Piggly Wiggly has an alluring attractiveness that makes it almost impossible to pass by. Best known for its award-winning cappuccino’s, the establishment boasts a varied menu that caters for most tastes and preferences. Patrons can choose between light meals and tasty basics like pastas, all made from fresh, local ingredients and carefully prepared for maximum enjoyment.
Traditional breakfasts such as omelettes and bacon and eggs, a variety of sandwiches, and a host of lunch options are available and considering the wide selection it wasn’t easy for any of us to make up our minds in a hurry. After a fair amount of contemplation, I decided on the Country Omelette which, at R49, seemed like a good deal.
The Country Omelette is a three egg omelette with a choice of any of three fillings, namely feta, grilled mushrooms, tomato, bacon or olives and served with a salad. I opted for the tomato, bacon and mushroom filling and boy was I happy with my choice! The omelette was delicious, probably one of the best I’ve ever had and together with a piping hot mug of hot chocolate (R18), made for a great breakfast indeed.
Mary-Anne opted for a Dancing Cappuccino (R20) and a Country Omelette with a cheese, mushroom and bacon filling and was delighted with her choice, describing the omelette as “tasty and filling” and the cappuccino as “refreshing”. Her close friend, the aptly named Peta-Anne, ordered the Sweet Feta (two slices of toast covered with scrambled egg, topped with feta and sweet chilli sauce for R45) and a small glass of red grape juice (R10) and she, too, was more than happy with her order.
So with just two members (Louis and Sue) of my breakfast party left to voice their opinions, things were looking pretty good. Louis selected the farmers breakfast (two eggs served either poached, fried or scrambled with rashers of bacon and grilled tomato for R49) while Sue, having already had a bite to eat before arrival, opted for a filter coffee (R10) and a slice of cheesecake (R22).
Unfortunately, neither of them was impressed with what they received – Louis remarking that his bacon was overcooked with the rest of the meal being adequate at best while Sue referred to her cheesecake, which was visibly burnt on top, as “decidedly bland”. However, it’s very seldom that everyone in a group eating out is satisfied with what was presented to them, and so I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that my breakfast group wasn’t any different to the norm.
After settling our bills we decided to browse around in the lovely farm stall (complete with a delightful deli) on the premises and to visit the unique surrounding shops selling their various wares and trinkets. Although I didn’t come across anything of particular interest, my companions certainly did and spent a good half an hour moving about the various stores – no doubt intrigued at what they had encountered.
In case you are wondering what to do to keep the kids occupied, you’ll be pleased to know there’s also a delightful children’s playground on site to keep them out of mischief, while if it’s a bottle of wine you are after you can visit the wine cellar across the lawns for an extensive selection and plenty of advice from establishment owner Rudi Kassier.
On the whole I was rather impressed with my findings at Piggly Wiggly. The service was prompt and efficient, the food tasty and well presented and the ambience appealing and pleasant. The gripes of my friends aside, I couldn’t fault it and feel the establishment is a must visit for anyone wanting to enjoy a great breakfast or lunch out in the always picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Telephone: +27 (0)33 234 4323
Physical address: 1 Dargle Rd, Howick, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal