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Open Features: Chocolate Brownie Vindaloo

Jacqueline Dowling recommends a great place for Cape folk to meet.

'Hey guys, have you heard about the new curry house in town?'

The question vibrated, echoed and blew through the streets on a north-west gale, Cape style. And it wasn't even part of the Whale Crier's portfolio of blows and pointings. It wouldn't have fitted his kelp-horn repertoire. So everyone was a tad confused. Same Whale Crier, the only one in the world, patrolled the waterfront area, home to a vast array of eateries and shops, and there definitely was no sign of a new curry house, nor did he have any intel on the subject. No question, Hermanus needed an establishment of this nature to keep out the Antarctic blasts. But where was it?

So, where do you go when in doubt, and the info office is closed due to flooding?

The Library of course. And there, on a cold and rainy Friday, The Bhuki Cafe reveals itself in all its warm and chocolaty glory. This is the new curry house, the vindaloo of library friendship, sans curry. But what takes its place is an experience so full of happiness, creativity, exchange of views and new meetings, that people just keep coming.

Turn left at the entrance and there are tables of crafters with their handwork for sale; to the right more craft tables, a local bookshop with a display of new and bargain books, and the lovely coffee-chocolate-scone- and -sandwich-scented buzz of The Bhuki. Maybe there's a guest artist, writer, publisher, antique dealer as Guest of the Month to chat to, or just meet friends. It's hugely popular and helps The Friends of the Library buy a regular supply of new books each month, books which stay with us and don't go into the provincial sausage machine.

Recent guests hailed from the tiny hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos which is near Wolvengat which is near Wortelgat which is near...well, it's a wonderful area to live, names and all!

I love what we do, who we meet and how we manage various outreach projects to encourage literacy in schools and generally, with the unstinting support of our librarians, keep our library as one of the best.

I think I'll suggest a change of fare to our intrepid volunteer home-bakers : Cheese scones with Nando's Hottest topping or Chocolate Brownies Vindaloo. Maybe. And then take extended leave!

jac dowling


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