Pucketty Farm in the Drakensberg is one of those rare gems that you happen to stumble upon entirely by accident. The beautiful farm stall is a well-known treasure of the Underberg and certainly lives up to its reputation.
We arrived at the farm and were immediately greeted by a quaint selection of wooden houses, surrounded by fragrant flowers and trees. Our first port of call was the farm stall itself, which is absolutely delightful and a foodie’s dream. I kept getting distracted by all the different shiny bottles on the shelves and by the ancient teddy bears and photographs adorning each nook of the cosy stall. From home-made biscuits and delectable bottled preserves, to ruby-coloured jams, scrumptious-looking cakes and ice-cream – there is an overwhelming selection of mouth-watering deliciousness on display.
We eventually settled on caramel and chocolate biscuits, golden lemon curd, clotted cream and strawberry jam – a perfect cholesterol-inducing selection, which made us all grin in anticipation. We wandered to the till, watched over by the ancient figure of Uncle Bulgaria and the cat and waited for someone to arrive to tally up our purchases. No one arrived and we read a sign which explained how the shop operates. It works on a system of trust – you put the money for your chosen items in a cash box on the till and take out the right amount of change. No one checks up on you – it’s up to you to be honest about the amount you owe.
This is quite a staggering idea in today’s age, where trust is sadly such an elusive thing, but at Pucketty it just seems to work. People feel like they are trusted and are obliged to act morally. We wrote up our purchases in the book, watched over by the cat and put our money in the cash box, before heading for the gallery next door.
The gallery had some lovely pieces on display, painted by local artists, as well as some exquisite landscape photographs. We then popped into the tiny restaurant and ordered lunch. I had the spicy Thai butternut soup, which certainly had a kick, but was absolutely delicious. My dad had the biggest smile on his face as he sat in the sunshine, piling farm butter, homemade strawberry jam and the thickest cream I have ever seen, onto his fresh scones. After my soup I decided that pudding was in order and asked for some of the lemon meringue pie. It arrived, it was massive, it was golden yellow goodness with crispy, perfectly cooked meringue and I was in heaven.
Pucketty is a place of peace, charm and old-fashioned values, as well as being home to some of the tastiest food I have enjoyed in a long time. If you happen to be anywhere near the Underberg in the Drakensberg, then do yourself a favour and make sure that you factor a visit to the farm stall into your itinerary.
Address: Pucketty Farm, Main Road, Underberg, Drakensberg