Eating Out in RiversdaleDie Ou Tronk
Where? Die Ou Tronk / The Old Jail, Murant Street, Riversdale, Garden Route / Western Cape
When? Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 17h00.
Saturdays from 08h30 to 13h00.
How? Call +27 (0)28 713-4300
This is one very good reason to head off the N2 into Riversdale, particularly on a Saturday morning when Die Ou Tronk hosts a weekly farmers' market.
From outside the building looks every bit the jail, albeit an historical one that bears more resemblance to a Spanish hacienda than a prison. But inside is a different story.
The inner courtyard is filled with shady fruit trees. Even a paw paw tree manages to survive where it grows right up against a wall that in summer must incubate the necessary heat for a tropical fruit tree to survive and bear fruit.
The orange and avocado trees provide the shade under which nestle wooden tables and benches for tea and breakfast. Their carrot cake, in particular, gets the thumbs up.
The rest of the prison – a series of large, cool rooms off central courtyards – is a series of shops filled with antique items, clothing, art and brik-a-brak. Some stalls spill into the courtyards, which also display plants and herbs ready for planting.
Saturdays are not the only days for visiting Die Ou Tronk, but they are the best as far as variety and atmosphere go. Head there on any given day for interesting art and craft stalls, and the novel concept of shops in a jail.
It is the type of adventure from which you will return with at least one or two bonus buys.
For more info and an in depth review, see our article "Die Ou Tronk in Riversdale - A Most Unlikely Venue for a Farmers' market".