Sarah Niemand’s ‘eet plekkie’ (small eatery), Blinkwater, is the definition of an authentic, culinary experience. The property is situated in the fishing hamlet of Buffelsjagbaai, 25km outside Gansbaai in the Western Cape. Sarah welcomes guests into the small dining room of her wooden home and serves them traditionally cooked seafood dishes.

Inge Altona-de Klerk, Head of Marketing at the neighbouring White Shark Projects, says there are only about 700 people living in the village, who all depend on the sea for their survival. “Blinkwater is an incredible opportunity for travellers to become immersed in Buffelsjagbaai’s culture and traditions. Sarah Niemand is a warm and entertaining host, always ready with a story. Everything about the experience is authentic and transformative and offers the opportunity to break down social barriers.”

Niemand’s culinary experience is a family effort – her husband catches fresh fish every morning, while she gathers the alikreukels and sour figs from the rocks and plants near her home. She also offers freshly baked bread, fried perlemoen and salad and prepares the food based on recipes passed down through the generations.

Niemand told the Cape Argus that her business started by chance in November last year when she was asked by a tour company to cook for a group of tourists hiking through the area. Since then her business has grown solely through word of mouth, bringing diners from Gauteng, Cape Town, Canada and Europe.

She aims to transform her ‘eet plekkie’ into a true restaurant and include a drive along the coast for guests. But her first priority is to bring people to her place of birth and encourage them to experience another way of life.