Just up the coast from Durban is a wooden cabin hidden among the trees of an indigenous forest where good wholesome food is served with a smile. The Waterberry Tea Garden and Café is a lovely stop for a meal or some coffee or cake. Booking is essential and if you arrive too late you will find many of the cakes and pastries have sold out as The Waterberry is very popular with Ballito residents and Durbanites, who regularly travel up the N2 for slice of famous nougat or white chocolate cheesecake.

We arrived without a booking but spent a pleasant half an hour exploring the acre of forest on wooden walkways while waiting. We have vowed to go back and have some tea at one of the tables set up amongst the trees. I was amazed by the butterflies and birdlife in what is a tiny area of indigenous flora in a built up suburban area and the “away from it all” feel of The Waterberry is certainly part of its charm.

An SMS heralded a table for us and we were soon ordering from a broad menu of homemade meals. The portions and prices were reasonable and the food good. I was very disappointed at the lack of the famous nougat cheesecake and had to settle for Bar One. The portion was very big and some of it came home with me. There is also a deli where you can purchase the usual assortment of biscotti, preserves and meringues.

The Waterberry is well worth a visit on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Make sure you are not in a hurry, though, as this is slow food and everything has a laidback North Coast feel.

The Waterberry is at the bottom of Leonora Drive, Ballito. Tel: 032 – 946 2797.