The Karoo Food Festival comes to town

This year True Living is going full flair at the Karoo Food Festival in Cradock.

The shop and restaurant remain open throughout the festival, with Chris Chameleon ending off the festival for True Living on Sunday afternoon at 16:00.

The Chris Chameleon collaboration will be the highlight of the festival for True Living, as the laid-back music, wine and food celebration embodies what Lani through True Living would like to offer to Cradock locals and visitors to the town.

Tickets for the event are limited, so please book in advance.

chris chameleon

Back by popular demand is also the three-generational masterclass featuring the Lombard family matriarch Ouma Delene, as well as Lani and Louzel.

This year, the trio will share family recipes and techniques around venison in a hands-on demonstration and masterclass with visitors, who will taste the fruits of their labour in a food-and-wine pairing afterwards.

Old, new, modern and traditional style will merge when the three generations of Lombard women take the floor in True Living’s revamped courtyard.


Lani and her daughter Louzel will also participate in a variety of demonstrations and How To classes during the festival, including a quick guide demo to making and flavouring your own oils, butters and basic sauces, ice-cream making 101, as well as making your own soft cheeses and sausages.

You can catch them busy with demos, or selling delicious fare and produce from the True Living Pop-Up shop in the Deli Market at the festival grounds on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.


Saturday night in Cradock is Food Town. Visitors and locals are welcome to come to True Living for a lovely evening of Traditonal Karoo Food including Karoo lamb chops, Kerrie Afval, Venison steak and many more, paired with some of the best wines in the country. Be sure to book your table for this event on the Food Festival program.


Walk-ins are more than welcome throughout the festival, but it is advised you make your reservation in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email

Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.



True Living wins a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor


True Living is both honoured and humbled to share that we’ve won a Certificate of Excellence from the high-acclaimed reviewers’ website TripAdvisor. Thank you to each and every proud Cradocker, travelling South African and international guest that have stepped through our door over the past three years. Without your loyal and enthusiastic support – and honest reviews on TripAdvisor – none of this would have been possible. Thank you especially to the beating heart(s) of True Living – Lara, Ncumisa, Doris, Josephine, Estelle, Charlotte, Betty, Sandiswa en Nosiphiwe – you are the very reason why this place of ours exist.

True Living will be open for breakfast, brunch and lunch this coming Mother’s Day


Spoil your mother and wife this Sunday on Mother’s Day with a delicious champagne breakfast in True Living’s courtyard.

Lani’s Kitchen will be open on Sunday, serving the well-loved a la carte menu with all the favourites like freshly baked roosterkoek with biltong, cheese and preserves, and Lani’s favourite with salmon, cream cheese, capers and perfectly poached eggs.

Make it a super special occasion by adding some Bubbles to the breakfast, to celebrate the most important woman in your life.

Bring the whole family along to make this year’s a memorable Mother’s Day.

You can also shop around in the deli for some dinner and take-away options like farm-made chicken pie, boerewors and even ready to heat malva pudding.

True Living shop will also be open for the duration of the day, so be sure to get your mom a special gift – like a winter scarf or some luxury bath goodies – to remind her of what she means to you every day…

Walk-ins are more than welcome, but you can also make your reservation in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email

Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.

Bridges built in True Living’s three-generational food workshop


Saturday, 21 March, was a successful last day of the Karoo Food Festival held in Cradock for the 3rd annual time, in more than one way. Not only did the festival-goers get to experience a taste of real Karoo food, they also got to take some generational knowledge away from Cradock.

The last workshop at the Karoo Food Festival saw Lani from True Living host a three-generational food workshop along with her daughter, Louzel, and mother-in-law, Delene Lombard.

Lani demonstrated making artisanal ciabatta to the guests, while Delene taught them how to debone a chicken. Louzel then lastly took these two elements and combined them to create a final dish composed of both ladies’ skills.

Afterwards guests could taste the end product, a deboned, bread-crumb stuffed chicken roulade, paired with good Pinot Noir wine.

What made the event even more special than anyone – even Lani and Louzel – had anticipated, was the moment Louzel’s grandmother awarded her with a knife that has been in the Lombard family since the dawn of the 20th century. The knife had originally belonged to Delene’s mother-in-law, the Cradock food legend, ouma Tok.

Holding back the tears, Delene gave the sentimental gift to Louzel reciting the following poem by Will Allen Dromgoole:

The Bridge Builder

An old man going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”


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Join Three Generations of Lombard Women for a Masterclass of preparing real food


Lani Lombard will be hosting a masterclass of preparing real Karoo food during the upcoming Karoo Food Festival in Cradock. She will be cooking with her daughter, travel journalist Louzel Lombard, as well as her mother-in-law, the legendary Delene Lombard.

The 3 generations of women will be celebrating their love and rich heritage of food, along with the food culture that has been embedded in their Lombard family for ages passed.

The Masterclass will be an interactive one, where guests will be able to part-take in the process with provided ingredients.

The class will include both a technical and artisinal demonstration, as well as a creative aspect in which guests will be able to experiment with variations on traditional methods and recipes.

On the menu: 

Deboned free-range Chicken

Artisinal bread, from which various stuffings for the deboned bird will be made 

Appropriate wine pairing with the meal


Guests will be able to do a full tasting and wine pairing after the Masterclass.


Price: R150 per person, includes full tasting and wine pairing

When: Saturday, 21 March

Time: 15:30 for 16:00 to 17:30

Duration: 2 hours


Please note:

* Although farm-reared, free-range chickens will be provided for the demonstration, guests will not be able to keep or take home the meat

* All ingredients will be provided

* Guests are required to bring their own aprons


Demonstration tables are limited, so please book in advance. You can make your reservation in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.

Lani’s Long Table Lunch at True Living


On Sunday, 1 March, Lani at True Living will be hosting Cradock’s first official long table lunch. The concept is an old one, which aims to brings the townspeople together around a table filled with festive food & wine.

Think good Karoo Lamb, seasonal vegetables and good wine, all enjoyed while in the company of the people who make Cradock the unique town it is.

Simply book your seat and take your place at the table, and get ready to catch up with the Cradockers about the happenings of the month.

The food will be self-service, packed abundantly on platters in the center of the table, with the idea of creating an feeling of festivity from a bygone era.

Drinks will be served by the waiters, and are not included in the price.


On the table

Rolled Karoo lamb neck with a lemon thyme stuffing, cooked to perfection on a bed of onions

Puff-pastry Chicken pie

Saffron-infused, fried young Potatoes

Whole baked country Pumpkin

Garlic roasted seasonal green Vegetables

For dessert – DIY Pavlova

Coffee-infused giant meringues

Farm-made creme Patisserie

Fresh fruit – banana, passion fruit & strawberries

Toffee sauce &

Chocolate sauce

Price: R160 per person, excluding drinks

You can make your reservation in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.



On Valentine’s evening, Saturday 14 February, True Living will be serving a gourmet, true Karoo 3-course meal for two.

Along with some of the country’s best wines, True Living will be serving the following romantic set course dinner:

Entrée – Platter of Abundance 

Freshly baked ciabatta

Herbed cream cheese

Dressed rocket leaves

Slivers of smoked Salmon with lemon wedges & capers


Main Course 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Tender chicken beast stuffed with feta cheese & sundried tomatoes, smothered in green peppercorn sauce and baked to perfection


Steak Deluxe

Tender cuts of beef grilled to your preference, topped with crispy bacon & onion marmalade and served with a creamy  green peppercorn sauce

Both mains are served with a choice of two sides. (Sides include French fries, garden salad or vegetables.) 

End on a sweet note

Choose any of the delicately crafted desserts in our sweets display

Options include tangy Lemon Meringue, our legendary Peppermint Crisp Tart as well as German Chocolate and Pecan Cake, Carrot Cake & Cheese Cake.



Price: R160 per person, excluding drinks

You can make your reservation in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.

Order you Valentine’s Picnic Basket for two now


Apart from serving a romantic meal for two on the eve of Valentine’s Day, True Living will also be offering lovers the option of ordering a Valentine’s Picnic Basket, which will be available for collection on Valentine’s Day morning, Saturday 14 February.

The picnic basket will contain a bottle of Sparkling Rosé Wine, AND a bunch of beautiful flowers.

Along with the flowers and drink, the basket will be stacked to the brim with the following True Living produce:

Valentine’s Picnic Basket

Freshly baked baguette to two

Cheese Paté 

Dressed Rocket 

Slices of home-cooked ham 

Lani’s famous mustard sauce

Curry-creamed chicken 

Tangy potato salad

Broccoli and Pecan salad

Your choice of the following desserts (Lemon Meringue, Cheesecake or Peppermint Crisp Tart)


A bottle of Sparkling Rosé Wine

A bunch of flowers

Price: R300 per basket for two, all inclusive

You can make your reservation in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.

Bottomless Coffee LIVE at True Living

bottomless coffee3

Come 3 February and the iconic and proudly South African band, Bottomless Coffee will be playing LIVE in True Living’s Karoo courtyard.

The husband-and-wife duo will embark on their first National tour of South Africa, starting in Cape Town on the 28th of January and ending back in their student home-town, Stellenbosch, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Not before stopping over in Cradock, however, for a remarkable show under the Karoo stars.

The two multi-instrumentalists, Lourens and Esté Rabé started playing together in August 2010 when they were both mere students dreaming of a life as musicians.

Today, they are not only partners in music, but also in life as they continue to pursue their dream of making good music.

Come see this marriage of true minds manifest in music at True Living on Tuesday evening, 3 February.

Lani will be serving up delicious fare, including freshly baked breads with paté, and plenty of her family favourite Karoo meaty platters.


~ Here is what you need to know ~

What is included: Food and Live Music

How much does it cost: R150 per person

When does it start: Food will be served from 19:00, and Bottomless Coffee will start playing at around 07:30. Drinks will be available from your waiter throughout the show.

bottomless coffee4

You can reserve your seat in store at True Living, by phoning True Living shop at (048) 881 3288 or email Alternatively, you can contact Lani at (072) 039 6331 or Lara at (079) 193 7646.

The HANSA Fish River Canoe Marathon is coming to Cradock!


We’re counting down the days until the annual HANSA Fish River Canoe Marathon comes to town. To welcome the rowers and their supporters we’ve baked millions of cookies, stocked our shelves with true Karoo goodies and made enough biltong to last a lifetime. All we need now is to chill the beers and wine and get ready to host visitors to our town with our real Karoo hospitality. We’ve even upgraded our menu to have a few delectable banting-friendly options, so everyone is welcome.

True Living and Lani’s Kitchen will be open the entire weekend serving mean Farm Breakfasts with real Boerewors, lovely lunch options like our famous homemade pastries filled with the best ingredients only, farmstyle sarmies, roosterkoeke with homemade butter, biltong and preserves as well as hearty dinners with pot pies, stews and expertly grilled steaks. We obviously have great local wines, liquors and beers to serve with anything on the menu – so come hungry!

We can’t wait, can you?

To avoid any disappointment please make a reservation by phoning Lani at 048 881 3288 or 072 039 6331 or send an email to You can always also drop into True Living at 44 Calata to make a reservation in the shop. We look forward to hosting you.