WHY THE BORDER POST?
Well, apart from the obvious fact that that the provincial boundary between the Free State and Kwa Zulu Natal runs through the property, there would have been a customs and toll house here before Union in 1910.
The mountains and sandstone cliffs create a natural border and it was here that the Voortrekkers outspanned in 1837 while Piet Retief and a contingent of men travelled to negotiate land settlement rights with Dingaan, then King of the Zulus.
Prior to the establishment of Union, South Africa consisted of 4 small independent states or crown colonies: the Cape Colony, Natal Colony, the self governing Oranje Vrijstaat and Die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek.
Certainly the Orange Free State would have collected some form of income from the wagons that passed over the border en route to the diamond fields of Kimberly. The border crossing was manned by Customs officials, a Dipping Officer and a Police station. Later farmers would trek their stock down to the lowlands of Natal in winter to escape the freezing winters on the high veldt, hence the need for a Dipping Officer.
And so we chose to remember all the travellers who have passed this way by naming our resort THE BORDER POST.
So please pay tribute to all those who have gone before and blazed the trails of Africa by stopping over with us for a cup of tea, a cold beer, or some of our famous food & hospitality!
WHO WE ARE
THE PHATT CHEF
Long ago in a valley not too far south from here, a little boy grew up in the shadow of the Drakensberg, with a mother who was a fantastic cook. She instilled in him the love of simple, well prepared and different food. He learnt to love food, in pretty much any shape and form and today he is as excited about cooking as he was when he began his kitchen apprenticeship.
Still learning every day, the chef feels honoured that you risk your hard earned bucks to buy his food and share his hospitality. Having travelled full circle, the chef is back in the berg, having come by way of the South Coast, the Natal Midlands and Clarens in the Eastern Free state: he now feels truly well rounded. Along the way he acquired a lovely wife who has allowed him to follow his passion in the kitchen, (for this he thanks her from the bottom of his stock pot) and 3 gorgeous, clever, well behaved and crazy kids (they all work or want to work in the hospitality industry!)
The Phatt Chef Roadside Diner is a move away from the previous restaurants that the chef has cooked in. This is a place to relax and have a bit of fun, take time to savour the views and the food. The menu will change regularly and we hope you will enjoy eating it as much as we do cooking it.
The Phatt Chef is dedicated to
my Mother, who instilled in
me my passion for food, never
cooked a dull meal for her
family or packed a boring
lunch box for her kids.
Sleep well Mum 1936-2008
The Bent Arm Bar is dedicated to my Dad who taught me all there is know about beer.
In Memory of mKhulu, who
stood head & shoulders above
most men, but was never too
proud to drink with pauper
or prince, who managed,
through huge adversity, to be
a father & husband and ever
loving grandfather, as well as
a friend to us all.
"There is no bad beer, just that some are better than others, especially if someone else is buying!" Cheers mKhulu!
Never take anything or anyone for granted, for before you know it, life runs it's course.
RIP mKHULU 1919-2011
I am still in awe as to how you brought up, educated, entertained and endured us. Would that I be half as good a husband & father to my family!
The Phatt Chef Restaurant in Clarens was open for several years and epitomised all that I had learnt about food in my years in the kitchen.
New times=New Beginnings and a Brand New Venue: THE BORDER POST ....at the top of Oliviershoek Pass in the Northern Drakensberg.
We have moved quite away from our roots and our Steakhouse concept and well, we just got a lot more casual...hence the “Roadside Diner”. Whilst the choice of menu is very personal, I hope that all who dine here get as excited about the food as I do. We can never be all things to all people, and so if we do not quite meat your expectations, please tell us and we will do our level best to remedy the situation.
Remember neither I nor my staff are mind readers.
Many men, in their mid-life crises, turn to younger women or Harley Davidsons (YES you know who I'm talking about!) I decided to open another restaurant in addition to the hotel my wife and I used to run in Clarens. She became known as the Sole Proprietor &, well, I was just the Jolly Lodger! I thank her from the bottom of my stock pot for allowing me to follow my dream. Obviously she enjoyed it so much she sold her hotel and joined me in the restaurant.
I am also grateful to my kids for all their help and support, who pitch in with (mostly) good grace when we are shorthanded, who have learnt the ethics of hospitality and who now practise it with aplomb in their various jobs within the service industry. You each one make me proud in your own way to be your DAD.