Today was what my friend and I called, a research day. We leapt upon the J.S. Gericke Library’s Design nook with renewed fervor. Her, nosing through thick graphic design volumes and I, researching fashion history from stuffy costume design books. Now all of this reading can make one rather hungry, so we made a date stop at Mila Cake Shop in Stellenbosch on our way home. I’d heard a lot of pleasant things from friends about this little place in dorp street, but I’d never been there myself.

The shop is quaint, and comfortable. Lots of little tables on the sidewalk look out on one of Stellenbosch’s most historic streets. Inside there’s a very naughty display of the most decadently decorated cakes. The collection includes afore mentioned cakes and tarlets as well as an array of some very creative, perfectly baked fresh croissants. Once you’ve fallen in love with one of these creations and then tear your eyes away just long enough to look up to order, you will suddenly be overwhelmed by a little villiage of a couple of naughtily- placed macaroons in romantic pinks and whites. So wrong and so right. My friend and I and all the other customers stood staring at them the whole  time we waited for our coffee.

A few moments later, we headed out of Mila’s Cake shop, pink boxes in hand, giggling. Thank goodness we got away with the little we bought. These cafes in Stellenbosch, though far from affordable, offer an alternative to the wishful traveler, who is temporarily stuck in Stellenbosh doing some post-grad course that keeps them cooped up, stuffy, frustrated and penniless. A short romantic getaway… Very romantic, since at R35 a smooch, Mila’s cakes probably taste better shared.

My selection was a lovely two layered chocolate mouse cake with chunks of soft nougat inside. I could have sworn, in at least  two bites, I tasted the faintest hint of roast coriander. I’m not a chocolate girl at all, but who can resist such a lovely gold dusted strawberry and macaroon decorated cake? Not me.