• The Women of Imhoff Farm

    The Women of Imhoff Farm

    Celebrating the women who shaped our history

    Through the centuries Imhoff Farm has been home to influential  women who left their mark on the farm and its history.  It started in 1743 with Christina Rousseau (née Diemer), a widow whose entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic impressed then Governor at the Cape, Baron Gustav Wilhelm van Imhoff so much that he gifted her a large tract of land in the South Peninsula. She started a farm growing fresh produce to supply passing ships and it became known as Imhoff’s Gift.

    A fitting way to end our feature this Women’s Month is to celebrate another founding mother and visionary woman who has shaped the farm we love. 

    In the summer of 1993 Denise Van der Horst (née du Toit) started a tea garden in the courtyard (werf) of Imhoff Farm. Operating from a small kitchen in the old silo, Denise put her Cordon Bleu training from Silwood School of Cookery to great use. Word spread and ‘Under the Pines’ became a popular destination for locals and visitors wishing to enjoy tea or a meal in the calm countryside atmosphere of the farm. 

    It became famous for its carrot cake (a closely guarded family recipe), scones and milktart (melktert), which Denise sometimes made with goats  milk from the farm. (We share the cows milk recipe later in this blog).

    The tea garden became the catalyst for the revival of the farm. Attracting  artists, small businesses and local entrepreneurs as tenants the farm became a hub of creative and commercial activity. 

    Thanks to Denise’s can-do energy and vision  soon there was a monthly farmer’s market, donkey and horse rides, a petting farm, snakes and the camels for which Imhoff Farm became famous. Growing organically and spanning three decades,  Denise and husband EJ van der Horst became custodians  of one of the Cape’s most loved tourism and leisure destinations. 

    Today Denise and EJ are retired and live in Kommetjie, but most days you will meet them on the farm where they shop for daily provisions or pop in to see old and new tenants. 

    Denise's Milktart recipe

    Yield: This recipe makes a large Milktart

    Shortcrust pastry:

    • 75g butter
    • 100g cake flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • Salt
    • Little water to combine

    Rub butter into sifted flour, baking powder and salt until mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Add a little cold water to combine and roll into a ball.  Chill for about an hour and roll out to line a round 28 cm baking dish.

    Custard filling:

    • 6 extra large eggs, separated
    • Half cup cornflour
    • Half cup cake flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 litre milk
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 120 g butter

    Heat 750 ml milk in large pot with cinnamon stick and butter till melted.  Beat together yolks, 250 ml milk, cornflour, cake flour and sugar till smooth.  Slowly pour into heated milk mixture, keep on heat and stir until thick (spoon can stand up in mixture). Beat egg whites till soft peaks form and fold into mixture. Pour into pastry lined dish and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.  Best eaten when cooled with a cup of tea.


  • Imhoff Horse Riding


    Imhoff Horse Riding

    Guided beach rides, bush rides and horse-riding lessons

    The award-winning Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers locals and international visitors alike, an outdoor experience of a lifetime.

    Riders are guided on horseback from Imhoff Farm, along the protected wetlands system of Table Mountain National Park to emerge on the spectacular Noordhoek beach.

    Upon arriving at the beach,  riders have the opportunity to take a controlled walk through the surf or a relaxed stroll along the back pan towards Chapmans Peak. Sweeping views through to Hout Bay can be enjoyed en-route. Indigenous wildlife such as whales, otters and a variety of birdlife have also been known to make an appearance.

    In addition to its much-loved beach rides, The Imhoff Equestrian Centre also offers pony bush rides and horse-riding lessons, ensuring a host of activities for equestrian aficionados of all ages and riding levels.

    The team is incredibly excited about the new stable facilities that offer a 5 star premises with best views of the beach.

    3 rides are offered daily:

    • 09:00, 12:00 and 15:30
    • Booking is essential
    • Catering to all levels of riders with a min age of 12 years and a max weight of 95kg /14.9stone /209 pounds.

    Cost :   R 660 per person for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

    The Team

    Imhoff Equestrian Centre and Noordhoek Beach Rides is owned by Lisa Hughes who has a deep love of horses. Lisa has successfully run the stables for the past 18 years and is proud of her tight-knit team who go above and beyond for every horse and rider who passes through their stables.

    Lisa Honig is a patient horse riding instructor and experienced stable manager who is SANEF Level 4 accredited. A wealth of knowledge, Lisa is passionate about all aspects of horse riding and teaching. Lisa has been a part of the Imhoff Equestrian Centre Team for the past 6 years and has a close relationship with each and every horse in her care.

    The stable grooms and guides play an integral role in the operation of the Imhoff Equestrian Family, which is evident in their love and care of the horses who they treat as their own.