My misconception of waffles being a mere base for sweet desserts has been dispelled since visiting the Waffle House in Ramsgate, South Africa, writes Des Langkilde
Waffle: (noun) ‘A light crisp cake made of batter and baked in a waffle iron’. As a verb, the word means; ‘To be unable to make a decision’, which at The Waffle House is an appropriate analogy, as the ubiquitous waffle forms the base of a wide and varied menu that leaves patrons in a state of mouth watering indecision.
From sweet to savoury, carnivorous to vegetarian, banting to wholesome free-range toppings – all available with a gluten-free waffle base option – the menu caters to all tastes and dietary preferences.
But The Waffle House is not just about good food – the ambiance created by the venues location alongside a small stream, with a picturesque foot bridge leading into indigenous forest pathways bordering the Ramsgate Lagoon and leading to the beach, adds to its attraction. The venue is also wheelchair friendly, has free WiFi and a children’s play area.
Visitors looking for mementos or gifts to take back home will find the Gaze Gallery and Basket Shop to be a treasure trove, with works by renown South African artists, potters and crafters on display.
Where The Waffle House began
Opening the restaurant of their dreams, known at that time as the Tea House of the Blue Lagoon, they had no idea it would become the famous South Coast tourism attraction that it is today. After a 15 year period during which John and Doreen leased out the premises, they took it back in 1991 and renamed it The Waffle House. This was in line with two Waffle House restaurants that their eldest son had opened in the UK. The first was in Norwich, Norfolk, which opened in 1978, and the second in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Today, the Waffle House is one of the busiest restaurants on the South Coast, specialising in good food and good service, This 220 seater restaurant is popular amongst locals and visitors alike. Holiday seasons are particularly busy, however the well trained and friendly staff consistently rise to the challenge of producing and serving quality products throughout the year.
History of Waffles
The modern waffle has its origins in Europe and was mentioned in poems of the late 12th century when they were made and sold on the streets, especially to celebrate feast days. In medieval Europe, vendors were permitted to sell their waffles outside churches on Saints’ days and during other special religious celebrations. Competition at the churches eventually became very heated, and at times so violent, that King Charles IX of France imposed a regulation on waffle sales, requiring vendors to maintain a distance of at least deux toises (4 m/12 ft) from one another.