South African members of the congregation at the Spire Church in Farnham celebrated their country’s cooking and culture when they held A Taste of South Africa there recently.

Tickets for the event sold out quickly, with local folk clearly eager to experience the rich flavours and traditions of this vibrant nation.

As the guests settled into the friendly ambience, they were treated to a home-cooked three-course meal inspired by South African cuisine.

The menu celebrated the country’s history and cultural diversity, blending primarily Dutch and Cape Malay influences.

Diners enjoyed traditional foods such as bobotie, boerewors, pap, milk tart and koeksisters. Against a backdrop of lively South African music spanning several genres and decades, guests savoured each dish, complemented by fine South African wines.

Diners also participated in a quiz which highlighted interesting historical and cultural facts about South Africa.

The evening concluded with a unique twist: instead of coffee, guests enjoyed a liqueur crafted from the marula tree’s fruit.

This tree holds a special place in African folklore. In Africa it is often referred to as The Elephant Tree, as elephants travel great distances to feast on its wild fruit. These ancient trees are protected by South African law in order to preserve their role in African heritage.

A Taste of South Africa was a reminder to all who were there that traditions, flavours and community intertwine, making people richer for experiencing each other’s cultures and creating positive shared experiences.

The proceeds from this memorable evening contributed to the Spire Church’s Pilgrim Project. This project aims to renew the buildings and facilities to ensure the Spire Church remains a vital part of Farnham’s community life for many more years.

To find out more about the Spire Church and the Pilgrim Project, go to

Roger Verster