If your mussels have not already been cleaned, you’ll need to do this first (luckily, Cape Fish has a mussel cleaning service for R15 per kg).
Put a cup of white wine and 6 sprigs of thyme into a large pot over a high heat and bring to the boil.
Add the cleaned mussels, giving the pot a good shake every now and then to allow them to open.
If any mussels don’t open, then discard them.
Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon, and strain the liquid they were cooked in, as this can contain sand, and keep for the sauce.
Soften the garlic and shallots or onions in the butter in the same pan over a medium heat until well done.
Add the strained cooking liquid and the bouquet garnish of herbs, and turn up the heat to let the sauce reduce by a third.
Remove the bouquet garnish with the herbs, add the cream and reduce again till slightly thickened, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Add the mussels back into the pot, removing a few halves of the shells.
Add the parsley and remove from the heat.
Spoon into large warmed bowls and serve with loads of crusty warm bread for dunking.