What is a holiday without good food? Most people come back from a luxury trip with lovely photos, interesting stories and many memories – including recollections of the meals they had enjoyed. Breakfast on an outdoor terrace, lunch at a quaint bistro, dinner at a gourmet restaurant in a beautiful setting. And travellers not only remember what they ate, but – maybe even more importantly – where they enjoyed their meals. Let me introduce you to 7 restaurants in the Cape Winelands area of South Africa where you will take as much delight in the scenery as in the menu!
In the most idyllic setting at the foot of Simonsberg, as well as a view on Table Mountain in the distance, lies Delheim. The farm is owned by family of Spatz Sperling, a legend in the South African wine industry.
The German gemutlichkeit creates the ambience in the Garden Restaurant that offers a selection of dishes ranging from cheese platters to traditional German and South African food. Visitors love to eat al fresco on the garden terraces in summer, or to cosy up in the downstairs cellar in winter – with gluwein in front of a wood fire.
This fruit and botanical garden of immense biodiversity, was inspired by the Company Gardens in the Cape in the 17th and 18th centuries and the mythical gardens of Babylon.
It has one of the most excellently preserved farmyards in the Cape. The farm’s magnificent garden is divided into 15 sections that comprise vegetables and fruit, berries and bees, indigenous plants, smooth lawns, lavender lanes, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens, and more. In spring literally thousands of visitors flock to the farm to marvel at the thousands of clivias flowering along a secluded stream.
Take your pick from three signature restaurants. Babel, housed in an old cow shed, is an edgy mix of traditional Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary modernism. A custom built conservatory, The Greenhouse, serves home-made products and fresh garden juice. The Bakery is family style restaurant with an Italian inspired menu.
Boschendal, founded in 1685 in the Franschhoek valley, focusses on taste and healthy farm-to-table food. Many of the fresh ingredients in their dishes are sustainably grown on the farm, or sourced from farms and small producers in the surrounding winelands.
Their flagship restaurant, The Werf, is situated in the exquisitely revamped cellar of the Manor House. The original wagon house of the farm was sensitively restored into the attractive Farmshop Deli. This family-friendly deli has tables both in the cosy restaurant and scattered out in the shade of the age-old oak trees. Situated next door to the Winery, the Rhone Homestead serves delicious traditional buffet lunches.
The gardens are just beautiful, with plump free ranging farm chickens picking up tasty titbits between the restaurant tables. A large herb and flower garden, well-planned in the Cape Winelands traditional style, is well worth a visit.
Hillcrest Berry Orchards
On a plateau in the Helshoogte Valley, sits the Hillcrest Berry Farm Restaurant. In the large restaurant cum shop you are overwhelmed by the choice of farm products – berry jams, berry coolie, frozen berries and a diversity of olive products. On the terrace outside the view over the mountains just blows your mind.
The restaurant has a very good menu, but you go to the Berry Farm for home baked cream scones with Hillcrest jams and whipped cream. You can pick any two types of jams, choosing between strawberry, gooseberry, blackberry, blueberry and even more exotic choices like fig or walnut. An unforgettable treat!
Deli Cat’Essen, Tokara
A must visit restaurant in the Helshoogte valley, is the Deli on Tokara farm. All the buildings – the winery, the olive shed, the deli – have a distinct Cape ambience, but they melt into the natural landscape unobtrusively. The final contemporary design won architectural awards. Floor to ceiling glass windows open up the magical view on Simonsberg Mountain, the olive groves and vineyards, the oak and plane trees.
On the large outside terrace you can enjoy the smells and the sounds of nature around you, and the delicate food of Deli Cat’Essen, while the kids play in the child-friendly garden.
Tokara is the embodiment of the owner, GT Ferreira’s, philosophy that good wine, good food and good art go together to make a good lifestyle. Thus, even the stone work of the buildings is work of exquisite artistic value. Many hand crafted design elements, pieces of fine art and sculptures are placed all over the farm, in the buildings, in the olive groves and vineyards, in the gardens.
Postcard Cafe, Stark Conde
Over the past few years, the Postcard Cafe in the Jonkershoek Valley, has become a definite favourite of tourists. It is located on Stark-Conde farm, a family run winery dedicated to making hand-crafted wines. The setting is awesome, with the Stellenbosch mountains around you feel so near that you can touch them. One never tires of the view from the large covered patio of the restaurant – it feels like sitting in a painting! In contrast to the dramatic natural surroundings, the spacious gardens are exceptionally well-kept.
There is a large man-made lake with Khoi fish and lovely water lilies. The wine tasting venue has been built on the water. Its pagoda-like design, together with the wooden walkway, and the Weeping Willow is testament to the authentic Japanese influence of the owners of the farm.
Postcard Cafe is a casual and friendly place to enjoy good wines together with simple, well-prepared food and delicious homemade desserts and cakes.
The Lanzerac Deli
Established over 300 years ago, today the Lanzerac Hotel Spa, on the outskirts of the picturesque and historical town of Stellenbosch, is renowned for first class service and sophisticated luxury. Its original Cape Dutch buildings, massive oak trees and meticulously tended gardens are beautifully framed by the majestic Jonkershoek mountains in the background. It is a showcase for the very best of the Cape Winelands! The hotel’s main a la carte restaurant, the Governors Hall, is classical in every sense of the word.
The latest addition to the Lanzerac estate is a new delicatessen. The Lanzerac Deli is right next to the new elegant Lanzerac Wine Tasting Room. Guests are tempted every day by the aroma of freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries and aromatic coffee. Enjoy a wonderful culinary experience in the most beautiful natural surroundings you can dream of!
Celine Renaud is Head of Sales for Leo Trippi.
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