I love eating out (who doesn’t?!). There is something about creating a memorable moment, sharing an enjoyable meal in an ambient environment. This is especially apparent in winter, where all we can do is escape the winter chills and warm our bellies with good food and pleasant company. Luckily for us, we are spoilt for choice here in the winelands. Here is my pick of the best restaurant experience in the Winelands, worth visiting this winter.
Keerweder Road, Paarl
I am happy to say that Gourmet Burgers and Wine Weekend at Mellasat is upon us (14th & 15th July 2018 – available 11h00-15h00). For R199, you can order two burgers and a bottle of their Dekker’s Valley Range. Don’t forget about their all-time favourites – “Camembert & Bacon Beef Burger”, “Wild Boar Forestiere Burger”, Mexican Beef Burger” and the “Veggie and Lentil Burger”. Booking is essential and no more than eight people per booking.
You can also cosy up by the fire and savour their scrumptious Cheese & Charcuterie platter for R145 (serves 2). Just imagine a generous selection of cheeses and cured meats, served with ciabatta and crackers, along with olive tapenade and homemade chutney. You can even treat yourself to a mouth-watering brownie! That is what winter is for, right?!
To top it all off, the Cellarmaster’s Reserve Tasting is now open. For R100 per person, you can experience the underground “Cemetery of Forgotten Wine” and delight in a tasting of 4 of their premium and exclusive wines, along with a tasty snack. Booking is essential, up to a maximum of 8 people.
For more, visit mellasat.com
Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium
A visit to Babylonstoren is a definite must, even in winter. Their Babel restaurant and Greenhouse Restaurant presents this winter season’s best gifts, that will certainly leave you gastronomically grinning!
An electic fusion of Cape Dutch style architecture and contemporary glass, Babel restaurant was born in a manger. As part of their “farm-to-fork” philosophy, this winter you can expect something like a succulent leg of slow-cooked lamb perfectly paired with glass of red wine. For those looking to indulge in simplistic decadence, their desserts embracing a quadrafecture of flavour sensations (salty, bitter, sweet an sour) will tickle your tongue for more. Booking is essential.
Growing in a oak adorned garden, is the Greenhouse Restaurant, a custom-made, state-of-the art vintage conservatory. Here you can revel in an earthy taste experience and enjoy a wholesome meal presented in wooden crates. Think homemade bread topped with handcrafted cheese and cold meats served with an array of wreck jars, containing herb oils, chutney, preserves, relishes and fresh garden salad.
For more, visit babylonstoren.com
Boschendal Estate Pniel Road Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek
For those looking for an authentic culinary experience, The Werf Restaurant residing in the old wine cellar, offers flavoursome farm-style food. Chef Christian Campbell will certainly whip up a mouth-watering feast for you, using sustainably grown and seasonal produce, sourced locally . Entice your palate with the thought of their Angus beef slow roasts, house-smoked trout, free-range poultry, fragrant fermented bread and an array of delicious desserts.
The Boschendal family-friendly Deli, set in the original wagon house, also welcomes you for a cosy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
For R325 per person (R160 children under 12), why not indulge in their Sunday Buffet Lunches in the exclusive Rhome Homestead and share a locally inspired taste experience.
Boschendal has also “brought the farm to our table” at Oude Bank in the heart of beautiful Stellenbosch. Here you can enjoy a hearty and healthy meal in a comfy rustic-style space.
For more, visit boschendal.com
Baden Powell Dr, Faure, Stellenbosch
Where bygone days are mirrored in a sense of contemporary authenticity, Vergenoegd has a somewhat nostalgic and unique offering.
Their Deli has an inviting assortment of home-style light-meal options, that embody their deep respect for food, its ability to awaken the senses and bring joy to those that eat it. Delight in the simple pleasure of a good burger, sandwich, or freshly baked breads, croissants and muffins. Vergenoegd Deli also opens its doors to a wealth of homegrown fresh products as well as locally sourced Breads, patés, olives, nuts and meats.
With their Seasonal Picnic Basket for 2, you can also spread out a feast under the splendor of overhanging oaks, or escape the winter chill and cuddle up in cosy corner of the Manor House. For R395, you can truly embrace the flavours of our finest local cheeses, nuts and meats, with a complimentary bottle of spring water or try out their daily blend of iced-tea.
The Ducking Delight Basket is a special treat for the kids, filled with fun snacks and a choice of fresh juice or iced teas for R75 or R125 (including surprise activity).
Don’t miss out on The Runner Duck Parade & Wine in the Vine Tasting, where you can cheer on their Indian Runner Ducks parade the vineyards during breeding season. The Duck Tours run on the hour between 11h00 and 16h00, from Monday to Friday, for R40 (R30 kids under 12). You can also sample wines in the vines for an additional R10 (adults), shortly after the 10h30 parade.
Their Blending Experience offers a unique spin on wine making. From 12h00 to 16h00 , you have the chance to co-create your own wine (usually takes approximately 40-60 minutes) for R300. This creative process (also includes guided demonstrations) encapsulates your individual sensory appeal, where different varietals are brought together in matrimony. Your unique blend is them bottled and adorned with a personal label. You can even re-order your unique blend, as it will be stored in their library for keepsake.
For more, visit vergenoegd.co.za
Middelvlei Wine Estate
Middelvlei Wine Estate, Flamingo St, Stellenbosch
The Middelvlei Boerebraai Restaurant offers you the ultimate outdoor “braai” experience. For R200 per person, you can share a special South African style lunch (open lunches Monday to Sunday). Their braai experts showcase their exceptional braaing skills and prepare a sizzling array of chops, boerewors and chicken sosaties. Although the menu is subject to change, you can expect traditional potbrood, braaibroodjies, homemade pâté and Ouma Annie’s famous pumpkin fritters. Booking is essential.
For R100 you can also keep your tummy smiling and savour their appetizing selection of either Boerebraai Tapas or Gourmet Braaibroodjies, and wine pairing. You will be happy to know that a special treat also awaits the kids. For R60 they offer a Kiddies Snack Box, containing boerewors, chips, dried fruit, sweets and a juice box.
For more, visit middelvlei.co.za
Overture at Hidden Valley Wines
Hidden Valley Wines, Annandale road, Stellenbosch
A restaurant renowned for its inspiring food, wine and exceptional service, Overture exemplifies the ultimate foodie destination, where modern South African cuisine has been reimagined. Using enticing nostalgic flavours of good old South African food, Chef Bertus Basson creates expertly crafted culinary masterpieces, with a modern twist. You can expect fresh locally sourced ingredients, with a focus on maize and protein.
For more, visit bertusbasson.com
Sir Lowry’s Pass Rd, Somerset West
Hanging in the sky awaits Waterkloof Restaurant, where Chef Gregory Czarnecki showcases his creativity and cooks up a storm in their open-kitchen. You can enjoy the show (and incredible views) and delight in his improv meals, created to complement Waterkloof Honest Wines. You can expect a contemporary spin on classic french cuisine, enhanced with local flavours.
For more, visit waterkloofwines.co.za
Why not stop off at Healey’s Deli on your way to Waterkloof Restaurant and add some cheesy goodness to your day.
Idiom Restaurant at Da Capo
Sir Lowrys Pass, Knorhoek Estate entrance, Sir Lowry’s Pass
As from Wednesday 18 July 2018, Idiom Restaurant opens its doors with their new winter menu (booking is essential). Think contemporary dining, where their mouth-watering meals are inspired by a creative fusion of Italian and South African flavours. This is particularly exemplified in their regional pizza menu. The unique architecture of the restaurant, where the old-world charm of classic Rome greets contemporary South Africa, mirrors their exclusive food concept.
It must be known that here lies an exceptional wine-tasting centre, where they showcase their flagship blends, signature varieties and limited release 900 series wine. You can also take a sneak peak that their Vinoteria Italian Wine Library. Here you will be given a virtual tour of the Bottega Family Wine’s Italian roots, as well as its journey within South Africa.
For more, visit idiom.co.za
La Colombe at Silvermist Wine Estate
Silvermist Wine Estate, Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
A classically elegant and creative portrayal of French and Asian inspired cuisine, La Colombe inspires a passion for food. Using only fresh produce and uncomplicated, clean flavours, Chef Scot Kirton aims to perfect the art of food. Why not truly experience the joys of good food; and make the most of their winter special running until 31 August 2008. For R465 per person, you can feast on their 4 course lunch offering (available all week, excluding public holidays).
For more, visit lacolombe.co.za
What is your favourite spot to visit in the winelands during the winter? Feel free to drop a comment. I’d love to know!