By: Joanna Hurlston
Working in the tourism and hospitality industry for over seventeen years has landed me in some near perfect places, and when I started Time And Away in 2014, it graciously led me to the Cape Winelands.
I’ve been terrifically spoilt with my ventures, and my most splendid home to date has been on Boschendal Wine Farm (just a stone’s throw away from the stunningly picturesque town of Franschhoek). If you’ve visited the area, you’ll be no stranger to the abundance of breath-taking natural beauty, relentlessly warm hospitality, and most importantly, the decadent dining experiences.
If you live for weekends brimming with impeccable wine and even better food, then I write this in the hope that your footsteps will retrace mine into endless afternoons filled with dappled sunshine and sweet self indulgence. So, without further ado: from comforting country dining to experimental flavour fusions, these are the homes of my very favourite memorably moreish meals in the Cape Winelands.
Café Bon Bon
If you’re a lover of the sleepy satisfaction that comes along with a homemade meal that’s “just like your mother used to make it” (but better), then look no further. This laidback country-esque gem surprises and delights with hearty flavour combinations and generous portions. Café Bon Bon has it all: from the thoughtfully thorough wine list, to the warm but relaxed service, to of course, the food. Expect the taste of home in every bite with dishes like tender, farm-reared pork belly, pan-seared farm lamb with pomegranate flavours, and exotic wild mushroom risotto.
This picture-perfect restaurant-cum-wedding-venue is so much more than just a feast for the eyes. The menu is primarily Mediterranean, featuring dishes like baba ganoush, falafels, crispy calamari, smoked olives and snails. While the delectable dishes come drastically close, I have to admit that the absolute pinnacle of Roca restaurant is the scenery. The restaurant boasts breath-taking views of the valley guaranteed to make you lose track of time and space.
Joostenberg Bistro is the ideal spot for long, lazy Sundays filled with good company and endless laughter. The ambience is luxuriously relaxed, cosy, and suited to families and friends alike. The traditional French cuisine embodies all the elements of simple good food, and on any given day you can experience dishes like herb-crusted pork loin, Cape linefish with white wine, and charcuterie boards. Every dish is hearty, robust, and above all, made from scratch with exceptional amounts of love.
Cattle Baron Grill Room at Saxenburg
The Cattle Baron Grill Room is located on the splendidly beautiful Saxenburg wine farm in Stellenbosch. They serve classic meat dishes such as beef fillet Madagascar, scrumptiously tender fall-off-the-bone spare ribs, and their succulent signature T-bone. For less carnivorous palates they also serve an array of superb fresh seafood, chicken dishes and delicious vegetarian dishes (complimented by a wine list of gorgeous Saxenburg cultivars). If you’d prefer, there’s also the option to take your meal out in the farm fresh air with a rustic picnic on the sprawling lawns – perfect for friends and families.
Reuben’s at Chamonix
Cape Town foodies will be no stranger to Reuben Riffel’s divine flavour amalgamations – and the beautiful Chamonix wine farm is the perfect accompaniment to his creations. Reuben Riffel has returned to Racine (which aptly translates into the French word “roots”) where he started his culinary career. He creates stunningly sophisticated bistro style cuisine,and this is where you need to go to find his signature miso braised beef cheek, roasted pork belly with sesame braised rib, and pepper crusted springbok. If you’re one for the simpler things in life, the menu features seventeen dishes that embody natural flavours and melt in your mouth textures.
And there you have it!
If you’re looking for a place to rest your head that is as luxurious as your dining expeditions, then look no further than our characteristically opulent wineland villas in the area. From beautiful Franschhoek villas such as 16 Cabriere and the 6 bedroom Garden Manor in Stellenbosch, to the avant garde yet cosy 2 bedroom aptly named The Gallery in Franschhoek, we offer beautiful housing suited to every unique taste and family size. Make your venture away a splendidly unforgettable one.
Salut! Joanna Hurlston