Simply delicious Mediterranean cuisine, with views and wine to di(n)e for.
A working almond farm with spectacular views on the Suid-Agter Paarl road, Vrymansfontein is fresh from a magnificent re-imagining as a wine-and-dining destination for families and foodies. Owner Max Ward (of the Vondeling wines family) has transformed the old wine cellars into beautifully designed and versatile spaces, where you can linger over a long lunch in the serene restaurant, enjoy casual tapas at the bar on the shaded terrace, or laze on the lawn… All the while, tasting the whole range of Vondeling wines while you soak up the views.
Simple but refined farm food
Chef Kevin Grobler is at the helm revelling in the change from his previous fine-dining experiences (JAN Nice, Delaire Graff, Grande Roche) to a simpler farm-to-table philosophy in line with Max’s vision. “The menu is inspired by the beautiful simplicity of the dishes you can find throughout the Mediterranean region – a flawlessly roasted piece of fish, a four-ingredient steak tartare using the best fillet there is, or our house favourite – veld-reared rotisserie chicken,” says Max. “We have sourced the very best local and seasonal produce available so that we can stay true to our principles of produce and flavour first.”
At SCAPE, the signature restaurant (elegantly understated with pale wood tables, indoor trees, comfortable chairs and banquettes, and light-filled landscape oil paintings by local artist, Rose Williams), the focus is on simple but refined flavours in plates that are designed to be shared family style. We were wowed by our first tastes; food you’d happily return for, week after week: a strawberry-and-goat’s cheese salad with pancetta; an enticing beetroot carpaccio with grapefruit and almond gremolata; and the succulent simplicity of the brined then roasted chicken. A fresh and fabulous basil ice cream with crunchy honeycomb was another flavour bomb.
Outside on the terrace The Tree Bar sits in dappled shade for al fresco small plates and snacks from the easy-going Levantine-inspired menu – think falafel, gazpacho, tabouleh, hummus, roast chicken, with pita and naan. At the end of the terrace a custom-built timber jungle gym keeps kids happy, and just below are green lawns, the place to spread out a blanket and relax.
The Vondeling wines take centre stage at the tasting bar, with a diverse selection of beauties, from the fresh and bright Vondeling Rosé perfect for summer sipping to the flagship Babiana white blend, structured and elegant and a fitting accompaniment to the food. Sommelier George Young has also curated a selection of local South African wines for the SCAPE winelist, giving him plenty of scope for food and wine pairings.
Welcoming, beautifully conceived, and delicious at every mouthful, Vrymansfontein is one to add to your Paarl Winelands list.
Opens 10 November 2023
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm (restaurants)
10am – 6pm (wine-tasting)
Contact 082 617 4903, email@example.com
Where to find it Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
Book through DinePlan
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