“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilised pleasures,” says Michael Broadbent, the 90-year-old British wine critic and writer. And we couldn’t agree more, particularly if you happen to be on one of the Cape’s spectacular wine farms, with breathtaking views and a relaxed rural ambience completing the picture.
Our dilemma is this: with over 300 vineyards dotted around the peninsula – from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl to Constantia, Durbanville and even as far afield as the Overberg – where does one begin?
We’ve whittled down the list to our 30 favourite wine-farm restaurants, so that all you have to do is hop in your car, and follow the fragrant smell of superb wine and excellent food…
Chefs Warehouse at Maison Estate
It’s arguably the (gastronomic) news of the season! Chef Liam Tomlin is opening a new restaurant in Franschhoek – at Maison Estate, no less, in the space that was formerly home to The Kitchen. If the other restaurants in his stable are anything to go on, diners can expect impeccably executed and incredibly tasty “global tapas”, as Liam calls them. Driven young chef David Schneider, who was Liam’s right-hand man at Chefs Warehouse on Bree Street will be heading the kitchen and will also be in charge of the estate’s deli, homeware shop, and tasting room.
Opens 1 December 2017
Contact 021 876 2116
Location Chefs Warehouse, Maison Estate, R45, Franschhoek
Orangerie Restaurant at Le Lude
Located on the lovely Le Lude MCC Estate, Orangerie’s chic, all-white interiors – with the odd splash of colour – echo chef Nicolene Barrow’s intriguing menu: purist European execution tinged with personal flair. Expect fresh ingredients – sourced seasonally from the surrounding forests, meadows, mountains and seas – judiciously combined to create memorable and exquisite-looking dishes. The French-inspired interiors – white-and-black tiling, atrium windows, with potted plants and floral arrangements providing pops of colour – create a soothing and decidedly civilised atmosphere.
Contact 021 100 3464, email@example.com
Location Le Lude, Bowling Green Avenue (Lambrechts Road), Franschhoek
Pierneef at La Motte
Named after South African landscape artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, this esteemed Franschhoek restaurant on La Motte’s enchanting vineyard offers a similarly creative streak, as chef Michelle Theron paints her own culinary pictures using centuries-old cooking techniques, borne out of local and international influences. You’ll find plenty of whimsy at this fine-dining establishment from the Delft-style porcelain dangling from the rafters to the bold chair backs that tell their own stories…Outside, ancient oaks and bubbling water features create a serene setting, with the overall atmosphere being sophisticated yet quirky.
Contact 021 876 8800, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Pierneef, La Motte, R45 Main Road, Franschhoek
The Werf at Boschendal
Housed in Boschendal’s original cellar, The Werf epitomises a particular style of plaas chic – heritage-Dutch-meets-modern-Afrikaner – that’s familiar, unintimidating and so now! Chef Christiaan Campbell’s passion and commitment to ensuring that ethical and sustainable methods are followed on every inch of this nine-hectare estate is reflected in his “innovative country dishes”. The warm service, stylish interiors and spectacular surrounds (with ancient oak trees, forests and untamed gardens) makes for a perfect Sunday luncheon.
Contact 021 870 4206, email@example.com
Location The Werf, Boschendal, Pniel Road, Franschhoek Valley
Rust en Vrede restaurant at Rust en Vrede Wine Estate
An all-round first-class experience awaits you at the warm and welcoming restaurant on the gorgeous Rust and Vrede estate. With someone to greet you on arrival, stellar service throughout your meal, and exquisitely plated, vibrant, and delicious French-inspired cuisine, it’s no wonder that two of SA’s finest chefs – Gregory Czarnecki and Luke Dale-Roberts – rate it among the best restaurants in the land. Housed in the estate’s original 1785 cellar, the restaurant also won a spot on Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World in 2014.
Contact 021 881 3757, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Rust en Vrede, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Jordan Restaurant at Jordan Wine Estate
You’ll find George Jardine’s acclaimed restaurant on one of Stellenbosch’s most picturesque wine estates. Here, George and head chef Kyle Burn’s meticulous dishes are served by professional, enthusiastic staff. If you love cheese, you’ll fall in love with the walk-in cheese room filled with local cheeses such as Fairview Blue Rock and Klein Rivier Gruyère.
Good to know Jordan Estate is also home to The Bakery, a relaxed eatery, with beautiful garden scenery, where al fresco breakfasts (or lazy lunches on the deck) are highly recommended.
Contact 021 881 3612, email@example.com
Location Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Stellenbosch
The Table Restaurant at De Meye Wine Farm
Like a scene straight out of A Year in Provence, The Table Restaurant on the beautiful De Meye wine farm in Stellenbosch, epitomises a winelands fantasy come true… long, languid lunches in the country, wonderful company, uplifting conversation, and the joy of delicious home-grown food and good stuff to drink. Hosts Luke and Jessica Grant have created an honest-to-goodness experience that’s memorable and uplifting, and has regulars returning time and again.
In summer, ask for a private table under the trees; in winter take a seat in the historic white-washed farm building for a cosy meal overlooking the vineyards beyond.
Contact 072 696 0530, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The Table Restaurant, De Meye Farm, Muldersvlei Road, Klapmuts, Stellenbosch
The Manor Kitchen at Lanzerac Wine Estate
Fresh from a year-long refurb (after a devastating fire destroyed the property in 2017), Lanzerac Hotel and its in-house restaurant reopened in July 2018, and is arguably one of the most beautiful hotels in the winelands, indeed the world.
The third oldest farm in Stellenbosch (founded just 13 years after the town itself, over 300 years ago), Lanzerac is home to the immaculate Manor Kitchen, one of three restaurants on the estate, and certainly the most dazzling, with its eye-catching chandeliers, oversized leaded windows and lofty proportions.
Each morning, the restaurant is a hive of activity when the bountiful breakfast buffet opens for service, after which beautifully crafted classical dishes are available to order for dinner or Sunday lunch.
Good to know For a more casual experience, the Lanzerac Deli serves all-day breakfasts, homemade breads, pastries, sandwiches, local cheeses and charcuterie platters. For a festive atmosphere, head to the Taphuis: a bar that is beautifully decorated in an array of vintage pieces including what is believed to be a confession booth that’s been restored and converted into a wine cupboard. Here you can enjoy gourmet pub grub beside a roaring fireplace in winter, or outdoors on the terrace in summer. There’s also the moody Craven Lounge, which offers gourmet small plates and boasts an extensive selection of the finest local and international spirits, a curated wine list, and an impressive cigar menu.
Contact 021 887 1132, email@example.com
Location 1 Lanzerac Road
Delaire Graff Restaurant at Delaire Graff
Situated on the dramatic Helshoogte Pass, Delaire Graff Restaurant is the full package when it comes to dining in the winelands, offering incredible views, immaculate interiors and excellent fare (so the steep prices should come as no surprise). Chef Kieran White’s exquisite menu offers classic bistro favourites with South African twists, and incorporates ingredients picked daily from the estate’s own greenhouse and vegetable garden.
Contact 021 885 8160, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Delaire Graff Restaurant, Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch
Overture at Hidden Valley Wines
Situated on the foothills of the imposing Helderberg Mountain on Hidden Valley Wine Farm, Overture has grown from into a foodie destination of note, well-loved for its modern South African cuisine, beautiful views and impressive setting.
Drawing inspiration from their mother’s recipes and early food memories, chef Bertus Basson and his hard-working team delight diners with refined dishes as well as bold fire-grilled plates.
Good to know Bertus is about to swing open the doors of his brand-new restaurant – Top of The Ritz – at the top of the iconic hotel in Sea Point.
Contact 021 880 2721, email@example.com
Location Overture, Hidden Valley Wines, T4 Route, off Annandale Road, R44, Stellenbosch
Terroir at Kleine Zalze Wine Estate
At this multiple-award-winning restaurant, head chef Michael Broughton impresses with layered yet “deceptively simple” dishes that evolve with the seasons. Situated on the breathtakingly beautiful Kleine Zalze estate, under the coolness of old oak trees and with views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains, Terroir is one that’ll impress even the most jaded out-of-towners.
Contact 021 880 8167, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Terroir, Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, Die Boord, Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch
The Restaurant at Waterkloof Wines
In a shining glass tower, dangling over the winelands, French wizard Gregory Czarnecki conjures up recipes inspired by his food-loving homeland, paired with wines from the estate’s own cellar. The glass walls give way to unobstructed views of the vineyards, while the open-plan kitchen ensures that transparency extends to the chefs at work. There’s also a tasting lounge on the estate, warmed by a roaring fireplace during winter, where diners can sample some of the region’s finest.
Contact 021 858 1491, email@example.com
Location Waterkloof Wines, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
Camphors at Vergelegen Estate
Taking its name from the giant trees that were planted around the front of Vergelegen’s historic homestead over 300 years ago, Camphors established a superb reputation the minute it opened its doors. The restaurant exudes understated sophistication and is elegantly dressed in comfortable, classic furniture with a decidedly contemporary flair. Executive chef Michael Cooke changes his menu seasonally and, as such, is constantly innovating bold new flavours and exquisitely presented dishes.
Contact 021 847 2131, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Camphors, Vergelegen Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Idiom Wine at Da Capo Vineyards
Lying in the shadow of majestic granite mountains, cooled by the winds from the Atlantic Ocean, the wine produced at De Capo Vineyards benefits from the unique combination of climatic conditions. Having produced 10 exceptional vintages, the Bottega Family took the next step, and opened a restaurant on the estate.
The interior is enriched with Old World Roman architecture, combined with glass walls that showcase the spectacular views, while an outdoor terrace provides the perfect location for a lazy weekend lunch amid sprawling vineyards. True to the Bottega Family’s heritage, the restaurant offers a mix of Italian and South African cuisine, including a selection of pizzas inspired by various regions of Italy and the Cape.
Contact 021 858 1088, email@example.com
Location De Capo Vineyards, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Knorhoek Estate entrance, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Cape Town
Cavalli restaurant at Cavalli Wine Estate
With spectacular views of the Helderberg mountains and a sophisticated waterside setting, Cavalli is one of those quintessential special-occasion venues offering a contemporary spin on classic dishes made from herbs and vegetables grown on the estate. Its unique setting in the UNESCO-protected Cape Floral Kingdom coupled with meticulous interior design makes dining here rather memorable.
Newly appointed chef Michael Deg (formerly Delaire Graff) has already put his stamp on the menu by “focusing on simplicity, moving away from overcomplicated, fussy food, and letting the quality of the produce shine”. Sounds like it’s just up our alley.
Contact 021 855 3218, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Cavalli restaurant, Cavalli Wine Estate, Strand Road, R44, Somerset West
La Colombe at Silvermist Wine Estate
High up on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, Silvermist Wine Estate is a veritable jewel in the Constantia Wine Valley’s crown. And it is here, on this farm, that you’ll find La Colombe, headed by multi-award-winning executive chef Scot Kirton and head chef James Gaag. The stylish restaurant’s pared-down interior is the perfect canvas for Scot and his team to conjure creative French-Asian dishes using foraged-for ingredients that they magically finesse into immaculately plated dishes.
Contact 021 794 2390, email@example.com
Location La Colombe, Silvermist Wine Estate, Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia Wine Estate
Lauded as a culinary stalwart on the SA food scene, chef Liam Tomlin’s Bree Street restaurant, Chefs Warehouse and Canteen, is rated the best in Cape Town by some of city’s top chefs. So when he opened a second branch at Beau Constantia Wine Estate, foodies in the southern ‘burbs danced a collective jig! With chef Ivor Jones (former head chef at The Test Kitchen) in charge of the kitchen, guests can expect the same cutting-edge cuisine and laid-back atmosphere that Liam Tomlin’s original eatery is so famous for. The setting, chic interiors and panoramic vistas at this tapas restaurant that take the dining experience to the next level.
Contact 021 794 8632, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Chefs Warehouse, Beau Constantia, 1043 Constantia Main Road, Cape Town
Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg Estate
Bistro Sixteen82’s location is hard to beat. Surrounded by the verdant vineyards and mesmerising mountains, the elegant eatery’s terraced dining area overlooks the estate’s indigenous garden, with its dazzling water features and intriguing metal sculptures. Chef Kerry Kilpin’s seasonal menu offers a mix of Asian- and Spanish-inspired dishes that are fresh and flavourful.
Contact 021 713 2211, email@example.com steenbergfarm.com
Location Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town
Babel at Babylonstoren
Situated on the beautiful Babylonstoren farm, this eternally stylish restaurant is just one of the gazillion reasons to visit the estate. The simple menu, that changes seasonally to maximise what’s on offer in the farm’s 3.5-hectare garden, is sheer genius. Expect simple, fresh and beautifully orchestrated mains, colour-coded salads with heady mixes of freshly picked fruit and vegetables, and a creative array of desserts.
Then head to the modern tasting room, and sample some top-drawer wines, while enjoying floor-to-ceiling views of the magnificent surrounds.
Contact 021 863 3852, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Babel, Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium
Bertus Basson at Spice Route
A 45-minute drive from the city, Spice Route’s delightful village set-up is the perfect day-trip destination for the whole family. It is here that celebrated chef Bertus Basson and his business partner Alistaire Lawrence opened Bertus Basson at Spice Route in 2015. This delightful modern bistro serves traditional South African fare with a modern twist. Sit outdoors on the stoep under the magnificent oaks, and soak up the breathtaking views over the valley towards Table Mountain.
Contact 021 863 5222, email@example.com
Location Bertus Basson, Spice Route, Suid Agter Paarl Road, Suider Paarl
Faber at Avondale
Created by chef Eric Bulpitt (formerly of Newton Johnson) and Avondale’s proprietor, Johnathan Grieve, Faber offers visitors elegant yet relaxed fine dining in the central heart of the Cape Winelands.
Here, culinary magic and the natural beauty of a working Cape wine farm merge, resulting in a food experience that wistfully remains with you long after you’ve left.
The garden setting is a real-life Secret Garden and enhances the beautiful, soothing country atmosphere. What’s more, everything from the vegetables to the edible flowers – which artfully adorn the dishes – are sourced, wherever possible, from the farm and garden.
Good to know Speaking of soothing country vibes, the Avondale Garden Bar is open weekly on Fridays – from 4pm to 7pm (until 30 March 2018). It’s a chance to sit back and relax after a tough work week, sampling vintages from a select winelist, as well as classic G&Ts, specialist beers and tasty finger food.
Contact 021 202 1219, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Avondale Estate, Lustigan Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl
Restaurant at Glen Carlou
At the end of Glen Carlou’s vineyard-lined drive, you’ll find a charming thatched-roof building that’s home to a tasting room and restaurant. The latter is a comfortable and contemporary space, with roof-to-floor glass doors that lead onto a partially shaded verandah, allowing gorgeous glimpses of the Drakenstein mountains and farmlands below.
The menu is an interesting mix of traditional South African cuisine with Asian influences, and all dishes are elegantly presented.
Contact 021 875 5528, email@example.com
Location Glen Carlou, Simondium Road, Klapmuts, Paarl
Breedekloof Wine Valley
Bosjes restaurant at Bosjes Wine Farm
At the foot of the Waaihoek Mountain, in the beautiful Breede Valley, you will find the perfect hideaway: Bosjes Farm. With awe-inspiring interiors by Liam Mooney and Coetzee Steyn, a gobsmackingly gorgeous location, and food by Kim Cox, it’s not surprising that Bosjes Kombuis has become a wildly popular destination (despite its distance from Cape Town).
The bistro-style menu offers healthy, vibrant and delicious options. Sit outdoors on the wooden deck and inhale the unpolluted country air while enjoying impressive views of the Slanghoek and Waaihoek Mountains.
In addition to the ultra-modern eatery the farm is also home to a charming guesthouse, and an open-air tea garden.
Contact 023 004 0496, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Bosjes, Wine Farm, off the R43, near Worcester/Ceres
Diemersdal Farm Eatery at Diemersdal Wine Estate
A mere 40-minute drive from Cape Town, you’ll find the luscious Diemersdal Estate, in the heart of Durbanville wine country. The restaurant has been brought to life by the Louw family (six generations deep), who have restored an old stable to provide a tranquil country ambience. Captained by French-trained chef Martin De Kock, the farm eatery serves a delightful array of dishes that incorporate flavours of Provence, Spain and even Asia.
Contact 021 976 1810, email@example.com
Location Diemersdal Wine Farm, Koeberg Road, Durbanville
Hemel-en-Aarde and the Overberg
The Restaurant at Newton Johnson
Capable young chef Rickey Broekhoven (who honed his skills working as Eric Bulpitt’’s sous chef) is a forager at heart and, as such, you’re sure to be served fresh and exciting, seasonally driven meals at this chic eatery.
The adjoining tasting room, with spectacular views across the valley towards the sea, is the perfect spot to sample some of the vineyard’s first-class pinot noirs – before or after your meal.
Good to know On the last Friday of each month – from 6pm onwards (no bookings after 7pm) – the restaurant hosts a fun burger evening that includes a beer and a wagyu burger and chips for a mere R150.
Contact 021 200 2148, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The Restaurant at Newton-Johnson, R320 Hemel-en-Aarde Road, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hermanus
Spookfontein Restaurant at Spookfontein Wines
With views (for days) of the breathtaking Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, this atmospheric restaurant at Spookfontein Wines is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of vino with friends and family, accompanied by a delicious, made-from-scratch meal. The contemporary interiors coupled with the comforting dishes and superb views make this a worthwhile outing if you’re in Hermanus.
Contact 073 067 7936, email@example.com
Location Spookfontein Wines, 33, Hemel en Aarde Road, Hermanus
The Gallery Restaurant at South Hill Wine Estate
Expect warm hospitality and honest country-style dishes at this hidden gem in Elgin. Set in an old barn (also used as a gallery space), guests can enjoy hearty breakfast offerings including farm-fresh eggs, Grabouw wors, fruit and creamy yoghurt, while the lunch menu includes an assortment of platters and tapas. The surrounding vineyards benefit from Elgin’s cool climate and lush topography, making this an ideal setting to sip great wine and enjoy this laid-back, family-friendly restaurant.
Contact 021 844 0888, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 113 The Valley Road, Elgin
Tasting Room at Creation Wines
No trip to Hermanus would be complete without a visit to the beautiful vineyards of the nearby Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. One such place is Creation Wines, whose ever-changing menu ensures that fresh and exciting dishes are the order of the day. The estate’s unusual wine-and-food pairings are also worth a whirl. Either way, you’re guaranteed of superb wine and great classic European-inspired dishes. Sit on the terrace on a sunny day (or inside if it’s chilly) and enjoy the fabulous views of the vineyards over the farm dam and the towering Babylon Toren mountain.
Contact 028 212 1107, email@example.com
Location Tasting Room, Creation Wines, Hemel & Aarde Rd R320, Hermanus
The Pool Room at Oak Valley Estate
On the Oak Valley Estate in Elgin, you’ll find The Pool Room – a relaxed and elegant eatery where friendly service and delicious food create an unpretentious experience in a beautiful setting. The chic glass-fronted restaurant overlooks an immaculate turquoise swimming pool and manicured lawns with spectacular views of the valley through the old oaks that line the pathway.
The country-inspired cuisine is created with ingredients that are mainly sourced on the farm, including free-range grass-fed beef, acorn-fed pork, and naturally grown vegetables. On sunny days tables are set around the pool, with chaises longues laid out for those who’d like to linger.
Contact 021 859 411, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Oak Valley Estate, Elgin
Springfontein Eats at Springfontein Wine Estate
It wasn’t long before Michelin-starred chef Jürgen Schneider’s Stanford eatery at Springfontein Wine Estate was being hailed as the premier hidden gem of the Overberg region. It’s only when you enter the restaurant, however, that you realise that this is a foodie destination like no other in the area.
The light, airy, thatched-roof restaurant, with cool stone-and-plaster walls and a pale-grey screeded cement floor create a rustic relaxed ambiance only offset by the exquisite locavore food, with a hint of molecular gastronomy.
And if Jürgen isn’t in the kitchen, he’s probably out scouring the winelands for plants, herbs and other ingredients to use in his masterfully created dishes.
Contact 028 341 0651, email@example.com
Location Springfontein Eats, Springfontein Wine Estate, Moore Road, Stanford, Western Cape
WE ALSO RECOMMEND
- Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant at Môreson Estate (Franschhoek)
- La Petite Ferme Restaurant at La Petite Ferme (Franschhoek)
- Paulina’s Restaurant at Rickety Bridge Winery (Franschhoek)
- ROCA Restaurant at Dieu Donne Vineyards (Franschhoek)
- The Restaurant at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)
- Highlands Road Estate Café at Highlands Road Wine Estate for pizzas (Elgin)
- Jonkershuis at Groot Constantia (Constantia)
- De Grendel Restaurant at De Grendel Wine Estate and Restaurant (Durbanville)
- Poplars at D’Aria Winery (Durbanville)
- Garden Restaurant at Delheim Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Tokara Restaurant at Tokara Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Dornier Bodega Restaurant at Dornier Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Weltevreden Restaurant at Weltvreden Estate (Stellenbosch)
- The Restaurant at Clos Malverne at Clos Malverne Estate (Stellenbosch)
- The Vine Bistro at Glenelly Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Tasting Room at Mulderbosch Vineyards (Stellenbosch)
- Boerebraai Restaurant at Middelvlei Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Café Blanc de Noir at Brenaissance Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Eight Restaurant at Spier Wine Farm (Stellenbosch)
- Cucina di Giovanni at Eikendal Wine Estate (Stellenbosch)
- 95 at Morgenster at Morgenster Estate (Somerset West)
- Avontuur Restaurant at Avontuur Estate (Somerset West)
- Pizzeria at Under Oaks (Paarl)
- Cosecha restaurant at Noble Hill Wine Estate (Paarl)
- Goatshed Restaurant at Fairview Wine Farm (Paarl)
- Rhebokskloof Restaurant at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate (Paarl)
Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll keep you in the loop of all the Cape’s hidden gems.