After spending a week in Stellenbosch, I’m pretty sure you can eat, drink and pair various bits of deliciousness together at a different place for each meal and still never go wanting for restaurants and estates to dine at. Along with creatives from around the globe we wined, dined, sampled, swirled, paired and sipped daily and this is what it comes down to- a glorious list prepared for each tastebud and foodie-lover under the sun. So here it is ( I warn you to not read this hungry):
Lunch and a Beer Tasting at Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery.
When visiting this Afro-Barbeque smokehouse and artisinal bakery, come expecting meat, meat and more delicious meat ( oh and delicious breads). We feasted on pork and beef in various forms of such as ribs, steak all smoked in the ‘The Hog’ which smokes meats the low-and slow way for up to 16 hours. And all gloriously served with onion rings, salads, chilli poppers alongside a beer tasting.
To book your beer tasting and smoked lunch, visit Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery.
Pizza and Waffles at The Bustop at Stellenbosch Vineyards
Relaxed lunch with mojitos and G&T’s on tap don’t really get better than this. Sit on reclaimed bus seats and grab your drinks from a yellow parked bus. Choose between a number of burgers made with woodfire grilled beef patties with names like The Conductor, Bus Pass and Handbrake. Pizzas, waffles, wines and beers are also on offer. Spend the day there and park off on the lawns at the Stellenbosch Vineyards.
To dine beside the bus, visit The Bus Stop
Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House
Once you get past the elegant lounge, fireplace and golden pig, there’s so much fun to be had by compiling your own menu from four to six small plates per person. Instead of the usual bread board, the kitchen offers with compliments: ‘mielie pap’ croquette with sheba brioche, cheese, cheese, korrelkonfyt, sourdough and butter.
Some starters include coal roasted cauliflower, heirloom tomatoes with white balsamic jelly or beer onions with fire roasted broccoli. The next course highlights feature house made duck breast ham, beef tartare ‘poke’ bowl, cured franschhoek trout, sashimi and baby marrow risotto. Right before dessert, the mains get serious with butter poached kingklip, tagliatelle, suckling pig, and pan friend springbok rump. The sweetness finds you with an ice cream sandwich, cereal milk panna cotta, almond milk ice cream.
For more info on the small plate menu: www.majekahouse.co.za
Light Lunch at Lanzerac Deli
After a morning hike in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, you cannot imagine how welcome a glass of champagne with a deli style lunch was. Platters of cured meats, salami, parma hams and more were presented alongside every cheese and biscuit imaginable. Figs, grapes and strawberries dotted the platters and it wasn’t long before we all sank deeply into our chairs in a haze of scrumptious food ( which is all surprisingly filling).
Book your lunch at Lanzerac
Eat art for dinner at Delaire Graff Estate.
Don your sparkling best, bring your other half and come prepared for a true feast of the eyes and the belly. It doesn’t really get finer than this. Sip some champers fireside in the lounge before browsing the hallways where the art collections on display will delight you. If you’re there before the sun sets, watch the sky turn pink on the their vineyards on the hill. And this is all before moving into the restaurant.
Master Chef Michael Deg served up some true masterpieces within the theme of black magic such as a starter of coral, guiness and textures of cauliflower. An intermediate course of gin cured trout, onion ash, charred cucumber and squid ink aioli. Mains was a Josper roasted springbok loin, shoulder pastille, orange sweet potato and dark chocolate jus. The entire meal seems like we were devouring art but once dessert arrived, I actually felt bad when I had to pull my spoon through the perfect chocolate sphere with chocolate and guinness cremeux, black velvet cake and sesame gelato.
For art on your plate and art all around you, visit Delaire Graff
Breakfast at Tokara Deli & Olive Oil Tasting
It’s at this olive oil tasting that I discovered a new found love and appreciation for kalamata olives. After an extra virgin olive oil tasting with olives and bread, we walked through the olive trees to the Tokara Deli. Fire on the go, beautiful kids play area outside beside the lawn and a shop area, we brunched with champagne and enjoyed brilliant vineyard views. Don’t forget to browse the impressive art collection at Tokara before or after your olive oil tasting.
To book your olive oil tasting at Tokara or breakfast at Tokara Deli visit Tokara
Dine with a Kayamandi local
After a tour around Kayamandi with the flamboyant Thembi, an early dinner with Nocawe was oh so welcome. Pap, chakalaka, chicken, spinach, butternut and vetkoek were all on the table and served with the greatest of hospitality along with a few traditional Xhosa songs.
To book your ‘Dine with a Local’ experience, visit Stellenbosch Travel
Gin tasting and Lunch at Devon Valley Hotel.
Come rain or shine, gin tasting here is a particularly superb idea. But with a chill outdoors and crackling fire indoors, I’m sure this indigenous gin tasted even better. Laid out in all their splendour and fine colours, started out with one of my favorite pairings Blaauwklippen Triple Africa Botanicals Gin which was served with rosemary and cranberry juice with dried cranberries.
Next up was the Wilderer Fynbos Gin served with almond salt, cucumber and soda water, the Inverroche Verdant with tonic water, orange slices and herbal infused bitters and lastly the refreshing mix of Cape Town Rooibos Gin with lemon ice tea, lemon slices and mint.
To book a lunch and gin tasting, visit Devon Valley Hotel
Vinegar Tasting at Rozendal
Botanical infused vinegars will taste a lot better than you imagine. At the first sound of a vinegar tasting, you may be wondering how tasty it could be. But after careful instruction to sip it, swirl it in your warm to heat it and swallow, you may find yourself really enjoying these Balsamic-style vineyars to pair with salads and various foods. Vinegars such as fynbos, hibiscus, lavender and more can be enjoyed in the effortlessly stylish tasting room at Rozendal.
To book your vinegar tasting, visit Rozendal
Nougat and sparkling wine tasting.
What could be better than bubbly and nougat? And not just any nougat but varieties such as lemon and Thyme, citrus infused almond, rooibos with gojiberry along with pomegranate and pistachio nougat. Each one of these nougat delights are paired with the new Vibrazio range at J.C Le Roux like the Brut, Vibrazio Sauvignon BLanc, La Valley Rose, Vibrazio Demi Sec and La Flearette. To pinpoint a favourite would be impossible plus after enjoying this tasting on plush couches in the slick tasting room we moved on to sample a few cocktails made with the new range. Too much tastiness in one sitting.
To book your nougat and bubbly tasting, visit www.jcleroux.co.za
Braai and wine blending at Middelvlei.
I’d have to say that one of the true joys of this place is the fact that you can pitch up, hang out on the lawn, play giant board games, sit indoors by the fire, sip your moerkoffie in winter and have someone else braai. No pretentious food, fancy seating or millions of courses, just a good ol’ scrumptious braai. Let the kids feed the farm animals while you wait or take a scroll past the donkeys down the farm road or just sip a glass of wine as the sunset ignites the skies. If you’re a wine lover, why not experience blending your wine? With a group, it’s tons of fun plus you’l get to guess which blend is yours and take it home to enjoy after.
To book your boere braai experience, visit Middelvlei
Cape Malay Cuisine at Delheim plus a Cupcake and Wine Cellar pairing.
Delheim got it oh so right when they decided to pair cupcakes with wine. Who knew? And why has it taken someone so long to discover this? Down in the timely cellar, we devoured cupcakes and sipped wine before moving up to the restaurant to eat a Cape Malay style meal. After the samoosas and chutney, curries, coriander and general spicy goodness.
To book your dinner or cupcake wine pairing, visit Delheim Wines.
Blue Crane Coffee Company
Calling all coffee connoisseurs, you have come to the right place. Find a table or a couch in the one room and wait to be delighted by the brews that come from this coffee lab and roastery. We watched how they blended coffee in their lab whilst being served some of the best chocolate ever made.
For truly spectacular brews, visit The Blue Crane and the Butterfly.
These experiences were enjoyed during our Stellenblog Week. All opinions expressed remain my own.
Which eateries, tastings and estates did you really love in Stellenbosch?