Best outdoor dining experiences in the Western Cape
True magic, this place takes you to a different world. Dis asof jy nie in Suid Afrika ‘n wynplaas besoek nie, maar eerder baie betaal het, om hierdie ervaring iewers in Europa se platteland te ervaar.
On arrival, slip into the daily pulse of farm life as you stroll down worn pathways and immerse yourself in a small snippet of their eight-acre fruit and vegetable gardens. Don’t think customary gardens, think scale. Less is more they say, but I feel, that is why more is so much more is far more applicable here.
Ek was “mesmerized” met die perfekte, wel deurdagte, asemrowende tuine, installasies en groen liefde wat ek ervaar het. Along with the gardens, there is 13 different grape varietals growing on the slopes of the Simonsberg, producing top wines such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
And for you shoppers, living amongst us normal people rather sticking to wine and savings, the farm shop hosts elegant craft-wares, cheese varieties and fresh produce. Strolling through the extraordinary grounds, you stumble upon a glass conservatory greenhouse, offering light lunches, a delightful home-made cordial, rich coffee and a variety of local, imported or fresh, garden herb teas. For an alfresco fine-dining alternative, be sure to book your table at the Babel, a modern contemporary white-walled, glassed-in restaurant, housed in a converted cowshed. From farm to table, it’s a feast for all senses. Served boldly, vibrantly and with style – artwork on a plate. Heaven!
GRAND CAFE & BEACH CLUB grandafrica.com
Positioned on a private beach in Granger Bay, this unique location creates a feel of being anywhere in the world, but the breathtaking backdrop of Table Mountain, Green Point Stadium and Signal Hill, serves as a cheery reminder that you’re in the Mother City.
It’s no wonder then why it’s cocktail bar and lounge area is the sea and be seen venue of Cape Town, also making it one of the top alfresco spots. The beach café menu focuses on bistro-style, fresh, light dishes – and seafood platters and long, rectangular pizzas are a firm favourite.
Ek “love” dit om die gevoel van die sand tussen my tone te voel. Skoene moet onmiddelik uit, wanneer ek die eerste glasie Sauvignon Blanc bestel. Die buitekroeg bly my gunsteling. Voel of ek, die sand, die water, en my “company”, een raak.
So, get back to basics, embrace our earth, and also take off YOUR shoes, and become alive again, in the centre of Cape Town.
To summarize the overall look and feel: The interior speaks to me, the barn-yard feeling inside. Honest and unpretentious. Outside needs nothing to prettify or add drama. The woven chairs add a homely, yet Italian kind of vibe, and the views speak for itself.
Make sure that you book. This place is buzzing.
DIE STRANDLOPER, LANGEBAAN strandloper.com
Open-air, ocean breeze, sand underfoot and seagulls in the blue skies above, “Die Strandloper” boasts with characteristics of the “Weskus”. This is experienced throughout with meals that are served in individual courses, eaten by hand or ‘from-the-sea’ shell-cutlery. ‘Pot bread’ being served with homemade preserves, black mussels in wine, seafood curry, white stumpnose and smoked angelfish.
That all said, I feel it is far too fancy to explain the heart of Die Strandloper. I just love this place, as you are constantly chowing, and the grub is out of this world. Natural flavours and so unrefined, in a good way. The dining experience is always ended on a high with crayfish and a magnificent view of the Langebaan Lagoon as the gold hues of the sunset lights up the air.
Ek wag altyd vir daai Kreef. Maak seker jy los ‘n gaatjie. I would dine there at least twice a week, if it was closer. Oh, and the local musicians, just do it for me. Die saamsing is die lekkerste.
Must add, those warm, crumbling home-made breads, preserves and cheese – nom nom.
This has remained one of my top five for the past 15 years.
LA PETITE FERME lapetiteferme.co.za
Frenchie has a BIG reputation for all things gourmand and celebrating the finer things in life. Also known as the French Corner, this picturesque town with trademark Cape Dutch architecture, was settled by French Huguenots in the 17th and 18th Century, but today is best known as the culinary and wine capital of South Africa. So, it is only fitting that La Petite Ferme, world-renowned for its approach to rustic contemporary cuisine, is situated high up on the mountain overlooking the Frenchie Valley.
Give in to smoked forest mushroom tart, petit poussin, cassoulet and lemon curd parfait with rainbow macaroons, before sprawling out over manicured lawns or enjoying sips of wine at their panoramic wine tasting table.
My opinion in summary of Le Petite Ferme is: great food, but still offering a relaxed and vibrant environment. Just normal! Like all of us should be. Down to earth and unassuming.
LOURENSFORD TWILIGHT NIGHT MARKET
Yay!!! That is how I feel every Sunday, and also, on those Fridays that we have Twilight Market.
A welcome escape from the busy city life, the Lourensford Twilight Market offers excellent outdoor market feast eats options – with a relaxed picnic style surrounded by vineyards and fruit orchards or harvest table seating under old oaks wrapped in twinkle lights.
The hectic Helderberg winds, blew away the market after a year of existence. And then the big revamp happened. Risen from the ashes.
So now the market area is covered with a rooftop. You can spend hours shopping there on rainy days or in the hot summer weather. Try close to gourmet dishes, firewood pizza or entice your taste buds with flavours from all around the world.
And then the finalé: Indulge in desserts like Amarula fudge or decadent chocolate mousse cupcakes. Quench your thirst with a craft beer or a glass of wine from the cellar. The market will be open every Friday evening from 5pm to 9pm in the summer season, while the morning market runs on Sundays. Spring market is up and running since last week, and what a joy to be part of the festivities again. Winter sure felt long, without being able to visit this
Oh, and our furry friends welcome! Nancy, Julie and Nero, will be present at most of your visits. Be warned, my dogs are really very overweight.
Read more on my blog about travelling with your pets :