La Petite Ferme Cellar Tour with John Dendy Young

La Petite Ferme Restaurant

It is so rare to be able to do a cellar tour with a member of the family that owns a wine estate.  Most estates get too big and then they employ staff to do the cellar tours.  A cellar tour is always interesting as everyone wants to learn about how wine is made, however there is something so special in getting to know the history of the estate from the family as well as getting the opportunity to learn about the production of wine.

La Petite Ferme was opened as a restaurant in 1984 by John and Carol Dendy Young.  The Dendy Youngs could not have chosen a prettier location – on top of the mountain with sweeping views of the Franschhoek valley below.  John personally oversaw the choice of vines to be planted on the estate.

Standing outside in the garden overlooking the vines, with the beautiful Franschhoek valley below

He starts the tour outside among the vines talking about the choice of varietals and route stock, as well as the history of their journey from food into wine.

Dormant Winter vines before pruning

The tour then moves down to the cellar.  This is a wonderful cellar to do a cellar tour as the estate is a small boutique winery – as such the cellar is small and intimate, with many of the processes of wine making still being done by hand.   John takes you through the stories of how the wine is made by his son – Mark Dendy Young – John is however very much on hand during harvest and during the wine making process to assist.  Today the ownership of the property has been transferred to Mark and his wife Josephine.

The barrel cellar at La Petite Ferme

A highlight of the cellar tour is the opportunity to do barrel tastings – very few estates offer barrel tastings anymore………..and it is great fun to do it!

Adele enjoying the barrel tasting!

Kim enjoying the barrel tasting!

Once you have tasted the wine – John encourages you to pour the contents out into the cellar – the theory is that you are assisting with keeping a humid environment – something that is necessary for stopping the barrels from drying out!

Adele doing her bit to keep moisture in the cellar!

From the cellar you head up to the bar area to try the end products!

Time to taste the La Petite Ferme wines!

It would be a mistake to not book for lunch after the cellar tour.  La Petite Ferme has been a consistently good restaurant since it opened.  The views from the restaurant are amazing and it is our absolute favourite thing to start the lunch sitting on the lawn enjoying the view and drinks.  From here you order your food and once it is ready they call you to your table.  After lunch we always settle back onto the lawn for the afternoon.  La Petite Ferme only opens for lunch – so there is no rush to move on.  Don’t plan to spend a short time at this magical spot!  Note that during summer this restaurant is very popular – so make sure you book your cellar tour and lunch well in advance.  The cellar tour starts at 11am and is free if you are staying for lunch and R50 per person if you are only coming for the cellar tour.  For more details visit the La Petite Ferme Website or call them on +27 (0)21 876 3016 e-mail: info@lapetiteferme.co.za (Note that on days that John cannot do the tour – his son – the winemaker – Mark – does the tours.) Ps John has written his own book – make sure you buy it while you are there and he will sign it! 

Ps 2 La Petite Ferme is child friendly and has child meal options on their menu.  The cellar tour is suitable for older kids as it is fascinating to learn the process of wine making!

Just a few foodie pics to whet your appetite!

La Petite Ferme Rabbit with parmesan

La Petite Ferme Goats Cheese Salad

Relaxing at La Petite Ferme – my favourite thing!

Keith relaxing in the garden at La Petite Ferme

Soooo beautiful at La Petite Ferme!

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The Dog’s Bollocks grows its family to include the Bitches Tits & Deluxe Coffee

Sign on the corner of Buitenkant and Roodehek Rd aims to grab your attention. The Dogs Bollocks has found a wife!

The Dog’s Bollocks has found a wife and she has the slightly rude name that I am sure must be grabbing drivers attention as they head down Buitenkant Street.   The Dog’s Bollocks are now serving breakfast and lunch – admittedly all under different names – what a fabulously unusual approach!   At the back of the L-shaped property Deluxe micro coffee roastery have moved onto the property.

Deluxe Coffee Roastery – at the Dog’s Bollocks

I headed down there yesterday to try their new delicious sounding sandwich menu and to sample Deluxe’s coffees.  For those that do not know the venue,  it is the initiative of Chef Nigel Woods who simply took over an alley and a small wharehouse space and popped what looks like granny’s furniture into the alley and opened a restaurant that only offers burgers.  Check out my blog on the Dog’s Bollocks to read more.

The industrial looking entrance to the Dog’s Bollocks – good to know what you are looking for in Roodehek rd as it is easy to go past!

I  was lucky enough to find a free table!  A small miracle if you know what this spot is like at night!  I chatted to the girls who are manning the cooking station – Nigel is doing the night shift and the ladies look after lunch.  Both Megan and Anel were really welcoming and friendly.  Megan trained as a chef at Vega and has moved here from Jason’s Bakery.  This is Anel’s first job in a “kitchen” and she is loving it!  Once I had popped my order of the Hero Meatballs onto the wall (after being warned that this batch had lots of chilly!) I headed into the gorgeous space of Deluxe Coffee and ordered a flat white.  The guys who are working behind the counter are seriously nice – they explained to me that the coffee I was having was made from the house blend – 45% Brazil, 45% Guatemala and 10% Ethiopia – it was a rich and creamy blend – smooth and strong and I loved it!  How fabulous to have a great coffee spot two blocks away from my home!

Deluxe Coffee Micro Roastery opened here a month ago! The staff are super friendly!

Shortly after my coffee, my delicious sandwich was ready.  I know you need to bring most things to the Dog’s Bollocks – they do not serve any drinks other then wine – but I forgot to bring serviettes!  My delicious Meatball Hero sandwich was seriously yummy and just about as messy as my burger experiences here!

Dogs Bollocks Hero Meatball sandwich. Too yummy! With serious chillies!

Overall Assessment:

I had one of the best cups of coffee I have had in years -it is so fabulous to have these guys in my “hood”.  My meatball sandwich was seriously delicious – quite oily though – so it will have to be for special occasions – this is not a spot to pop into for the health conscious!

The name of the lunch time venue does not resonate well with me.  The name the Dog’s Bollocks somehow is quirky and it cannot be mistaken for what it is – however the double meaning of the “B******’s T*t’s just does not feel right – it does not automatically feel like straight humour -I understand that the sign will create attention – which is of course the aim.

Naturally the venue is quirky and fabulous and I must admit I love it!  So, I will continue to be a groupie!

The Lunch menu!

Sign on Buitenkant St

Now serving breakfast too!

Cooking lunch!

Address: Roodehek Rd – head down Buitenkant – at the Shell Garage – turn left into Roodehek Rd – you will see the alley on your left.  Booking is not possible and tables on a first come first served.  For dinner he is now cooking 50 burgers – however – it is still wise to get there at 5pm to get a table.  Write your order on the wall!  Follow them on Facebook. Note they are also open for breakfast – their operating hours have not been updated on Facebook yet – so I am not sure what to advise! Note they are open Mon – Sat (closed Sunday)

Deluxe Coffee – closed Sunday – simply turn up and relax in this wonderful space!  Note that Deluxe Coffee has just opened in Franschhoek next to Reubens.  Finally great coffee in Franschhoek!  I hear a rumour that Bean There Coffee is also going to open in Franschhoek.  Lucky Franschhoek!

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Exciting news: New V&A Market on the Wharf to open in November 2012

Under Construction – Foodie market coming soon!

3 1/2 years ago Ruth Munitz approached the V&A Waterfront with the idea of starting a fresh produce market.  At the time, Cape Town was not used to having foodie markets and the Waterfront did not agree with her proposal for a market where people could buy fresh produce from artisenal vendors and local producers.  A few months ago she was however contacted by the Waterfront and asked to be one of four people contacted to submit a tender proposal for a fresh goods market.   She won the tender and work is currently underway to start creating the market.

Location will be the historic Power Station (old Musica store)

It is Ruth’s dream to create a foodie market for Cape Town that can rival the likes of the La Boqueria in Barcelona, Borough Market in London and the Ferry Building Market in San Francisco.   This is such an exciting venture and I am going to be one of the first people to go and check it out as soon as it opens.  The market will be open from Wed – Sunday from 09h00 to 19h30 and you can simply head down there and stock up from artisenal and organic vendors for your dinner parties!  Fabulous!

To quote Ruth:

“It will provide a hassle-free “must stop shopping” experience for anyone who has an interest in high quality food, from the single house-holder to the dinner party host through to the restaurateur looking for the “best of the best” produce on a daily basis. “In line with the trend of going back to basics and the Slow-Food-Movement, the market will offer to V&A residents and businesses, travellers and the hip, hot and happening crowd of Cape Town the opportunity of browsing and shopping at a daily market with a large selection of fresh produce under one roof in a popular and convenient venue”, elaborates Munitz.

For more information check out their website on www.marketonthewharf.co.za

The market is currently looking for high quality vendors – if you are interested – the application form and details are on their website.

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Cafe Mozart plays again!

Cafe Mozart has been an institution in Cape Town’s inner city for 37  years.

It was always quirky and fun with Mozart’s music gently playing in the background – but gradually it became a shabby chic spot and then it just felt shabby!  Enter the Madame Zingara group in 2010 and it once again became shabby chic and quirky…..with fab food….and great ambiance.  A winning combo for Cape Town!

Daisy from http://www.whatsonincapetown.com at Cafe Mozart Cape Town

   I was quite amused to receive an invite from the Madame Zingara group to go and try out Cafe Mozart. What does one do when you are already a groupie of a spot?  Naturally one accepts the free lunch! Naturally as I am a groupie – a blog on this spot was long overdue anyway.   I had a walking tour on Thursday – so I popped in with guests and then on Friday I met up with a great friend of mine Daisy – who is the fountain of knowledge behind the wonderful website www.whatsonincapetown.com.

Both visits were wonderful and a lovely opportunity to actually enjoy sitting indoors.  One of the main drawcards of the spot (for me) is to sit under the trees at the outside tables.  I enjoy watching the people passing by and watching those that are relaxing at this lovely spot under the tree with goodies hanging from it and surrounded by a quaint white picket fence.  The restaurant was buzzing on both days that I visited – wonderful to see in the middle of winter.

I love chilling out in the outside area at Cafe Mozart

We sat upstairs on both occasions – and I must admit I love how cozy it is up there.  I love the clutter and the eccentric decor – it is warm and welcoming.  The staff are always lovely at Cafe Mozart.  Note that there is only one or two small inside tables next to the kitchen – so if you find stairs a challenge – this spot will not be a great choice for winter.   On Thursday I had a delicious chicken burger – but was well impressed with how yummy the fish and chips looked when ordered by my client – I must admit I was suffering food envy!  Lucky me going back the next day.  Well – the restaurant was not expecting so many people to

turn up for lunch on the Friday – as such they started running out of everything.  It makes me feel

Food envy – how delicious do the fish & chips look. Love that they serve it in a colander

so happy for them that they  were doing so well!  So – no fish and chips for me!  They were out of chips!  Then they ran out of burger rolls!  So I went for the steak sandwich on the recommendation of the waiter – he suggested brown.  Unfortunately my worst thing in the world is sweet brown bread!  And voila it came on the sweet brown bread!  It was however a really lovely lunch.  Daisy enjoyed her calamari.

Cafe Mozart Steak Sandwich on brown

The Verdict:

I love it there!  Even if the food was not delicious (which it most certainly is!!) – there is something about the place that resonates with me.  I just love the energy and vibe of this little spot.  It is quirky and I feel relaxed and at home.  I can’t wait for summer to relax in the outside area…………..come on sunshine!! (Ps – you must try their cakes! Yum!)

Where to find them?

Click here for their website.

Open Mon – Friday – 7am to 4pm.  Saturday 9am – 3.30pm – note you are welcome to simply come and have a coffee or a drink or breakfast or lunch!  Sadly they are not open for dinners! What a pity!
Address: 37 Church Street – next to the antique market and in the pedestrianized part
Tel: 021 424 3774

Some of the dishes:

Cafe Mozart Steak Sandwich on brown

The Calamari

 

*********

More Zingara: 

Note that the all the restaurants in the Madame Zingara group are fabulous.  I have written some blogs on some of them.  Check out my blogs on Cafe Paradiso and Don Pedro’s. 

Read Daisy’s review on Cafe Mozart by clicking here.

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Don Pedro is back – and it’s fabulous again!

Madame Zingara Group signature funky decor!!

Loving trying on the hats at Don Pedros!

Don Pedro’s was a legend in Cape Town for many years – it was a spot where everyone turned up to hang out in the early hours of the morning after partying all over town.

Slowly it became run down and more and more dingy.

The Avo Ritz comes with a “surprise” – Barbie is your take home gift! Who needs happy meal packs!

It was bought last year by the Madame Zingara group – its owner Richard is flamboyant and owns the wonderful tented Madame Zingara theatre/circus which has been a run away success in this country.  This later led him to return to the world of restaurants starting the Bombay Bicycle Club, Cafe Paradisso (another spot that had been a old favourite in Cape Town), The Sidewalk Cafe (a slightly odd spot that no one used to go to) and the most recent Don Pedros. With each restaurant there is the quirky fabulous eccentric decor that has followed his roll out, combined with a touch of nostalgia. It seems that he has a magical touch in terms of creating spaces that people just feel comfortable and able to relax. Don Pedros fits the category completely. The decor is quirky, the staff are relaxed and fun and they have combined this

The fabulous ladies who sang for us – they have awesome voices! Yes – this picture would have been better from the front! But it does catch the mood!

with having a sultry singer from Wednesday to Saturday nights.  It is a wonderfully chilled spot with fab music and a nostalgic menu.

You are offered martini’s on arrival – the choice of martini options if long, quirky and interesting. I love the assumption that people may want to start with champers – there are retro champagne glasses on each table – ready for you! The menu has retro favourites such as avocardo ritz which comes with a surprise (a barbie doll clutching the glass

Retro Duck a la Orange is a favourite that regulars return for!

– and you can take her home!!) and Duck a la orange (which I had and it was excellent!).

Of course no meal would be complete without ending with a drink that came out of South Africa – the Don Pedro. The Don Pedro was originally whisky blended with ice cream – a naughty adult milkshake which was born in a Seapoint restaurant in Cape Town!  Now a days we blend many different liqueurs with ice cream and the result is that there is an

Tanya the fab manager & the tired Don Pedros chef (freshly home from the Cooks on Stage competition!)

Note that you can either go for a large meal or you can opt for their “inside out” menu which offers lighter meals at a really good price. We saw the burger go past from this menu and it looks fabulous – I will definitely return for a burger and a don pedro next time!

For anyone looking for a fun local restaurant with entertainment- this is a fun option.

To book call – 021 4476152.  www.donpedros.co.za. 113 Roodebloem Road (the top of Roodebloem rd), Woodstock

It is turning into a spot that the locals love – so I would recommend that you make a reservation.  You are still however welcome to turn up late at night for a Don Pedro!

For those of you who are still reading this – here follow a few more pics!

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What’s cooking in the Cape Winelands?

Chef’s Table at the Liam Tomlin Culinary Studio in Franschhoek

A number of friends kept mentioning that an amazing cooking studio had recently been opened in Franschhoek by the famous Aussie Chef Liam Tomlin in conjunction with Leopard’s Leap Wines.  I was desperate to get there to check it out!  But alas my little touring company was fully booked for March and then April whizzed by…..so finally I got there in May.   The school offers a variety of hands on classes, as well as cooking demo’s – which will be called The Chef’s Table.  They are planning to try and have a Chef’s Table every Friday during summer.  It is of course very important to check the dates online as they will skip some Fridays when they have large bookings that take over the premises.

Liam, who is of Irish origin, won many awards for his restaurant Banc in Sydney.   He has also won many other awards as a chef and has written a number of cookbooks.  He moved to South Africa in 2004 and consulted on a variety of projects prior to opening The Chef’s Wharehouse in Cape Town.  This is a wonderfully funky small cooking demo facility.  Here he has hosted many cooking demonstrations himself and has also offered the opportunity for one to  attend classes with a variety of local chefs.

This year – he opened the Liam Tomlin Culinary Studio, a hands on cooking teaching kitchen and a “cooks” shop on a premises shared with Leopard’s Leap Wines.  Check out the Liam Tomlin Food website by clicking here.  From the moment you enter the property you are struck by how beautiful everything is – a large investment has gone into this property and the results are quite simply breathtaking!  Below is a picture of the demo area – I love the whisks that have been used for the lights!

The spacious seating area for the cooking demo’s at Liam Tomlin culinary studio

As I really wanted to get some pictures of the demo – we joined a table at the front and had lots of fun with the two lovely ladies we met on the day!  Turns out that they are also foodies – so we made plans to come back later in the year together and to do a hands-on-cooking class together!  I cannot wait!

The ladies at our table all loved the demo and dishes! We had great fun!

I loved the televisions – they gave you a great view into the pots as everything was cooking! Behind this counter is the hands on kitchen that can take up to 24 people per class.  On our demo day it was used by Liam’s assistants to get some of the courses out to all of us!   I do love being served!

There are televisions for close up views of the insides of the pots!

Our Menu:

Herb crusted fish: Scroll back up to look at this dish!  This was a complete taste sensation – the herb crust can be prepared in advance and left in the freezer – so it is very simple to serve as you are ready for it.  This dish was visually gorgeous, a complete taste sensation and I would make it in a heartbeat!   I think my mates would think that they had just been served a gourmet masterpiece!  Fabulous!

The chicken pie – check out the beautiful result below.  Now this one I would never make!  It started with making stock using a whole chicken, followed by making your own pastry!  Yikes – this one will never be repeated!  Too much work for a humble chicken pie!  But yikes it was also simply delicious!  I think I would have to order a batch from Liam for dinner sometime.

Who knew so much went into making a humble chicken pie?

The dessert was amazing!!

Chocolate Bread and Butter pudding made with stale croissants!  I wanted to lick the bowl.   It was simple to make and extremely delicious.  This little gem is also coming out at dinner parties!

The yummiest bread and butter pudding ever!

The setting:

     

The Verdict:

The Chef’s Table on a friday is a great idea!  It is from 11am to 1pm.  The cost is an incredibly great value for money R250 which includes the demo of 3 dishes,  eating the 3 dishes and having a lovely glass of Leopard’s Leap wine with each course.  Note that there are also other classes available – check out the available class dates here.  To contact Liam Tomlin Food call +27-21 876 4156   or e-mail info@liamtomlinfood.com  Location: Just past La Motte wine estate on the R45 as you are heading into Franschhoek.

The Recipes

Herb Crust  (Makes 10 portions)

200g Unsalted butter

200g  White bread crumbs

75g  Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

25g  Picked tarragon leaves, finely chopped

1  Garlic clove, finely chopped

Lemon juice,  Salt, Freshly ground pepper

Blend together the butter and breadcrumbs in a food processor until they resemble a crumble mix.  Add the chopped herbs and garlic and continue blending until you have an even, green-coloured crumb mix.  Lightly season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Pour out the mix onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and cover with another sheet of greaseproof paper.  Using a rolling-pin, roll out the herb crust into a sheet roughly 1cm thick.  Place in the freezer to firm-up after which, it can be cut to the required shape and size.

 Pan-fried Kingklip with Herb Crust – Serves 4

Paring: Leopards Leap Classic Chardonnay 2011

6    Ripe plum tomatoes

 25ml   Basil oil

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, Salt, Freshly ground pepper

15ml   Olive oil

 4 x 100g     Kingklip fillet with skin removed

10g Herb Crust

Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰c on the grill setting. Blanche, refresh and peel the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes and lightly season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Brush a circle of basil oil on to each plate. Arrange the tomato slices overlapping on to the centre of the plates. Leave out to come to room temperature.

Season the Kingklip lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat, Place it presentation side down into the pan and cook 3/4 of the way. Remove the Kingklip from the pan and transfer them to a buttered baking tray. Cut the herb crust into 4 pieces large enough to cover the surface of the fish.

Lay  a piece of herb crust over the top of the Kingklip. Place in the oven and cook until melted over the fish. Remove from the oven and place a piece of Kingklip in the middle of each plate of tomatoes. Spoon a little basil oil over around the tomatoes.

Liam Tomlin’s Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding

Serves 4

pairing: Leopards Leap Merlot 2010

3  Croissants

50g  Unsalted butter

1   Vanilla pod

300ml   Cream

300ml Milk

8  Free-range eggs

175g Caster sugar

50g   Raisins

50g  Dark chocolate broken into small pieces and chocolate

25 g Apricot jam

15g  Toasted, sliced almonds

Cut croissants in 5cm thick slices and spread with butter. Split the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the cream and milk, slowly bring to the boil. While it is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl. Allow the cream mix to cool a little, and then strain it onto the egg yolk stirring all the time.

Arrange the sliced croissant in individual ramekins, sprinkling the raisins and chocolate between the layers leaving the top clear. Pour the warm custard over, lightly pressing the croissants to help it soak in. Leave the puddings to stand for 15 minutes before cooking.

Pre-heated the oven to 160°c. Place the ramekins into a roasting pan and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to come three-quarters the way up the side of the ramekins to create a bain-marie. Cook the bread and butter puddings for 25-30 minutes until the custard reaches setting point. If it appears too runny, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes before checking again. Carefully remove the bain-marie from the oven and allow the puddings to cool slightly in the bain marie.

Warm the apricot jam with a little water to thin it out slightly. Brush the apricot jam over the surface of the puddings and sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.

Postnote: If you are keen to visit the cooking school as part of a wine tour day out, check out our tour option here.  Note that attending the Friday Chef’s Table is subject to them running the classes on the friday you are visiting the Cape.

POSTNOTE 2 – Aug 2012: I have been advised that they are likely to move to a Cape Town central venue in October.  Check out their website for more details. 

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Artisanal Chocolate in the Cape – from Bean to Bar!

Literally from Bean to Bar!

It took a visit to DV chocolates to realize that chocolate has become a commodity.  Chocolate is of course made from Cocoa Beans.  These beans come from many different regions and their flavour profile not only changes from region to region – but will also be affected each year by things such as climate – eg a dry year.  As such chocolate can have an estimated 600 different flavour compounds!!

So how do the big chocolate guys make their chocolate taste uniform?  The answer is that they have to use additives to try and balance the flavours – these additives can be natural – like adding vanilla – but still ……….it seems like such a shame to not be able to actually taste the proper flavours of the beans.  The de Villiers were fed up with not being able to get artisan chocolate that tasted as it should in South Africa and as such started a small chocolate factory in their garage in Hermanus.  There were however obstacles in selling to retailers when they told them they were using a garage!  As such they have recently moved premises to the gorgeous Cape Dutch Manor House at Spice Route Winery (the old Seidelberg Estate, which is next door to Fairview).

Visiting them is an absolute treat and a complete education in artisenal chocolate making.  They are one of only about 6 manufacturers in the world who take only the pure single origin cocoa beans, roast them and then add some sugar.  All of their chocolate is 70% cocoa. As such they can make the boast “from bean to bar”.

It is an absolute delight to do a tasting with Cornell de Villiers.  She is seriously passionate about their venture.  She takes you on a journey.  You get to taste raw cocoa beans and then the toasted beans (actually quite yummy and could be quite “moreish”).

DV Chocolates is located in the beautiful Cape Dutch Manor House on the Spice Route Estate

Then you move onto the “Round the World” chocolate tasting – which is the reason you came.   Who knew there would be so much more to the tasting then simply coming to munch one of our favourite items in the world!

R20 to taste chocolate made with roasted Cocoa beans from around the world

Freshly roasted Cocoa Beans – delicious!

Showing what a fresh Cocoa bean looks like

This tasting is a fantastic way to show the differences that the use of  specially sourced cocoa beans from specific origins has on the outcome of the final product.  You will be able to easily discern the different flavour notes on each chocolate that you taste.   Note that the flavours of the beans from the same plantation can change each year due to factors such as weather.  As such you will see that they have a sticker on each bar – they could not print the flavour notes onto the bars packaging as each year they can change!

The discriptions that they have chosen are perfect!

The Round the World chocolate tasting!

The Chocolates:

It is also interesting to look at their rating on each chocolate based on items such as acidity, fruity, bitter & acidity.

Chocolate made from beans from the Caracas area!

Fascinating – Madagascan beans make a very different chocolate!

DV Chocolate’s sexy packaging. Note the sticker with the tasting notes!

Colour coded for regions!

1st Batch Chocolates

Overall assessment: A great experience!! I loved it! I love Cornell’s passion and will be back to visit them a lot on my tours.  I can’t wait to try out their other experiences.

Other tasting options that can be done by prior arrangement:

  1. Chocolate and Wine pairing with Spice Route Wines (60 min)
  2. A 1.5 hour chocolate workshop with the chocolate maker Pieter De Villiers.  He will take you on a tour of his factory and explain the process in detail!  Sounds fabulous to me and perfect to take curious kids who like to know how things are made!!  Who does not want to know how chocolate is made?
Moving forward:

They are planning to open a brandy lounge – apparently chocolate goes well with spirits! It sounds like a lovely idea!

Visit DV Chocolates website for more details http://www.dvchocolate.com

Address: Spice Route Winery (next door to Fairview),  Suid-agter Paarl Rd, Paarl.  Tel no: +27 (0)21 863 0854.  e-mail address for Cornell de Villiers: cornell@dvchocolate.com

Postscript for chocoloholics! COCOAFAIR

I recently discovered another artisanal chocolate from Bean to Bar shop at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock in Cape Town.  It is called Cocoafair and is a joint venture between a Danish guy and an Italian Chocolate maker.  Here Antonino has a slightly different philosophy – he combines beans from different regions and sees what makes for the best taste in the end product.  As such the range and variety are huge – the end result is delicious!  I missed the novelty of being able to taste single origin beans – however I did love his chocolate!  If you are serious about chocolate visit them during the week rather then on the crazy Saturday market day as they won’t have much time to chat.  It did not however stop me from asking him lots of questions between customers!  Antonino advised me that they had met up with DV chocolates recently and all saw each other as allies in setting up a market segment for artisenal chocolate that never existed in our country before!  I love it!  Note that Cocoafair offers extremely well priced chocolate!  It is definitely worth a visit!

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Summer in the Cape – my favourite moments!

Pammy on Table Mountain on a perfect day!

Pammy on Table Mountain on a perfect day!

I love summer in the Cape.  Somehow everyone seems more happy when the sun shines!  Including me!  In Cape Town it feels like our summer only really starts around Xmas – finally everyone comes out to play!   In December Cape Town starts becoming vibey – a combination of foreigners and locals are around and there is a real buzz.  To me it is a time of exploring, of sitting at side walk cafes, of enjoying sundowner picnics on the beach and of catching up with friends who jet in from all over the world.

This blog is going to simply be a picture essay of some of my favourite fun moments from this summer living in one of the most beautiful regions in the world – the Cape!  It is also a great excuse to show you some of my favourite photos from summer!

Vergelegen Hydrangeas in flower

A fantastic long lunch at La Motte's restaurant Pierneef with my friends from Livingstone Safaris

The gorgeous tasting room at Stark Conde - I love their Cab & Shiraz too!

I love the colours of the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town. Magical - they reflect the pride people have in their area!

Taal Monument Paarl - controversial & gorgeous!

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - an awesome setting!

The "chapel" design tasting room at Ataraxia Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde wine valley

Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir - too yummy!!

Summer vines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley!

On of my favourite wine makers - Neils Verberg from Luddite wines - makes the cover of Wine Magazine!

Babylonstoren - my love affair with their organic gardens continues - it is quite simply beautiful and well worth a visit!

Babylonstoren - selling aubergines in their shop. Love the presentation

The dam on Babylonstoren - seriously gorgeous view on top of the mountain

I loved the Pot Luck Club!! Still need to get to the Test Kitchen!

A perfect day at Cape Point with Karen!

Mussels in Paternoster overlooking the beach! Heaven!

A toast to the end of a great summer in Cape Town!!

Posted in Cape Town 4 Foodies and Wino's, Cape Town Visitor Information, Cape Winelands | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Boat House – Table D’Hôte with Chef Bruce Robertson in his home!

Right – for peasants like me who have no idea what Table d’hôte means – lets demystify it!!  It simply means opening ones home to people to pop in and have a meal with you.

This is a great new concept.  Take one top South African chef – Bruce Robertson – combine a beautiful wooden house overlooking the sea on the peninsula – add some very gorgeous decor (this boy has taste!) and two tables that seat a maximum of 12 people – plus a relaxed chef in his home environment who can cook barefoot…………… and you get a chef inspired to be creative, relaxed and able to interact and chat to his guests.  From the visitors side you get to be able to relax, interact with your charming host and chef, enjoy all of the touches down to the bread tile, sea view, table decor and of course, 5 courses paired with the most delicious Cederberg wine!

So, lets slow down and deconstruct my new favourite thing in Cape Town

Fab setting with the ocean in the background!

The oh so awesome bread tile next to each setting!

Love the bread tile - you have everything you need!

A fab bunch of ladies from Livingstone Safaris

The lunch table at the Boat House

Our relaxed barefoot chef getting the first course ready:

Chef Bruce plates the starter - Course 1

Course 1 - Calamari with chorizo - yummy!

2nd Course:  Too yummy for words! 

Mackerel with Marscapone - the yummiest dish of all!

My favourite course!! A complete flavour burst!

Main Course: Bruce sources Sassi green fish for his lunches – he aims to only use sustainable produce and to use as many local ingredients as possible.

Bruce prepping his fresh fish

Course 3 - Sustainable fish - Sassi - green!

Course 4 and 5:  Local Cheese plus Cape Malay inspired dessert – Melk kos plus stewed fruit stuffed samoosa

Bruce telling us about the upcoming cheese and dessert course! Yummm!

Seriously fab to have every course paired with Cederberg Wines!

Melk kos with a stewed fruit samoosa!

Bringing in the local flavours into the dessert

The dessert was interesting, creative and beautifully presented – I liked the fact that Bruce brought some of the local Cape Malay flavours into his creation.

The cheeses - a goat, a cow and a buchu infused cheeza!

I loved the cheeses – they were beautifully presented with a chilli bite which could be used as a bread substitute with the cheese.  Great cheeses – one was however a strong goat – not a favourite of mine – but I loved the matured cheddar!

THE VERDICT:

I loved it.  How wonderful to be able to visit Bruce in his own home, and what a home, it is on the sea and it is gorgeous.  Just visiting this space would be special to me.   Add to it spending time with a very relaxed and charismatic host, who is passionate and full of  energy, plus the opportunity to watch a top chef working in a relaxed and laid back environment – and then to sit back and enjoy five delicious courses paired with delicious wines.  This was my idea of paradise!  Book immediately and spoil yourself.  Current cost R490 for 5 courses including wine.  Bookings must be made in advance and must be pre-paid!

PLUS GOURMET PICNICS

Beautiful picnic baskets

You can call Bruce 24 hours in advance to book a gourmet picnic.  It has been so well thought through – he provides hats, kikoi’s (beautiful pieces of fabrics) to sit on, a basket with plates/cutlery/gourmet goodies – all for R300 per basket.   He recommends a protected areas in front of his house for picnics as it is often windy on the main beach.   This looks like a magical option and  I can’t wait to come through and try it!!

STAY THE NIGHT!

Stay the night with Bruce!

Chef Bruce has a spare room – so you can come and go through your own entrance at the front.  This makes great sense to book if you are there for a 5 course meal paired with wines as it is a long drive home!   The cost is around R800 for the room for the night.  Breakfast can also be booked at a nominal extra rate.

Contact details for Chef Bruce Robertson: 

chef@chefbrucerobertson.com

Telephone:  Mobile: +27 83 305 85 33 or landline: +27 21 7801789.

Website: www.chefbrucerobertson.com

Note: you need a minimum of two people to book.  It is currently only for lunch and it must be booked and paid in advance.  Do not just turn up at this home for lunch!  You will be given a list of other dining options on the peninsula if you do!

……………more of the Boat House: 

I fell in love with Bruce’s home – he has a really fantastic sense of style!  So if you have read this far – feel free to keep going and check out some awesome photos of his home below.

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On a Roll – Dog’s Kitchen! Cape Town opens its first gourmet hot dog restaurant!

Rolling on with the blogging we went to try out On a Roll and to chat to Peter Ayub in his Dog’s Kitchen.  This blog has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few weeks as life has been rolling on!   I better hurry up with it as it looks like there will be lots of gourmet worsies to chose from by the time I publish this!

Extra yummy gourmet Dog!

I am definitely spotting a move away from fussy fine dining and towards quirky, value for money places – with a little touch of nostalgia.   Most have taken street food into a funky off street venue.  Some try to keep the “feel” of the street like the Dog’s Bollocks.   Another one will be “the pop up” trailer which is being launched by Bertus from Overture – in oder to track their trailer you will have to follow the website!  Brilliant and fun!

ROLLING ON:

Oh my gosh – what a creative menu – I wanted to try all of the options!  We settled for getting 4 different options and cutting them all into 3 so that we could try as many options as possible.   To give you some idea of the menu – check out a few of his very creative options below:

Thai Lady Boy

Chicken Sausage with Mango, Pickled Ginger, Coriander & Coconut Cream

Double Chick
Chicken Sausage with Brandy Flamed Chicken Livers and a Hint of Chilli

German Shepherd
Bockwurst Sausage with German Mustard, Granny Smith Apple and Sauerkraut

Heart Stopper
Käsegriller Emmenthaler Sausage with Tomato Carpaccio and Mixed Salad Greens

Chihuahua
Cabanossi Sausage with Charcoaled Pineapple, Guacamole and Blackbean

…………so hard to chose!  Add to it that Peter is a chef and he has gone searching for the best quality Worsies he can find in the region – you will want to try them all when he describes them – he is really passionate about Worsies!

THE SETTING:

They are located in Mowbray – directly across the road from the Fat Cactus. This is the perfect location as there is a shortage of fun restaurants in the Southern Suburbs and there are also a large number of university students in the area.  I think this spot will be a winner with the students as it is great fun and is really reasonably priced.

THE WINE:

In retrospect I did feel a little bad about bringing my own wine to such a reasonably priced spot.  I just could not resist taking Bertus Basson’s chenin blanc to try and pair with a gourmet hot dog!  For some time I have known that he is planning a gourmet hot dog venture – so researching hot dog wine pairing is research any friend would undertake!   The verdict: the Collaboration Chenin Blanc stood up to even the most whacky gourmet hot dog combo – and even enhanced it!!  I would urge Peter to list it!  Check out the wonderful ice buckets below!  Do you think that Peter is trying to tell us to pair beer with our dogs?

Overture's Collaboration Chenin Blanc visits the Dog's Kitchen!

Bertus's Collaboration Chenin in a glam Windhoek Ice Bucket!

DINNER – SHARING THE DOG’S: 

Loving all of them!! I need to return to try out the rest of the menu!

We divided up each “Dog” into thirds and all did a taste test of each Dog.

Pam loving her Dogs! Definitely On a Roll:

Pam getting ready to enjoy the Dog's!

Kari and Aninie getting ready for the feast!

Overall Assessment:

Delicious, fabulous, creative, yummy, moreish (not a real word – but it should be.)  We will be back!

CONTACT DETAILS:

Call 021 685 9916

Website:  www.dogkitchen.co.za

Address: 78 Durban Road, Little Mowbray, Cape Town (directly opposite the Magic Cactus!)

Hours: Tues – Sat 12 noon until late!

Owner: Peter Ayub – peter@senseoftaste.co.za

PETER OWNS A COOKING SCHOOL IN CAPE TOWN AND ISTANBUL – see the website below for details! 

His cooking school is in Cape Town & Istanbul!

Rolling on!!

It seems like gourmet hot dogs have become the new theme!  The guys from YoursTruly Restaurant in the city bowl have opened:

HAWKS AND HOUNDS ( a friend passed on the background below – I have no idea who wrote it – so thank you for sharing to the writer!)

From the creator of Yourstruly, comes the newest edition to Long Street’s café culture. Crêpes and hotdogs are the order of the day at this hip new spot. Enjoy them in the vintage wood panelled space, or simply take them away in their signature brown cardboard triangle. We recommend the chocolate crêpe washed down with a glass of their homemade lemonade (at only R5 a glass).

263 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27(0)82 655 6116

Check out the GUY WITH A CAMERA BLOG for some visuals of this spot – BEAUTIFUL!

A WORS ROLL – Bertus’s “Worsie” trailer goes live!!

Hee hee – not so live yet that I can find the newly launched website – it is going to be called A WORS ROLL and the new website is supposed to be something along the lines of http://www.aworsroll.co.za.  The concept is going to be a mobile trailer and you will have to keep checking the website in order to find the trailer around the city.

Expect gourmet hot dogs with a good twist as this is owned by Bertus Basson of Overture restaurant.   Bertus is one of our country’s top chefs – so if he wants to play with hot dogs – I will be a complete groupie!! Follow this space for updates!

UPDATE: Their website has gone live: www.dieworsrol.co.za – they have launched it more as an outsource – ie let them know if you are having a party or a function and they will be there – cost R35 a dog!   Not quite as exciting – but it will grow and morph in the future!! 

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Quirky new restaurants in Cape Town – The South China Dim Sum Bar in Long Street

It is such exciting times – Cape Town has its first Dim Sum Bar!!  Quirky!! Seriously quirky.

Ed & Clint saved their money from working weekends at the City Bowl Market in town and used it to transform an absolute hole of a spot in Long Street into a fab and funky little Dim Sum Bar.  This spot was formerly a very tiny night club with solid black walls.  One can see that this restaurant has been decorated on a shoe string budget- but that is part of what makes it feel so magical!  Both of the guys are serious food enthusiasts – they are also well qualified guys who have taken the plunge and left their corporate careers to follow their passion and their love of the cuisine of their forefathers.  We love that they are sharing it with us!!

Ed & Clint cooking at South China dim sum

A few weeks ago we decided to head in as a large group to support their new restaurant.  Ed is a close friend of our friend Melissa – so she rallied the troops and off we went.

Simple renovations done to the inside

We had such fun!! I love going to place where the people know you – you can really make yourself at home – and we really did so!  Our wine was popped in their fridge.  We handed over the ordering to Melissa who simply worked us through most of the menu.  We relaxed, we laughed, we chatted and we loved the flavours.  In fact I had so much fun – I forgot to photograph the food – so we will have to return!

Good prices at South China Dim Sum!

TIPS:

  • Similar to the Dog’s Bollocks Hamburger Spot – there is no ice!!  Buy your own ice on your way in and bring an ice bucket!
  • They do not have a liquor license – so bring your own – no corkage.  Perhaps bringing ones own ice bucket would be a good idea!
  • The menu is written up each day.  It contains a variety of dishes from South Eastern China – not just Dim Sum!
  • Once you have decided what you would like, simply place your order and pay at the counter.
  • I would recommend that you book – this allows the guys to know how many people to prepare for – the dishes they make are extremely labour intensive.  Also note that the guys make everything themselves by hand.  As such their is a limited amount that they can turn out each day.  As such come early or else you are likely to be told later that they are “fully booked” – which is code for “we have nothing left to sell you!!”

US HAVING FUN:

Ed & Clint face the hoards who all want Dim Sum!

Delicious ice tea

Having fun at the South China Dim Sum Bar

ASSESSMENT:

I loved it!  Quirky!! Great food.  Great vibe.  Lovely spot to relax with your friends for the evening.  It was also extremely well priced and the combo of that with the fact that you can take your own wine meant that it was a really inexpensive evening out on the town!

My advice to the guys: get a Chinese granny who can sit and fold Dim Sum all day in the shop – there is such great scope to sell so much more!

Congrats Ed and Clint on a lovely addition to Cape Town.

The philosophy behind South China Dim Sum:

“our philosophy is simplicity… make great simple food; meet people and promote earth friendliness!”

ADDRESS & OPENING TIMES

289 Long Street (at the top just before it becomes Kloof Street) and on the left hand side after Royale. Opening times:

Tue – Fri: 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm

evening: 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Sat: 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Saturday morning at the 14 Hope Street at the City Bowl Market.

To book: Call 078 846 3656

Go to their facebook site (you can also book on here!): http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-China-Dim-Sum-Bar

Come and visit them - chop chop!

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Quirky new restaurants in Cape Town – The Dog’s Bollocks!

Fabulous burgers at the Dogs Bollocks!

This has been a fun time for funky interesting restaurant openings in Cape Town.  We explored a couple of these over the last few weeks: The Dogs Bollocks, Clarkes and South China Dim Sum.  Each one is wonderfully quirky.  I will do write up/ photo story of each over the next few days and pop them on my blog.  Lets start with the most interestingly named………

THE DOGS BOLLOCKS

This little spot literally popped up in an alley in a light industrial part of Cape Town – which is simply a short roll down the hill from the area I live in – which is just above town.  It is quintessentially simple – hire an alley that has some cover – add Granny’s metal garden furniture – one former British chef and the idea of doing 30 excellent burgers every night – add no staff – some quirky wine tubes – and what do you get??  A cult following where half of Cape Town want to come and see what is going on in this alley!!

Getting the burger – all good things take time!

A huge & delicious burger!

The Dogs Bollocks Alley

Some of the burger options! Yummy!

Excellent value for money – 1.5L!

Dogs Bollocks 1.5L wine tubes! White or red!

Some interesting burger options include: Mexican chilli cheese, Jalapeno cheese,  The Slider, Prego Burger, Chocolate Mole…

TIPS:

  • Only 30 burgers are made per night – get there early or you will not be sold a burger.
  • Make your presence known to Nigel (The chef!)- ie go and introduce yourself as a Dogs Bollocks virgin – otherwise you will not be placed in the queue.
  • Nigel will take the order for your specific burgers when he is ready!  So wait until you are called!
  • Pay at the end – there are no bills – just come and tell him what you ate!
  • So come early and settle in for drinks and your food will come later.
  • Nigel is the only one working here – there are no support staff- so making something great takes time! Be patient!!
  • Bring your own glasses – it is easier!
  • Bring your own ice and your own beer – wine can be purchased there in a tube – it is his product – so nice to support him on the vino!
  • Bring your own ice from the garage next door!
  • I brought my own plate – but everyone else seemed happy with the big piece of paper supplied!!  I would suggest a large roll of roller towel paper!  Wet wipes are not necessary as there is a bathroom to wash your hands before and after!

Dogs Bollocks Burger Patties – huge!

Happiness is the burgers are ready!

Not easy to eat – these are huge!!!

WANT SOME MORE BOLLOCKS?  ……………..

The Dogs Bollocks has created a sensation – so if you are in the mood – here are a few other articles/blogs that I loved:

  1. My Love Affair with Cape Town Blog – The Dogs Bollocks
  2. The Mail & Guardian did a fabulous article online

OVERALL CONSENSUS:

We all loved it and will be back – half the fun was sitting chatting and having drinks for the hour and a half it took to get our burgers.  We also loved being in the know that no one who came later would get an order in……………..oh so naughty ………….but this spot made one revert to childhood.  Remember when food felt sooooo large – well these burgers are huge and hard to handle and drip everywhere and cover your face when you eat them – there is no cutlery – suchhhhhhh fun!!!!

Address: 6 Roodehek Rd, Gardens – this is just off lower Buitenkant, turn LEFT at the garage if you are coming from the Gardens shopping centre direction.  Open: Mon – Fri 5 – 10pm (no chance of ordering if you get there after 7pm – as they only sell 30 burgers a night!)

Update: Chef Nigel found my blog!! Love it!  Check out his e-mail to me!! So nice to get feedback that I am not writing to a void:

Excellent blog, Great writing style… a wordsmith’s talent …. Thank you.
Nigel.
tHedoGsbollOcksaTTheyaRd
    6 on Roodehek. Gardens. Cape Town. South Africa. 0834407843.

To read the next blog in the Series – click here – Quirky New Restaurants in Cape Town – The South China Dim Sum Bar

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Art in the Forest – Constantia

I found a hidden gem last week.

While visiting The Original T-Bag design company in Hout Bay, Gill the owner asked if I had been to see ART IN THE FOREST.  She proceeded to give me directions and we decided that even though we were supposed to be on tour – with the heat wave on – the idea of exploring something in a forest was rather appealing.  As such we headed up the mountain from Hout Bay, at the circle you turn left as if you are turning to Newlands and then do an IMMEDIATE left onto a little dust road – there is a little sign that shows you are on the right path to Art in the Forest.  This little drive through the forest is gorgeous!

After a few minutes you arrive at an absolutely gorgeous house in the forest.  This is the home of a non-profit organization and is a venue that artists can work and sell their goods.

There is some amazing art here – so it is well worth the drive.  In my opinion it is well priced as you are in fact buying from the artist.

In order to fund the project they are always looking for ways of fundraising – a fun way to raise funds would be for people to use this awesome building for functions or for picnics – on a smaller scale – have some coffee when you are there – and leave a donation for the coffee.  This project really appealed to me!  For more info contact Bianca Pieper from the Light From Africa Foundation. http://www.lightfromafrica.com http://www.facebook.com/lightfronafrica Tel 021 7940291

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Art in the Streets of Stellenbosch – 20Stellenbosch – two decades of South African Sculpture

I am loving Stellenbosch town at the moment – there is art scattered everywhere.  What a brilliant concept!! With the white canvas – ie the gorgeous white houses all over Stellenbosch – as its backdrop the sculptures just “pop” out as you walk around.  It has lent a real creative atmosphere to the town.  The first time I saw lots of sculptures was just before world cup.  I assumed it was an initiative of Dylan Lewis – a famous local sculptor that has opened a studio in Stellenbosch’s Kerk (Church) Street.  Turns out I was wrong!  It was part of using the town as an open display to show off some of our country’s top talent that had not necessarily been exposed enough to the world.   What a great platform to show off art to the public!  The recent display of sculptures is set to be up for a year.  The choice of the

Stellenbosch living sculture display

artists seems to have been very much on the same premise as the initial display.   I love that all of the art is tangible – yes literally so – I have stroked the suitcase display – I have felt the rubber bull as I walked past.  With all of these displays there has been a lot of creative stores opening in the town.  So – if you have not walked Stellenbosch for a while – do yourself a favour and go and walk Dorp Street, Kerk Street and then walk around the Braak………..and then report back! Click here to visit the 20Stellenbosch copyright 20Stellenboschwebsite that shows you sculptures.  Click here to print the map of the exhibition and where to walk to see them.

Note that there is also an explosion of small and wonderful places to eat around the town centre area.   Some ideas for lunch while you are there:

  1. Basic Bistro in Kerk Street – very simple – fab little bistro to sit outside and people watch
  2. Java – stop for a coffee in Kerk Street – if you can find a table – they make seriously good coffee at a seriously cheap price – a winning formula for university students – so they are always packed!
  3. The Big Easy – Dorp Street – located in a beautiful old Cape Dutch home – this is a wonderfully stylish spot to stop for lunch.  I have not explored their menu much – I have been twice and had their gourmet burger twice and it is a complete taste sensation.  Note the rest of the dishes are more fine dining – but you are also welcome to stop for a drink – such a lovely setting – really well worth popping in.
  4. Cupcake – in Dorp Street – does delicious salads and sandwiches at lunch – their secret is that there is a big courtyard behind them – and it is like a green oasis in summer – I love it – tinkling sounds of water and a slightly funky creative feel – I lurk here often when in Stellenbosch.  It is definitely a favourite.
  5. The Apprentice – Andringa street – just off Kerk Street – this is the student restaruant of a culinary academy – it is great fun – yes – the dishes may flop – but then, they may be amazing that day.  It is a fun place for foodies to go and play!
  6. De Oewer – Aan de Wagen Rd – just off Dorp Street – is an absolute favourite – note this is just off Dorp Street and looks like nothing from the road – it is however set right next to a river and is wonderfully tranquil.  The food matches – simple – light – delicious and fresh.  Also well priced!!  A wonderful place to relax all afternoon with a group of mates!
  7. Cafe Dijon – 35 Plein Street – yes – this one is for you if you are a foodie – they are unapologetically a French Bistro – everything is rich and delicious!
  8. Casperus – 59 Dorp Street – Tues – Sat lunch & dinner – this is one of the Cape’s most famous chefs and one of the oldest still playing – Etienne Bonthuys is a South African culinary legend – so if you are a foodie this one may be worth exploring.   This one fits with doing an art ramble of Stellenbosch as the chef has paired with a local artist Strijdom van der Merwe to create a combo of part gallery and part restaurant and an extremely cool and contemporary eating space.   Note: this one is fine dining!
  9. Greengate Deli – De Wet Centre – corner Church (Kerk) and Bird – it is in a hidden courtyards – walk down Kerk and ask someone to point out the alley you must walk down – if you see the SMAC art gallery you are heading in the right direction – it is just past here.  This deli has been a favourite for many years.  They prepare fresh salads and veg dishes and usually one meat dish a day – you simply weigh and pay.  The emphasis is on healthy options.  It is also fantastically quick – perfect for a quick lunch!

Note all the pictures in the post belong to 20Stellenbosch and are their copyright (© Copyright reserved 2011 – 20 Stellenbosch)  Visit their website to see more of the sculptures that they have placed around Stellenbosch.

Thanks to 20Stellenbosch for granting me permission to use their pictures!

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Bruce Robertson’s new venture – dining in his home in Scarborough Cape Town – The Boat House

From 1 February Bruce Robertson, one of South Africa’s most well known chefs (former owner of the Showroom in Cape Town), will be opening a spot that celebrates  “The Art of Table d’ Hôte” – ie the opportunity to dine in his home in Scarborough.  The new venture is called The Boat House.  This is really exciting as I have been watching this trend on the television in a number of documentaries – it has become very popular in New York.  In NY – people open up their homes for dinner – ie they pile up the lounge furniture and fit in as many tables as possible into their home and start cooking  – it looks fantastic.  Bruce is going to be doing this from his home in  Scarborough.  I think this will be a really fun one to book for the weekend for us locals – Scarborough town boasts a gorgeous beach and is a really lovely drive to get there.  For foreigners – I would suggest you get up early and do the penguins and Cape Point – and then book for a late lunch with Bruce in Scarborough.   Note that The Boat House will only be open for lunches  from Monday – Saturday.  I have not been to try it out yet – but as soon as I have – I will report back!

Below is a press release to the Travel industry which gives you a feel for what he is planning.  I have reverted with a request to know if one would need a minimum number to book and have also asked what the cost will be.

02 Feb update from Bruce Robertson:

  • Firstly my apologies to Bruce – he has not launched a restaurant – merely the opportunity for you come and dine with him in his home – ie as he says “Table d’Hote” with a top chef in his home – which happens to be right on the beach in Scarborough.
  • Bookings will need to have a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 12.
  • More details to follow soon!  I am on the road traveling – so will update the rest soon!

Full update form the 2 Feb e-mail:  Bruce has clarified a whole lot of details.  His marketing is targeting the overseas visitor to Africa.  Here follow the details for the lunches:

HOSTED LUNCH WITH CHEF BRUCE
Table d’hôte
“Lunch served to guests at a warm home gathering, where the host has prepared what the guests will be served” My home is yours.

·      A five-course lunch paired to five award-winning wines.
·      Price Per Person; R495.00 inclusive.  (current price and subject to change)
·      Reservations ONLY/No walk-ins accepted:
      Telephone:  Chef Bruce 083305 8533/The Boat House (021) 780-1789
·      My home is closed on Sundays.

·      The menu is ‘Table d’hôte’ and ‘Seafood’ in theme.
·      Alternative ‘Starter’ and ‘Main’ course are on offer.
·      The menu uses only local ‘Peninsular’ and seasonal ingredients.
·      Tea and coffee inclusive.
·      Arrival time between 12H00-13H30.
·      Minimum number of guests x2-Maximum number of guests x12
·      One ‘Registered’ travel staff per booking is complimentary
·      Regrettably guest with walking disabilities need to negotiate 14 steps.
·      The Home is not wheelchair friendly.
·      All dietaries to be confirmed before arrival.
·      Regrettably no children under 6 years old.
·      All payments to be made via EFT prior to arrival/No cash or cards accepted.
     BANKING DETAILS: Nedbank/Acc no. 1046565451, Claremont.
     REF No. Guest Surname.

Directions to Chef Bruce Robertson’s Boat House
From the N2/Airport; head towards Cape Town and then take the M3 towards Muizenberg. At the end of the M3 turn right and follow signs to Ou Kaapse Weg. Continue along Ou Kaapse Weg, over the mountain and finally down into Sun Valley. At the second set of traffic lights, turn right towards Kommetjie. Continue along the Kommetjie Road, pass through two sets of traffic lights and one pedestrian light. After the third set of lights, take the first road to your left. The ‘Ocean View’ Police station will be on your left, continue along the road and when you reach a 4/way stop street turn left. Travel along this road with the sea on your right and mountain on your left, passing through Misty Cliffs until you get to Scarborough. At the stop street in Scarborough, turn right down Camel Rock Road towards the beach. Just before you reach the parking area at the beach, turn right along Beach Road. The Boat House is halfway along this road on your right side, No. 36.


With Culinary regards from The Boat House
Chef Bruce

UPDATE – I finally got there and absolutely loved it!!  Click here to go to my recent blog on my visit to Bruce Robertson’s home – the Boat House! 

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