South Africa: Dining in the Winelands

By: andrewbowman

September 30, 2010


With over 200 vineyards, South Africa’s Cape Winelands is one of the world’s great centres of viniculture. Backed by rolling hills and majestic mountains, the region also prides itself on having the country’s greatest concentration of fine dining restaurants.

Lucy Corne has travelled extensively all over South Africa and has written for numerous sites and publications including Wanderlust, The Guardian, The Independent, The Toronto Star, and Travel Africa. In the second part of this post, she gives us the lowdown on the Cape’s best vineyards, scenic spots and unique places to stay. But first she enthuses about the dining scene”¦

“Franschhoek is the culinary capital of the Cape, its pretty high street lined with fine dining options, including the exquisite tasting menus of the Le Quartier Français. Of their three restaurants, The Tasting Room offers the most elaborate dining experience, allowing you to choose between a five-course banquet and a nine-course African-inspired surprise menu, designed daily by the chef.

Equally divine is the nine-course banquet at Bosmans, on Paarl’s Grand Roche Estate, where an à la carte menu also caters to those keen on a more modest dinner.


Desserts at the Tasting Room, courtesy of Le Quartier Français

Desserts at the Tasting Room, courtesy of Le Quartier Français


Many of the vineyards have first-rate restaurants within their elegant walls, but at Rickety Bridge just outside Franschhoek you can actually dine among the vines. Sit on their terrace within reach of the vineyard and enjoy Cape specials like lamb bredie (stew) and the sumptuously sweet malva pudding, each course paired with one of the estate’s wines.

For a family-friendly lunch, there is no better spot than Spier. Enjoy a custom-packed picnic on their lawns – with gourmet options for parents and more familiar choices for kids – followed by a session petting baby cheetahs or watching birds of prey in flight.”

Check out Lucy’s follow up on the Best of the Cape Winelands for equally enticing places to stay, and where to find the best wine-tasting experiences.

Virgin Atlantic operate the very best fares on direct flights from London Heathrow to South Africa.

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