We all know the usual wine farm menu narrative is small plating, sometimes words you can’t pronounce served with a side of an exorbitant price. Sometimes the idea of a ‘fennel foam’ or a ‘prawn bisque’ doesn’t get you excited. There is definitely a place for this type of eating however here are a few laid back Cape Town wine farm gems I find myself going back to when I’m feeling like something slightly different.
Cosecha at Noble Hill Wine Farm:
This is my all time favourite little South American secret in the midst of Franschhoek. Cosecha’s unassuming and laid back approach to food is what makes it perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun with food that packs a punch. The attention to detail is what sets this place apart, such as the guacamole being freshly prepared right in front of you in a pestle and mortar. You can dictate your level of spice and lemon and it’s served next to freshly made warm corn chips that taste like absolute gluttony. The sangria will get you from 0 to 100 quickly and is always filled with fresh summer fruits (they serve this by the jar which makes Cosecha the perfect group hangout). The fish and duck tacos are standout and are reaching for the top taco spot in my books. I tend to lean towards a bottle of the Merlot here as it’s probably one of my favourite underdog red wine’s from this region.
Vadas at Spier:
Not a newcomer, however still new to my books, Vadas continues to impress me with every visit. The service is always top notch and the ordering style is unique and quirky. You pick your menu items on a quiz-like worksheet, which makes it easy to understand but also difficult to choose. We often end up over-ordering with the fear that we may be under-ordering ( I feel like this is the basis of my relationship with food and restaurants). Their meat is sustainably sourced and their fish is supplied by Abalobi which guarantees that morning’s catch. The menu also boasts veggies with elevated flavours, making it an easy hangout for vegetarians too. The beef-fat fries are in another league but can also be made vegan without compromising flavour. All of Spier’s wines are available here which means you are spoilt for choice in the drinks department. Vadas also hosts an impressive bakery and I never leave without the chocolate pie (which is both sugar and gluten free might I add).
The Deli at Boschendal:
Boschendal has to be my favourite wine farm to date. Having stayed there a few times, I have had the opportunity to really explore their restaurants to the core. Werf offers an elevated dining style, whilst also venturing into a more refined menu. However, when I am feeling a more casual atmosphere, the deli doesn’t disappoint.
Most of the menu ingredients are grown on Boschendal’s land, guaranteeing the utmost care and quality for each dish. Coupled with the magical setting sitting under the trees on a hot summer’s night – the food is unfussy and delicious. I always go for a pizza and their extremely vegan and gluten free options are impressive (so impressive I actually had two pizzas in one sitting). Their veggie and meat burgers are loaded with flavour and the quality of the meat is undeniably noticeable. They also offer a banging breakfast (the kale and parmesan frittata being my favourite) and have some of the best pasteis de nata in the area.
Sometimes things don’t need to be complicated. Sometimes the best afternoons / early evenings are spent in an unpretentious environment drinking good wine, and eating good food with no expectations. I have found myself to be constantly impressed by these spots and I hope you will feel the same when you visit. If you do, please tag me @morganshelly or use the hashtag #AllSheDoes