Part of the small Four Oaks Guest House this restaurant is run by Stephen Templeton, formerly executive chef at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. The food lives up to this standard - immaculately presented imaginative dishes - but the prices certainly do not. The wine is pretty decent too.
It's one of the best chances you will get to enjoy a five-star meal without a five-star price, all in a friendly and superbly attractive location on the scenic Route 62.
In fact, its so good it made Top 20 in Eat Out's restaurants in South Africa.
Butcher Boys is a steak house for people who are passionate, committed carnivores. Although they offer seafood, chicken and salad dishes, they specialise in game and beef steaks (in a variety of ages). Skip straight to "The Butcher Knows Best" section of the menu. The prices, service and taste leave the likes of Aberdeen steakhouses in the dust!
TIP: don't eat lunch if you plan to go there for dinner. Save the space for something special instead.
The whole of Franschhoek to eat! There are so many good restaurants with a variety of settings to suit a multitude of tastes. It is an extraordinary village for foodies. Here are some of the restaurants I would choose, being a regular visitor:
La Petite Ferme Restaurant – a Franschhoek Instiution. No one comes to Franschhoek without eating here. Do it on the first day because it sets the scene for your visit, and possibly a hangover. The views take your breath away and the temptation is there to lie on the grass and order one bottle after another. It is beautifully situated along the pass road, spectacular views and really good food. Recently voted top 10 in Wine Magazine - open for lunch only. firstname.lastname@example.org. 00 27 (0)21 876 3016 Tel Book Early!
Reuben’s – wonderful restaurant, centrally situated with modern interior, shady courtyard and trendy bar area. I love a lazy lunch in the summer under the mist spray and it's difficult to drag yourself away. Famous Reuben Riffel voted Chef of the Year 2005 and Restaurant of the Year 2005. The menu is modern French cuisine with cosmopolitan influences and a choice of a contemporary or a more classical menu. email@example.com 00 27 (0)21 876 3772 Book Early!
Le Quartier Francais – Famous Chef, Margot Janse (Chef of the year 2003 & 2004) Top 50 Restaurants in the World 2007. TASTING ROOM: Elegant and more formal dining – 4/6 and 8 course meal with wine carefully selected for each course. ICI – a la carte bistro restaurant with deliciously simple and fresh food. If you want the full works you must eat at The Tasting Room. I can only do it once every six months. She gets amazing flavours and Margot is just fantastic. Ask her to come to the table if you like www.lequartierfrancais.com Book Early! 00 27 (0)21 876 2151
Bouillabaisse – Camil & Ingrid’s classy Champagne and oyster bar and seafood deli on the High Street in Franschhoek . This vibrant new 'front-cooking' eatery combines freshly prepared favourites like bouillabaisse and gourmet seafood tasters with the decadence of the world’s most sought after treats, like Beluga and Fois Gras. Watch Camil and his team prepare a daily selection of seafood delights in his stylish open kitchen to be sampled as tasting portions, made a meal of or taken away to be savoured later.
The kitchen is open all day from 10am to 10pm, on offer will be a variety of fish and seafood tasters encouraging guests to create their own menu. www.bouillabaisse.co.za Book Early! 00 27 (0)21 876 4430
French Connection - bistro style venue with excellent food and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for something easy - open both lunch & dinner . 00 27 (0)21 876 4056
Haute Cabriere - elegant dining in their cellar restaurant with award winning Chef, Matthew Gordon - wines are offered per course - open both lunch and dinner. 00 27 (0)21 876 3688
Le Bon Vivant – Dutch Chef making his presence felt in Franschhoek. Excellent European cuisine with superb presentation. Portions are not too large - open both lunch and dinner. 00 27 (0)21 876 2717
Mont Rochelle – Mange Tout. Another beautifully situated hotel/restaurant. Outside dining available, formal, elegant dining - open both lunch and dinner. 00 27 (0)21 876 2770
Mont Rochelle – The Country Kitchen. One of my favourites, popping in for a glass of wine and a plate of tapas. Unpretentious simple food and one of Franschhoek’s hidden gems. Has a great view from the ‘other side’ of the valley. 00 27 (0)21 876 3000
Topsi & Co - a delightful dining experience – Topsi is a wonderful character and she and Alidi prepare simple uncomplicated meals from only the freshest produce she can get her hands on. She has two, sometimes 3 African Grey parrots that wander around and mumble away to themselves. You do have to bring your own wine – open both lunch and dinner. 00 27 (0)21 876 2952
Bread & Wine - situated on Môreson wine farm, here the chef smokes his own meats and fish, his wife bakes the best bread this side of the mountain and the wines are a compliment to the whole setting - relaxed, easy going and very casual - open lunch mainly but occasional evenings Book Early! 00 27 (0)21 876 3692
Grande Provence Restaurant – Probably the most stylish restaurant in Franschhoek. An excellent kitchen and nouvelle cuisine dining. Situated on the Grande Provence Wine Estate 3 km from the centre of the village. Open Lunch and Dinner daily. Take a browse through the beautiful art gallery just before dinner. Home of Agusta wines and the well known Angel’s Tears. Private Dining room available upon request. www.grandeprovence.co.za 00 27 (0)21 876 8600
Vineyard Brasserie – Run by La Petite Ferme team and located in a corner of Franschhoek overlooking the orchards. Lovely and quiet, but minutes walk away from the main road. Indoor and outdoor seating and lawn. Friday night in Summer comes alive with the sound of jazz. Book early as numbers often exceed 250. 00 27 (0)21 876 3420
After a long twelve hour overnight flight from London, I arrive in Cape Town a little bleary eyed to be transported to the wonderful Mount Nelson Hotel, a true oasis in South Africa. Surrounded by pink buildings bright in the sunshine, I go for a brunch on the terrace of the aptly named Oasis restaurant. The buffet is sumptuous featuring fresh catch from the nearby sea, intriguing vegetable dishes, and delicious breakfast foods. The service is attentive yet comforting. After the long flight, my senses are becoming restored aided by some of South Africa's fine sparkling wines and fresh fruit juice. I relax into my chair on the terrace overlooking the pool, open the newspaper, and relax to the sounds of live jazz music softly filling the air. London is a whole world away and now the journey feels worthwhile.
The reason for recommending this place is not only the food but the setting. If you are going for a wine tour in the winelands region of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, then the combination of view and food here is ideal. It is slightly elevated as it requires a five minute drive up the valley, but this elevation offers beautiful views of the whole valley.
One of the best cafes in Pretoria, if not Gauteng. The setting is the urban scruffery of Sunnyside, a suburb with a bad reputation, but thankfully this also means a sight of local life. The menu changes daily with whatever is fresh. The owner, Lientjie, is always friendly and the dishes always fresh but filling. A good sign for me is if a place does a side salad which you actually want to eat and these guys definitely do that. They do delicious cakes, inventive brunch meals and more international fare as well
Cnr Jorissen & Johnston Streets, Sunnyside, South Africa
012 343 8277
Google map: tinyurl.com/ybk4z2y
Toni's pizza in Pretoria north have amazing and unique flavour combinations, which are pretty hard to find in the pta generally. The pizzas are stonebaked and the bases deliciously crisp, as they should be. Try the following, one of my favourites:
Prawns with lemon and garlic butter, fennel seeds and rocket.
Never mind a great restaurant in South Africa, this is one of my favourite restaurants in the world. It's upmarket South African cuisine with Bobotie starters, Ostrich steaks and a superb South African wine list.
Vegetarians - don't worry. They can cater for you as well.
The decor is warm and candlelit in the evening making it a romantic place to go. The staff are efficient yet friendly and really make you feel like you are dining at a friends restaurant. Even the clientelle are set on making you feel welcome - when we retired outside after the meal with our coffees, a regular at the restaurant insisted on buying us an after dinner drink and even invited us the next day to visit his local vineyard. I've eaten in a few swanky places in my time, but none of them are a patch on this place and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
If you're staying in Swellendam as a staging post on the Garden Route, I can recommend La Sosta Italian restaurant.
It's run by a former Milanese optician and his ex-banker wife (he's front-of-house, she's the chef) who decided to down-size their lives and move to South Africa.
The peasant-style food is as good as you'll taste in SA or anywhere else. Try the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms, or the pork with apples and prunes.
We took our own wine along and they charged us a nominal sum for corkage.
They have rooms to stay, so you don't have to stagger too far to bed.
Aubergine is a fine dining restaurant, regularly rated in Cape Town's top 10. It's in the Gardens area, so walkable if you're staying in Oranjezicht.
We treated ourselves to dinner there on our last night in Cape Town and enjoyed it immensely.
We had a delicious rack of lamb, accompanied by a serious red blend from Springfield Winery ('The Work of Time'), recommended to us by the very friendly (and unintimidating) sommelier, Dom.
It's not cheap - we paid R900 for two courses (for two of us).
Well worth the visit though!
Not sure what it says about a city when its number one tourist attraction is a beer museum. I'm also not sure what it says about Dani and me that we contributed to such a statistic (and had a blast!) The tour is advertised everywhere in Johannesburg - it's a one and a half hour guided tour organized by SAB brewing (partners with Miller-Coors in the USA) complete with a 3D adventure, an IMAX-style movie, real life machinery depicting the beer making process, and lots more. Oh, and did we mention the tasting?
Included as part of the tour: a taste of traditional South African home-brew, a pint of SAB's Castle, and two more pints from any SAB partner at the end (we had European beers Peroni and Pilsner Urquel), all included in the amazing 25 rand price tag (or three USD per person).
Doing a review of South African's Castle beer is a bit of a cop-out (and we hope to visit Zululand where we can choose a more traditional option). With that said, the elaborate SAB museum warrants some praise. The truth is we like the fact that Castle is a good South African union-made, union-bottled, union-delivered brew - that reminded me a lot of its US counterpart - Miller Light. And while Miller may not be the first beer that comes to mind when I list my favorites, it's affordable, it tastes consistently slightly better than average, and the company provides good jobs.
It would feel weird to make this a "must do" when visiting Jozi - for pete's sake spend a day at the Apartheid museum or touring Soweto - but if you're spending a little too much time on the ground, have a free Saturday afternoon, then we promise you it will be a good time. Plan well though, no walk-ins, as the tours book days in advance.
We stayed at Bob's Bunkhouse because they are the darling of the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree for hostels in Johannesburg, South Africa. The place was nice enough for a hostel (we even had our own bathroom) - but it's also in the middle of nowhere - and to get anywhere in Jozi expect to pay very hefty taxi fees. Bob and his wife are very nice, and they try hard to provide a safe and social environment - but the reek of cigarettes is everywhere, the place is filthy, and there are no local restaurants, either in walking distance or for delivery (except for very average pizza). With that said, Bob's has quick DSL, a coke machine that dispenses beer, and loads of hot water.
Brilliant little bakery-cafe run by a passionate baker-couple. Great place for brunch. Most hefty steak sandwich I've had anywhere.
Situated in the NE of South Africa in Limpopo Province near the town of Hoedspruit, Pezulu Tree House Game Lodge can be described as an ecologically friendly escape from urban life in the heart of the African bush.
As the name suggests, seven raised tree house units accommodating up to 16 people have been built around local marula trees (the marula berry is used to make Amarula liqueur) providing excellent panoramas of unspoilt natural surroundings.
Consideration for nature has been paramount. Live tree branches pass through these minimal impact wood, reed and thatch structures which are equipped with modern luxuries including en-suite facilities and private balconies for views of the Drakensberg mountains and early morning wildlife.
Hot air Ballooning and game drives are available as is outdoor outdoor dining in a traditional boma, around an African camp fire. There is a rock swimming pool as well as treetop bar and this retreat is ideal for people wishing to experience Africa without compromising luxury.
The Blyde River Canyon as well as Kruger National Park are nearby as well as Moholoholo rehabilitation centre, an endangered species centre and the opportunity to see the big five.
Set-price lunch of gourmet cheese, bread and salads by award winning cheesemaker, set in an elegant farmhouse with a lovely view of green. Everything in your meal is grown and made on the farm.
Off the N2 Highway across from Tsitsikamma Lodge
Calling ahead for reservations and directions is essential
+27 42 280 3879
Semi-classy African bush themed restaurant, where you can try game meats such as warthog, crocodile, kudu, ostrich etc.
If you don't want to commit to a large expensive game steak, try the smoked venison platter starter.
267 Long St
Google map: tinyurl.com/ylbhnu7
Bronx has been in existence for eight years and is the best known gay landmark in South Africa.
Newly launched Cape Quarter has an abundance of home décor, art and artefacts, fashion, beauty, health, restaurants, bars and lifestyle related stores are all delivered in traditional Cape architecture.
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