From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
Restaurants at wine estates in Somerset West
Try a different route
Somerset West, situated in the Helderberg Mountains at the foothills of the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range, is often overlooked in favour of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Divert from well-trodden, winelands paths and you'll find yourself at a number of restaurants at wine estates, many of which offer champagne breakfasts, locally grown produce, and traditional cuisine.
Avontuur Estate Restaurant
This warm and inviting restaurant, home of fine wines and fast horses, presents a mouthwatering â la carte menu, champagne breakfasts, lunch and fireside dinners. Read more about Avontuur.
Wine to try: Luna De Miel Chardonnay Reserve 2015
Signature dish: Dessert is a treat. Make sure to leave space for their warm frangipani tart with artisanal vanilla-bean ice cream
Tip: “Flanked by mountains, vineyards, white roses and a stud farm, Avontuur is the kind of place you should visit with the attitude of relaxing and enjoying yourself,” says co-owner, Zunia Boucher-Myers.
R44 | Between Stellenbosch and Somerset West | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 855 4296
Johan's at Longridge Restaurant & Wine Bar
The kitchen is surrounded by fertile soil where vegetables, vines, fruits and herbs thrive. Chefs express their creativity using the best the season has to offer.
Wine to try: Longridge Brut Cap Classique 2007
Signature dish: a salad fresh from their garden.
Tip: the outside patio is simply breathtaking.
Eikendal Road | off R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 855 2005
Haskell Wines believe that great wine tastes at its best with good food and their authentic, flavoursome food is an equal match to their creative wine list. Try their pressed lamb shoulder with nasturtium pesto, sour cream potato mash, sweet baby carrots and pan jus. Read more about Haskell Vineyards.
Wine to try: Haskell Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah Blend 2009, 4 ½-star John Platter
Tip: “Spend a lot of time here,” advises head chef Cornelle Minie. “Once you’re here, you won’t want to leave.”
Haskell Vineyards | Annandale Road (off the R44) | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 881 3746
This restaurant is housed in a 10m high glass promontory, set against the majestic backdrop of Waterkloof's amphitheatre of vineyards. French chef, Gregory Czarnecki, offers classical cuisine with a modern European twist. We tried pork belly, slow cooked in duck fat and decorated with green figs, beetroot and pretty greens, at Waterkloof.
Wine to try: Circumstance Chardonnay 2008.
Signature dish:quail with glazed smoked bacon, crispy quail egg and Petit Pois.
Tip:“diners visiting during May will receive a R100 voucher, which is redeemable in June,” says venue and events manager, Mandy Smith.
Waterkloof Wine Estate | Sir Lowry's Pass Road | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 858 1491
Named after Sophia Loren, the restaurant features celebrated photographs of the young Sophia. Chef Patron, Craig Cormack, gives classic dishes and modern twist, using fresh produce including lemons, green figs, herbs and salads all grown at Morgenster.
Wine to try: any wines from the Morgenster Estate.
Signature dish: the menu changes seasonally, always featuring fresh, local produce.
Tip: join Craig for canapés, tutored tasting of six salts from around the world, followed by a five-course tasting menu, paired with wines.
Morgenster Estate | Vergelegen Avenue (off Lourensford Road) | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 852 1738
During summer, lunch is served on the patio sheltered by Liquid Amber Trees and overlooking beautifully manicured lawns. Try the charcuterie platter including marinated chicken kebab, home-made ham, bow-tie pasta with summer greens and pesto vinaigrette, and Italian Caprese salad.
Wine to try: Vergelegen Semillon
Signature dish: truffled mushroom tortellini, served with sage and smoked, Fleur de sel butter and grated parmesan.
Tip: their camellia’s (flower) are considered a Garden of Excellence.
Vergelegen Estate | Lourensford Road | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 847 1346
Sample the sweet and savoury flavour combinations of traditional Cape cuisine, on the old-world wine estate of Bilton, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains.
Wine to try: 2006 Bilton Shiraz.
Signature dish: bobotie.
Tip: the ideal spot for light lunches, paired with one of six, recommended wines.
Bilton Wines | Annandale Road | Lynedoch | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 881 3714
By Lisa Nevitt
Read more about touring the Somerset West Winelands, and read our overviews of restaurants at wine estates in Stellenbosch, Durbanville, Paarl, Franschhoek and Constantia.
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