A fluffy soufflé pancake (or two) at Torii at Tjing Tjing House
Restaurants with fireplaces in the Cape Winelands
Wine and dine alongside a cosy, crackling hearth
Spectacular scenery, world-class wines, and rich gourmet comfort food are just some of the offerings you can expect from Cape Town’s wide selection of winelands eateries. As if such fine features are not enticing enough, these spots are made all the more charming during the relentless winter rains by splendid glowing hearths and roaring fires. Regardless of taste or type, there is little more alluring than the thought of huddling in a cosy interior while watching bitter winds sweep through vast vineyards.
To help turn the above from a mere wintry, office-bound daydream into an accessible option, we’ve put together a list of our favourite winelands restaurants with fireplaces. Head out to one of these spots in Stellenbosch, Wellington, Paarl or Franschhoek for a truly toasty wine and dine experience.
Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant
Responsible for resurrecting heritage-rich Cape Winelands cuisine, Pierneef à La Motte restaurant in Franschhoek also excels in reinventing the cosy feel of a Cape Dutch lunch or dinner in the midst of winter: sumptuous couches fan out around a sizeable hearth, plush chairs crowd around tables dressed in white linen and hearty South African fare graces the impressive seasonally changing menu. Led by famed chef Chris Erasmus, the kitchen team conjures up warming dishes with roots that reach far back into the nation’s culinary past, like Karoo lamb soutribbetjie, Mosstroop braised pork belly, curried tomato and bean ragout and soups made with vegetables from the surrounding garden. Needless to say, a meal at La Motte winery’s stunning restaurant is as much a gastronomic adventure as it a journey back in time.
Note: La Motte and Pierneef à La Motte are wheelchair-friendly.
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm (kitchen closes at 3pm); Friday – Sunday: 9am – 8:30pm (dinner)
Closed during the winter break: 13 July - 7 August as well as on religious holidays
La Motte | Main Road | Franschhoek | +27 (0) 21 876 8800
Benguela on Main
Somerset West’s Benguela on Main is the perfect winter Winelands destination. With a toasty wood-burning stove at the heart of its elegant dining room and flickering candlelight glinting off of its striking gold accent walls, this is the ideal hideaway on chilly evenings. Diners can sink into a shearling covered seat and warm themselves from within, with rich and hearty selections from the French inspired a la carte, set and tasting menus. A roaring open fire in The Taster, the restaurant’s luxurious tasting lounge and boutique store, invites guests to unwind in front of its crackling warmth, while indulging in a decadent guided tasting journey. Benguela Cove wines are paired with creations by master chocolatier Jane Stuart- five pairings at R95 p/p, and an impressive selection is available on the cheese and wine menu, at R110 (serves one).
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 12pm- 9pm
Corner Main Road and Coronation Ave | Somerset West | +27 (0) 87 357 0637
Situated on the acclaimed Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, Eight Restaurant promises a seasonal menu that features mouth-watering farm-style cuisine. In keeping with the estate’s commitment to biodynamic farming, most of the ingredients (vegetables and meat) are sourced from the property’s bountiful grounds, resulting in one of the most authentic farm-to-table dining experiences in the whole of South Africa. During winter guests can enjoy hearty meals, which can be complemented with Spier’s excellent wines, next to a crackling hearth. Not to mention, a special kiddies’ menu and seating area ensures that the whole family can tuck into some top-notch grub at the forward-thinking eatery.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 12pm (brunch); 12pm – 3pm (lunch) and 3pm - 4:30pm (tea).
Spier Wine Farm | R310 Baden Powell Rd | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 809 1188
Chez Shiraz at Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate
Nestled on Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate in the scenic Stellenbosch Winelands, French-inspired gourmet restaurant Chez Shiraz is an especially snug spot to dine during the frosty winter months. A roaring hearth rests in the lounge area just adjacent to the open-plan eatery’s scattering of well-dressed tables, and visitors can bask in its warmth while watching rain sweep across the estate’s championship golf course through expansive glass sliding doors. The cosy, relaxed atmosphere is accompanied by a menu rich with hearty, warming dishes, like creamy mushroom and fresh herb fettucine, classic beef fillet and line fish and garlic prawns, and there’s even a small offering for the kiddies. Guests can also look out for pocket-friendly seasonal specials sure to brighten up any chilly winter’s day.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 9pm
Bottelary Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 865 2080
Red Leaf Restaurant
Situated on the breathtaking Beyerskloof Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, Red Leaf Restaurant offers patrons the chance to dine on delicious fare and sip on award-winning wines while soaking up spectacular vistas of vineyards and rolling hills. Contemporary but intimate, the eatery serves rich, flavourful specialities, including the renowned Pinotage burger, slow-cooked pork belly and prawns, beef rack and various hearty seafood dishes. Diners can enjoy these next to two blazing hearths on the enclosed wooden deck or huddled alongside a third fireplace in the restaurant’s indoor space. All three fireplaces, we’re assured, burn vigorously from open to close.
Opening times: Tuesday – Friday: 9am - 3:30pm; Saturday: 10am - 3pm; open every second Sunday of the month: 12pm – 3pm
Beyerskloof Wine Farm | R304 | Koelenhof | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 865 2685
Previously Hazendal Wine Estate’s original 17th century cellar, this grand restaurant is rich with both heritage – a colonial map appears across its ceiling, for instance – and welcoming warmth. Although guests can take lunch al fresco, the large roaring fireplace, which makes for quite a feature in the tasting centre, draws crowds in winter. During the nippy months, the eatery’s layout is specifically altered to arrange six restaurant tables around this circular hearth so diners can bathe in the blissful heat. The ideal spot for warm food and wine pairing, Hermitage offers fresh fare that blends Mediterranean flavours with South African flair.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday: 8am - 11am (breakfast); 11pm - 5pm (lunch)
Bottelary Road | Bottelary Ward | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 903 5034
Dornier Bodega Restaurant
This culinary gem, housed in an old barn on Dornier Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch mountains, promises pastoral charm and fresh farm-style cuisine. Bodega’s selection of uncomplicated, seasonal dishes, all made from locally-sourced ingredients, was inspired by the Dornier range of wines and is designed specifically to complement these blends. During winter, guests can enjoy either vegetarian or meaty two- or three-course meals at special prices. Such offerings are all the more enjoyable in light of the fire that blazes in the restaurant’s lively interior.
Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday: 9pm - 5pm; closed Monday and Tuesday
Dornier Wine Estate | Blaauwklippen Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 880 0557
This arresting 120-hectare estate in Stellenbosch features wide stretches of lawn, old citrus orchards, beds of lavender and a Tuscan-style villa that boasts a beautiful stone courtyard. Although there is no formal restaurant on site, the Waterford tasting room specialises in pairing their fine wines with a selection of handcrafted dark and milk chocolates. This heavenly combination of rich cocoa and sweet and spicy varietals, enjoyed next to a glowing fire in the lounge, make chilly winter days almost desirable.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 10am - 5pm.
Blaauwklippen Road | Helderberg | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 880 0496
Avontuur Estate Restaurant
Get into the festive cheer with Avontuur Restaurant’s generous dinners that bursts with country flavour. You can expect traditional favourites including roast chicken, lamb or pork, seasonal vegetables and lashings of gravy. If the underfloor heating isn’t warming enough on nights that get a little nippy, guests can also laze by a roaring open fire while tucking into the eatery’s delectable desserts.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 4pm; from Wednesday to Saturday evening dinner is served from 6:30pm.
Note: Booking is essential.
R44 | Somerset West | Western Cape |+27 (0)21 855 4296
Visit this charming restaurant, set in a country garden on the Backsberg wine farm, for their roaring fire, local homemade food, selection of seasonal light snacks, and impressive range of wines. During winter, go on a Sunday for their tender lamb on a spit, live acoustic music and delicious three-course set menu. Backsberg Restaurant’s á la carte menu is available Mondays through Saturdays and all lunch bookings include a complimentary wine tasting session.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 9:30am – 3:30pm.
Backsberg Estate | Franschhoek | Western Cape |+27 (0) 21 875 5952
96 Winery Road
Cuddle up next to one of the three fireplaces at this popular winelands restaurant and enjoy a view of the vineyards and the Helderberg mountains. A well-loved haunt for local wine connoisseurs, the restaurant boasts over 320 different vintages. A firm favourite on the winter menu is the duck and cherry pie, made for warming from the inside out.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 12pm - 4pm; Monday – Saturday: 6:30pm - 10pm.
Winery Road | Zandberg Farm | Somerset West | Western Cape |+27 (0)21 842 2020
Allora Ristorante Classico (Franschhoek)
Nestled in the food and wine capital of the Cape, this relaxed restaurant was designed to give the feel of a traditional Italian village, with the focal points being the central fountain, the mosaic wood-burning ovens and the two well-positioned fireplaces. Rustic but refined, Allora’s menu options allow for a quick, light meal or a more impressive dinner of meat, seafood, poultry, pasta or thin-based pizza.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 12pm - 10pm; Saturday – Sunday: 12pm - 11pm.
32 Huguenot Road | Franschhoek | Western Cape |+27 (0)21 876 4375/6
Country Kitchen (Mont Rochelle)
Visit the Country Kitchen for casual dining by the fire and indulge in their Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Based in the wine tasting area of Mont Rochelle Vineyards, the restaurant offers samplings at the table – so, if a food and wine pairing is appealing, let them know beforehand for a little on-site tuition.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 12pm - 6pm; Sunday: 12pm – 3pm (lunch); 7pm – 9pm (dinner)
Mont Rochelle | Dassenberg Road | Franschhoek |Western Cape |+ 27 (0)21 876 2770
Glen Carlou Restaurant
Take a trip to the heart of the Paarl Valley and enjoy the panoramic vineyard views from this charming restaurant, located on the Glen Carlou Wine Estate. The beautiful interior, roaring fire and locally- and internationally-flavoured cuisine will surely make up for any chilly weather outside. Plus, the venueis entirely wheelchair friendly, a reflection of their high service standards.
Opening times: Monday –Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Glen Carlou Estate | Simondium Road | Klapmuts | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 875 5528
Delaire Graff Restaurant
Warm up at Delaire Graff Restaurant, based at the luxury estate on the periphery of the Helshoogte Pass, and take in powerful pieces of local art while you’re at it – the striking Kentridge portrait that hangs above the large fireplace is just one work in their diverse collection. Boasting a variety of innovative, well-presented pairings, the menu offers approachable ‘bistro-chic’ cuisine full with fresh, robust flavours, and an extensive list of fine wines.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 2pm; Wednesday – Saturday: 6:30pm – 9pm.
Delaire Graff Estate | Stellenbosch | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 885 8160
This earthy, sophisticated eatery on Waterkloof Wine Farm is home to a grand designer fireplace that, as a striking centrepiece, provides an elegant glow and welcomed warmth in winter. Guests can settle down into the black leather chairs that surround this hearth and warm up with a glass of wine before dining on gourmet comfort foods in the open-plan glass eatery. As a backdrop to Waterkloof Restaurant’s range of fine offerings, there are spectacular views of vines, mountains and the stunning False Bay stretch.
Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday: 12pm - 2pm (lunch); Wednesday – Saturday: 7pm - 9pm (dinner); closed Monday, Tuesday and Sunday evenings for the dinner service
Winter 2015 Operating Times: Sunday, 21 June (last lunch); Monday, 22 June closed until 21 June; reopen Wednesday, 22 July.
Waterkloof Estate | Sir Lowry’s Pass Road | Somerset West | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 858 1292
If you’re searching for a spot a little closer to home, have a look at our listing of restaurants with fireplaces in central Cape Town.