Category Archives: Restaurants

Mozart Cake and Memorabilia at Nibbles Bistro in Sedgefield (2017-07-11) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 27 NOV 2017

Seeing as we had happily been spending the day driving around, spotting mosaics and exploring the lovely little Sedgefield on the final leg of our June Holidays road trip, I decided that a suitable reward (in terms of cake and refreshments) was now very much in order for the girls and one super patient Chantelle.

Having just completed a short drive on The Island, we emerged (after dodging some bulldozers and diggers working on one of the roads) at the door of Nibbles Bistro, standing in the middle of the small Mosaic Market which itself is neatly tucked in between the Scarab Arts Village and the super popular Wild Oats Market location.

In addition to its welcoming outside seating area (hard not to love all that colour), the interior is actually well worth meandering through, primarily because all the walls are literally covered from floor to ceiling with all manner of for sale sports, music and movie memorabilia.

(Note, these memorabilia products are in fact sold by some other online company, the name of which has unfortunately now completely escaped me. It has something to do with golf, I’m sure. Anyway, if someone could drop me a line with the name it would be much appreciated!)

All this of course then means that there is no shortage of conversation fodder around the table – which could either be a blessing or a curse depending on how annoying your significant other is in terms of popular culture knowledge!

If I remember correctly, we ordered a couple of cakes to all share, the girls had hot chocolate and I had a nice coffee, with the star of the show for me being a piece of very delicious Mozart Cake – the first time that I’ve ever encountered this particular cake, much to the eye-rolling surprise of Chantelle.

The cafe was rather busy on the day that we were there, so service wasn’t that great (in fact I can remember to having become slightly annoyed with matters), but with that said, the cake was delicious, the food menu looked good, and the atmosphere was pretty laid back – so exactly what one would expect from this self declared “slow town” then! :)

Worth popping into then in other words.

Related Link: Nibbles Bistro

Jam and Scones at Hillcrest Berry Orchards in the Banhoek Valley (2017-04-22) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 24 NOV 2017

It is nowadays quite impossible for me to travel the road from Stellenbosch, past Pniel and on towards Franschhoek without it being requested that I stop for scones and cream at Hillcrest Berry Orchards by young Jessica.

(Not that I mind though – a visit to Hillcrest Berries, on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, is always quite pleasant!)

While you can sit and dine in the remarkably popular restaurant/tea room if the weather doesn’t play along, it is by far the best to grab a spot on their terrace, with its beautiful views over the Banhoek Valley.

You’ll be rewarded with some crisp fresh air and some particularly pretty scenery to look at.

Primarily a producer of a wide selection of fine jams from the assortment of berries grown on the working berry farm, a visit to Hillcrest Berry Orchards is definitely defined by tucking into their scones, first choosing the jams to accompany and then deciding on what to round it off with.

Pro Tip: the Devonshire Clotted Cream is the MUST go to option, no question about it!

The atmosphere is relaxed (though on this particular visit there was a gaggle of girls celebrating someone’s 16th birthday, which on its own made for a very entertaining watch – so much posing and so, so many selfies!), the scones, jam and coffee great, and the view is fantastic.

Hard to argue against visiting this great little business that coincidentally also does so much good in its local community then.

Oh, and they even have a couple of weekend away guest cottages for rent available these days – just in case you’re looking for a bit of a Banhoek Valley/Stellenbosch getaway.

(Bonus: You’ll note the sad face photo of Jessica towards the bottom of the photo gallery. It was just me and the girls on one of our days out and about and unfortunately for Jess, it was a bit of a knee meet cement slab moment.)

Related Link: Hillcrest Berries | Facebook

A Bite to Eat at A Taste of Africa in Colchester (2017-07-07) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 21 NOV 2017

After a long morning spent game watching (after having enjoyed our night spent in the Addo Elephant Park as part of our June Holidays 2007 road trip), we were now about to embark on the drive down the road to Port Elizabeth, where we would be staying with Evan and Natasha for a couple of evenings.

However, a quick poll around the car quickly established that first a stop for something to eat was very much in order, and so instead of turning right towards Port Elizabeth, we turned left and ambled down towards nearby Colchester.

Having been established in 2015, the conveniently situated A Taste of Africa restaurant can be found at the BP petrol station complex at the start of Colchester, hard to miss thanks to its current brilliant blue paint job.

Passing the pizza oven out front and heading inside, you’ll find a cozy space with a lot of home industry products lining the wall. The restaurant/coffee shop has both indoor and outdoor seating arrangements, and from the look of things, capable of running a small bar setup just as easily.

The menu is decent, nice and casual, the food okay enough, and the staff more than welcoming and friendly. (The girls loved all the special attention that they were getting).

Seeing as we were pretty much the only people there for our stop, it isn’t really possible to comment on the vibe, but guessing from the setup, I suspect that more than a FEW party groups get together here every now and then!

Oh, and they do have a nice little garden setting too.

Bonus: Colchester (affectionately known as the Jewel of the Sundays River by locals), is itself a pretty interesting little place mind you. Twenty minutes outside of Port Elizabeth, lying on the banks of the Sundays River and bordered by the South Gate of the Addo Elephant National Park, the settlement of Colchester rose (nearly a century ago) as a challenge to Port Elizabeth (apparently), with the original vision of the engineer behind the whole thing for it to become the railway center for the whole of the Eastern Cape.

That battle was obviously lost, but Colchester, named after the oldest town in the United Kingdom, is however surrounded by ancient sand dunes (dating back about 100 000 years), and is situated in a part of the country that remains largely unspoiled – thereby meaning that the opportunities for fishing, hiking, river cruises, sand boarding, sand sledding, canoeing and swimming are plentiful.

So worth looking into if you want to escape the built up confines of Port Elizabeth then.

Related Link: A Taste of Africa | Facebook

Burgers and Milkshakes at Diesel & Creme in Barrydale (2017-07-03) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 19 NOV 2017

It seems weird to say, but finding a place to stop for a bite to eat in Barrydale (as you move between the Overberg and Klein Karoo) is actually harder than what it should be – primarily because there are nowadays so many interesting places to choose between!

So after entering Barrydale and driving a bit of this way and then that, and faced with names like A Place in Time, The Country Pumpkin, Mez Karoo Kitchen, Bistro Blues, The Jam Tarts, and the Blue Cow at the Barrydale Waterfront (which we’ve actually been to before), Chantelle and I eventually settled on pulling in at the Karoo Moon Motel and more specifically, its vintage diner (and super popular) sister, Diesel & Creme, for our “halfway to Oudtshoorn” lunch time stop.

Situated on the Route 62 tourist route, Diesel & Creme was established in 2013 and is made up of a vast array of bits and pieces collected from all over the area and more importantly, across the ages.

The result is a weird mishmash of antiques and vintage props that some people find super interesting and charming (note, I am not one of those people), but nevertheless results in some good talking material for around the table.

That said, the corrugated shed is populated by a very charming and friendly group of people that produce some very enjoyable food and by all accounts, some super interesting gourmet milkshakes (one of the reasons Chantelle picked this stop  in the first place!).

The girls wanted waffles and ice cream for lunch (and we didn’t feel like a fight), while I instead tackled one of their delicious gourmet burgers and gave some of their decent craft beer selection a good go.

Seeing as this is a popular stop on the main road through Barrydale, you can almost always expect a lot of people to be sitting down for a visit, and with that comes a very fun vibe which definitely enhances the whole Klein Karoo experience.

Again, I didn’t LOVE the decor, but then as Chantelle always succinctly puts it, I’m very much in the minority when it comes to ‘interesting’ places like this!

In summary: The food is pretty decent, the spot is always bustling, and so if you are looking for a food stop in Barrydale, Diesel & Creme is certainly worth a visit.

Next up for us on our June Holidays 2017 road trip? The ostriches and caves of Oudtshoorn!

Related Link: Diesel & Creme | Facebook

Coffee at the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen in Durbanville (2017-08-05) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 31 OCT 2017

Back in August the girls and myself found ourselves in the Northern Suburbs, and so decided to check in with my mom and dad and see if they wanted to join us for a stroll around Sonstral Dam. They said yes, we had a lovely walk, and then seeing as there was still plenty of time to be killed in Durbanville, I suggested that we head off and grab something to eat/drink.

So we did.

The Deeghuys group was started in 2012 and they focus on selling high quality, ready-made baked goods, both frozen and fresh – basically, quick to bake goods for those of us to lazy to make/mix from scratch!

From what I can tell, they’ve been quite successful, with stores popping up all over the place (in fact, we even have one out our way, near the Somerset Mall).

What  did however surprise me was to learn of the existence of the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen (in hindsight, makes sense, this is close to where their headquarters is based anyway), essentially a deli/restaurant that pretty much offers a taste of what Deeghuys sells in its stores (along with other more standard deli/restaurant fare of course).

Now my mom and dad have previously been here for a breakfast or two, hence the suggestion, and on the day it was a great choice given that it is relatively spacious, features loads of treats for those of us with an incurable sweet tooth, and is reasonably kid friendly. (They have a little kids play area corner which Jessica seemed to rather enjoy).

Unfortunately for us though, given that they close rather early on a Saturday (14:00), we kind of caught the tail end of service, meaning that we were pretty much restricted to a cup of coffee and whatever was already out on display seeing as the kitchen was now closed.

Luckily, these restrictions didn’t prove to be a complete bust because in the end we all enjoyed some rather nice treats.

Truthfully, service wasn’t fantastic because everyone was kind of bustling about trying to wind down operations for the day, and as a result, poor little Jessica’s order was somehow missed. Though once alerted to the problem, the friendly waitress quickly atoned for her mistake and gave Jessica a whole box of sausage rolls as opposed to just the one she originally wanted!

(Also, she was MIGHTILY pleased with her hot chocolate foam art).

It’s actually a surprisingly nice space tucked in at the back of Durbanville, and well worth a visit if you want to step away from the bustle of main road.

Bonus: It is a little hidden away, so in this case, a map is rather handy for a change:

Related Link: Deeghuys | Deeghuys Taste Kitchen

Lunch at Potbelly Coffee Shop & Bakery in Klapmuts (2017-10-07) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 20 OCT 2017

If you have kids and live out in the Helderberg or Stellenbosch area like we do, then undoubtedly you have at some point made the drive and taken them out for a visit to the always interesting Butterfly World.

If that’s the case, and you travel the route that I would, then you will definitely recognise this particularly eye-catching (and rather cute) logo/name combination:

Funnily enough, I’ve always thought this place was a butchery or bacon/pork-themed restaurant of some sort (kind of like Sweetwell in Stellenbosch), but as it turns out, Potbelly is in fact a coffee shop and bakery of all things!

Tucked into a building which is also home to a fantastic little farm stall/deli called Deli-Co, as well as a bits and bobs home decor store (Bali Trading), Potbelly is a family owned business that specializes in quality wholesome food, homemade pies and bread – baked daily of course.

Given that the R44 is a popular drive with both bikers and classic car clubs alike – not to mention the fact that it is a super popular meeting spot for the locals – this little coffee shop is almost always bustling with activity, and this was certainly the case when Chantelle, the girls and I popped in for a bite to eat a Saturday or two ago.

Luckily for us though, we managed to snag a small table in the corner, and were soon tucking into some delicious, freshly made food.

Although we didn’t get around to trying any of the baked goods on the table, there certainly looked to be some very interesting things on offer, making a sometime in the future coffee stop very much a certainty.

(That said, I was slightly disappointed to discover that they were in fact not a pork-themed butchery/restaurant.)

Given the general look and feel of Klapmuts as a whole, this nice looking building with its very visible business logos is definitely easy to spot! That said, just in case you need some help, here’s a handy map:

Related Link: Potbelly Coffee Shop & Bakery

Wine and Pizza at Simonsvlei in Paarl (2017-10-08) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 19 OCT 2017

It’s really hard to miss the Simonsvlei as you drive past Paarl on either the N1 or the Old Paarl Road, thanks in part to the gigantic oversized wine bottle statue that towers next to the winery’s main premises.

Effective, right?

Anyway, with its name originating from the founder of the South African wine industry, Simon van der Stel, and the area’s vlei (wetlands) landscape, Simonsvlei was founded shortly after the second World War, its primary goal to give the area’s grape and wine farmers the facilities to produce quality wines on a larger and more sustainable scale.

(Today the winery is probably best known among locals for its penchant to produce decent wine that is sold at an affordable price.)

After spending a Sunday morning in Paarl with the kids (we were trying out the new BASH kids venue that had literally just opened on the nearby Dvine Estate), we were on the lookout for a place to grab a bite to eat and escape the fresh wind that was starting to pick up, when (as I pointed out might happen at the start of this piece) a giant wine bottle caught our eye and we headed off straight in its direction.

And that’s how we ended up at Simonsvlei.

This was the first ever visit to the Simonsvlei winery for me and as it turns out, in addition to its wine tasting room and conference facilities, the winery does in fact have a restaurant on the premises in the form of Eat@Simonsvlei – not to mention a separate beer brewing and machine letting outfit called Karoo Craft Breweries.

However, we were there for some lunch and given that the wind meant that the veranda wasn’t really a viable seating option for the day, we were instead shown to a big old table indoors where we quickly jumped into the job of selecting a wine, food for the kids, and of course something nibbly for ourselves.

In terms of architecture, finishing, decor and menu, it has to be said that the facilities here at Simonsvlei definitely come across as maybe being somewhat stuck in the 80’s (or at least that is how Chantelle and I perceived it), though that said, the atmosphere was nice enough and in the end we enjoyed our lunch visit.

(Of course, that might also have been entirely the fault of the excellent Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend that we were enjoying as well!)

There is actually a really nice, fenced off kids play area in the front of the estate, meaning that following the meal (and wine), the kids dragged Chantelle down for a spell of play (the wind was a lot more friendly by now), while I instead snatched up the opportunity to trudge about and take a few photos of the outside area (including of course the titular vlei).

So. I guess while there are a LOT other more pretty and interesting wine estates in the area to be experienced, Simonsvlei does stand out a little as one of those nice, more down to Earth establishments, so maybe worth a stop if you don’t particularly feel like its slightly more haughty Franschhoek and Stellenbosch compatriots on the day.

Bonus: Just in case you have never spotted the giant wine bottle whilst hurtling down the N1 before, here’s a handy map (in the event that you want to check them out for yourself one day):

Related Link: Simonsvlei | Eat@Simonsvlei

Beachfront Waffles from the Belgian Waffle House in Strand (2017-05-07) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 18 OCT 2017

Going for walks on Strand beach is always nice. If you ask my girls, getting rewarded for a long walk in the sand is even better. Enter the humble Belgian Waffle.

Standing on Beach Road, tucked under the 97 on Strand building and sandwiched between an estate agent and an ice cream shop, The Belgian Waffle House is a popular spot for locals looking for a good, slightly unusual in that you don’t come across waffles all that often, family (and pocket) friendly treat while out for a day at the beach.

As you would expect, these light and fluffy, well priced waffles come with a bewildering array of topping/sauce choices, with the girls, Chantelle and myself already all having our own person favourite.

The place is almost never empty (which is probably why they don’t take bookings), and well worth keeping in mind for one of those “quick, we need shelter from the wind!” days out at the beach.

Also, the new brick and concrete beach promenade is coming on very, very nicely indeed…

(Oh, and if Strand is too far out for all the students in Stellenbosch, not to worry, they have their very own branch out that way.)

Related Link: The Belgian Waffle House

Eisbein and German Cuisine at Im Eimer in Somerset West (2017-06-13) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 23 AUG 2017

There is a very unusual pub/restaurant lurking on the outskirts of Somerset West, close to the border of Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. It’s a German pub (which in itself is not unusual given the high levels of German ancestry throughout Somerset West) called Im Eimer, and what I find strange about the whole setup is despite its rather unwelcoming, rundown exterior (and rust filled interior), the restaurant is MASSIVELY popular  with the locals.

The name “Im Eimer” translates directly into “in the bucket” a saying which refers to items that are ‘kaput’, i.e. have reached the end of their useful life and have been tossed aside.

With that in mind, the restaurant is itself home to many old, broken odds and ends, or as some people put it, antiques. Also, there is the literal bucket hanging on the wall, a 100 year old rusted relic that was used to dig a well on Auas Sued in South West Africa near Bethanien in 1894.

You get the idea then. Im Eimer is a name that suits the look and feel of this place rather well then.

The thing is, the restaurant is known for its excellent German menu, with many people praising its authentic German cuisine (and of course, beer), with the Eisbein in particular always getting a rousing mention.

Of course, with all that praise for their tasty pork knuckle,  it was therefore essential for Chantelle and myself to give it a go – which is then exactly what we did come one lunch time back in June of this year.

Pro tip: It is definitely a good idea to phone ahead if you are going to be ordering the Eisbein – preparing one as you might imagine does take a fair while!

We of course didn’t, giving us a good hour or so to first sit, drink and take in the unique… setting/decorations.

The good news is that, served with sauerkraut, mustard, and mash, the Eisbein is indeed well, WELL worth the wait.

So yeah, that was a surprise. Definitely one of those classic ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ cases!

Bonus: Im Eimer makes a quick little feature towards the end of Cape Town Tourism’s “Love Cape Town Neighbourhoods Series: Somerset West” YouTube video (around the 04:00 mark):

So, worth a visit, even if it is just for the Eisbein!

Related Link: Im Eimer | Somerset West