Tag Archives: restaurant

Lunch at the Country Pumpkin in Barrydale (2019-07-01) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 10 NOV 2019

This year’s June Holiday adventure took place at Warmwaterberg Spa, a spot just outside Barrydale in the Klein Karoo. We were spending the time away with Chantelle’s folks, and as such decided to meet up for an opening lunch at The Country Pumpkin on the way out to Warmwaterberg.

Mind you, selecting a spot for lunch in Barrydale is not the easiest of tasks, seeing as you are literally spoiled for choice given how many interesting little eateries have popped up alongside the R62 (otherwise known as Route 62) as it slides its way through the town. That said, the Country Pumpkin has been around for years now and this popular, brightly hued little restaurant is one of Cheryl and Monty’s Barrydale staples – meaning that I was quite keen to give it a shot.

Given that the weather was looking a little grey and cold outside, we opted to grab a table inside, and pleasingly the Country Pumpkin is quite a homely affair. The warm inviting atmosphere was pleasant, the food comforting, and as an added bonus, there is even a farm shop attached to the eatery, ready to further empty your pockets on all manner of delicious things as you leave the premises.

A good refuelling stop then (though it would have been nice not to walk out to a sky that had now given way to a couple of rainclouds!)

Grille Shack at the Pitstop Lodge in Gordon’s Bay (2019-03-03) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 11 OCT 2019

A super popular new dining spot landed in Gordon’s Bay this year (or more accurately, about 5 km outside of Gordon’s Bay), and of course, given that this is my home stomping ground after all, a plan was made to go and experience it.

Situated along Clarence Drive, one of the finest and most scenic coastal drive roads in all of South Africa, the Grille Shack (at PitStop Lodge) looms large in front of a person, dressed from head to toe in midnight black with splashes of red for accent, anchored by swaying Blue Gums, and nestled in between dramatic cliffs and a sparkling blue sea.

With some owner/chef DNA coming from the equally sublime Hickory Shack on the other side of the mountain, the Grille Shack grabs its setting from 1950’s era pump diner scene, with a twist of “lekker” South African tossed in for good measure. Loads of car and other vintage memorabilia help set the style and tone, the car grilles on the wall enforce the pun of its name, and the seemingly never ending stream of petrol-heads, road-trippers, families, adventurers, hikers, locals, free spirits, cyclists and tourists ensure the vibe.

Pleasingly, the quality and presentation of the food matches the setting and vibe, and Grille Shack puts forward a strong menu that should be more than enough to keep people interested for a long time to come.

Unfortunately for us though, this particular visit of ours didn’t go quite as smoothly as one would have hoped from such a great setting. Kitchen staff trouble and a boom of visitors on the day meant that service broken down more than just a little, so ultimately we walked away a bit disappointed by our overall experience.

Nevertheless, as you might have picked up from the glowing tone of my write-up from the get go, I can’t really fault Grille Shack on this at all. After all, these things occasionally happen to just about everyone, even more so if they are new. Instead, all it means then is that I just need to try again come another day – though maybe once all the initially curious crowds have thinned just a little bit more! ;)

...

Onion Rings and Fries at Wooden Barrel in Hermanus (2019-08-25) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 05 OCT 2019

This year’s annual outing to Hermanus in the hopes of spotting some Walker Bay whales was unfortunately a bit of a flop. The day started out promising enough, with blue skies, excited family, and a nice scenic drive out to the area, but that shine soon rubbed off as the clouds pulled in, the drizzle stopped by to say hi, and the whales made it abundantly clear that either they weren’t actually in the bay yet, or if they were, today was simply not going to be the day that they reveal themselves to a more than slightly dejected wife sitting next to me.

We started the day’s adventure first with a drive up to Fernkloof Nature Reserve to have a bit of a look around, then on to Grotto Beach to start the whale watching hunt, followed by stops at Voelklip Beach, Kammabaai Beach, Langbaai Beach, Kwaaiwater and finally Sievers Point.

Roman Rock and Kraal Rock didn’t turn up any sightings either, so we gave up at this point and went off in search for a spot of late lunch instead. At this stage the clouds were quite threatening in terms of rain, so after some milling about (i.e. I was sneaking in some sights), we settled on the menu at the Wooden Barrel bistro, opposite The Cliff Tops Piazza and sitting in the space which if I remember correctly was Europa (an old favourite of ours).

Surprisingly, lunch was rather nice, but still, it wasn’t enough to lift the mood of our by now very disappointed whale enthusiast. Plus it was getting progressively wetter, so we called it a day and headed back home.

So a bit of a soggy, unrewarding outing this one.

...

A Giant Jersey, Pancakes and Silly Fun at Tuinplaas in Albertinia (2018-09-22) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 05 JUL 2019

With the impossible to miss combination of colourful flapping flags and ridiculously dressed ostriches waving to you from the side of the road, sooner or later you are simply going to have to pull off the N2 at the edge of Albertinia and investigate just what exactly this silliness is that labels itself Tuinplaas. So that then is precisely what I did.

With the girls and myself travelling up for a weekend away in Mossel Bay with my folks, I decided to call up mom and dad (who were already there) and asked them to drive down and meet us in Albertinia for a quick breakfast. Amazingly, they agreed to my plan and soon enough we both pulled up in the vast parking lot of our destination. Hello Tuinplaas.

As it turns out, Tuinplaas is in fact a business that is wonderfully not afraid to throw anything and everything at you in order to be successful. At its core, Tuinplaas probably started out as a garden concrete mouldings specialist (hence the many concrete statues, pots and other garden pieces for sale), but then also successfully dabbles as a plant nursery, with a specific focus on its many beautiful succulents.

On top of all that, next is the homely restaurant (situated right next to all the plants and pots), and beside that, the intriguing farm museum that is host to an incredible collection of scale models (with over 8,000 models on display), ten vintage tractors (the oldest being a 1933 McCormick Deering), and incredibly (because this is Albertinia of all places), the Guiness World Record certified largest hand-knitted jersey (jumper) in the world!

And then there is the very silly, impossible to categorize, R.O.A.R., aka the Royale Ostrich Ancestral Republic, concrete ostriches “installation”. It is very silly (in a good way).

...

Burgers and Play at Skilpadvlei in Stellenbosch (2018-09-15) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 13 JUN 2019

After a morning of strawberry picking at Polkadraai Farm you could of course just grab a simple bite to eat there, but if you want something a little bit nicer (with a 100% more beer), you would do well to quickly nip down the road to nearby Skilpadvlei, a wine farm, accommodation hub, wedding venue and most important of all, family-friendly restaurant.

This is exactly what the girls and I found ourselves doing one afternoon out and about in the Stellenbosch surrounds, and again, thanks to Skilpadvlei’s lovely kids play area (featuring an amazing jungle gym setup), friendly atmosphere and a good food and beer selection, I find myself once more highly recommending this as a lunch time option if you are out and about with small kids.

And yes, the 78 hectare, fully operational farm is charmingly named after the colony of tortoises that were found in its vlei back in the 1800’s.

...

Surfers and Breakfast at Delfino’s Restaurant in Mossel Bay (2019-01-07) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 24 FEB 2019

We ended off the last December holidays (which were really more January holidays than anything else) by dragging Mom and Dad with us for a goodbye breakfast at Delfino’s, the popular beach-facing restaurant at the Point in Mossel Bay.

I hadn’t been there in years, and to be honest, I rather enjoyed being back. All the old brown colour scheme has now been switched out to beach friendly blue (with a LOT of Flying Fish sponsorship), the restaurant is as well staffed (and popular) as ever, and it was a rather nice surprise to find out that over season they offer a proper breakfast buffet as part of their menu – which most of our party actually opted for on this particular morning outing. (I of course was going to be difficult.)

Plus, lazily watching the surfers hit the waves while your kids play on the lawn and beach out in front of you makes for a pretty chill breakfast expedition. A pretty decent start to the day then.

...

Milkshakes, Nutella and Breakfast at Koffi Terapi in Durbanville (2018-09-01) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 20 FEB 2019

Our plan was to visit the small Durbanville nature reserve by the race course and then eat breakfast at Evertsdal Opstal fell apart when on arrival both locations were closed for business. So instead we drove around Durbanville and spotted what looked to be a particular popular spot based on the amount of people milling about – and that’s the story of how the girls and I discovered Koffi Terapi.

Home to both lovely outdoor and indoor seated areas, the Koffi Terapi (great name!) coffee shop/eatery is immensely popular with the locals (as we discovered for ourselves based on a) how lucky we were to actually get a table and then b) how long it took for our order to actually come through). The menu is small but nicely rounded, the baked treats look delectable and the place makes good coffee.

As for the girls, well when they heard that there was both milkshake and nutella slathered flapjacks on the breakfast menu, well let’s just say there was no way that I was going to be allowed to leave the cafe any time soon!

...

Tweety Bird Amber Ale at Rojaal in Grabouw (2018-11-10) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 19 FEB 2019

If you are looking for a hidden gem, then take a side road off the N2 and seek out Rojaal, the wonderfully eclectic Grabouw restaurant housed in an old flower-packing shed. Meaning ‘Abundance’ in Afrikaans, Rojaal overlooks one of the many valleys in the fruit laden Elgin Valley area.

Launched in 2016 by enterprising apple farmer Arno Reuvers, Rojaal is defined by its heritage style decor – as Chantelle would put it, boere chic to the max.

The quirky visual appeal is then complemented by a fine, generous menu and the whole experience is just one of laid back family charm. The views, the food, the hospitality, Rojaal just doesn’t seem to let you down.

On the day of our visit, I tucked into an absolutely delightful monster of a burger, washed down with the surprisingly good Tweety Bird Amber Ale, a product of our very own Gordon’s Bay micro brewery, Red Sky Brew.

Outside of that? Well I just relaxed to the max.

...

Celebratory Dessert at Postcard Cafe in Stellenbosch (2018-11-07) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 18 FEB 2019

We celebrated last year’s wedding anniversary with some delectable lunch at Sweetwell, just outside Stellenbosch. For dessert, we took a drive through the town and headed out towards Jonkershoek, making our way to the tucked away gem of Postcard Cafe, the small bistro/restaurant situated on the grounds of the delightful Stark-Conde Wines estate.

Fronted by a large open lawn overlooking a small dam, the beauty of the landscape around you is almost reason enough to pay a visit to Postcard Cafe, but of course its well crafted menu is not something to be overlooked either.

Given the beautiful day that we found ourselves out and about in the valley, we opted to sit outside on the patio, soaking up the view while tucking into our desserts and coffee. (Sadly for us though, on this particular day the desserts didn’t quite match up to our expectations.)

Nevertheless, the locale is stunning, the atmosphere tranquil, and quite frankly, it is easy to see why Postcard Cafe is as popular as what it is!

...