Category Archives: Food and Drink

Golden Syrup and Ice Cream at La Galerie in Pringle Bay (2021-03-06) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 03 MAY 2021

Having just completed a day of marching about Betty’s Bay, a day that had seen us strolling along the coastal walk, communicating with the penguins at Stony Point, and striving to see the waterfalls of the Harold Porter Botanical Garden, the girls decided that enough was enough and that it was now definitely time for a well deserved treat.

Of course these days whenever we find ourselves in the Overstrand stretch that is Rooi Els, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay, the choice of treat has pretty much already been made before I’ve even suggested something – all they ever want is waffles with ice cream and Golden Syrup from La Galerie in Pringle Bay!

Situated in the cheekily named Pringle Mingle Centre, La Galerie is a small mix of a restaurant and an art gallery, offering an enjoyably simple menu to be consumed while surrounded by all manner of art from local painters. Its cozy space is filled with friendly staff, books and even a boardgame or two, and is always an absolute pleasure to visit whenever we find ourselves in this diminutive and charming coastal village. As for this particular visit, as luck would have it, the girls managed to snag the VERY last waffles available for the day, meaning that thankfully it was smiles all around!

Snacking from Cooked at the V&A Waterfront Watershed in Cape Town (2021-03-22) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 02 MAY 2021

Having just completed roaming through the blue tinged halls of the excellent Two Oceans Aquarium, Chantelle and her folks decided that it was now time to grab a seat, rest their feet, and nibble on something delicious. Now obviously the V&A Food Market would have fit the bill just perfectly, but seeing as the gorgeous Watershed was standing there right in front of us, we rather wandered in there like a small group of penguins first.

If you aren’t familiar with the Watershed at V&A Waterfront then you are in for a treat. A complete renovation of the space has resulted in a big airy structure that is vibrantly coloured and packed to the brim with all manner of artisans and studios. Art, ceramics, textiles, fashion, jewellery, and of course curios by the bucketload, the Watershed is a buzzing commerical celebration of art and the creation of it.

As luck would have it, we stumbled upon Cooked, a wonderful little eatery space that draws its inspiration from its Middle Eastern and Mediterranean roots. And while its menu certainly does look amazing, it was the baked goods that we were most interested in for this particular visit. A round of coffee and babyccinos for the kids, a selection of baked treats including croissants and muffins to pull pieces from, and of course the visual treat of the surroundings to take in. So yeah, that was our first taste of Cooked. Definitely not the worst of little restaurant experiences to have bumped into!

Eggs Benedict Breakfast at Cape Cafe in Strand (2021-03-01) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 01 MAY 2021

Absolutely dominating its stretch of the Strand Beach skyline, the big white beautiful apartment building that is Hibernian Towers is also home to a few small businesses hidden down on its ground floor, with one of those very worth knowing gems being the excellent Cape Cafe.

Although it is situated behind the glass doors of this behemoth of an apartment tower, the diminutive family-owned and operated Cape Cafe is still technically a beachfront cafe, fully licensed and with a penchant for serving great breakfasts and ground coffee, signature burgers and craft beer, and of course their exceptional hearthstone thin crust pizzas. Billing themselves as a South African Social Cafe, they say that they take pride in their Cape Culture with dishes such as Skilpadjies & Mash, Bobotie Pancakes and Boerewors on the menu. Now while I can’t really comment on those, I can say that their eggs benedict breakfast is most excellent, having been treated to one by Chantelle one weekday morning back in March.

It’s a small cozy space, with friendly people, great food, and importantly, well shielded from any of Strand’s notoriously blustery bouts of wind. In other words, a great little coffee shop/eatery to keep in the back of your mind should ever you find yourself in Strand in maybe not such perfect beach day weather.

Pizza at the Bluebird Cafe in Stellenbosch (2021-04-11) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 30 APR 2021

Chantelle was eager for a spot of Sunday lunch out with me and the girls, and so we decided that what would really be nice would be to tuck into some delicious ribs while watching the small planes come and go outside at the Stellenbosch Flying Club. However, after arriving to a packed parking lot (never great sign in the time of Covid-19 anyway), we were turned away from the gate as the flying club was currently only serving members. Oh well, so new plan instead, we decided to give the seemingly diminutive but eye-catching Bluebird Cafe a little bit down and across the road a go instead.

I’m not entirely sure if the old (always seemingly slightly grotty) Mountain Breeze Farm Stall next to the Mountain Breeze Caravan Park is still operating, but regardless of this fact, the recently erected, double peaked, distinctive looking building that now hosts Bluebird Cafe has certainly taken over the space of the aforementioned farm stall, and despite its proximity to the busy R44 that endlessly shuttles cars between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, actually does make for a pretty nice space to enjoy an aromatic cup of coffee with a delicious baked treat in tow.

There are certainly a lot of interesting sounding dishes on Bluebird Cafe’s menu, but with the girls at our side we opted for the ever family friendly pizza option, settling down to a nice assortment of beer and milkshakes as the kids got down to the necessary scrambling about on the small jungle gym dominated kids play area.

Bright green lawn, farm fields and mountain views to the back, and great tasting food in front, the Bluebird Cafe certainly didn’t disappoint, and a nice and relaxing Sunday lunch outing was enjoyed by all.

Pizza Time at Rooibos Restaurant in Strand (2021-04-03) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 19 APR 2021

With two young girls in the mix, we generally don’t go out at night, preferring to do all our activities during the daylight hours and leaving the dark for sleepy time. However, sometimes we do have to break this routine – case in point, earlier this month, on one Saturday evening after a long day of sending out The Helderberg Cake Company celebration cakes, Chantelle decided that she just couldn’t spend a minute longer in the kitchen, and with fridges bare, shops already closed, and not wanting to do takeaway food again (which is generally something that we do on a Friday night when she’s in the thick of it in terms of decorating cakes), we took the snap decision of popping out for a late supper somewhere local instead.

The unassuming Rooibos Restaurant sits off a corner along Main Street in Strand, and has been happily operating since around 2016. Although the original guys that put together this pizza slinging local eatery have long since left, the current owners have done a good job of keeping the restaurant going and continuing to attract hungry families from all over Strand. Based out of an old (but spacious) converted home, the operation is split into two main sections, the first being the ever popular bar area, and the second the more family orientated and much larger dining area, with most of the outside garden converted into extra seating opportunities as well.

The menu is pretty large in terms of item spread, including the selection of pizza varieties that they pump out from their custom built pizza oven. Lots of craft beer, massive milkshakes, and a warm welcoming atmosphere that matches the decor, Rooibos comes across as very cozy to me. As it turned out for this particular visit of ours, given the time of the evening that we stumbled through its doors, we were literally the only people in the dining area – pretty much putting in our orders just before the kitchen stopped taking any more. So we had the run of the dining room while everyone else partied in the bar next door, a perfect set up for us in these times of Covid-19, though I suspect not one much appreciated by the owners of the business, that’s for sure!

Fine Dining at Overture at Hidden Valley Wines in Stellenbosch (2020-12-05) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 15 APR 2021

While my 40th birthday unfortunately fell in the middle of South Africa’s strict Covid-19 lockdowns (hello swing-ball in my garden and a rainbow cake from Chantelle), thankfully we were a little more lucky come December when Chantelle’s big 40 also came rolling into town. Kids safely dropped off with the grandparents in Bellville, we turned our attention to the big one – an exquisite five course gourmet dinner at the highly acclaimed, awarded winning Overture restaurant.

On the edge of Stellenbosch, tucked away in the foothills of the Helderberg Mountain above the vineyards of Hidden Valley Wines, Overture holds the distinction of being restaurateur and chef extraordinaire Bertus Basson’s first restaurant. Established in 2007, Overture quickly began winning accolade after accolade, swiftly rising up in the ranks of South Africa fine dining establishments, and with it, elevating the name of Bertus Basson. Known for celebrating South African produce like ethically-sourced fish and organic maize, these days head chef Drikus Brink and his kitchen team continue the mission of serving honest, simple, produce-driven cooking based on classical techniques.

Well that’s what the website says anyway. ‘Simple’ isn’t how I would describe the incredible menu at all! We opted to pair a wine tasting with our five course meal, an excellent idea as the broad spectrum of excellent wines suited each dish to perfection. From start to finish the food was exemplary. The canapés, the raw yellowtail, the roasted aubergine, the pork belly, the beef, the beetroot, the dessert – absolute fine dining heaven.

The plating, the simple stone decor, the view over the vineyards, the mountains, the brass fittings, the wine, the sculptures, having Bertus and his wife enjoying a meal an arm’s length away from us – this was an absolutely incredible experience for a foodie such as Chantelle and definitely one that was much enjoyed!

Lunch from Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery at Spier in Stellenbosch (2021-03-20) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 05 APR 2021

Having now spent a good long time exploring the grounds of the excellent Spier wine estate, taken in all the art installations of the Spier Light Art festival, and watched the birds of prey soar at Eagle Encounters, the girls decided that it was time for something to eat. So we sauntered back along the main path towards the beautifully restored Werf area, strolling across its rolling green lawns, clambering over the big granite boulders, and passing underneath the ancient oak trees, before coming to a stop in front of a patchwork of red and black table umbrellas standing out in front of a classic Cape Dutch style building with Vadas emblazoned on its side in unmissable bright red.

Both smokehouse and bakery, Vadas sources most of its ingredients from local producers (with the chicken, eggs and meats supplied by Spier’s Farmer Angus), making it a proper farm-to-plate business. Armed with the spectacular backdrop that is the manicured lawns, trees, architecture, and landscape that is Spier, Vadas pumps out all manner of elevated dishes that you would expect from a smokehouse, such as smoked beef brisket, juicy smoked pork with a bourbon BBQ sauce, and even smoked pork belly with apple ketchup. (And yes, there are plenty of other options available for all the kids and vegetarians out there).

Of course, the bakery component isn’t to be left out either, producing some incredible slow-fermented, fresh sourdough breads plus a treasure trove of sweet pies such as blueberry & nectarine pie, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie and lemon meringue pie. If none of that tickles your fancy though, Vadas is also pretty famous for their most excellent Pasteis de Nata – the increasingly popular Portuguese custard tart that seems to be popping up all around Cape Town at the moment!

Banana and Ice Cream at The Waffle Cafe in Gordon’s Bay (2021-03-09) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 22 MAR 2021

You could of course have waffles and ice cream as a dessert when eating out at Spur – but generally speaking, that is taking away from what the humble waffle truly could be. For the last couple of years now, the Belgian Waffle House in Strand has been delighting us with their light and fluffy Belgian waffle combinations, but pleasingly, Gordon’s Bay too now has its very own local purveyor of all things waffle – and it is situated right here on Beach Road!

Sitting right on the beachfront, The Waffle Cafe has taken over Dock on the Bay’s spot in the Old Cape Mall, transforming the former pub into an explosion of geometric pastel colours and ice cream. Shaded outside tables, a spacious dining room, lounge area by the fireplace, and a quirky gift shop, The Waffle Cafe presents itself as a lighthearted family friendly sweet tooth stop, and pleasingly, that is precisely what it is.

With a menu that takes both waffle and pancake combinations across the spectrum from sweet to savoury, not to mention more conventional breakfast options for those dull people who can’t quite bring themselves to start the day off with waffles and pancakes, The Waffle Cafe understandably has quickly become quite the hit with all our local families with kids – my girls obviously included!

USA 2019 – 12 Wiseguy Pizza in Chinatown, Washington DC (2019-10-26) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 19 MAR 2021

After a very long day out on my feet, having walked through and taken in the Smithsonian National Zoo, the Union Station, the United States Capitol, and the beautiful Library of Congress, it was time to head back to the Hampton Inn on the edge of Chinatown and rustle up some supper before sitting down and resting my feet for the next day’s just as epic sightseeing adventures.

Similar to the previous evening where I had tucked into the simple but delicious oven fired fare of Fuel Pizza and Wings over at the Capitol One Arena area, I once again had am insatiable hankering for American style pizza. Unlike my experience of Japanese cities at night, I honestly didn’t feel particularly comfortable or safe walking around Washington D.C. by myself in the evenings, but having located Wiseguy Pizza just down the road from the hotel via Google Maps, I pushed aside these misgivings and ventured out on a dusky mission to get some grub into my stomach.

And just as well that I did. Old world, authentic New York style pizza fired in old school deck ovens at 287°C, featuring and incredibly varied array of toppings and of course that delightfully stringy cheese that the Americans use on their pies. Pizza and cheesecake aside, the little eatery has classic music accompanying the relatively vintage feeling decor, with everything working together to craft a very cozy and warm spot to visit.