2014 guide to wine route restaurants, the top tables on South Africa’s wine farms – saving you time and money

WHERE TO EAT in the winelands of South Africa, at a winery, among the vines? Here are the best tables in the countryside when wine-routing in the Cape – all on farms associated with highly rated reds or whites, bubblies or desserts as recorded on Top Wine SA.

Where indicated, the restaurants have earned particularly good reviews in the country’s restaurant guides Eat Out and/or Rossouw’s Restaurants, or have received American Express Fine Dining awards.

Booking ahead is essential at many of the venues, a number of which post their menus online – just click on the names/links below for more information and images of what to expect.

BREEDEKLOOF – NORTH OF RAWSONVILLE, WEST OF WORCESTER

Bergsig Bistro, north-east of Bainskloof Pass on R43 between Wolseley and Worcester, Tel 023 355 1603 – traditional SA menu, sweeping mountain views
Jason’s Hill, off R101 and R43, Tel 023 344 3256 – relaxed setting, simple but elegant food, fireplace

CAPE PENINSULA – CONSTANTIA, NOORDHOEK, TOKAI

Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Tel 021 713 1211 – modern bistro, garden with water feature
Buitenverwachting, Klein Constantia Road, Tel 021 794 3522 – classic fine dining, beautiful setting, good view, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 2½ Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Cape Point Vineyards Banquet Hall, off Chapman’s Peak Drive, Noordhoek, Tel 083 444 7088 – a la carte menu featuring sirloin, chicken, linefish and game
Catharina’s at Steenberg, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Tel 021 713 2222 – sophisticated Mediterranean, bubbly bar, great views from under the oaks, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 2 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Jonkershuis at Groot Constantia, Groot Constantia Road, Tel 021 794 6255 – Cape Malay classics, alfresco or in the vine-covered courtyard
Simon’s at Groot Constantia, Groot Constantia Road, Tel 021 794 1143 – bistro menu, patio, good view from balcony

DARLING

Cloof Kitchen, off R315 between Malmesbury and Darling, Tel 022 492 2839 – light lunches including salads, wraps, curries, ploughman’s platters
Hilda’s Kitchen at Groote Post, Darling Hills Road, Tel 022 492 2825 – SA menu, historic farmhouse

DURBANVILLE

Altydgedacht, Tygergberg Valley Road, Tel 021 975 7815 – rustic lunches under trees or inside a centuries-old barrel-maturation cellar
Cassia at Nitida, M13, Tel 021 976 0640 – bistro comprising large room, large windows and deck at the edge of a dam
De Grendel, 112 Plattekloof Road (M14), Tel 021 558 6280 – smart country dining, view of Table Mountain
Diemersdal, M58 (Koeberg Road), Tel 079 917 2797 – bistro, tapas, Cape Dutch ambience, outdoor seating option
Durbanville Hills, Tygerberg Valley Road (M13), Tel 021 558 1337 – bistro menu with a modern twist, good view from balcony
Poplars at D’Aria, M13 (Racecourse Road), Tel 021 975 5736 – varied menu, relaxed sophistication
Tables at Nitida, M13, Tel 021 975 9357 – Mediterranean menu, tapas platters, indoor and outdoor seating, fireplace

ELGIN

Fresh at Paul Cluver, De Rust Farm off N2, Tel 071 563 6020 – rustic bistro, good view, rated 2 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Platform 1 Eatery at Winters Drift, Elgin Station, off R321, Tel 021 859 3354 – railway café, Victorian setting
Pool Room at Oak Valley, off R321, Tel 021 859 4111 – country cuisine, Harrods in the winelands

FRANSCHHOEK

Boschendal, on R310 off R45, Groot Drakenstein, Tel 021 870 4272 – traditional Cape buffet at The Restaurant (American Express Fine Dining award), bistro fare at Le Café
Bread and Wine at Môreson, Happy Valley Road (off R45), Tel 021 876 3692 – bistro, deli, charcuterie, Top 10 nominee in Eat Out, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 2½ Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Fyndraai at Solms-Delta, R45, Groot Drakenstein, Tel 021 874 3937 – SA menu, rustic country, cultural museum
Grande Provence, R45 Main Road, Tel 021 876 8600 – French menu, modern sophistication, beautiful setting, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 2 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Kitchen at Maison, R45 Main Road, Tel 021 876 2116 – bistro, deli, deck overlooking lawns and vineyards, Top 10 nominee in Eat Out
La Petite Ferme, Pass Road, Tel 021 876 3016 – classic country, trout speciality, veranda, good views, fireplaces
Le Bon Vivant at GlenWood, Robertsvlei Road, Tel 021 876 2044 – intimate bistro (seating for 20) next to winery with tables inside and out
Pierneef at La Motte, Main Road (R45), Tel 021 876 3119 – Cape cuisine, sophisticated ambience, courtyard, conservatory, fireplace, great views, Top 10 award in Eat Out, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 2 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Racine at Chamonix, Uitkyk Street, Tel 021 876 8400 – bistro-style menu, picturesque surroundings
Roca at Dieu Donne, Uitkyk Street, Tel 021 876 3384 – Mediterranean menu, great view, plus micro-brewery

PAARL

Babel at Babylonstoren, Simondium Road (R45), Paarl, Tel 021 863 3852 – gardens with glasshouse, walks, outside seating option, farm produce, good meat and vegetable dishes
Backsberg, Simondium Road (R45), Tel 021 875 5952 – traditional meals including lamb on the spit (Sundays), outdoor seating in the garden, fireplace
Glen Carlou, Simondium Road (R45), Tel 021 875 5528 – sophisticated, chic, balcony with great views, fireplace, art gallery, rated 2½ Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Goatshed at Fairview, Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Tel 021 863 3609 – Mediterranean bistro, charcuterie, cheese, patio, goat tower
Harvest at Laborie, Taillefer Street (off Main Road), Tel 021 807 3095 – contemporary South African menu, family friendly, terrace, private dining room, good view
The Trading Post Eastery at Anura, Simondium Road (R45), Tel 021 875 5360 – ‘comfort food’, fireplace, outdoor seating under trees in the garden
Lust bistro and bakery at Vrede en Lust, Simondium Road, Tel 021 874 3991 – cosy interior and terrace built around a wood-fired oven
Red Table at Nederburg, Sonstraal Road, Tel 021 862 3104 – bistro-style food in the manor house or in the gardens, fireplace and playgrounds
Spice Route, Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Tel 021 863 5222 – various European and Eastern dishes, good views from the deck

ROBERTSON

Bodega de Vinho at Rooiberg, R60, Tel 023 626 1243 – bakery delicatessen with light meal options
Cafe Maude at Bon Courage, R317, Tel 023 626 4178 – comfort food, fireplace, garden
Christina’s at Van Loveren, R317, Tel 072 604 6275 – bistro, pizza & pasta, gourmet burgers
Fraai Uitzicht 1798, R62, Tel 023 626 6156 – linked to guest house and spa, country-style cuisine, veranda with good views, American Express Fine Dining award

SOMERSET WEST

96 Winery Road at Zandberg, off R44, second home of Ken Forrester, Tel 021 842 2020 – classy country, wine cellar for private table, rustic, fireplaces, American Express Fine Dining award
Camphors at Vergelegen, Lourensford Road, Tel 021 847 1346 – modern fine dining, upmarket sophistication, garden, Top 10 award in Eat Out
Eikendal, R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Tel 021 855 5033 – seating inside and outside under trees near a dam, Friday sunset socials in summer
Longridge, Eikendal Road, off R44, Tel 021 855 4082 – country cuisine, gourmet with a view
Millhouse Kitchen at Lourensford, Lourensford Road, Tel 021 847 2328 – French- and Italian-inspired dishes including pizza and pasta
Stables at Vergelegen, Lourensford Road, Tel 021 847 2156 – upmarket bistro, gardens, rated 2 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Waterkloof, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village Road, Tel 021 858 1491 – fine dining, striking architecture, great views, Top 10 nominee in Eat Out, rated 3 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants

STELLENBOSCH

Clos Malverne, Devon Valley Road, Tel 021 865 2022 – good views, a la carte and four-course tasting menus
Cuvee at Simonsig, Kromme Rhee Road, off R44, Tel 021 888 4932 – “quirky mix of nostaligia and Cape Dutch modernism”, dramatic decor, covered terrace
Delaire Graff, Helshoogte Pass (R310), Tel 021 885 8160 – spectacular fine dining, elegant, great views, Top 10 nominee in Eat Out
Delheim, Knorhoek Road off R44, Tel 021 888 4607 – German Gemütlichkeit, seating in garden (summer) and in the cellar/tasting room (winter)
Duck Pond at Welmoed of Stellenbosch Vineyards, Baden Powell Drive (R310), Tel 021 881 3310 – country cuisine, relaxed, family-friendly
Eight at Spier, R310 (Baden Powell Drive), Tel 021 809 1188 – hot and cold harvest table, outdoor seating under trees, decor including recycled artwork
Ernie Els, Annandale Road off R44, Tel 021 881 3588 – simple menu of cheese platter, chicken salad and sirloin steak, amazing view
Farm Kitchen at Muratie, Knorhoek Road off R44, Tel 021 865 2330 – light lunches under the oaks in the courtyard, more hearty fare in winter
Governors Hall at Lanzerac, Lanzerac Road, Tel 021 887 1132 – Colonial, elegant hotel restaurant
Guardian Peak, Annandale Road off R44, Tel 021 881 3899 – bistro, great views, deck, fireplace
Hartenberg, Bottelary Road, Tel 021 865 2541 – seasonal menu including salmon trout and lamb chops, on the terrace or inside the tasting room
Indochine at Delaire Graff, Helshoogte Pass (R310), Tel 021 885 8160 – modern Asian, sophisticated, great view, fireplace, Top 10 nominee in Eat Out
Jordan, Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Tel 021 881 3612 – spectacular contemporary, cheese room, deck, great views, Top 10 award in Eat Out, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 3 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants (next door to the Jordan Restaurant is the Jordan Bakery, a more casual family-friendly venue offering cheese, charcuterie, light meals)
Le Venue at JC Le Roux, Devon Valley Road, Tel 021 865 8200 – under-cover terrace, summer gourmet braai area, diverse menu featuring oysters
Long Table at Haskell, Annandale Road, Tel 021 881 3746 – “unpretentious, authentic, flavoursome food” in a “relaxing and convivial environment”
Lord Neethling, off Polkadraai Road, Tel 021 883 8966 – classic Continental fare, Cape Dutch venue
Mulderbosch, off Polkadraai Road, Tel 021 881 8149 – pizzas, charcuterie and cheese boards offered under umbrellas on the deck, on the lawns or inside near the fireplace in winter
Overture at Hidden Valley, Annandale Road, Helderberg, Tel 021 880 2721 – relaxed fine dining, covered deck, great views, Top 10 award in Eat Out, American Express Fine Dining award, rated 3 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Pomegranate at Vergenoegd, Baden Powell Drive (R310), Tel 021 843 3248 – Cape Dutch building, fireplace, pond, ducks, rated 2 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Postcard Cafe at Stark-Condé, Jonkershoek Valley Road, Tel 021 861 7703 – varied menu, spectacular views
Raphael’s at Asara, Polkadraai Road (M12), Tel 021 888 8000 – international, upmarket, sophisticated, good view
Red Leaf at Beyerskloof, R304, Tel 021 865 2685 – bistro, Cape comfort, home of the Pinotage burger
Rust en Vrede, Annandale Road, Helderberg, Tel 021 881 3757 – fine dining, wonderfully lavish, bucket-list stuff, Top 10 award as well as Service Excellence and Wine Service awards in Eat Out, rated 3 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Table at De Meye, Elsenburg Road, Muldersvlei, Tel 076 341 8933  set three-course menu, rustic, country style, seating inside and out, family-friendly
Terroir at Kleine Zalze, R44, Tel 021 880 8167 – French country, Tuscan interior, garden terrace, rated 3 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Tokara Delicatessen, Helshoogte Pass (R310), Tel 021 808 5950 – varied menu, glass-walled interior and sunny deck, interesting shop
Tokara Restaurant, Helshoogte Pass (R310), Tel 021 885 2550 – unusual menu, beautiful presentation, great views, Top 10 nominee in Eat Out, rated 3 Stars in Rossouw’s Restaurants
Towerbosch at Knorhoek, Knorhoek Road off R44, Tel 021 865 2958 – traditional South African cuisine, outdoor seating under the oaks, indoor seating with fireplace, Best Country-Style Restaurant award in Eat Out
Zevenwacht, Langverwacht Road, Kuils River, Tel 021 900 5800 – Continental cuisine in Cape Dutch manor house

TULBAGH

Governors at Rijk’s Country House, Van der Stel Street Extension, Winterhoek Road, Tel 023 230 1006 – brasserie and bakery at hotel featuring main and private dining rooms, terrace and bar, fireplace

WALKER BAY – BOT RIVER, HERMANUS

Gabrïelskloof, N2 between Bot River and Caledon, Tel 028 284 9865 – tables inside and out, good view, fireplace
Newton Johnson, Hemel-en-Aarde Road (R320), Tel 021 200 2148 – mod South African, smart casual, good mountain vista
Sumaridge, Hemel-en-Aarde Road (R320), Tel 028 312 1097 – varied lunch menu, fireplace, valley views across a dam
Zest Kitchen at Beaumont, Compagnes Drift Farm, Bot River, Tel 028 284 9194 – ‘chefs table’ dining experience

WELLINGTON

Seasons at Diemersfontein, on R301 between Wellington and Paarl, Tel 021 864 5060 – variety of dishes, indoor and outside seating, good view
Stone Kitchen at Dunstone, Bovlei Road, Tel 021 864 1504 – child-friendly rural dining, fusion of SA and British dishes