Words and images by Greg Landman
If you are in near Cape Town and, feeling for a unique little spot to spend your afternoon at, don’t hesitate to try out Melkbosstrand.
This historic cottage (built in 1785) right on the beachfront, is beautifully restored, with an outside area which is tented for protection against the sun and the wind. A view across the seemingly endless Melkbos beach are most appealing as is the indoor outdoor feel of the place. The cute little pub is just the right place for the locals to exchange stories of the day as is the small outside area just outside the pub. When the weather gets rainy the interior is cosy with open fires to make it all cuddly.
The cuisine tends to generous plates of food with great flavours all reasonably priced. Breakfasts are replete with things like poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce and salmon (R89,00) with bacon and mushrooms, totally delicious, and plenty of healthier options (why?).
Lunch and dinners offer superb vegetarian options ( so difficult to find in small country towns) like a Moroccan platter with baba ganoush, hummus, and pita bread, as well as pasta with baby vegetables, and one with pan-fried tomatoes in olive oil with some garlic, simple and filling. Try the Cape Malay vegetarian curry done the traditional way or the vegetarian burger to extend these items.
Fish dishes include excellent fish cakes and traditional pickled fish and a vast array of things from mussels to catch of the day, prawns and calamari done in many different ways. If you must have meat, they have that as well, including superb chicken pie, steaks to die for and oxtail with mash which will warm the cockles of any man’s heart.
The wine list is well chosen and extensive (try the Boplaas Portuguese white blend –perfect with seafood and vegetarian options) with some treasures lurking.
So if you want to find out why everyone is flocking there head out of town for some time at the beach.
Die Damhuis Melkbosstrand: 021 553 0093
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.