Farm Kitchen, Muratie, Stellenbosch, 021 865 2330/6
When she lived in Johannesburg, Beryl used to make a beeline for Muratie whenever she came down to the Cape. She would spend hours chatting with Miss Canitz, who had inherited the place from her artist father, some of whose works are still to be seen there. She loved the history of the farm, especially the love story of the first owner Lourens Campher and his coloured bride Ansela van de Caab, who he eventually brought from the Castle at Cape Town to live at what became Muratie. The oak tree Ansela planted still stands there outside the Manor House.
During its long history the place has belonged to many people, including Martin Merck (1763.) Today it belongs once again to the Melcks in a family trust. Current custodian Rijk Melck’s wife Kim runs the Farm Kitchen, serving delicious, no fuss, country cuisine. On a recent visit there Beryl kept waxing eloquently on “all that lovely decay, so evocative, like moving backwards in time.”
We sat outside under the ancient trees, consumed a few bottles of their fabulous wines, and ate some delicious food. “What’s not to like?” said Beryl, who has definitely been living in Constantia too long. We started with the Isabella salad (R70) with roast chicken, crunchy greens, Danish feta and nuts, a nice mix of flavours and textures, and the bobotie samoosas (R65), not too spicy, very traditional. Mains were the 200g beef burger with mature cheddar cheese, smoky bacon and fries (R90) which proved far too much for a delicate eater like me.
Beryl, at the moment a carnivore with a vengeance, had the 300g matured sirloin steak, which was on special at R130, served with wild mushrooms, vine tomatoes wrapped in Parma ham and fries (nog! said Beryl.) Naturally she couldn’t finish it and took umbrage when I said, “If it was another bottle of wine, you would have had no problem.”
We just couldn’t do pud which was malva pudding and milk tart.
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