If you are getting cabin fever—a very common ailment in Cape Town during the winter—take a drive to Paarl for lunch and visit what must be one of the most beloved of all the great places to eat in this neck of the woods.
The setting is a gorgeous and historic Manor House overlooking the gardens and fountains of the Grande Roche estate with the shimmering distant mountains benevolently overlooking it all.
The interior is elegant with plenty of crystal chandeliers to beguile one–lots of wood finishes, plate settings by Villeroy and Boch, and a whimsical bronze to greet you as you enter which celebrates the joys of eating charmingly.
When the weather is good, sitting outside on the terrace with “the view” before one is first prize, a bit less formal.
The kitchen is under the sure hand of Michelin trained Chef Roland Grogosilich and the winelist is a formidable one—prizewinning and with something for everyone. Starters of marinated duck breast served with e freshest lettuce from their gardens splashed with a blue cheese dressing, and another of Chalmar beef carpaccio sliced so thin one can see through it, dressed with sundried baby tomatoes and caper berries, make a great way to start. Mains of wild mushroom risotto or the pan-fried sirloin with buttered mash and charcuterie sauce lead one to the delicious dessert of a classic German dish called Ofenschlupfer, braised pear compote served with vanilla ice cream—delicious.
In the summer, lunch is served in the courtyard –which is a lot cooler –at their other restaurant, Allegro. Either way it makes a worthwhile excursion and will leave you feeling great.
Words and Pictures: Greg Landman
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.