Robertson Wine Valley has a lot going for it – great wines, no tasting fees at
the cellar doors, lovely farmstalls – but it doesn’t really do all that well
when it comes to restaurants. Unlike Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where
wineries open kitchens before they open a cellar, Robertson has mostly
concentrated on wine over anything else. Which is a little strange because
their farmers’ market is a legend. I had heard about a new foodie spot on the
way to McGregor from top blogger, Relax with Dax, and was invited to come and
enjoy a country-style lunch over the weekend of the Robertson Slow Festival.
McGregor stands a nineteenth century farmhouse which has been converted and
modernised by Amy Williams and Carrick Campbell. The couple, who live above the
restaurant with baby James, have spent the last 3 years on yachts, travelling
the world and getting an international perspective on food. Now back on dry
land, they are determined to make the most of what is at hand, growing salad
and herbs for the restaurant along with a big veggie patch which is already
starting to come online and sourcing all their other products locally. The
restaurant itself is a little stark and rustic inside, but the outside
wrap-around stoep is a beautiful place to spend a long boozy afternoon chilling
and looking at the beautiful views. They just need to get the shade sorted out
before season or people are going to COOK!
restaurant is only open Thursday to Sunday at the moment, offering breakfast
and lunch with dinner on a Friday night, but they think they might extend this
for season. Lunch is very ‘country’ with most items on the menu having an
asterisk by them indicating that they change daily (Pie, Risotto, Winter Stew
etc etc). We enjoyed an excellent Cape Malay Mussel Soup – tangy and warming
with clean, fresh flavours – and a rock-solid, fall-off-the-bone Lamb and
Tomato Bredie with polenta. Dessert was an Apricot and Almond cake – a fluffy,
yet sturdy wedge which took me happily back to school dinners and they also
offered a decent cheese board with tasty Boerenkaas and a very indifferent Camembert.
Service was a little haphazard, but they were busy and we had nowhere else to
go, so all was fine. All main courses are under R100.
list is commendably local – and why not when you have such choice on your
doorstep? Stalwarts such as Graham Beck and Springfield are interspersed with
lesser-known labels such as Lords, Sumsare and Kingsriver which is nice to see.
Prices are very good – little more than 100% mark-up across the board – and I
would strongly encourage them to try offering a few more by the glass for
season, particularly of the whites.
wanting a hearty, well-cooked, tasty meal. They are happy to cater for kids,
although I would ring in advance as there is no set kids menu, and there is
plenty of space for them to roam around safely without annoying
non-family-minded patrons. Bring your own boule set because they have the perfect
place to play, then kick back and enjoy a 5 hour lunch.
her family were guests of De Kaap and the Robertson Wine Valley for the
weekend. Contact De Kaap on www.de-kaap.co.za.