Desperate to escape the city scene? Head out to one of these fine eateries for country-style eating and scenery to soothe the senses.
The Culinary Table
Having firmly embraced the concept of farm to table eating, one of the reasons the food here tastes so good is because of the firm emphasis on the provenance of all produce – all ingredients used were free range and small-batch long before ‘artisanal’ became a catch phrase. The menu changes regularly, but can be relied upon for crowd-pleasers like burgers and gourmet deli sandwiches.
The Silver Orange has long topped the list of ‘must-visits’ in the Hartbeespoort area; now, it’s joined by younger sibling, Almost Orange. This grown up dining experience (strictly no children under 16) sees guests feasting on shared platters between the trees of an orange orchard – a country idyll come to life.
Brand new on the scene, this is al fresco dining at its best. The garden venue is just right for lingering over a long, lazy lunch while the kids ride their bikes around the lawn – and, indeed, this is the kind of food to take your time with. It leans towards fine dining, with ingredients like free range rib eye and salmon trout glazed with lemon marmalade, while puddings are pure decadence: chocolate pot, anyone? Plan your visit in good time, as the restaurant is open on weekends for breakfast and lunch only.
Miss Grace Country Food House
Looking for somewhere where the whole family, pups included, can brunch? You’ve found it. In fact, there’s even a special menu for dogs (including beef mince and chicken breasts). For human guests, specialties include the extensive breakfast menu, with highlights including a crispy breakfast roll filled with creamy scrambled eggs, bacon and roasted tomatoes, as well as flapjacks drizzled with butter, homemade berry coulis and maple syrup. Or try the high tea, with sandwiches, Portuguese rissoles and miniature baked delights.
There’s nothing rustic or bucolic about this classic eatery, despite its Muldersdrift setting. Rather, it’s all about opulent elegance, with a menu to match: think evergreen favourites like smoked salmon wraps, fillet in creamy mushroom sauce for mains, and crème brulee to finish off.
Die Ou Pastorie
With the foundations for this historic restaurant laid well over 100 years ago, Die Ou Pastorie charms with a setting that spells pure romance: it’s all leafy oaks, meandering paths and benches inviting quiet contemplation. The food, on the other hand, is often a tribute to decadence: chicken liver pate that has developed a following of its own, baked camembert served with mulled wine jelly, nuts and cranberries, duck pie and chocolate peanut butter pie.
Rambling Vine brings fine dining to the Magaliesberg, with dishes that bring a contemporary twist to classic cuisine: the beetroot soup, for example, is served warm with a dollop of raspberry sorbet and salt-crusted cocoa bread, while your sweet tooth may be satisfied by cardamom pudding complemented by rose-scented crème anglais and baklava ice cream.
Is there a country-style restaurant you think should be on this list? Email us or leave a comment below!
- Lisa Witepski