The Bistro Allée Bleue
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Food24 eats at... Allée Bleue
in Franschhoek – it sounds so French, but their Sunday lunchtime buffet is very
solidly, and a tad surprisingly, German! Originally, the farm had intended to
do a more traditional, South African Sunday lunch but after the success of
their harvest festival earlier on this year, they decided to carry on offering
it every week as something a bit different for locals and as a home away from
home for both their German owners and the many other German expats in the Cape.
And, of course, the several hungry and curious journalists who were invited to
try it out last week.
As you go
through the gates, there’s a huge tasting room and courtyard where you can
enjoy cheese platters as you taste and on the other side of the road is the
newly-renovated Bistro which offers light meals and a small jungle gym. For
several years, I thought this was all there was to the estate and avoided it
because I was concerned about my son and the proximity to the road. But if you
travel a little further in, you come across beautiful buildings, a huge walled
picnic area, delightful gardens and courtyards and plenty of space, grace and
character. Apparently the farm is a hotspot for weddings and it’s easy to
understand why. The Bavarian buffet is laid out in the main buildings and if
the weather isn’t so good, then you eat in the Shiraz room indoors. But the sun
was shining so tables were set outside with a cheery accordion-player setting
very knowledgeable about German cuisine – I had hoped to be joined by Ed. Sam
Wilson and husband for a guided tour, but alas, they were ill! So I shall do my
best to describe without knowing all the proper names. There were tables laid
up with starters of cold meats, cheeses, salads (best coleslaw ever), pickles
and baskets cascading with warm rye breads and lovely pretzels in the corner.
But the highlight was the hot food with various different sausages, meatloaf
and very delicious schnitzels accompanied by rosti, sauerkraut and mustard. All
the meats are sourced from renowned Cape Town butcher Raith, but I think the
breads must be baked on the premises because they were still warm, soft and
extremely good. Dessert tailed off a little, with the highlight being the apple
strudel – maybe I’ve got my regions wrong, but I was rather hoping for Black
The Wine – and Beer!
make a range of good value, well-made wines which go extremely well with the
food. I was very pleased to see no mark-up from cellar price, but not as
pleased as my husband was to see genuine German beer! They offer several
different types which made Kevin very happy as he alternated between slurps of
sausage and slurps of beer. I stuck to the Isabeau – a lovely
Semillon/Chardonnay blend with a little Rosé chaser.
This was a
really pleasant and different Sunday lunch. I forgot to mention earlier that
they cater for kids with colouring books and movies inside and a jumping castle
and jungle gyms outside. Plus the food for kids is easy – what child doesn’t
like sausages? But all these things are round the corner and out of sight, so
non-family-folk shouldn’t be put off. Well worth a try for something a little
out of the ordinary.
Marston and her family were invited as guests of Allée Bleue. The Bavarian
Sunday Lunch is on every week and you can book by calling 021 874 1021. Prices
are R145 for adults, R45 for under-10’s and under-5’s are free.