Food24 eats at... Allée Bleue

A very Bavarian Sunday Lunch.

08 Aug 2011

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.
The Place
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 the scene.
The Food
I’m not 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 Forest Gateau!
The Wine – and Beer!
Allée Bleue 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.
In conclusion
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.
Cathy 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.

Read more on: cathy marston

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