AAR: The Western Cape, South Africa, June 2017 (Part 4)
Greetings, Fellow Travelers!
BLUF: This six-part AAR covers the journey, the destination, and activities of our trip to South Africa (our second!) while stationed in Germany. This trip focused almost exclusively on wine and food. While far from almost everywhere, the Winelands outside Cape Town have one of the largest concentration of wine estates for both seasoned and novice wine drinkers. It’s much more affordable than France and has better mountain views than Germany.
Today’s AAR takes us to the Western Province of the Republic of South Africa.
Part 4: Fancy feast.
One evening, after our wine estate hopping, our Ashbourne House host booked us a table at one of the city’s most exclusive eateries, Le Bon Vivant. Here, Chef Pierre and his team served up venison loin and potato croquettes as a main and a decadent petite apple-ginger soufflé for dessert. A rich and vibrant meal to end the day.
Franschhoek is peppered with amazing bistros like Beleef, a warm and friendly establishment featuring the Black Elephant Wine label and specializing in the localvore cuisine movement, and Col’Cacchio, a regional pizza house chain serving up gourmet and traditional thin crust pizza. We enjoyed coffee and tea at the city’s charming cafés like The Village Tart (try the carrot cake!) and Sacred Ground, an artisan bakery featuring coffee from Bean There, a Cape Town-based specialty roaster. Sacred Ground’s coffee and baked good were outstanding!
The highlight of our Franschhoek eating adventure, though, was Foliage. Featuring some of the most elaborate and artistic plating I’ve ever seen, Chef Chris Erasmus is at the forefront of the “field-to-fork” food movement.
His food preparation ethos centers on ingredients foraged from the surrounding hills to include mushrooms, edible flowers, grasses, nuts, and berries. “From the forest floor” bravely proclaims the menu. And while the food was indeed amazing, the odd twig and crunchy nut (maybe?) did test our eating fearlessness.
In sum, the Western Cape’s food scene is top shelf. Your day drinking will prime your taste buds for delicious evening meals from pioneering chefs. As American humorist Erma Bombeck aptly stated, “I’m not a glutton…I’m an explorer of food.”
Next, Part 5: Daytripping!
Albert Guerrero, USAF (ret.)
Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler