Paarl has some pretty impressive offerings too!
Recently I paid a visit to Avondale Wine Estate to enjoy lunch in their new restaurant, FABER.
faber; m (genitive fabrī); second declension, denotes craftsman, creator, artisan, architect, maker, artificer or smith.
Avondale is a 300 year old, family-run farm that is situated on Lustigan Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl, on the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein Mountains.
A beautiful ‘Old Cape’-style building complete with a vine-covered veranda and views for days (over the beautiful gardens, rolling vineyards and on to Table Mountain in the far distance) Avondale is ideally positioned to open their first restaurant…
The elegantly refurbished space is warm and comfortable with many natural elements such as reclaimed wood for the table tops & bar counters even the room dividers that contain living plants with seasonal foliage. The open kitchen even features my favourite Moroccan tiles on the walls… the very same idea I’ve gone for in my own kitchen! (Room reveals coming soon!)
FABER is a celebration of passions between a chef, Eric Bulpitt, and a winemaker, Johnathan Grieve, that pays tribute to the craftsmanship in both the kitchen and the cellar.
Avondale Wine Estate is passionate about sustainability, and their story is one of embracing ground-breaking biodynamic and organic farming practices to produce wines that reflect the terroir and that pay tribute to the soils that produced them.
FABER aims to become as sustainable as possible too and Bulpitt’s brand-new menu takes inspiration from the seasons, the land, and the finest local produce – much of which is sourced in the Avondale’s organic and biodynamic vegetable and herb garden, orchards and the eco-friendly egg-mobile housing Avondale’s free range chickens, even pasture-fed organic beef.
“Seasonality will form the foundation of the menu: what’s in season, what’s available in the field, what’s on the farm, what’s good right now.” Eric Bulpitt
After meeting and greeting my fellow diners, we sat down to enjoy the small, seasonal and very fresh menu.
The artisanal experience began with a bread basket bar none: a large-seeded chickpea tuile, warm honey-glazed dinner rollsa seeded raisin bread with truffle aioli and my personal favouite, a pumpkin fritter!
Our starter was Black Angus pastrami, celeriac veloute, mustard chantilly and fried celery leaf paired with Avondale Cyclus 2013
The main, Avondale happy chicken, garlic maize rice, crispy cauliflower, radish and mustard flowers paired with Avondale Anima 2014
And finally, dessert, a delicious Lemon verbena infused watermelon capaccio, sorbet, consomme, jellies and basil paired with Avondale Camissa 2015
Each course was served on bespoke crockery, handcrafted at the Potters Gallery in Kleinmond that showcased the food beautifully.
And we finished off our meal with the most intense dark chocolate truffles I’d ever enjoyed!
All in all, FABER is well worth the drive down the N1 if you’re looking to treat yourself to a lunch or dinner of fine-dining in a beautiful setting.
Tel: 021 202 1219
Wednesday to Sunday from 12h00 – 15h00 (lunch)
Friday to Saturday from 19h00 – 21h00 (dinner)
Images: Kathryn Rossiter