I love living in the Cape – and the change of seasons is one of the things I love most about it. I don’t think I could live somewhere where there isn’t a definite change for every season!
One of the reasons why I love the change of seasons is that it allows you to experience a place over and over again – in a completely new way!
A few years back we enjoyed a visit to Boschendal during peak Summer, last week we visited mid-Autumn.
I loved seeing the seasonal changes of the Boschendal gardens (the winelands are particularly good at Autumn!) and enjoying the space in the crisp, cool air.
Fortunately, our Autumn visit coincided with an unusually warm day, so we were able to sit out on the patio again to really appreciate the beauty that is Boschendal.
The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal is a true farm to table dining experience offering collaboration with nature on every plate.
Situated in the beautifully revamped original cellar of the Manor House, the focus at The Werf Restaurant is on presenting contemporary food using the best available local, seasonal and ethically-sourced ingredients. 90% of their menu is produce from the farm including our Black Angus beef, forest reared pork and vegetables and herbs from The Werf Food Garden while the remaining 10% (primarily seafood, is sourced ethically).
Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell and his team are inspired by the seasons and serve ethically grown, produced, harvested and reared ingredients; taking naturally vibrant ingredients and playfully preparing them to create a visually and flavorsome experience.
The Werf’s menu offers a choice of 3 to 5 plates across four categories; Garden, Ocean, Pasture and Sweet.
We were dining as a trio so opted to sample 3 plates across 3 categories which we shared amongst the 3 of us – Garden, Pasture and Sweet, of course!
Then it was on to our “starter” course.
On the Garden menu were three dishes containing produce from the Werf Food Garden so we had to sample these, especially as we were seated overlooking the very garden.
The dishes served in this course were the following:
- Flavours of carrots served with parsnip dumpling and dates.
- Charred Garden leeks twice baked souffle, parsley pesto and madumbi’s.
- Roasted aged beetroot, quince, num-num and Eugenia berries (yes, those rather bitter “gummy berries” we all had in our childhood gardens)
My favourite of these options was the Charred garden leeks, but I was outnumbered as my fellow diners both opted for the Roasted aged beetroot dish as their top pick.
Before I continue I should mention our wine selection for the day… a delightfully light and fresh Elgin Pinot Noir from the Boschendal Appellation series.
A lovely ruby colour, this Pinot Noir is young and vibrant with cherry notes and delicate strawberry on the nose and oak spice follow through on the palate.
The wine list at The Werf champions not only Boschendal wines, but also a selection of the best natural and biodynamic wines.
The next course served from our selection was the Pasture course:
- Pork neck, slow cooked pork belly, aubergine, smoked red pepper
- Grilled Angus steak, potato gnocchi, marog and bone broth
- Braised beef skin, Jerusalem artichokes and homemade sour cream
The unanimous favourite was the beef shin, while I was also partial to the pork belly!
The beauty of dining this way was that we all enjoyed sampling a variety of dishes and loved discussing our favourite flavours.
Finally it was time to indulge our sweet tooth – and I’m so glad we saved space!
The Sweet menu offering should not be missed.
We opted to go sweet all the way and ordered the following:
- Pear terrine with kapokbos caramel and sourdough ice cream
- Baked vanilla custard with textures of Satsuma
- Textures of passion fruit, dark chocolate, meringue and macadamia nuts
It was a close call to choose a favourite between the last two, but ultimately chocolate always wins and so it was decided.
Our sweet course was perfectly paired with a glass of Boschendal’s Noble Late Harvest. This delectable glass of gold liquid has a well balanced fruity flavour with a zest of citrus to balance out the sweetness.
No visit to Boschendal is complete without a turn past what must be one of the most beautiful bathrooms in South Africa… I couldn’t resist!
Ultimately we all thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely lunch at The Werf (it may have helped that all 4 kids were taken care of at The Tree House for 3 hours while we wined and dined!)
The setting at The Werf can’t be faulted. The incredible food was beautifully presented, the service was impeccable and the wine sublime.
All in all an encounter with the divine.
Menu prices start from R450pp for 3 plates.
Tel: +27 (0) 21 870 4209
Email: [email protected]
Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday: 12:00 – 15:00 (last orders by 14:30)
Dinner: Wednesday to Saturday: 18:00 – 21:00 (last orders by 20:30)
The Werf Bar: Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 21:00 (bar snacks available)
Werf Wine Tasting: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00 (bar snacks available)
Please note that a 10% service charge will be added to tables of 8 or more.
Bookings are essential. Please note that a deposit of R100 per person is required at the time of booking.
Kindly take note that Boschendal are not halaal, kosher or allergy friendly, all of their kitchens use ingredients that may contain milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, shellfish and other allergens.