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May 6, 2009 05:20 AM

Recommendations for Cape Wine Country

We're heading from our home in China to South Africa for a few weeks one week from today, and will include a few days in the Franschhoek/Stellenbosch area while there. Since good food and wine will be one of our objectives on this trip, I wonder if anyone can provide any guidance on places to be sure to try to visit. If you have advice on lodgings in the area, so much the better!

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  1. Hi James

    I am doing the reverse - visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai from Cape Town.

    You will love the Winelands, although it is now very much autumn here. There are many fine restaurants and you will love the prices!

    Franschooek: The Tasting Room (no 37 in the world), need to book! Very good tasting menu with wine matches

    Bouillabaise - for fish
    Bread & Wine (at Morreson Wine Farm) - for grest charcuterie
    French Connection - comfort food
    La Petite Ferme - perhaps more for the views than the food
    Le Bon Vivant - hidden gem
    Mon Plaisir - the best 'French' bistro in the area
    Reuben's was a 'in' place, but recent reviews very variable
    Genot - at Klein Genot GH/winery - a new good restaurant, just out of town, also a possible place to stay. As is Asbourne House in Franschooek itself.

    Stellenbosch - historic town and closer to the best wineries.
    Dijon - good bistro fare in town
    The Big Easy - mor up market - food can be variable but worth a look
    Bodega - at Dornier good for a light lunch
    Cuvee - at Simonsig - pleasant setting good food and excellent wines
    Overture - at Hidden Valley Winery - fabulous views and food - best for lunch need to book
    Terroir - at Klein Zalze winery - highly rated restaurant
    Rust en Vrede (at the winery) - an excellent choice for dinner

    For accommodation have a look at Majeka House - new quality establishment and good introductory rates. Very convenient for a number of restaurants.

    Other places: Tokara between Franschoek and Stellenbosch - great views

    Paarl: Bosmans at Grand Roche - fine dining.

    In Cape Town there are lots of excellent restaurants: Aubergine, Jardine, Bizerca Bistro, 95 Keerom Street, Carne etc.

    For food info look at
    For everything like accommodation and general questions look at

    Enjoy your trip!

    8 Replies
    1. re: macsym

      Wow, thanks for the tips! You mention autumn like that's a bad thing; is there something wrong with autumn in South Africa?? If I can offer any tips for you on Beijing, Shanghai or Xi'an don't hesitate to let me know!

      1. re: James G

        No its not bad - just that the weather can be mixed - some lovely sunny days but also possibly some rain and it is cool at night.

        Regarding my trip: Beijing more or less sorted - Made in China, Sureno, Da Dong, Maison Boulud, China Grill.

        A suggestion for Xian would be useful (just there 2 nights)

        Shanghai: Closed Door, Park Hyatt, Enoteca possibly Issimo. Any other recommendations (I've done the Bund ). Was considering Fu 1088.


        1. re: macsym

          Rather than get yelled at for putting off-topic posts here, I'll post some ideas on the China board. But do I assume correctly that you have been here before, and thus are not looking to try much in the way of authentic Chinese food?

          1. re: James G

            Thanks James. Hope you have a great time in S.Africa - let me know if you want more specific restaurant (or accommodation) information or if you need any reservations made.

            1. re: macsym

              Thanks; I contacted Majeka House and they have availability though I'm not sure when/where we'll be in the Stellenbosch area; also found a place called Klein Genot in Franschhoek that sounds very appealing, and I'm leaning rather toward spending more time in the Franschhoek area.

              1. re: James G

                Yes Klein Genot is a very good choice (assume you have transport as it is outside of the village) and I hear great things about their new restaurant. Generally Franschooek wines are not of the same standard as those from around Stellenbosch although the La Motte Chardonnay 07 has just come 4th in a prestigeous European competition. Franschoek is at the end of a valley so you have to travel further to get to other places, Stellenbosch is more central to the whole wine region. I guess Franschoek is more relaxed and laid back. Both are worthwhile. My original list of restaurants still stands! When are you arriving?

                1. re: macsym

                  I arrive on Thursday, May 14. Are you in town then?

                  1. re: James G

                    Here's my email just in case you're around: jlginbj(at)me(dot)com