Stellenbosch flavours for the festive season

As Christmas is a season of celebration and indulgence, it’s the perfect time to spoil yourself and have your festive feast prepared for you. By Karla de Bod

Whether you are looking to celebrate lavishly, want to take off the apron for a change, or simply enjoy dining out, Stellenbosch is once again bursting with cheer and flavour this festive season. From intimate meals to seven-course feasts, these food offerings are sure to make Christmas a flavourful and enjoyable experience.

Rykaarts is located on the corner of Dorp and Bird Street and has been providing visitors with decadent dishes for just over a year now. Picture supplied

Intimate lunch in town

For those looking to enjoy an intimate lunch with a smaller party, Rykaarts offers a simple, contemporary menu with a variety of fresh summer flavours.

To start off your dining experience, you will be offered a variety of small plates to share with the table. These include line fish crudo with preserved lemon, fennel and nigella seeds as well as the humble Pan con Tomate – tomato, anchovy and garlic spread on crisp, toasted sourdough.

After your palate has received its flavourful welcome, a choice between the classic Karoo lamb shoulder and poached hake is offered as the main course. As the afternoon draws to a close, a treat of either a fresh summer fruit tart or a brandied almond cake is served for dessert.

With its welcoming atmosphere, art-covered walls reminiscent of family home hallways, and windows overlooking the oak-lined street, Rykaarts is sure to offer you a Christmas dining experience that evokes the warmth of home.

When: 25 December 12:00-15:30

Cost: R750 per person

Bookings: 061 545 1465 or eat@rykaarts.co.za

Hazendal Babushka Deli’s menu ranges from all-day breakfasts to garden salad and generous lunch plates inspired by both the seasons and the finest local organic produce. Picture supplied

Festive family feast

A celebratory Christmas feast is on the menu of Hazendal Wine Estate’s Babushka Deli. Jovial parties of friends and families will delight in the three-course seasonal feast on one of the oldest farms in the Cape Winelands. As Christmas is a time for family, children can enjoy their own mini feast menu along with a two-hour play session at Wonderdal, the estate’s fantasy edutainment centre.

What could be more fitting for a Christmas feast than spending it at an eatery named after the Russian Babushka, or grandmother, the generous and food-providing heart of the home? The deli’s stone features and high wooden beams create a beautiful backdrop while the stained-glass windows at each end of the dining area exude a warm, vintage glow.

After receiving a sparkling welcome with a glass of chilled Cap Classique, you will enjoy fine cuisine in the form of canapés and a harvest table to start. For the second course, there is a choice between roasted pork belly with fresh flavours of orange, ginger and sage compote; roasted leg of lamb with sherry sauce; and traditional chicken pie.

For dessert, a decadent experience of chocolate roulade, milk chocolate and citrus namelaka, spiced chocolate sponge cake and cherry cheesecake will be served alongside the option of a simple coffee and festive biscuit.

When: 25 December 12:00-15:00

Cost: R1,195 per adult and R595 per child

Bookings: 021 205 5620 or bookings@hazendal.co.za

Paul Barth and Pia Watermeyer, husband-and-wife team and owners of Kunjani, have created a contemporary and soulful establishment that reflects cross-continental influences. Picture supplied

Set menu for an African Christmas

If you are looking to attend a Christmas lunch with African flair, you can enjoy a combination of set dishes while overlooking the Winelands at Kunjani Wines.

For starters, you will be offered a dish of prosciutto and ricotta paired with lime beetroot puree, pickled sliced pear, micro herb salad and balsamic glaze. Afterwards, a main of beef wellington served with potato dauphinoise, caramelised cocktail onions, glazed baby carrots, tender stem broccoli and merlot jus will ensure that you can sit back replete before a sweet goodbye of chocolate gateaux.

The restaurant’s wooden fixtures and red furnishings showcase distinctive African flavour, with a view to boot.  With kunjani translating to “Hi, how are you”, this festive meal is sure to be accompanied by warm hospitality.

When: 25 December 11:00-15:00

Cost: R875 per person and R250 for children under 10

Bookings: 087 630 0409 or restaurant@kunjaniwines.co.za

Jordan Wine Estate is known for their summer picnics with breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch Kloof Valley and Stellenbosch Mountains. Picture supplied

Picnic for the romantics

Jordan Wine Estate is the perfect setting for a romantic Christmas Eve picnic. Along with breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch Kloof Valley, Jordan offers a dinner experience to be intimately shared under the stars.

You and a partner are invited to relax on the lawns of the estate while delving into a picnic basket filled with eats from The Cellar Door. These include a selection of locally produced hard and soft cheese, homemade preserves and spreads accompanied with a freshly baked bread selection.

After the light start, enjoy individual homemade beef short rib and miso pot pies, and tomato and gooseberry tartlets with basil and peppered goat cheese. It comes to a sweet conclusion with Amarula eggnog and a Jordan salted caramel square.

Set yourself up for peaceful Noel with an intimate evening of greenery, soft carols sounding in the background.

When: 24 December 17:30

Cost: R990 per basket (serving two people) and R200 per child

Bookings: 021 881 3441 or reservations@jordanwines.com 

The Longridge restaurant lies at the foot of the Helderberg mountains, overlooking vineyards and views of the False Bay Peninsula and Table Mountain. Picture supplied

A wine lover’s Christmas

What better way to celebrate Christmas in the Winelands than with a wine pairing alongside your starter, main and dessert? Longridge Wine Estate invites you to enjoy a Christmas lunch or dinner with Longridge classic wines accompanying every dish.

A starter of either a Norwegian salmon fish cake or free-range peri-peri chicken livers is paired with the Longridge Cuvee Classic Chardonnay.

Main options are sirloin steak alongside Longridge Cabernet Sauvignon; pan fried line fish with crushed potato, dukkah seasoning and mussels alongside Longridge Chenin Black Organic; and a vegetarian option of cauliflower steak and lentil curry alongside Longridge Merlot.

For dessert, choose between a chocolate volcano, home baked cheesecake, sweet potato brownie, and ice cream and chocolate sauce alongside either Longridge Edelgoud NLH Organic or Boplaas port.

As you overlook the vineyards and Stellenbosch Mountains, with grapevines overhead welcoming shade to the outside dining area, reflect on the joys of a uniquely South African Christmas.

When: 25 December lunch or dinner

Cost: R550 per person excluding wine pairing and R750 per person including wine pairing

Bookings: 021 855 2005 or restaurant@longridge.co.za

Head Chef at Cavalli’s restaurant, Lucas Carstens, takes inspiration from sea and nature, with local wild foods being foraged by kitchen. Picture supplied

Decadent seven-course experience

For a sumptuous and stylish Christmas Eve, visit Cavalli Estate for a seven-course dinner.

As a previous honouree of Eat Out’s Most Stylish restaurant award, Cavalli is known for its modern aesthetic of polished copper, large glass windows and open plan dining area. In this setting, sit down to seven elegantly plated dishes, each contributing to the flavourful satisfaction achieved at the end of the evening.

The seven dishes vary from Meuse farm tomatoes with melon and ginger broth and a tempting dish of prawn ravioli with corn, miso and sea pumpkin to Langbaken Karoo Ash cheese, served with sour cherries and macadamia.

After six courses, there better be room for dessert! Your evening will be completed with a confection of Manjari 64% chocolate, caramel, and brandy and fruitcake ice cream.

When: 24 December 18:00

Cost: R1,200 per person

Bookings: 021 855 3218 or restaurant@cavalliestate.com