Entries tagged with “The Yard”.


The explosion of restaurant openings in Cape Town and the Winelands in the last two months is a concern to many, both as restaurant lovers, in that one cannot keep up, and as restaurant owners, as there is not enough business for everyone.

Last month saw the opening of Seta at Villa 47, Le coin Français by Darren Badenhorst in Franschhoek, The Bistro and Deli at La Paris outside Franschhoek, Chef Duncan Doherty’s Eatery at Colmant in Franschhoek, and Boschendal at Oude Bank in Stellenbosch, amongst others.

We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously, and welcome such news.

Restaurant Openings

#  Villa 47 has relaunched its Stuzzico and Restaurant restaurants, as SETA and Pierino Penati, respectively. The latter restaurant (photograph) has opened in conjunction with Italian Michelin star restaurant owner Chef Theo Penati. (more…)

The new The Yard in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront opened last week, as a multi-cultural cuisine restaurant, but also offering a bar, a homeware shop, and a Deli. It is the most unique restaurant I have experienced, in its diverse food offering. (more…)

The explosion of restaurant openings in Cape Town and the Winelands in September is flowing into October too. Last month saw the opening of Tiger’s Milk Kloof Street, Marrow, Davy Croquettes, The Yard, Schoon de Companje in its new premises, Pierino Penati at Villa 47, and Firefish, amongst others. 

We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously, and welcome such news.

Restaurant Openings

#   Tiger’s Milk has opened its restaurant and Bar Splendido on Kloof Street and Rheede Street in Cape Town (photograph) (more…)

Listening to Carl Wessel, co-owner of Deluxe Coffeeworks, it sounds as if their successful coffee roasting business has just evolved over time, with little business planning and marketing, its satisfied loyal customers doing the word of mouth marketing and being repeat buyers.  Deluxe Coffeeworks, known for its tiny outlets in Church Street in Cape Town and next to Reubens in Franschhoek, has opened its new roastery in The Yard in Gardens, in a building which will also house its head office.

It was difficult finding the new Deluxe Coffeeworks outlet, being on Roodehek Street (and not Roodehoek Terrace, where the German Club is), which connects Buitenkant and Hope Streets.  As no signage nor street number (6) is visible, one assumes that an opening down an alley must be it. Parking is almost non-existent in the street, and one should park on Buitenkant Street.  One walks through the alley, without signage guiding one, to enter the spacious Deluxe Coffeeworks with its massive coffee bar counter, made from a solid piece of bluegum, and matching wooden bar chairs, putting an alien tree to good use, Carl said.  Olaf Nel was the architect and interior designer.

Against the wall is the trademark piece of ‘art’, which is a ‘deconstructed’ motorcycle.  There are motorcycles standing around inside the warehouse-style building, appearing to be a passion shared by most of the staff. In Franschoek the space is tiny, and they have a ‘deconstructed’ bicycle on the wall, while in the Church Street branch it is a ‘deconstructed’ Vespa.  Carl and his colleagues serve clients, and he was more than willing to serve a frothy cappuccino, even though I was under the impression that this was not encouraged (it is Truth and Origin that are strict about serving a cappuccino as a flat white).  Carl told me that he had got tired of his job in the film business, and his partner Judd Francis, a New Zealander who had been involved in the coffee business while he lived there and who joined Origin when he came to Cape Town, got together, and started Deluxe Coffeeworks in Church Street.   After being quiet for 18 months (there was no marketing that one was aware of, and they are not visible on Social Media either), their business suddenly took off, with more and more restaurants serving their coffee, and more customers coming into their coffee shop, to taste their unbelievably low priced coffee – they charged R10 a cup for the first year, and now charge R12, by far the cheapest cup of quality coffee in Cape Town.

I asked about serving food, and Carl laughed, saying that his gentleman’s agreement with Judd in running their business partnership had one rule only – no food! However, on a Friday they pick up 20 croissants from Jason’s on Bree Street, and the first twenty customers get them for free.  The alley has tables and chairs, and a central food preparation area, which started off as the Dog’s Bollocks, serving only 50 hamburger portions per evening, said to be the best hamburgers in Cape Town. Nigel Wood, the owner of the whole building, of which Deluxe is using more than half of the space, has attracted two new day-time food businesses, serving ‘deconstructed’ breakfasts, in that one pays for each individual ingredient (R7 per egg, R12 for bacon, R8 for sausage and for baked beans), which is served on a ‘hubcap’ (flatbread, costing R10). From 12h00 one can order sandwiches, being a selection of world-famous mainly American-style sandwiches, it was explained (I had not heard of any of them before, but then I have not been to the USA in years). Costing R45 each, one can order Geno’s Philly Cheese Steak (from Philadelphia), or Lo Priore Bro’s Meatball Hero (from New York) sandwiches, for example. Soup costs R25 with vegetables and R30 with meat. Gilbert Plumbers is in the front of the building, and may vacate sometime, which will make more space available for related businesses.

A brightly painted coffee roaster, twice as big as the one in the Church Street branch, stands in a corner, and bags of green coffee beans lie on the floor.  The beans have been sourced from Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Nicaragua via a local importer up to now, but it appears that they will source and import directly soon. They will soon offer a grinding service too.  It is the ‘optimum roasting’ of the beans, small quantities at a time to keep the coffee as fresh as possible, the creation of special blends, and the method of preparation that makes one coffee better than another, Carl said.  They prepare all coffees off a double espresso base, including cappuccino, flat white, Americano, Macchiato, Decaffeinated, Latte and Piccolo Latte (the last three cost R15). Restaurants serving Deluxe coffees include Jason’s, Power & Glory, Clarke’s, Red Sofa, Pulp Kitchen, La Mouette, La Boheme, Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, Fork, Superette, El Burro, Van Hunk’s, Café Mozart, Skinny Legs & All, Tokara, Café Paradiso, Maria’s, KOS, Don Pedro, Yours Truly, Pezula Resort in Knysna, Hola Café in Plettenberg Bay, and more.

I was the only female customer at Deluxe Coffeeworks, and it has a male persona with all the motorcycle ‘props’, yet I felt at home, and enjoyed chatting to Carl, getting information from him first-hand.  He says they are not good at technology, explaining their low key Social Media presence, and Carl almost seems surprised that they are doing so well.  They have a 20% share in the Franschhoek branch, which is co-owned by Steve Grey and Jo Sinfield.  They were invited to participate in setting up a coffee roastery in the foyer of two Lux* group hotels, one each in Mauritius and Maldives, which hotel group is managed by Paul Jones, who once worked for Sol Kerzner.  This has led to the likelihood of a next project with Harvey Nichols, which company wants to set up coffee shops in Kuwait, and then expand throughout the Middle East.  They also have a partnership with a similar business called Brew Coffeeworks in Istanbul, and the Deluxe staff is regularly flying to that city to work there for short stints.

The success of Deluxe Coffeeworks clearly is focus, doing what they do well and doing it with passion. Signage is due to come next month.  They plan to print a fun little paper, which will offer Soduko puzzles. Not only is the price excellent value, explaining its popularity, but its coffee tastes good too.

Deluxe Coffeeworks, The Yard, 6 Roodehek Street, off Buitenkant Street, Gardens.  Cell 0826815740. www.deluxecoffeeworks. co.za Twitter:@CarlWessel. Also in Franschhoek, and Church Street, Cape Town. Monday – Friday 7h00 – 17h00, Saturday 9h00 – 14h00.  Twitter:@Yard_CT

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Our list of latest restaurant openings and closures fortunately lists more openings than closures, and will be updated continuously, as we receive information.

Cape Town

*   Neil Grant, ex-sommelier of Rust en Vrede, has opened Burrata, a new restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill.  They will introduce a new 3-course food and wine pairing menu at the end of April.

*   Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef, is to open a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill in June

*   Chef Bruce Robertson (ex-The Showroom) has opened Bruce’s Boat House for lunches, in Scarborough

*   La Belle Café & Bakery has opened in the Alphen Boutique Hotel.

*   5 Rooms Restaurant has opened at the Alphen Boutique Hotel

*   Sabrina’s, which opened about two months ago where Depasco was, at the corner of Kloof and Long Street, has also closed down

*   Chef Craig Paterson has started as Executive Chef at Dash (Queen Victoria Hotel), the V&A Hotel, and Dock House

*   Mitico has opened a pizzeria and ’spaghetteria’ on Kloof Street, where St Elmo’s used to be (son of the original Luigi from Hout Bay)

*   Don Pedro’s in Woodstock has re-opened, under Madame Zingara management

*   Myög has opened as a frozen yoghurt outlet, at 103 Kloof Street

*   Thai Café has opened in the old Cape Quarter

*   On a Roll has opened in Mowbray as a gourmet hot dog restaurant

*   The Dog’s Bollocks has opened as a burger pop-up restaurant

*   Jackal & Hide has opened on Kloof Street

*   Graham Beck’s Gorgeous bubbly bar has opened at Catharina’s at Steenberg.

*   Col’Cacchio is opening new outlets in Claremont and Westlake

*   Dale Thebus is the new chef at Salt restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel.

*   A new Vida é Caffe is opening on Prestwich Street

*   A  cupcake shop is said to be opening on Ebenezer Street, next to T & Co/Table 13, in Green Point

*   Il Cappero is moving from Barrack Street to Fairway Street in Camps Bay, opening on 2 June.

*   Saints on 84 Kloof has opened on Kloof Street

*   Sushibox has opened at Newlands Village

*   Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro has opened on Main/Glengariff Roads in Sea Point, as a dinner theatre (from May), and Bistro restaurant, owned by Richard Loring and Roland Seidel

*   ‘I my Laundry restaurant has opened on Buitengracht Street

*   West Street Café has opened in the new Woodstock Foundry, owned by Chef Alan West

*   Orphanage has opened as a cocktail and tapas emporium on Bree Street

*   Valora on Loop Street has closed down

*   ACT Restaurant and Play Bar at the Baxter Theatre closed down

*   Philip Arno Botes is the new Chef at Pure Restaurant at Hout Bay Manor.

*   Maz Sushi has closed down on Main Road Sea Point

*   Planet Green Salad Bar has opened on Kloof Street

*   Vanilla in the Cape Quarter has closed down.

*   Madame’s on Napier has opened in De Waterkant

*   Moyo is to open where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront.

*   Sinn has closed down its Deli at Wembley Square

*   Table Thirteen is closing down in Green Point and moving to Paarden Eiland at the end of May

*   Slug & Lettuce has opened on Kloof Street, where Mason was.

*   Pizza Vezuvio has opened in the Tygervalley Waterfront

*   Bistrot Milano has opened on Blaauwberg Road, Table View

*   Forneria Italia has opened in the Bayside Centre, Table View

*   Maharajah is selling food at the Baxter Theatre on a take-away basis prior to shows.

*   Hussar Grill is to open at Steenberg

*   Chef Fred Faucheux is the new Executive Chef at Nobu.

*   Cassis is opening a new Salon de Thé in the Gardens Centre in May

*   De Grendel has opened De Grendel Restaurant, with Chef Ian Bergh and owner Jonathan Davies

*   Toro Wine and Aperitif Bar has closed down

*   Piroschka’s Kitchen has moved from Bree Street to Waterkant Street, De Waterkant.

*   Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet with a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre next month

*   The Fez is reopening as a nightclub on Friday, to be called Sideshow

*  MasterChef SA finalist Guy Clark, who was eliminated in episode 9, has started as a chef at the Madame Zingara restaurant group next week.

*   Josephine’s Cookhouse is to open in Newlands, where Caveau at Josephine’s Mill used to be, belonging to Societi Bistro owner

*   A new Vida e Caffe is to open on Maindean Place in Claremont.

*   Vovo Teli has opened in the V&A Waterfront, in half of the original Vaughn Johnson shop. They have branches in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg already.  The name is Portuguese, and means ‘grandfather’s place’.

*   Orinoco has opened on Bree Street, serving Mexican and Venezualean food

*   Rotisserie 360° has changed its name to Café Frank

*   Gesellig on Regent Road in Sea Point is standing empty, closed down or undergoing a major renovation

*   Sapphire has closed down in Camps Bay

*   A new McDonalds is opening in the Sanlam Centre

*   Salt Deli has chanegd its name to Salt Café

*   Keenwa has opened the P.I.S.C.O Bar above its restaurants, open Thursdays – Saturdays from 5 pm

*   Characters has opened on Roeland Street

*   TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street

*   The V&A Food Court is closed for renovations until November.  A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs.

Franschhoek

*   Leopard’s Leap has opened its Tasting room and Liam Tomlin Food Studio and Store outside Franschhoek, and the new Deli will open at the end of June

*    Reuben’s, which was said to be opening a Franschhoek branch in a building off the main road, when his Huguenot Road branch lease expires this year, appears to now be looking for an alternative restaurant venue on the main road, as the building purchase close to Place Vendome appears to have fallen through.

*   Donovan Dreyer is the new Restaurant Manager of Indochine at Delaire Graff.

*   Cheyne Morrisby is the new chef at the Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz

*   Chef Vanie Padayachee has joined Le Quartier Français

*   Chef Darren Roberts is leaving Grande Provence for a new appointment in the Seychelles at the end of April.  Chef Darren Badenhorst steps into his shoes.

*   Alton van Biljon has been appointed as Restaurant Manager at Haute Cabriere.

*  Wicked Treat has opened.

*   FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome

*   Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened, where the Reuben’s Deli used to be.

*   The bubbly Inge Hoffman has left Leopard’s Leap, and is the new Brand Manager for Boekenhoutskloof

*   Ryan’s Kitchen is now offering cooking classes on Friday mornings, starting on 1 June

*   Okamai Japanese restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate

*   Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms Delta has the amazing honour to be working at Noma in Copenhagen for two weeks in July.  He also shared that Fyndraai will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining.  The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.

*  Taste South Africa, belonging to Cybercellar, has closed down in The Yard off the main road. They have Tweeted that they are looking for new premises.

Stellenbosch

*    Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next

*   Dorpstraat Deli has opened, where Cupcake used to be.

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened a bar, serving Bartinney wines, and craft beers.

* David Higgs has resigned as Executive Chef from Radisson Blu Gautrain in Johannesburg (previously with Rust en Vrede).  He starts at The Saxon in Johannesburg in May.

*   Slug & Lettuce is to open where Beads is on Church Street

*   Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West.  Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open in June, with a new name called The Vergelegen Restaurant.

*   Warwick wine estate’s new chef is Dane Newton (ex-Chamonix, Cascade Manor).

*   Chef Bjorn Dingemans is to open up The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in July

*   Chris Olivier has opened SimpliciTea Deli in Somerset West

*   Chef Jonathan Heath has left Indochine, and will be opening a restaurant at Coopmanshuijs on Dorp Street in June.

*   A new Hussar Grill is said to be opening in Stellenbosch

Wellington

*   Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery.  He opens his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington in July.

Hermanus/Overberg

*   Rivendell Estate and Bistro has opened as a restaurant and winetasting venue on the road between Hermanus and the N2, near the Kleinmond turn-off.

*  Grilleri (ex-Mediterrea) has closed down, and Chef Shane (ex-La Vierge) is now heading the re-named La Pentola restaurant.

Riebeek Kasteel

*   Mama Cucina has opened

Robertson

*   Emile Fortuin has been appointed as Executive Chef at Reuben’s Robertson

Garden Route

*   Katarina’s has opened at the Kurland Hotel.

Restaurant breaks

*   La Colombe is closing for renovations from 17 May – 16 June.

*   Constantia Uitsig is taking a winter break from 25 June – 24 July.

*   The River Café is closing for a winter break from 13 August – 4 September.

*   Tokara closes for a winter break from 22 April, re-opens on 4 May

*   Nguni in Plettenberg Bay closes from 1 May – 31 July

*   The Foodbarn will be closed for renovations on 7 and 8 May

*   Bientang’s Cave in Hermanus is closed for renovations until 21 June.

*   The Kove in Camps Bay will be closed from 1 May – 30 August

*   The Test Kitchen will be closed from 13 – 28 May

*    Burgundy in Hermanus will be closed for dinners until 17 June

*   Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House will be closed in June

*   Olivello at Marianne Estate will be closed from 30 July – 21 August

*   Grande Provence is closing on Sunday evenings until the end of September.

*   Pierneef a La Motte will be closed from 18 June – 13 July.

*   The main Delaire Graff restaurant closes from 3 -24 June, but Indochine continues to trade.

*   Blues will be closed from 1 – 30 June

*   Waterkloof in Somerset West is closing for all June.

*   The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz is closed for all of June

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

Franschhoek understands the value of regular events, and the power they have in attracting visitors to the village.  During October it is hosting its first ‘Franschhoek Art in Clay’ ceramics exhibition, Ceramics Fair, a pop-up ceramics shop, and setting up ‘pop-up’ restaurants in some of the participating galleries too.  In addition, the summer season of Cook Franschhoek takes place, and a Classical Music Festival will end off the month on a high note.

The driving force behind the ‘Art in Clay’ event is David Walters, who is one of South Africa’s leading potters and has been working in Franschhoek for a number of years now.   The participating galleries, and the ceramicists exhibiting their work, are the following:

Ceramics Gallery: Potter David Walters has been working in ceramics for 35 years, and now specialises in porcelain.  He has started specialising in creating dinnerware for some of the top restaurants in our country, including Reuben’s. He founded the Midlands Meander.  Exhibition of work by him, his daughter Sarah Walters, and by Jonathan Keep, Christo Giles, John Wilhelm, and Lindsay Scott.  Reuben Riffel will prepare a lunch on 23 October (sold out already). High Tea will be served, using David Walters’ hand-made tea sets, including Wedgewood nougat and Angel biscuits, on weekends, at R50.   24 Dirkie Uys Street.  Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 18h00. Tel (021) 876-4304.

Artefact: Tiny gallery with ceramics work by Vuyisa Potina, Andrea Desmond Smith, Kobus Stander, David Walters, and Sarah Walters.  Daniel Hugo Street.  Tel (021) 876-4304.

Ebony: Ceramics work by Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, Katherine Glenday, Lisa Ringwood, Mick and Sally Haigh, and Michael Chandler. Opening cocktail party for invited guests only, with food served by Neil Jewell on ceramicware made by the exhibitors. Franschhoek Square, Huguenot Street.  Tel 082 558 2221

Gallery at Grande Provence: Ceramics works by Imiso Ceramics, Zizamele Ceramics, Michael Haig, Louise Gelderblom, and Rae Goosen.  Lunches available daily next door in the Restaurant at Grande Provence. Main Road.  Tel (021) 876-8600.

IS Art: Ceramics work by Hylton Nel, Ralph Johnson, Helen Vaughan, Lisa Firer, Ann Marais, Wilma Cruise, Dale Lambert, Wendy McLachlin, Sue van Rensburg, Chris Smart, Caroline Heydenrecht, Hannes van Zyl, John Wilhelm, and Rebecca Tetley.   Lunch for 12 served in the gallery on 23 October by Margot Janse.  Huguenot Str.  Tel (021) 876-8443.

La Motte Museum: The theme if the exhibition is “Potters who are no longer with us”, paying tribute to deceassed and emigrated potters, in exhibiting the Ceramics SA exhibition at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, and from the Social History Collection of Iziko Museums of Cape Town.  Artists’ work exhibited includes that of Barbara Jackson, Bonnie Ntshalinsthali, Hyne Rabinowitz, Esias Bosch, Tim Morris, Sonja Gerlings, and Marietjie van der Merwe.  Lunches are available at Pierneef à La Motte.   Tel (021) 876-8850. Tuesday – Sunday 9h00 – 17h00.

The ‘Pop-Up’ Ceramics shop will be located in The Yard (where Isabellina was, at 38 Huguenot Road, home of the Salmon Bar and Pam Golding Properties) for the month of October,  including ceramics work by Heath Nash, Zizamele, Imiso Ceramics, Andy de Klerk of Cabinetworks, Urban Africa, Soulchild, and Chimpel. Under the trees outside the Dutch Reformed Church hall members of the Cape Craft & Design Institute and of Ceramics SA will display and sell their pottery on Saturday 29 October.

In honour of Franschhoek’s Gourmet status, and many potters’ crafting dinnerware for the local restaurants, the Summer season of ‘Cook Franschhoek’ takes place next weekend, from 7 – 9 October, and allows food lovers to rub shoulders with the local chefs and winemakers.  On Friday Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon will prepare beetroot risotto, beetroot chutney, and beetroot flatbread, paired with Haut Espoir wine; Chef Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill will demonstrate preparing grilled scallops with prawns, chorizo and pea shoot salad; Salmon Bar’s Chef Judy Sendzul will do a salmon and trout tasting, paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel will prepare chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, paired with La Bri wines; Chef Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen will do an ice cream, and sorbet demo, pairing with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte will demonstrate cooking meat with shiraz, chocolate spice and berries, using La Motte wines.  On Saturday the Franschhoek Food Emporium’s Chef Robert Rittel will do a talk on the art of patés and terrines, pairing with Lynx Wines; Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant will talk about veldfood flavours, pairing with Solms-Delta Winery; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon does a pork belly demo, pairing with Haut Espoir; Chef Ryan Smith repeats the ice cream and sorbet demo, paired with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Margot Janse prepares beetroot sponge, spinach and onion puree, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita, paired with Haut Espoir wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger repeats her chocolate hazelnut dacqouise, paired with La Bri wines; and Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte repeats his course on cooking meat with Shiraz;  Chef Adrian Buchanan repeats the scallop, prawn, chorizo and pea shoot salad demo, paired with their Freedom Hill wines; and the Salmon Bat trout and salmon tasting , paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines, is repeated.  On Sunday Chef Reuben Riffel will cook miso glazed Franschhoek salmon trout, paired with Boekenhoutskloof; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon demonstrates the making of a Christmas apple and cranberry cake, and a spice-infused milk tart, paired with Haut Espoir; and the art of patés and terrines by Chef Robert Rittel of Franschhoek Food Emporium, with wines by Lynx, is repeated.

To add a crescendo to the month-long ceramics exhibition, talented Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan has organised the 8th Classic Music Festival for the last weekend of October.  The programme kicks off with a tribute to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, with Zorada Temmingh performing in the Dutch Reformed Church, utilising a restored 1925 silent movie version of the film, with organ improvisation, on Friday 28 October. On the programme for 29 October are Claude Bolling’s suites for flute and jazz piano in the Dutch Reformed Church; a Food, Wine and Music tasting takes place in the courtyard in The Yard, outside the Salmon Bar and Taste South Africa, with cheese, charcuterie, and trout boards, a wine tasting, and music by accordionist Stanislav Angelov; and ‘Music of the Night’ with Louise Howlett and Albert Combrink at Café Bon Bon, with dinner.   On Sunday Christopher Duigan will perform ‘Liszt vs Liszt’ at the Dutch Reformed Church; classical guitarist James Grace performs at Bread & Wine over lunch; and a ‘Festival Finale’ will be held at Café Bon Bon.

Franschhoek Art in Clay, Franschhoek.  1 – 30 October.  Contact David Walters for more information: Tel (021) 876- 4304.   For details of the Classic Music Festival: www.musicrevival.co.za For tickets for Cook Franschhoek: www.webtickets.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

In walking around Franschhoek during the Bastille Festival yesterday, I was surprised to discover Taste South Africa, the most beautiful transformation of what was previously the Le Grange decor shop in The Yard, behind the Salmon Bar, off the main road in Franschhoek.  Taste South Africa belongs to Fiona Phillips of Cybercellar (“Where else can you buy virtually all your South African wine?”, her business card asks cleverly), and is the first multi-brand winetasting venue in Franschhoek.

Fiona started Cybercellar twelve years ago, having been an equity trader on both the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.  It represents more than 700 wine estates in South Africa, with deliveries of wines made by courier 3 – 5 days after purchase.    Taste South Africa will function as a tasting venue not only for South African wines, but for local products too, such as olive oils, and cheeses.  For the Bastille Festival, Fiona and her manager Dominic Adelbert, previously sommelier at Aubergine restaurant, have focused on twelve Franschhoek wine estates, including Chamonix, Topiary, Solms-Delta, Mont Rochelle, Vrede & Lust, Backsberg, Lynx, Boschendal, Noble Hill, La Motte, Rickety Bridge, and Holden Manz, giving them free exposure, to introduce their facility.

Not only is the concept unique for Franschhoek, but I was bowled over by the interior design by Xperiencemakers.  Lots of white on the floors and walls, with neat shelving, standardised presentation of information about each wine estate, and the most impressive red lamps, which contain the word “Taste” in South Africa’s official languages, create an interior of class.  A grey carpet has the following Ernest Hemingway quote printed on it: “Wine is the most civilised thing in the world”.   On display too are bronze sculptures by Vincent da Silva, an architectural student.  They add to the classy interior.

Wine will not be physically sold from the tasting venue, but orders can be placed via Cybercellar while one is at the tasting venue.  This Bastille weekend is a dry run for Taste South Africa, and it officially opens on 1 August.

Taste South Africa is an exciting new asset of Franschhoek, and a beautiful showcase of South African wines.  Exciting functions have been planned, including food and wine pairing events, bloggers’ dinners, Twitter tastings, and a live-feed Twitter screen is to be added.  The next Taste South Africa tasting venue will open at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.

Taste South Africa, The Yard, off Huguenot Road, Franschhoek.  Tel 021 876-2649.  www.tastesouthafrica.co.za Twitter: @TastingSA

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

For the 18th year running, Franschhoek will don its red, blue and white flags and bunting to celebrate its French Huguenot past next weekend of 16 and 17 July, celebrated by its most popular annual event, the Bastille Festival, commemorating the storming of La Bastille.

Marrying food prepared by Franschhoek’s top chefs, including salmon trout, sushi, chocolates, and oysters, with wines from the local Vignerons, in a Marquee in the centre of the village next door to the Hospice, the Bastille Festival is an important showcase for the village.  Exhibitors include Akkerdal, Allée Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Bellingham, Boschendal, Boekenhoutskloof, Cape Chamonix, Franschhoek Cellar, French Connection Bistro, The Grill Room, Glenwood, Graham Beck, Grande Provence, Holden Manz, Haute Cabriere, La Bri, La Petite Ferme Restaurant and Winery,  L’ermitage, Leopard’s Leap, Lynx, Monneaux, Morena, Pick ‘n Pay Sushi Bar, Plaisir de Merle, Reuben’s, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothschild, Solms Delta Fyndraai and Wines, Topiary Wines, Vrede & Lust, and Wild Peacock Products.  

For the first time a Le Marche Français will be set up in the Town Hall, as a market of Franschhoek artisanal food and other products.  Cheeses, charcuterie, pastries, breads, crèpes, water, chocolates, preserves, vegetables, coffee, and herbs will be for sale, as will be soap and linen, and kitchen accessories.  A Farmers’ Market will also be held.

On Saturday 16 July a Boules tournament will be held at the Church grounds, as well as Fencing exhibition matches, a Waiters’ Race, a Vignerons’ Parade, and Porcupine Ridge Barrel Rolling competition.  A party will be held at Holden Manz wine estate in the late afternoon.   On Sunday 17 July there is another Boules Tournament, Fencing exhibition matches and another Porcupine Ridge Barrel Rolling competition.  The Station Pub is hosting a number of bands over the weekend.

POSTSCRIPT 15/7:  Given the wonderful weather of the past few days, and that which is forecast for the weekend, tickets for the Marquee are already sold out for tomorrow.  Given that Franschhoek will be bursting at the seams, here are some suggestions for what to do if you were not lucky enough to buy a ticket for the marquee for tomorrow: get a wine-tasting map from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau on the main road; go to the Town Hall, where French cheeses, Shiraz bread, chocolates and charcuterie are for sale; taste wines at Franschhoek wine shops La Cotte Inn Wine sales (selling delicious cheeses too), House of Wine, and WINES WINES (next door to Café Benedict) is offering tastings of non-Franschhoek wine estates such as Lammershoek, Nabygelegen, Hermanuspietersfontein, Arumdale and Bilton.  Enjoy a light lunch at Franschhoek Kitchen (Holden Manz), Café Benedict, Salmon Bar, Café Le Chocolatier, The Olive Shack, Reuben’s Deli, make up your own picnic at the Franschhoek Food Emporium, or try Fyndraai at Solms-Delta or Allee Bleue on the outskirts of Franschhoek, where things should be a little quieter.  Buy chocolates at Huguenot Fine Chocolates.   Interested in art? Visit David Walter’s Ceramics studio, the galleries on the main road, The Grande Provence gallery, or the Pierneef gallery at La Motte.   Drive up the Franschhoek Pass, and see the view from up there onto the valley.  Go to the Station Pub to listen to the bands.  Go to the After-Party at Holden Manz. 

POSTSCRIPT 16/7: Franschhoek is bursting at the seams, and the excellent weather is adding to the festive fun.  At Reuben’s there is a great Farmer’s market, as well as tastings and sales of Peroni, De Villiers chocolates from Hermanus, Wildekraans wines, and Healey’s cheeses from Lourensford.  Castle is being dispensed from next to Taki’s.  More Peroni is available at Träumerei.  Wildekrans is doing tastings at Café d’Or.  Holden Manz’s after party runs from at 4 pm until midnight today, with DJ.  The Elephant & Barrel is buzzing, with sparkling wine tastings in the courtyard.   A new gem is Taste South Africa, behind Salmon Bar in The Yard, putting Franschhoek wines on show.  An antique market is at the side of The Corkscrew.

Bastille Festival, Franschhoek, 16 – 17 July.  R100 Marquee entrance fee includes a tasting glass and a booklet of tasting vouchers.  Marquee open from 12h00 – 17h00.  Tickets from www.webtickets.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com   Twitter: @WhaleCottage

The Salmon Bar at The Yard in Franschhoek recently re-opened in a new venue in the same centre, but now is visible to the main road.    The new venue has an odd shape, but its interior decor is marine-orientated, and it is far better able to communicate that it is all about salmon and trout, but also serves wonderful breakfasts, sells outstanding breads, as well as muffins, croissants and cupcakes, and excellent cappuccinos.  The restaurant seems to have got streets better since its re-opening at the beginning of December.

Judy Sendzul is the clever owner of The Salmon Bar at The Yard, which was previously located at a courtyard off the main road when it first opened three years ago, so it was especially popular amongst the Franschhoek locals, who liked the restaurant for its coffee, breakfasts, and salmon meals, to buy wonderful bread, and to sit at a restaurant table without the noise distrubance of trucks driving by on the main road.  Initially I was not a salmon fan, and therefore did not consider it for lunches, or even dinners, when these were introduced.  But that has changed.  The website describes the owner Judy as “chef, restaurateur, retail food product developer and marketer”.  She worked at Woolworths, developing new products for two years.   The Three Streams Smokehouse, a partner in the venture, also supplies Woolworths with salmon.   

When Bouillabaisse closed down, the developers of The Yard moved the Pam Golding offices to the Bouillabaisse space, and The Salmon Bar took the Pam Golding space, but also that of Schwartz jewellers behind it.  The result is a long thin extended restaurant, which almost divides itself into two sections: one near the ‘retail section’ of the restaurant and its pay point, and another set further back, towards the courtyard.  The space has been used cleverly, with a counter running down the length of most of the restaurant.  There are comfortable couches against the other wall, and modern white chairs.   I have always admired the modern wave-like glass shelves which The Salmon Bar uses to display its breads, and these were in use in the old location already.   Being focused on marine decor ourselves at Whale Cottage, it is a pleasure to see another business’ fish focus, with an engraved outline of a fish in the ceiling, linked to a slogan:  “We source our fish responsibly and cook it simply for breakfast, lunch and dinner”.  A wooden fish collage has been hung up behind the couches, and fishes have been painted on the wall above the trout and salmon fridges.  The table number has a fish on it. On another wall there is another saying: “Produced and passionately hand made in Franschhoek”.   The menu says “We source responsibly and cook simply”. 

The Salmon Bar describes itself as “Restaurant, Bar, Deli, Bakery” on its menus.  There are two menus, one for Breakfast, which is served until midday, and one for the other meals of the day, available throughout the day.  The Breakfast menu is a small laminated menu, printed on both sides, and offers a large variety of interesting and unusual choices: croissants cost R15; pain au chocolate R15; muffins R22; toast, grape jam and Huguenot cheese costs R30; a croissant with oak smoked Royale Highlands trout and cream cheese costs R45;  scrambled eggs and toast are my favourite, served plain at R30, R35 with tomato relish added, and R40 with bacon; lemon scrambled eggs with trout and crème fraîche cost R55; poached eggs (R30); fried eggs and bacon cost R40; boiled eggs and soldiers (R35); frittata and chorizo R55; bagel and scrambled egg with bacon or trout costs R45; ricotta hotcakes, berries and crème fraîche cost R40; and mushrooms on toast with ham R60.  Cappuccino is charged at R15. 

Cleverly the winelist is printed on a wine bottle, and is a small selection of mainly Franschhoek wines, heavily weighted to those from Boekenhoutskloof.  There are five white wines, starting at R25/R90 for Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, and for the Wolftrap Viognier Chenin Blanc, to R55/R220 for the Boekenhoutskloof Semillon.  “Pink wines” offered are Wolftrap (R25/R90) and Haut Espoir (R33/R130).  Five red wines start at Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier (R25/R90), and The Chocolate Block costs R60/R260.   “Fine wines” cost R900 for Bollinger, Krone Borealis Cuvée MCC 2007 costs R35/R170, and Krone Rosé Cuvée R45/R220.

The main menu is A3-sized, and one side sketches the “Journey of the Royale Highlands Trout”: the eggs are hatched in Franschhoek.  The fingerlings are transported to the Lesotho Highlands, where the clear and cold water of the Katse Dam is ideal for farming trout. Then the full-grown trout are returned to Franschhoek, where they are cured and smoked.   On the other side, the extensive, unusual and unique salmon and trout focused menu is printed.   Sashimi is offered, 6 pieces of salmon cost R65 and 6 pieces of tuna R75.   “Japanese tapas” offered is salmon and prawn pot stickers – there was far more salmon than prawn in these, and the manager agreed that it is predominantly made from salmon, and explained that the prawn content is finely chopped.  I would have expected a 50/50% prawn and salmon content. One could not taste the prawns at all (R35); grilled whitefish (R45); the prawn rice noodle spring roll was crunchy, containing mange tout, with a delicious crispy ‘wrapper’, but containing chilli and therefore had quite an afterbite! (R30); and Oshi Zushi (pressed salmon sushi – R35/R70).  “Smoked and cured” offerings are Loch Duart Scottish salmon and toast (R85), and a smoked salmon platter (R125).   Trout paté costs R55, prawns Marie Rose R85; Teriyaki salmon bites R85; New Zealand mussels R65; and Richard’s cured meats R75.   Salads are unusual too: grilled Yakitori salmon salad, with seaweed and mushrooms (R98); yellow fin tuna (R75); hot smoked trout Niçoise (R85); spicy pear salad (R55); and a 4-cheese platter costs R85.   “Grills” available are linefish (R85); fish cakes (R65); Franschhoek trout (R75); Loligo squid (R65); and prawn/salmon Tom Yum” (R55). 

The Deli sells Tokara olive oils, as well as jams, honey, cheese, trout, salmon paté, and a wonderful collection of breads – the dough is supplied by Knead Bakery, and baked on the premises: buttermilk rye, light rye, ciabatta with olives, multi-seed health bread, fruited muesli, and barley, potato and rosemary bread, ranging in price from R22 – R28.  Baguettes cost R12.  One can also buy Black Tiger prawns, tuna, mussels, Norwegian salmon, Rainbow Trout, Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats, and home-made mayonnaise. 

I love going to The Salmon Bar, with really friendly staff, and a chef who is willing to bend the rules about which of their lovely breads may be used to make toast.  Parking always seems to be available outside on the main road.   The prices charged are reasonable, and the restaurant has a niche untouched by any other in Franschhoek or the Western Cape.

The Salmon Bar at The Yard, 38 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek.  Tel (021) 876-4591.  www.salmonbar.com (The website lists the menus and winelist, and each page has a beautiful salmon shot, but the general food items are not featured due to the lack of an Image Gallery. Some photographs of the interior are of the previous location).  Open Monday – Sunday 8h00 – 21h00.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage