Last week I spent two days in Franschhoek for a catch-up visit, after not having been to this lovely village known for its eateries and good wines in eight months. From having heard that the village was so quiet, and that many restaurants had closed down, I was pleasantly surprised to find the village bursting with excitement about new restaurants about to open in October, and later this year. I could not resist eating at Orangerie at Le Lude, what to me is one of Franschhoek’s best restaurants. Continue reading →
I was very excited to sit with Chef Darren Badenhorst yesterday morning, to hear more about his new restaurant Le coin Français By Darren Badenhorst, which will open in Franschhoek on 11 October. Continue reading →
On Friday afternoon Haarlem & Hope was officially opened in the Company’s Garden, now operated by the Madame Zingara Group, having won the tender from the City of Cape Town. The restaurant opens to the public tomorrow.
Owner Richard Griffin is an excellent showmaster, which we have seen in his quirky restaurants such as the Bombay Bicycle Club, and his Madame Zingara shows are a must-see in acrobatics, entertainment, and food served with precision for hundreds (perhaps Eat Out can contract him to handle the catering for the Eat Out Restaurant Awards in 2015)!
The name comes from the Dutch ship Nieuwe Haarlem, which was shipwrecked at the Cape in 1647. Crew members stayed at the Cape for a year before being picked up by another passing Dutch ship, and in that time the crew planted vegetables, which they bartered for fresh meat from the Khoi living here already. Jan van Riebeek arrived five years later, expanding the vegetable gardening to create the Company’s Garden.
The first thing one notices on arrival is the weaver bird nest-like hanging baskets at the right of the entrance, made Continue reading →
The Kitchen and Tasting Room at Maison has been operating for almost three years, and during its recent two month winter break, a number of changes were made to the interior, to the menu, with further changes on the way.
Ten days ago I visited Maison after a long absence, mostly due to the winter closure, and my less frequent visits to Franschhoek in the winter months. In walking to The Kitchen and Tasting Room at Maison it was a delight to see that the uncomfortable stony entrance walkway has been replaced with very comfortable walkable wooden decking. Tables and chairs have been set up on the front lawn, to allow for overflow of unbooked guests. Inside, the ceiling near the pass has been redone with wooden cladding, as has a wall alongside the fireplace. New lamps have been hung, looking like seahorses to me. Lamps have been erected above the pass, with shelving above it, and the pass exterior has been wood-clad as well.
The biggest change is that a Deli is to be introduced in the winetasting section, on the right as one enters the building, with a bar counter, at which one will be able to taste six to eight Maison wines (the number is still to be finalised), each paired with two tapas-like bites reflecting some of the dishes which Chef Arno Continue reading →