Heritage Day braai at Vrede en Lust – plus new Savoye restaurant

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TODAY I am going to give you five reasons to visit Vrede en Lust in Simondium; it’s that part of Franschhoek between the road where Babylonstoren and Glen Carlos are, and the R45 main road into the village and its surrounding delights.

Reason number one, because it’s time sensitive, is the Heritage Day braai this Saturday, September 24, from 11am at the Plaza in front of the wine tasting room. Karoo Spitbraai will be providing the lamb, and your R300 ticket also includes chicken kebabs, boerewors, roosterkoek, potato salad, and curry noodle salad (and a seat to enjoy it all). A glass of decanted Boet Erasmus Magnum 2014 is included and there’ll be live music by Newton and Co. Book through Dineplan here.

I love Dineplan. I’m sure it must have been invented by an introvert – not a single phone call involved, and everything done via email and online, in my own time. Can y’all who keep wanting to call me not see how this system is flawless?

Anyway. Reason number two. Since you’re going to be right there, go do a wine tasting. Vrede en Lust wines are wonderful. My favourite, for many years, is the White Mischief, a six-cultivar blend of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Viognier. Utterly delightful. See there is Riesling? Taste that too. It’s perfect to keep on hand for when you cook something spicy.

Another one I can’t go home without is the Blanc Fumé, 2019 vintage at the moment. Anything that takes the edge of a Sauvignon Blanc is all right by me. The wine was fermented in 500 – litre second-fill, third-fill and older barrels and matured on fine lees for 10 months prior to bottling. Heavenly.

Photo by Bianca Coleman

Reason number three: the newly launched Savoye restaurant. You’ll find it slightly apart from the tasting room, between the conference centre and the Manor House where Ed Saunders told me I will stay when I get married. Yeah right, Ed. Like that’s ever going to happen. Ed is formerly of Fork, the OG tapas place in Long Street which opened in 2005. We’ve known each other that long. And Ed is now in charge of all the food at Vrede en Lust, from Savoye (which features a menu of some of his winning tapas but with a few more waiting in the wings) and Lust Bistro, to the platters and pairings in the tasting room, to the blackboard menu at Savoye (I can vouch for the cheeseburger with bacon, and the women around me at the table who had the Caesar salad, well that looked good too).

Photo by Bianca Coleman
Photo by Bianca Coleman

Reason number four is the accommodation. As well as the Manor House, there are cottages and luxury rooms, some with sweeping vineyard views. For VIPs such as myself of course, since I do not plan to be a bride and the Manor House itself will remain a fantasy. The whole lot, including dinner at Savoye, which overlooks the turquoise pool, can be booked out for private groups. Or, yes I suppose, a wedding which won’t be mine. This means that the casual day visitor to Vrede en Lust should check beforehand for availability, and not take a chance on just pitching up unannounced. Which is a pretty good rule for life in general.

Photo by Bianca Coleman

For the spontaneous among us, there is reason number five: Lust Bistro. This you will find immediately on your left as you drive through the entrance gates. It’s where I had breakfast after my stayover, a generously-filled bacon, cheese and tomato omelette, and where you can grab a pastry and a coffee to ease into the day. It appears to be dog-friendly and I think they do obedience training on a Saturday morning. That’s what it looked like. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be such classes for children. Sit inside the light, bright and airy bistro, or outside under umbrellas.

Photo by Bianca Coleman

Then go for a wine tasting.

For more information, click here.

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