WHETHER you’re going to Boschendal for the day or for the weekend – longer if you’re lucky – the food is an experience in itself.
In the Deli and The Werf restaurant, almost all the produce is grown or reared on the farm, or sourced from close by. The orchards and garden are beautifully lush and abundant; you can take a guided tour or explore on your own. If you’re staying in one of the Orchard Cottages – the name is self-explanatory – you’re invited to pluck your own seasonal fruit from the trees outside your door. How lovely?
The Farm Shop is an absolute joy, filled with delights from the farm and exquisite homeware on which to put it. Think glorious ribeye steaks and biltong from the Black Angus cattle, baskets of vibrant limes, shelves laden with jars of jams, preserves, honey and olive oil on tap, breads and biscuits (the lavender shortbread – I’m addicted), ready-made freezer meals like lasagne, bobotie and pies, chutneys and salad dressings, cheeses, pickles and pasta. And all the wine of course. Boschendal is famous for many things, including its Blanc de Noir, which you can pick up for R65 a bottle. In fact, the prices in the Farm Shop are surprisingly reasonable for such a posh place (some lower than a big supermarket chain beginning with P), and the even better news is there is an online portal too, into which I am currently throwing my money.
During our wonderful time at the farm, we had breakfast at the Deli, and lunch at The Werf. The Deli has lots of outdoor seating under oak trees, and serves breakfast from 8am until 4pm, which is so civilised. My friend had marrow griddle cakes topped with poached eggs, whipped goats cheese, and foraged herbs. It’s technically a vegetarian meal but naturally one can, and does, add bacon. Mine was eggs Benedict with Angus shaved beef, sourdough toast, garlic emulsion, spinach, and hollandaise. This was after the perfect and best pastéis de nata I’ve ever had. It’s a bold statement to be sure, but the pastry was crisp and flaky, the custard soft, and the caramelisation just right. These too can be ordered online…and I’ve been entertaining fantasies about them ever since.
At The Werf, the menu comprises not-quite-small plates (somewhere between starter and main course size) designed by chef Allistaire Lawrence to marry the wines for optimum pleasure. Naturally, the menu changes according to what’s good in the garden – which you can view from the terrace – and we feasted on tomato risotto (a highlight for me), chilli and ginger pork, lamb shoulder with potato gnocchi, deep fried baby marrow fritters, crispy potatoes with garlic emulsion, seared Angus sirloin with slow-cooked flat rib and charred cauliflower purée; and for dessert, plum Eton mess and pear and tarragon tart. It’s fair to say we rolled back to our Werf Cottage.
On Saturday evenings, there’s a drive-in cinema (with more wine and food options from the stalls lining the helipad where you park your car). We watched The Greatest Showman in our pyjamas and slippers, and sipped, yes, Blanc de Noir. It was a pleasing combination of childhood nostalgia and being sort of grown up.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Bianca Coleman ©