It’s no secret that French cuisine is considered among the best in the world – and the good news is that South Africans can now experience the traditional flavours of France, paired with top local and French wines, within an hour’s drive of Cape Town in Somerset West.
A new eatery on the block:
Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West has a new restaurant, Café Fleur. It is inspired by the floral beauty of the 322-year-old estate, as well as the classic cuisine, elegant ambience, excellent service and wine-making styles of France.
The petite menu has been refined to five starters, five main courses and four desserts that showcase a diversity of ingredients and flavour profiles. The classic, hearty dishes suitable for winter include starters such as French onion soup, cheese soufflé, and snails with Pernod and garlic butter. Main courses include roasted rack of lamb, duck a l’orange, and cheese and leek tart. Desserts include apple tart, crème caramel and choux pastry with coffee cream.
Starters are listed from R110, main courses from R175, and desserts are R85.
Consultant chef Michelle Barry, former principal of the Christina Martin School of Food and Wine, worked closely with the Vergelegen team to develop the menu and pass on the traditional culinary skills of France. Barry continues to manage Café Fleur, where friendly, knowledgeable service is a priority.
Vergelegen is deservedly famous for its Bordeaux-style wines, and a key feature of Café Fleur is a wine list that includes older Vergelegen vintages, says Vergelegen sommelier Christo Deyzel. These wines, considered bold and powerful, are complemented by a selection of French wines.
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Moreover, Vergelegen fine quality reserve red and white wines are available by the glass so that guests can compare how the various wine styles complement the dishes.
“Café Fleur has been established to offer a stylish, relaxed and fun experience where our guests have the opportunity to learn about and enjoy French cuisine, and to experiment with both our Vergelegen and French wines,” says Deyzel.
Guests can also purchase superb older Vergelegen vintages from the estate’s recently opened Vinoteque. This wine library stocks red wines ranging from 2005 to 2013 and white wines ranging from 2014 to 2017, all stored under optimal conditions.
Many French restaurants are renowned for their beautiful environments, and Vergelegen’s exquisite gardens provide a bucolic setting for Café Fleur, near the historic manor house. The estate is a provincial heritage site, with 18 exquisite gardens which include numerous ancient trees. It also houses Africa’s only International Camellia Garden of Excellence, whose winter-blooming pink, white and red camellia flowers are in bloom till early spring.
- Location: Vergelegen Estate | Somerset West, South Africa.
- Reservations are essential: [email protected] or 021 847 2111.
Picture: Café Fleur