Eating and Drinking in Garden Route

Blue Crane Farm Shop

Heidelberg

Cafés & delis

Blue Crane Farm Shop

As you whizz down the N2 make sure you stop at this once farmhouse and dairy, now colourful coffee shop and farm stall. They only sell the freshest local produce including home-made breads, jams, cheeses and cold meats. The coffee shop offers a home-style menu that will fill you up and set you on your way again.

  • Contact: Blue Crane Farm Shop, Hooikraal Farm, N2 Rd, Heidelberg
  • Tel: 028-722-2651
  • Fax: 028-722-2651
  • Cel: 083-663-9939
  • Email: bluecrane@telkomsa.net
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

Bramon Wine Estate and Restaurant

Wine

Bramon Wine Estate and Restaurant

Bramon Wine Estate is the Garden Route name currently on everyone's lips and with good reason. Enjoy fresh oysters, meze platters, local wines and cheeses, while the eye rests on the Tsitsikamma Mountains and surrounding vineyards. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon? Peter Thorpe's vision of empowering local communities through Vukani (wake up) Wines, mentored by Bramon Wine Estate, is one worth embracing.

  • Prices: Meze platter from R6 - R48 each. Wines R80 - R180 a bottle.
  • Contact: Bramon Wine Estate, N2, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
  • Tel: Estate: 044-534-8007
  • Cel: Restaurant: 073-833-8133
  • Email: caroline@bramonwines.co.za
  • Web: www.bramonwines.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

Doubleshot Coffeebar

Plettenberg Bay

Cafés & delis

Doubleshot Coffeebar

Two former Lufthansa cabin attendants spent their flying years checking out the world's best coffee shops before opening their own in Plettenberg Bay. Some menu items are a tribute to those travels, while the mismatched furniture and displays of works by local artists give it a distinct Greenwich Village feel. Coffee is the main focus but you will also find sandwiches piled high with local cheeses and muesli worth skipping your B&B's breakfast for. New is the juice bar, with wheatgrass and freshly-squeezed combos of seasonal fruits and veg.

  • Prices: Espresso R12, cappuccino R15, ciabatta with local cheeses R32, cheesecake R22.
  • Contact: The Square Lifestyle centre, Main Road, Plettenberg Bay
  • Cel: 082-344-2661
  • Email: godoubleshot@gmail.com
  • Web: www.godoubleshot.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

île de païn

Cafés & delis

île de païn

As expected with the name "Bread Island", a variety of serious breads are baked in a wood-fired oven, in full view of regular and out-of-town guests. Chef/owner Liezie Mulder presides over the kitchen and turns the best that nature has to offer in the region into simple, wonderful and healthy meals for breakfast and lunch. The desserts are sublime alongside hot chocolate (made from Grand Cru Chocolate), proper coffees and other hot and cold specialty drinks. Take home some of the goodies and stock up on ile de pain’s own professional “tools-of-the-trade”, including Liezie’s recently-published recipe collection. Also opened “mon petit pain” on Corner of Gray and Gordon Streets. Same quality and vibe with lighter, quicker meals. Open 8-3pm Monday –Friday, 8-1 Saturday, Closed Sundays, 044-302-5767.

  • Prices: Breakfast menu items R35 – R55, lunch R40 – R85, pastries R8 - R25, wines R100 –R250 (and by the glass) breads R10 - R60. Prices may rise 10% a year. Open 8 am - 3 pm, Sun 9 - 1:30, closed Mondays, May and August.
  • Contact: The Boatshed no.10, Thesen Islands, Knysna
  • Tel: 044-302-5707
  • Fax: 044-302-5706
  • Email: office@iledepain.co.za
  • Web: www.iledepain.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

Nguni Restaurant

Plettenberg Bay

Restaurants

Nguni Restaurant

Traditional SA fare is replaced by an authentic SA menu with a twist. Out with the chops and boerewors and in with bobotie spring rolls, smoked ostrich and tuna carpaccio. Nguni caters for all palates and tastes including vegetarians. You could do worse than indulging yourself in their speciality dish of Nguni steak with coriander and caper salsa, served in this 100-year-old fishermen's cottage dining room or on the patio under the grapevine.

  • Prices: Average starter R60, main R80 - R120, dessert R40.
  • Contact: 6 Crescent Street, Plettenberg Bay
  • Tel: 044-533-6710
  • Cel: 083-561-0936
  • Email: info@nguni-restaurant.co.za
  • Web: www.nguni-restaurant.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

Old Nick Village

Arts & crafts

Old Nick Village

The secret's out! If you are looking for some of the best in South African craftsmanship and design, then head to the Old Nick Village. It's about local, about good quality and individuality in textiles, ceramics, clothing and accessories, all linked by a thread of Africa. After a hard morning's shopping, treat yourself to a slap-up lunch and wander through the surrounding indigenous gardens. Expect special exhibitions, lazy afternoons on lawns or encounters with the odd vervet monkey.

  • Prices: From R15 for hand-made soap to R50,000 for custom-designed steel and ceramic water feature.
  • Contact: N2 Highway, 3Km east of Plettenberg Bay
  • Tel: 044-533-1395
  • Fax: 044-533-0521
  • Email: info@oldnickvillage.co.za
  • Web: www.oldnickvillage.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

Serendipity

Wilderness

Restaurants

Serendipity

The whole dining experience at Serendipity is one that will shine in my memory forever. Here you are unobtrusively pampered. Rudolf is in charge of looking after you while Lizelle (a champion chef) works culinary wonders preparing a five-course table d'hote menu that changes regularly. I was dazzled afresh with each course, from the fireside apéritifs to the Warm Dark Chocolate Mousse, Milk Stout Ice Cream and Mock Coffee Sponge (possibly the best dessert to ever melt in my mouth). Sigh...

  • Prices: R299 for 5-course table d'hôte menu.
  • Contact: Freesia Lane, Wilderness
  • Tel: 044-877-0433
  • Fax: 0866-843-655
  • Cel: 082-709-1922
  • Email: chef123@mweb.co.za
  • Web: www.serendipitywilderness.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

The Red Barn Restaurant & Country Store

Restaurants

The Red Barn Restaurant & Country Store

Follow the Rheenendal country road 10km west of Knysna and you will discover, cradled among macadamia nut orchards and overlooking a lily-covered dam, The Red Barn Restaurant and Country Store. And what a discovery it is! The diverse menu (gourmet pizzas, tapas, pastas and country fare) changes and grows with the season and includes produce sourced from local farmers. This is the perfect setting for leisurely alfresco dining while the kids play in the rustic farm playground.

  • Prices: Gourmet pizza's R55, full breakfast R40.
  • Contact: Rheenendal Road, Knysna
  • Tel: 082-739-0962
  • Email: info@theredbarn.co.za
  • Web: www.theredbarn.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

Transkaroo Restaurant

Great Brak River

Restaurants

Transkaroo Restaurant

Just off the N2 highway in the old railway station of Great Brak River is this cozy restaurant overlooking the river mouth and ocean. Chef Stefan Jamneck only uses the freshest ingredients and the best cuts of meat. Be sure to try the whole braised lamb's neck... it's a gastronomic feast! Passion for food is key here and there's enough wine to flood a small country.

  • Prices: Average starters R35; mains R85; desserts R35.
  • Contact: 1 Morrison Road, Great Brak River
  • Tel: 044-620-4163
  • Email: transkaroo@vodamail.co.za
  • Updated: 31/01/2010

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About Garden Route

This area is world-famous due to some strong marketing to overseas tourists, but I don't think that all who pass through necessarily enjoy it to the full. This is mainly because the best it has to offer requires some effort from you.

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