Wow. What an incredible place and a faultless dining experience.
Let’s start with the estate itself, seeing as how it’s the first thing you experience. I got a little edgy on arrival when they levied a nominal entrance fee of R10 per adult, but then we parked inside. OMG – it’s like it’s own Botanical Gardens in Somerset West. We took a. Little walk through the Yellow Wood trail, and took in the Camelias and the Clivias. This alone was worth the ten bucks. Plus we got to get a couple of steps in before 1pm when we circled back to the restaurant.
There are three restaurants on the estate. I picked Cafe Fleur because of the great reviews I read on the Cape Town Restaurants group. I’m a foodie, and a wine-ie, and there’s no real cure. I find a restaurant that has great pics, great reviews and it’s located in Cape Town and I’m there. Put that on a wine farm like Vergeleggen and I’m there double.
The restaurant is faultless. I could stop there. Perfection. From the restrooms that make you feel like you’re in a nine star hotel to the staff, and the hidden gem, Christo the Somelier. There were 5 of us in our party, and most of us ordered different dishes from their limited menu. Let me go back – there’s a limited menu with a couple of starters, mains and desserts, but let me tell you every one is to die for. My wife said her starter was the best French Onion soup she’s ever had and mine was the best cheese and herb soufflé I’ve ever had. For mains I had the Duck a la Orange (of course I had to, it’s the iconic dish that defines a French restaurant), my wife had the Oxtail, my daughter had the lamb rack and her husband had the beef. Each one was perfection. I think it was the best duck I’ve ever had. The skin was crispy, and the sauce was not too sweet. It was absolutely delicious.
Service was on point, we didn’t wait at all unless one of us was taking a smoke break in which case the staff waited for us. Everything was truly faultless.
Christo the Somelier happened to pass by our table and engage us in conversation and he got on to the topic of wines, and we had the most entertaining and informative session I’ve ever had with someone who knows their wines. He’s brilliant. Christo selected the wines for our mains, and he was bang on. A glass of Chardonnay for me to go with the duck, and the Shiraz for everyone else having the beef, lamb and oxtail. They were all a prefect accompaniment.
Then for dessert, we tried two of the four desserts – the chocolate dessert out of this world. Again, everything we ordered was perfect, flawless, moreish. You get the picture.
If you get the opportunity, visit Cafe Fleur while it’s open. It’s a popup, and may not be in it’s current form for ever.
The gardens are beautiful. The wine tasting room is great. Definitely up there with my favorite wine estates in the Cape.