Even on winter’s day, driving through the gates of Simonsig Estate in Stellenbosch is an experience. Tall trees line the pathway that leads you past their 210 hectares of vineyards and towards their Cuvee Restaurant on the right.
Making my way past barrels of some of their most popular offerings such as Kaapse Vonkel, South Africa’s first Methode Cap Classique and a quiet courtyard in the sun, the glass doors slide open inviting you into the trendy, chic Cape Dutch restaurant and tasting room.
It is the perfect combination of old treasures and tradition with chic and modern design. An old painting of the Simonsig mountains hangs on the back wall, but my immediately went to the silver globes hanging over some of their top wines on the table. The painting alludes to the meaning of the name of Simonsig, meaning to see or view the Simonsig Mountains.
Once ushered inside, we were seated right beside the roaring fire with a basket of wood right beside it. Cleverly this fire place lays dead centre of the restaurant heating the room up nicely for winter. The same trendy, silver balls were suspended above the bar with a wealth of wines racked up behind it. I loved everything about the interior from the dark couches and tables to the yellow spikes of leather at the backs of chairs and the black and white artwork depicting some of our nation’s wildlife.
Because I’m not really a wine drinker, I stuck with their popular Cuvee Royale bubbly. In winter we all search for comfort food and while these gourmet offerings on the Chef’s gastronomic menu are not really comfort foods, they are overtly delicious and will leave you full and happy.
Starting off with a carrot risotto laying in a white chocolate and blue cheese sauce, I felt like I could die happy thereafter. I didn’t want it to end, but when it did. Something even better arrived. My main meal was a perfectly done fillet atop a pastry rectangle. I don’t believe there is anything I’ve eaten beside the fire which tastes this good. Dessert was a rich, chocolate danger which left me so full I was unable to even sip my cappuccino.
The oak leaves blew in the wind outside, but inside we were cosy and shedding layers. If there’s one place I would venture out in the cold for, it’s Simonsig.
Address: Kromme Rhee Road between the R44 and the R304, Cape Winelands, Western Cape
Telephone: +27 (0)21 888-4900
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 17h00.
Saturday & Public Holidays from 08h30 to 16h00.
Overnight: Accommodation in Stellenbosch