Make a meal of it: 5 local getaways for food lovers
Now that we can travel again, it’s time to take to the road for a journey with a difference — to sniff out good food.
From the Karoo to Tshwane, here are five great ideas of where to head for a local food-filled getaway:
1. AFRICAN RELISH
African Relish is a recreational cooking school in the middle of the picturesque town of Prince Albert, in the Western Cape, where you can learn how to prepare (and enjoy) dishes under the guidance of chefs in hands-on classes.
Book one their popular classes like their bread-making course or learn how to make something new from South African produce collected on an extended foodie tour. Stay in one of their luxurious accommodation options and savour all this special town has to offer.
• 34 Church Street, Prince Albert, Western Cape. Call 023 541 1381 or visit africanrelish.com
2. CLEOPATRA MOUNTAIN FARMHOUSE
Far from the madding crowds yet close enough to the majestic Drakensberg mountains, this gorgeous "farmhouse" offers a variety of accommodation and many activities.
The highlight of any visit are the seven-course gourmet dinners prepared by much-lauded chef Richard Poynton, who owns the property together with his wife, Mouse. He’s well-known for making the best of local produce turning every meal into a veritable feast.
Note: Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse will reopen on October 1.
3. RESTAURANT MOSAIC AT THE ORIENT
Driving up to The Orient, you’ll be surprised to discover this boutique hotel is a sprawling Moorish-style castle, complete with turrets set on a vast private estate. It’s home to the award-winning Restaurant Mosaic, where internationally acclaimed chef Chantal Darnall masterfully craft plates of food that are beautiful edible artworks, almost too good to eat.
The service is impeccable, the wine list is the largest in the country and the accommodation is offered in a variety of artistically-decorated suites.
Note: The Orient and Restaurant Mosaic will reopen on September 2. The restaurant will feature a new spring menu titled "Nasturtiums". Both dinner and stay overs are only available on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
• Francolin Ave, Elandsfontin, Pretoria. Call 012 371 2903 or visit restaurantmosaic.com
4. VILLA SAN GIOVANNI HOTEL AND RESTAURANT
OK, so international travel is a no-go, but if you fancy the idea of heading out to the airport to soak up all the buzz without actually leaving the ground, Villa San Giovanni is for you.
One of Pretoria’s oldest Italian eateries, it’s located at Wonderboom National Airport – in fact the runway is right off the restaurant’s terrace. Lap up the sights and sounds as you enjoy a leisurely meal of fine Italian food plus a drink or two before retiring to the accompanying four-star hotel.
• Main Terminal Building, Wonderboom National Airport, Linvelt Road, Doornpoort, Pretoria. Call 012 543 0501 or visit vsghotel.co.za
5. WICKEDFOOD EARTH FARM
For a culinary day out with a difference, head to Wickedfood Earth Farm in the Magalies Valley, where you can enjoy a delicious picnic in the picturesque grounds.
Chef Mike Crewe-Brown and his wife Cilla will provide the feast: a selection of easy-to-eat mezze dishes all made with locally grown seasonal produce and farm-cured meats and packed into a convenient takeaway picnic hamper.
They’ll also supply the sanitised chairs and tables. You add the drinks, glasses and utensils and you're all set to enjoy a leisurely meal while savouring the great outdoors.
Note: Pre-booking is essential. The picnics are available on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.