Fine Dining in the Sky: Lunch at Waterkloof

“As lovers of good things food and wine, we decided to go for lunch and see for ourselves what people were getting hot under the collar about.”

“As lovers of good things food and wine, we decided to go for lunch and see for ourselves what people were getting hot under the collar about.”

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The winelands of the Western Cape are becoming increasingly famous for their gastronomic excellence and numerous wine farms can now boast having world class restaurants on site in this beautiful part of the world.

And arguably the most spectacular of them all has recently opened at the Waterkloof Wine Estate, situated on the edge of the Stellenbosch wine route. As lovers of good things food and wine, we decided to go for lunch and see for ourselves what people were getting hot under the collar about.

The Waterkloof Estate is actually closer to Somerset West than Stellenbosch about a 40 minute drive down the N2 highway from Cape Town. The directions say the winery is atop the Schapenberg Mountain, 300 meters above sea level and the highest point around. As we pulled into the entrance it was immediately obvious that this was something different. High above us was what looked like a massive glass and concrete box, perched precariously on the hillside and as we wound our way up the steep ravine and through the vineyards it continued to look as though it might at any point fall away from its perch and come tumbling towards us.

As we reached the summit, spectacular was certainly the word that came to my mind and we hadn’t even got out of the car yet. The views back down the valley, through the vineyards and out to the ocean and the expanse of False Bay was worth the drive itself. On the far right you could see Table Mountain and the full length of the mountains leading down to the tip of Cape Point in the far distance across the bay. Up close the winery and restaurant building was even more impressive, a real feat of architecture. The inside was also impressive, open plan and minimalistic, with the restaurant on two levels built around the very modern and very much working winery.

A quick glass of Waterkloof’s premium and excellent Sauvignon Blanc whilst we toured the winery with the winemaker and then it was ready for the main event; lunch! With a new Michelin chef running the kitchen our expectations were high and they were met every step of the way. Very imaginative and full of flavour, supported by good service and attention to detail it was well worth the drive.

So if you like great innovation, design, food and wine (not necessarily in that order) then Waterkloof should be on the list of locals and visitors alike, especially on a day when the skies are clear and the sun shining. I’m not sure though that I would like to be sat in that building when the raging Cape storms come passing through.