Our next nominee for the 2015 Boschendal Style Award is Springfontein Eats near Stanford, a rustic yet chic eatery with a warm, laid-back atmosphere. Here’s why Springfontein Eats deserves its nomination.
A strong spring that flows up from limestone layers is what gave this place its name more than 200 years ago. The owners have introduced elements of farm history, farm life and a close relationship with the natural surroundings into all aspects of the Springfontein Eats experience.
Turning off from a dirt road that runs along the Klein River into the estate, you’re greeted by trees and expansive lawns, and the old farmstead that has been converted into the restaurant. It’s like stepping into a friend’s country home.
With the help of Maureen Wolters, a local architect who specialises in heritage buildings, the farmhouse was stripped of any modern aspects, which revealed the beautiful bones of a classic Cape Dutch house.
The cool, subdued interiors are intended to highlight the beauty of the old building. This is done by the use of subtle lighting, muted colours, and a few quirky elements, like a telegraph pole in the middle of a room that marks the boundary line between two farms on which the house was built.
The exposed sandstone walls are offset by warm yellowwood beams, and the clean lines of the tables add an understated modern touch. Tables are simply decorated with natural elements such as plants, herbs or fruit from the farm. The tranquil restaurant also boasts a sun-dappled undercover patio draped in vibrant bougainvillea, a great spot for a long lunch in summer.
Chef Jürgen Schneider, who held a Michelin star at his restaurant outside Heidelberg in Germany, brings the same innovation to his seasonal menu at Springfontein Eats. Using foraged herbs and vegetables and locally sourced fish and meats mixed with molecular gastronomy, Jürgen creates food that is both seasonal and aesthetically exciting. His current signature dish is foraged wild veldkool and chickweed with herbed cream.
Does Springfontein Eats have what it takes to win the 2015 Boschendal Style Award? We’ll find out at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on 15 November. Stay tuned to see our other nominees.