Spier Estate has long held a soft spot in the hearts of South Africans, not only for their iconic wines, but for embodying a sustainable ethos wholeheartedly. Eight, one of the estate’s most-loved restaurants, further practice that farm-to-table concept in their light and airy eatery, with ingredients all coming from the farm’s garden or Farmer Angus, their resident beef-man.
The food on offer here is fuss-free and honest, and the menu is made up of bistro-inspired dishes like soups, hearty salads and roast meats. The garden salad is worth ordering, though it may sound underwhelming, it is anything but – it’s a simple celebration of seasonal veggies and leaves tossed in a delicate dressing. The goat’s cheese souffle is another interesting dish to look out for, as the twice-baked souffle is served with a spiced tomato cream that conjures up nostalgic memories of tomato soup as a child. While certain dishes might change from day-to-day depending on the season, a couple of icons will always be available. The first is their burger, comprised of Angus’ grass-fed beef and bacon, and served with a slaw and hand-cut chips. The overall beefy flavour is outstanding, and a dollop of their homemade ketchup is all this burger needs to reach perfection. Another perennial dish is the chicken and mushroom pie, which is deeply satisfying with a crispy homemade puff pastry top and a creamy, chicken-y filling. The dessert offering is a homely as you’d expect it to be, with apple and ginger pudding and a chocolate fondant making appearances.
By now you know exactly where you are – on Spier wine estate – so the wine list is made up of their wines, which are well-priced and easy-drinking. They also offer a few craft beers from Darling and former neighbours Hoghouse, as well as freshly-squeezed juices.
The front of house nails that balance of attentive, yet not overbearing, and welcoming, while not being too casual. Added to that, their menu knowledge is extensive, which becomes very useful when you’re unsure what to do order.
Spier as a whole has a great vibe, and this only continues in the charming Eight. It’s cosy and relaxed, and really ticks all the boxes for a great afternoon out.
The commanding fireplace is tempting enough to make you wish for chilly weather, so when that time arrives be sure to ask for a table nearest to it.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Spier Wine Farm has immersed itself in sustainability. Eight is a farm-to-table bistro on the wine farm. A glass wall in front of the kitchen has a simple message inscribed on it: “The produce is either grown on the farm or sourced from a nearby farm.” True to their word, the crisp vegetables that accompanied the slow-roasted Farmer Angus pie arrived at the table fresh. The vegetables had the sublime aroma of truffle oil wafting from them, while the pie, the main attraction, stole the show. The slow-roasted pork cheek was served with parmesan-butter maize, caramelised cabbage and prunes, and spinach. There are no starters, but fresh bread is placed on the table to whet the appetite. Dessert is a simple and succulent affair. An orange cheesecake, rich chocolate brownie and flourless chocolate cake are among the options.
The complete Spier selection of wines is available. The Spier tasting room and cellar door is a few hundred metres away, and wines are marked up slightly from cellar-door prices. Guests may request to see the nearby vineyards.
The restaurant’s hosts are kind and accommodating. Several long tables are usually populated by children and families, who seem happy and cosy. The general manager might come to greet you and ask if you're enjoying your meal. .
The restaurant is Instagram heaven. It’s beautifully decorated, from the text on the kitchen window to the artful ceiling made by Heath Nash from recycled plastic bottles – this is a visual masterpiece. Artwork hangs on the wall as another reminder that you are in visual utopia.
The restaurant has a fire, reason enough to book in advance and reserve a table right beside it in winter. Parking is ample on the estate and the walk back to the car allows you to enjoy the sweeping views for a few more minutes.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.