If you’re on your way to or from somewhere on the N2 just outside Bot River, you’d do well to stop off at Gabriëlskloof for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast is a hearty affair offering the usual suspects, plus “eggs Gabriëlskloof” – roosterkoek with bobotie mince, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. There are also omelettes, filled croissants, nutty granola, banana bread French toast and pancakes.
Lunch offers rib-sticking farm-style fare including starters such as koring (wheat) risotto topped with a Parmesan disc and slow-cooked brisket (vegetarians can opt for slow-cooked carrots instead of brisket); salt-and-pepper calamari with charcoal mayonnaise, cauliflower kimchi and pressed cucumber; pea soup; sweet potato-and-linefish croquettes with home-made chakalaka and amasi foam; bone marrow topped with salsa verde; and fried pork and duck rillettes with mustard aïoli, deep-fried capers and mustard seeds.
Mains are generous, so choose your courses wisely. They include the likes of lightly cured west coast hake with mussel, chorizo and prawn paella; a cut of the day (sirloin when we visited) with a mushroom duxelle, confit new potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a jus; pork belly (ask for it crispy if you like) with spring onion mustard mash and a piquant pickled apple-and-fennel salad; Asian-style duck leg with harissa pumpkin purée, pickled beetroot and dukkah. Vegetarians will enjoy spinach-and-feta ravioli with tomato-and-basil sauce.
For dessert, choose between a chocolate fondant with passion fruit curd and ice cream and honeycomb; a gluten-free orange-and-pear cake with Chantilly cream and a pear-and-vanilla compote; milk tart souskluitjies (dumplings) with burnt honey custard; a cheese platter; vanilla ice cream with the estate’s olive oil and salted pistachio praline; or a scoop of home-made ice cream with chocolate or salted caramel sauce.
The estate makes three ranges of superb wine, the entry-level Estate range, the mid-range Reserve collection, and the top-tier Landscape Series. You’re sure to find a bottle (or more) to suit your palate. There are also local and craft beers and on offer, as well as soft drinks and milkshakes and hot beverages.
Friendly but can be slightly slow on busy days.
Warm and cosy inside the farmhouse near the fireplace in winter. In summer, sit outside and enjoy the views over the rolling hills.
Browse around the small deli, which sells the estate’s excellent olive oil, as well as local cheeses, baked goods, sweet treats and décor items.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Lisa van Aswegen
With chef Frans Groenewald in the kitchen and his wife Mariaan keeping a close eye on front of house, this restaurant is a must-visit on any trip down the N2. The focus is on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, which are lovingly transformed into comforting country classics. Breakfasts are hearty and meant to be lingered over: the house-smoked fillet of trout is delicate and delicious, perfectly paired with al dente grilled asparagus and poached eggs. For a local taste, the roosterkoek with bobotie mince, poached eggs and Hollandaise is a new spin. The banana-bread French toast with salted caramel, mascarpone and fresh strawberries is sinful enough to be a dessert, while the granola with thick yoghurt (almost panna cotta) and berry compote is equally yum.
The lunch menu caters well for most tastes, with a strong leaning towards meaty mains. Bonemarrow and oxtail on roosterkoek crostini is a hearty starter, or try the kudu carpaccio for something a bit lighter. Deli items of burgers, salads and platters are wonderful for an unhurried lunch after wine tasting, while free-range duck or marinated pork belly are ideal for Sunday lunch. Dessert sees more nods to local fare with modern twists in the form of melktert tiramisu or souskluitjies jazzed up with almond, meringue and orange preserves.
Freshly pressed juices are a must, while all the Gabriëlskloof wines are available. There's also a handful of neighbouring estate's wines.
Homely, friendly and unhurried – this is country-style service at its best.
It feels like you've stepped into a Tuscan villa – in the best sense of the word. Perched on a hilltop, surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, the restaurant and tasting room are set around a large lawned courtyard with a central pond. Elegant lines, vast verandahs and chunky wooden tables and benches dotted about work wonderfully for an indulgent afternoon. Inside, it's all cosy with more wooden accents and a small deli area to buy a treat or three.
The box of kids’ toys is a welcome treat for families with little ones, and the kids will love running on the lawn.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.