Housed on the idyllic De Meye wine farm, The Table is easily one of the most unassuming spots to head out to for lunch. Yet, this farm-to-table restaurant, run by Jess Shepherd and her husband Luke Grant, delivers every single time.
Where most restaurants are capitalising on the farm-to-table movement by using the odd organic vegetable and secondary cut of meat, these guys are the very embodiment of it. Their veggies and herbs come from their own abundant garden, while every other ingredient comes from a nearby neighbour, such as meat from Ryan Boon or supplementary veggies from Boschendal. It’s because of this reliance on the season and the gardens that Jess’s menu changes weekly. You never really know what you’re going to get, which is part of the appeal, but for those who like a heads up, her dishes could include twice-baked cheese souffles with a perfectly-dressed garden salad or a tomato tart with Jess’s famous homemade pastry. For mains, look forward to something meaty and slow-cooked, like lamb shoulder or beef shin, with a potato bake or something equally deliciously carby alongside it. Not that anyone needs convincing, but Jess’s world class skills become most apparent when it’s time for dessert – which could be a just jiggly-enough panna cotta or a plum and frangipane tart. Everything comes sharing-style, except for desserts, which is probably a good thing as those could cause irreparable friendship rifts.
As you’re on the De Meye farm, their wines are the only ones available and are perfectly quaffable – particularly the Trutina, a red blend. On the bubbly side, there are a select choice of local MCCs, as well as a number of local craft beers. For designated drivers, there’s a choice of cordials – either lemon or sweet geranium and rose.
Nothing about The Table is stuffy or uptight, and the service echoes this – the front of house team is equal parts professional and efficient and laid-back. Lunch is expedited by Luke, who serves each course and meticulously explains where each and every component on the plate comes from, as part of their commitment to provenance.
When you’re seated outside, under the expansive trees, there’s arguably no better place to spend a lazy lunch than at The Table. Whether you’re after a romantic day for two, somewhere to let the kids (and dogs) run wild or have a celebration of any kind, this is the place to be. After lunch in summer you’re encouraged to spread out on the provided blankets and bask in the afternoon sun. During winter, you can look forward to a cosy spot next to the fireplace. Either way, you’ll arrive as a customer, but leave feeling like family.
Lazy winelands lunches with the whole family.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Comforting country fare has become the hallmark of this much-loved winelands restaurant where chef Jessica Shepherd, together with husband Luke Grant, has created an idyllic farm-dining destination. Each week Shepherd conjures up a three-course set-menu of seasonally inspired dishes, served family-style. Depending on the season, and what’s fresh out of the couple’s extensive kitchen gardens, the menu could begin with savoury tomato tart, baby leaf salad and wood-fired sourdough, before moving on to slow-roasted flat-rib of grass-fed beef. On the side, platters arrive piled with potato dauphinoise, baked quince, roasted aubergines or garden salad to keep hungry diners happy.
While there’s certainly no rush, dessert can never come quickly enough here. Shepherd’s a dab hand in the pastry section, and the likes of chocolate pavé or citrus cake present a perfect end to the meal. Advance bookings are highly recommended.
A small list focused on the accessible well-priced wines of De Meye, with a handful of craft beers and ciders.
Befitting the laid-back venue the service is relaxed, yet friendly and attentive.
The Table is idyllic in summer when tables are set on shaded lawns beneath the oak trees, while winter offers the cosiness of rustic farm dining rooms and the cheer of a wood-burning stove.
Although it’s a set menu, with advance notice chef Jessica is happy to cater for most dietary requirements.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.