The Clubhouse at Claremont Cricket Club is perfect for sporty kids, but is it as good for grown-ups? Cathy Marston goes to investigate.
This family-friendly eatery has much to recommend it, not least the generous portions of reasonably priced food that’s perfect for hungry kids and parents. The homemade chicken and leek pie with a creamy sauce and succulent pieces of chicken breast is labelled a light meal, but it’s definitely on the hearty side, whilst the rectangular pizzas, covered with toppings (try the mushroom, salami and rocket version), could easily feed two people. If that wasn’t enough, The Clubhouse runs regular specials, such as kids eating for free until 7pm, which fills the tables with small people playing on their iPads whilst the parents enjoy a night off from cooking. The star of the dessert menu is the deep-fried banana stuffed with chocolate and sprinkled with nuts, but if that’s too rich for little tummies, the chocolate ice creams will put them in a good mood.
Both the wine list and the choice of beers could do with a bit of an upgrade. (Constantia is the perfect territory for selling craft beers.) The wines are written on a blackboard and cover most bases with usual-suspect wines featuring prominently. It concentrates on the popular lines – sauvignon and merlot – but the prices are fair (R100 to R200 a bottle) and there are also a few options available by the glass.
The staff are friendly and willing – both very important qualities in a family-dining atmosphere – although on busy evenings a couple of extra hands on the floor would be welcome.
Location is one of the most important success factors for a restaurant, and The Clubhouse has got it in spades. Surrounded by cricket pitches, which are used for impromptu games of anything from cricket and rugby to football, this spot is perfect for channelling your kids’ energy and ensuring they have a good night’s sleep afterwards. The sunny stoep on the side can be windy in summer, but it’s nice to sit outside and feel as if you’re in the country, not the middle of bustling suburbia. In winter, a cosy fireplace, an efficient heating system and comfy couches make it an attractive alternative to staying home.
The Clubhouse provides a great family eating experience, but it’s just as good for grown-ups wanting to while away a long afternoon, snuggling up with a loved one, a bottle of wine, a plate of tasty food and the rugby on TV.