10 of the most glorious outdoor restaurants in the Winelands

In the winelands, dining al fresco is the way to go. With endless views of spectacular orchards, farms and vineyards, these restaurants will ensure you don’t miss the spectacular summer weather.

Bread & Wine (Franschhoek)

The cobbled courtyard, beside the lemon orchard, is a lovely place to be on sunny days. Trees shade most of the tables and a little stream bubbles past, adding to the tranquillity. The charcuterie plates and inventive salads are popular here – have them as a part of the set menus, with two courses for R360 and three courses for R398.

The sunny outdoor dining area at Bread & Wine. Photo supplied.

Bertus Basson at Spice Route (Paarl)

Grab a table under one of the oak trees or sit on a blanket while enjoying the incredible view of the Paarl valley. Try Tannie Hetta’s apple tart with custard and ice cream as part of the set menus: two courses for R195 or three courses for R295. The shared family lunch on Sundays goes for R310 per person. You could also opt for the ‘Pak-’n-Mandjie’ section and grab whatever eats you’re in the mood for, from flavoured popcorn to artisanal meats and delicious baked goods. Get a bottle of wine and relax out on the grass with the fantastic view.

Bertus Basson at Spice Route. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)

Set deep in the enormous Vergelegen estate with its historic rose gardens and Camphor forests, this Top 10 restaurant opens onto a lawn where peacocks parade. Camphors offers a choice of two hyper-seasonal menus: the spring harvest menu (R395 for three courses or R450 for four) and the Tour Menu, with multiple courses that highlight the features of the estate (R650 or R900 with Vergelegen wines). The restaurant also takes care never to over-book, so should the weather change, you’ll be offered a table in the plush interior.

An outside table setting overlooking the gardens at Camphors at Vergelegen. Photo supplied.

The Deck at Hidden Valley (Stellenbosch)

The views at this uncomplicated restaurant are second to none. Serving just two dishes (chips with a burger or delicious hake) and a tiny range of unfussy wines, this is the spot to relax with a meal in the sunshine. With only outside seating, the restaurant’s hours are weather dependent, so make sure to call ahead if you’re unsure if they’ll be open. Also make sure to go early – it fills up fast.

The Deck at Hidden Valley. Photo by Claire Gunn Photography.

Delaire Graff Estate Restaurant (Banhoek Valley)

The menu at this picturesque restaurant changes seasonally, but you can expect bistro-chic cuisine with a spectacular outdoor area. Fairy lights add a whimsical air to the outdoor terrace at night.

Dinner under the stars at Delaire Graff Restaurant. Photo supplied.

The exterior seating at FABER. Photo supplied.

FABER (Paarl)

Sit outside and enjoy fantastic views of Paarl at this fine-dining favourite, a nominee for the Top 10 in 2017. Enjoy a two- or three-course menu for R295 or R395 respectively out in the sunshine. Alternatively, go for the six-course chef’s menu for R525. And, on Fridays between 4pm and 7pm, you can take advantage of award-winning wines and sharing plates prepared by chef Eric Bulpitt and his team. Farm activities will keep little ones entertained after they’ve eaten off the kids’ menu, whilst parents relax with sundowners.

Greenhouse at Babylonstoren (Franschhoek)

This casual café is inspired by what’s in the garden every morning – these are the ingredients that will make up your meals. In pleasant weather, order anything off the picnic-style menu to enjoy under the trees. Options include beautifully plated pot pies, scones, soups and desserts served in jars. Wash it all down with cordials, teas, craft beer, coffee and Babylonstoren wines.

Seats outside the conservatory are worth it. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch)

George Jardine’s glorious wine estate restaurant, ranked number 14 in the country 2017, boasts views of a dam, distant mountains and vineyards. Weather permitting, find a seat at one of the 13 tables beneath umbrellas on the veranda. There’s a lawn for kids to run around on and fabulous fine-dining food to be had. The tasting menu changes daily, but dishes to look out for include mussels en papillote with lemongrass, coconut milk, chilli, lime, ginger and garlic, and a honey-and-poppy-seed soufflé. The Bakery at Jordan is a more casual option, with the same stellar views.

Jordan patio

The outside seating at Jordan Restaurant. Photo by Jan Ras.

The Table at De Meye (Stellenbosch)

Here guests are seated outside beside the stunning vineyard – if the weather permits. Book ahead to secure a table beneath an oak tree and enjoy the country-style three-course set menu for R325. Look out for the popular beetroot tarte tartin with home-made crème fraîche and a baby leaf salad, often included in the weekly changing seasonal set menu as a starter or side.

the picnic area outside at The Table at De Meye

A beautiful alfresco setting at Table at De Meye. Photo supplied.

Terroir (Stellenbosch)

The terrace overlooks the golf course and surrounding vineyards, and serene tables are shielded by umbrellas. The blackboard menu changes often, but chef Michael Broughton is known for his pork-belly dishes and his prawn risotto with a sauce Américaine, the latter best paired with a chilled Klein Zalze chenin blanc as the sun shines down on your back.

The courtyard at Terroir. Photo supplied.

The courtyard at Terroir. Photo supplied.

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