A fresh movement of farm-to-table eating is blowing through the Langeberg Valley and making the R60 between Swellendam and Ashton the sweetest road trip track for foodies. This, thanks to the new Greenlands Farm Table restaurant shed and winery.
When the world was turned upside down, Greenlands Farm owners Sara Webster and Glen James did the only thing that made sense at the time: they built a huge shed. They had their backs against the wall. Freshly repositioned from the big City of Gold, they needed to overcome an unprecedented drought and global pandemic all in one go. The challenges were of Biblical proportions, but so was the solution. And, as it turns out, a modern ark was just what the Langeberg Meander needed.
Greenlands Farm Table opened in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic on 4 December 2020. From the get-go, the establishment was focused on being locally loyal and highlighting the bounty of the region through a unique food experience.
“Before opening, we went out and met the farmers, the vegetable patch growers and the winemakers, and decided that there was an opportunity to serve only what was available in our valley – fresh from the farm to the table,” Sara says. “We had such fun collecting all the ingredients, designing dishes, and understanding how our offering of ‘nutritious abundance’ would set us apart from all the other fine restaurants in our area. What was really amazing is how many kind people in our community came around to give us advice and help.”
In turn, Sara and Glen have retrained the staff on the farm for the hospitality industry. They also employ an exclusively local workforce and the Greenlands Farm business directly contributes towards boosting the local economy.
When you swing off the R60 at the Greenlands turnoff, expect a small menu that celebrates the season. “We didn’t want our menu to simply be a long list of every dish imaginable, but rather a showcase of the very best from our valley. All our meals are served mezze style with lots of different tastes, textures and delights,” Sara says.
The Mediterranean platter is a favourite share-style spread with freshly made spanakopita, roasted paprika peppers with feta, Middle Eastern flatbread, hummus, tzatziki, roasted spicy nuts and grilled halloumi. It’s a hit with vegetarian diners who applaud Greenlands Farm Table for its innovative and flavourful plant-based options. For meat lovers, the Asian duck platter is a hit, featuring locally reared free-range Chinese five-spice duck, mandarin pancakes, egg fried rice, Asian salad and pickled ginger. For dessert, there’s a selection of 25 Kilima ice cream flavours including fresh apricot with rooibos, gorgonzola and honey, parmesan, and grenache and raspberry to name a few. “We also make our Catwalk Gin with botanicals from the valley,” Sara says.
Paired with a curated selection of fine wines grown in the Langeberg, and locally made deli options like cheeses, biltong and dried fruit, Greenlands Farm Table offers a delicious window into the region.
“At the end of the day, we want our guests to come out into the country, relax with a fine glass of wine, and eat what is grown right in front of them prepared in a simple abundant way,” Sara says.
The farm-to-table restaurant is open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am and doubles as a local curio shop, winery and distillery all under one shed roof. Views of the Langeberg vineyards, finally lush again after a seven-year drought, round off the offering and make it a must-stop for passers-by. Greenlands Farm also offers overnight farmhouse accommodation on the premises, which is ideal for stopovers or as a destination getaway with family or friends.
“We have just celebrated our first year, and while life is nowhere near normal, we are very grateful for the support we have received this year from the locals,” Sara says. “Everybody loves our Greenlands Farm Table experience and many of our patrons have already become regular supporters and dear friends.” Bookings are highly recommended – phone Sara at 082 888 9689.
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