Restaurant design: how Vrymansfontein reimagines the winelands destination


From Vondeling wines comes Vrymansfontein – a new design-led wine and dining destination located on a 330-year-old almond farm at the foot of Paarl Mountain.

Originally planned as just a wine-tasting facility for the Vondeling wine brand, Vrymansfontein has evolved over three years into a magnificent lifestyle and dining destination created for discerning food and wine lovers.

Owner Max Ward, together with architect Rick Stander and hospitality interiors specialists Source IBA, has crafted a contemporary destination unique to the region.

The impressive interiors at SCAPE are informed by its setting – natural tones inspired by the surrounding farmland are punctuated with deep blues, evoking the granite of Paarl Rock situated behind Vrymansfontein itself. The restaurant’s large timber deck shaded by coral and pin oak trees with klompie bricks underfoot, pays homage to the heritage and character of the farm. The oversized cork hanging pendants, which were custom-made by Laurie Wiid, are a reference to Vondeling’s wine heritage and speak to the importance of local artisans in the creation of the space.


The Paarl region has long inspired iconic landscapes by some of South Africa’s most loved artists, and in keeping with this rich history, Vrymansfontein sought the viewpoint of local fine artist and landscape pundit Rose Williams. The walls at Vrymansfontein feature seven of her commissioned pieces and explore views of and from the three farms that together make up Vondeling’s footprint in the area.


Visitors to Vrymansfontein have multiple dining options: a stunning indoor restaurant with a glass front, two outdoor dining areas, plus a custom wine-tasting facility. There is a sophisticated Mediterranean-inspired shared plates dining menu by Chef Kevin Grobler at SCAPE, an easygoing Levantine small-plates and food-from-the-fire offering at The Tree Bar.


This article first appeared in VISI.

Images: Sean Gibson

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