I’m not a foodie. What I am is a very privileged girl. One who gets to track gorillas, do overland safaris, stay in beautiful reserves, camp next to remote rivers and then write about it; counting my lucky stars and feeling ever grateful as I go. Yet an invitation to South Hill uncovered new things for me, in an area that I don’t know very well, one with a generous natural beauty and a welcome warmth. I could tell right away that dreams live here.
We were at The Gallery Restaurant for lunch and as I looked at the menu, at the lovingly sourced ingredients and extraordinary setting, I said to my friend and lunch partner Hein – ‘I’m excited! This menu excites me! Not because I’m a foodie but because I love and appreciate original things, original thought, passion in people – and I’ve always had a thing for a cool looking chefs’.
Situated just on an hour outside Cape Town off the N2 and down a dirt road, through the gates that hold their wine label, is the beautiful tasting room and restaurantof South Hill Vineyards, home to Kevin and Sandy King.
The Gallery Restaurant is where Chef Damian Dearlove serves his delicious bistro-style food, a converted barn with impressive old Indian doors to decorate each end, as well as the divide between the tasting and dining rooms. Currently showcasing an impressive collection of South African Art worthy of collectors, I found myself getting up from the table to take a closer look at the collection of sculptures and paintings on display throughout the meal.
We were taken though the range of South Hill and Kevin King wines, with the Rose and Blanc de Blanc Methode Cap Classique 2008 making a particular impression. I could’t resist bringing some home.
From a menu that offered a wonderful selection of locally sourced produce, I selected the vegetarian options. The sweet corn, ginger and saffron soup with croutons, followed by the roast pumpkin and rosemary risotto, both wonderful.
Hein had the pan fried salt hake and spring onion fishcake, swiss chard, tomato beure blanc and a poached egg. It looked amazing!
This was followed by dessert which Chef put together for us. It was simply too difficult to make a decision. His selection included the apple tarte with a ginger anglaise – after all we were in apple country … And the charamelised pineapple chardonnay syrup and tropical fruit sorbet, which blew my mind. I only recently fell for pineapple and this is one of the most inspired desserts I’ve enjoyed.
All this whilst sipping on their fine bubbly and chatting to one of my dearest friends made for a perfect afternoon. The art of the long leisurely luncheon truly perfected.
Here a group of passionate people had dared to dream, giving us the opportunity to come out and benefit from that dream.
There were a few art pieces I wished I could have.
Owner and own label wine maker Kevin King.
After lunch we took a look at the South Hill Guesthouse knowing we’d like to spend a few days here. It certainly is a magical part of the Western Cape that I’m much looking forward to getting to know better.
I strongly recommending that you take the drive out and enjoy an inspired meal at South Hill, followed by a linger on the couch outside overlooking the vineyard vistas.
It is true what they say, all the best things are at the end of a long dirt road, and I am very excited to know about this one!
Thank you Coenie Visser for arranging the lunch and to Kevin King for taking such good care of us whilst we were there.
Restaurant hours are Wednesday to Sunday between 12h00 and 15h00, you can call ahead at all 021 844 0033 to reserve your table. This is also the perfect venue for a wedding, do contact them for info if you’re looking to seal your love in a special place.