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New Year To-do: Norval Foundation

New Year to-do: Norval Foundation

There’s simply no better way to take advantage of the fantastic Cape Town weather than treating your family to a day out at the Norval Foundation Museum and Sculpture Garden.

We decided to visit the Skotnes Restaurant, the culinary leg of the foundation, with some friends recently. The restaurant and bar, named after legendary South African artist and teacher, Cecil Skotnes, overlooks the serene wetland and innovative Sculpture Garden and really lends itself to a memorable day out. One can easily lose track of time here – so much so that our lunch almost turned into dinner.

Together, we celebrated the gift of life and friendship, taking in the stunning location, which is a true feast for the eyes as the Skotnes seamlessly weaves together the magnificence of nature and architecture. The menu was another highlight on the day as it pays homage to classical South African cuisine, with a modern twist. Using traditional flavours and distilling ingredients to their simplest possible presentation – it makes for incredibly unique dishes. We also had the pleasure of meeting the founder of the Foundation, Louis Norval, and executive director, Elana Brundyn, at the restaurant. How amazing to have them share their vision and passion of the Foundation with us. 

After lunch, we enjoyed a leisurely walk with the kids and introduced them to a world enriched with art and culture. Together we learnt about local art, the artists and even the plants that grow in the sculpture garden. There are nine gallery spaces to explore and while the kids were enthralled by all the hidden treasures, the rest of us could simply enjoy the fresh summer breeze outside.

There is nothing that beats a day spent outside, filled with laughter and love, surrounded by the wonderful feeling of a collaborative effort to celebrate and protect culture in and from Africa. The Foundation is truly a centre for unique and innovative art and plays an important role in educating all visitors in South African art and culture. It’s definitely a spot that is worth a visit.

TSM Stamp of Approval:

  • Sustainable: At the helm of the Skotnes is Executive Chef, Phil de Villiers. His approach summarises why we adore his restaurant: “we have always strived to create food that responds to its environment and works closely with our small-batch farmers and suppliers. Whether its fresh fish from nearby Kalk Bay, or freshly foraged herbs and aromatics from our coastal shores.”
  • Safe: The Foundation is an institution that prides itself in putting children first in an environment that fosters an appreciation for art. Free play is encouraged and children can explore in a relaxed setting that is close to nature, while parents enjoy delicious food overlooking the sculpture garden (make your booking for the terrace if you want to keep a watchful eye on the children while they are outside).
  • Socially responsible: All ingredients are sourced from local, small-batch suppliers, with the intention of supporting and uplifting local communities.
  • Soulful: There is a tangible feeling of “ubuntu” when you arrive at the Norval Foundation. The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly and take immense pride in what they do, whether it is selling a ticket, serving a dish or showing the little ones around.

Nice to know:

  • By supporting the Norval Foundation, they are able to grow, diversify and establish themselves as a new centre for the research and exhibition of 20th and 21st century artworks, as well as become a platform for music and cultural expression.
  • Just six months after opening in April 2018, The Skotnes Restaurant was voted one of Eat Out’s Best Everyday Eateries in the Western Cape for 2018.
  • There are wonderful child-friendly events that take place at the Foundation, take a look at our calendar for more information on their kids holiday programme, here.

Note: With a unique spot like this, expect a high volume of bookings and visitors during the holiday season. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

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