There’s something special about Stables restaurant at Vergelegen Estate. Perhaps it’s the friendly welcome from the staff, the wonderful play area for kids, or the magnificent setting among the Hottentots Holland mountain range. Or, perhaps it’s the perfect combination of it all that truly sets them apart. Let me tell you a bit about our visit and you’ll see what I mean.
My family and I recently visited the bistro-style restaurant and despite it being super busy, we all enjoyed a very relaxed dining experience. The staff were warm and attentive and paid special attention to our little one – which immediately put me at ease. It’s as if they truly embrace the joy and energy of young children, which made us all feel right at home. I think with their child-friendly amenities, especially the beautifully designed playground area, they are used to having happy, laughing kids around.
The restaurant itself has a modern feel to it, gorgeously decorated with a diverse collection of local artists’ works. However, besides the interesting interior, it’s harder to resist the inspiration that can be drawn from the breath-taking views of the surrounding Hottentots Holland mountains. Of course, their award-winning wines also help to add something special to the ambience. Surrounded by all things picturesque, we had no trouble sitting back and indulging in their contemporary and varied menu that has simple, yet beautifully plated dishes on offer. The available baby chairs and VIP kiddies menu also didn’t disappoint.
Besides the bistro itself, the highlight of the day was discovering the cleverly designed and well-maintained playground. Although the playground isn’t visible from the restaurant (you have to walk about 50m to get there) you can easily keep an eye if you choose to sit under the trees or pergola right next to it. This would also be the perfect spot for a picnic if you prefer to spend some time outside with the family (something we’re definitely doing next time).
The kids also had ample space to run around and play and there are quite a few streams for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. Remember to take a change of clothes for the little ones, should they get wet. There’s also a fishpond right in front of the restaurant, which adds great entertainment value for the little ones. Here, parents can easily keep an eye on them from the restaurant, too.
Overall, we found Stables to be a relaxed, family-friendly spot where we all could have a lovely experience. Think French countryside with beautiful gardens, a lavender maze and impressive mountains. What more could one possibly need?
Stamp of Approval
- Safe: The ponds in front of the restaurant could be a worry to some parents, since the area isn’t really secure and adult supervision is required. However, the layout of the restaurant allows you to easily keep an eye from the outside terrace. I would recommend booking outside in summer anyway, then it’s easier to be on the lookout.
- Sustainable: In March 2005, Vergelegen was awarded Champion status by the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI). The first wine producer to receive this impressive accolade, they’ve made remarkable progress with a large-scale alien clearing and fire management programme to restore 2240 hectares of their 3000-hectare estate, with the aim to become a pristine example of the Cape’s natural flora and fauna. Seen as the biggest private project of its kind in South Africa, their 10-year alien clearing programme aims to combat invasive plants and nurture the natural vegetation, wetlands, birds and animals in the area. Plus, 140 hectares of their land is Renosterveld, of which only 4% is left in South Africa due to unsustainable farming practices. *The BWI’s mandate is not only to protect the natural habitat of the Cape Floral Kingdom, but it also encourages wine producers to farm sustainably and express the advantages of the Cape’s abundant diversity in their wines.
- Socially responsible: Vergelegen Estate invests in the future through sustainable farming and land rehabilitation. In addition to their alien clearing programme, they also focus on worker training, local job creation, scientific research and learner education as part of the ambitious project.
- Soulful: In addition to the extensive gardens, Vergelegen is home to many significant trees, giving the farm a lovely, ethereal feeling. The staff at the restaurant are also very friendly toward the children and were eager to help.
Nice to know:
- Vergelegen has been nominated as a World Heritage Site and the estate reflects an authentic depiction of the Cape Cultural Heritage. The farm boasts 17 formal gardens that seamlessly form part of the Cape Cultural experience.