The simple pleasures of life – space, sunshine, braai meat and family. If there’s ever a time to appreciate this, it is now. After months of isolation, we finally made our way into open space for a leisurely lunch at Middelvlei Wine Farm in the heart of Stellenbosch with the kids and puppy in tow.
Big smiles hidden by face masks, and a lanky dog named Merlot, welcomed us moments after we arrived. A table in the sunshine on a cold wintery Cape day is where we were seated. They have social-distancing down to an art at the restaurant. With wide open space on plush green lawns outdoors and a large dining room with a warm fireplace indoors, you are safe in your own space. Immaculate views of the Bottelary Hills and the upper reaches of the Devon Valley surround you. The blue skies are never-ending and even though the wind is being a nuisance, being outside these days is something to truly appreciate.
The kids revelled in being outdoors again and our puppy chased them around the open fields languishingly in the sunshine.
The charm of the restaurant lies in the Dutch-style farmhouse which features a traditional braai menu. There are also inclusions for vegans and vegetarians, if that is what you prefer. I would braai every day of the week if I could, there is no such thing as too much braai vleis in my books.
Their resident expert prepares your chops, boerewors and chicken kebabs to perfection, as you sit back and relax. The smell of freshly-baked homemade potbrood fills the air before the waiter even gets to your table. Lather on a thick spread of butter or homemade snoek paté and enjoy, but don’t forget to leave space for mains.
Braaibroodjies accompany the braai vleis, alongside a creamy potato salad, a garden salad and incredibly light and fluffy pumpkin fritters. The meat was prepared to perfection and not overly spiced. The juices and a pinch of salt are sufficient flavouring. The meal was wolfed down and every last morsel enjoyed.
There is a strong sense of family on the farm, it has been owned and run by the Momberg family since 1919. Generations have worked tirelessly to create a space that feels like home no matter who you are and that is rare in the Cape.
What would a braai in winter be without malva pudding for dessert? Confusing is the answer. It rounded off the meal beautifully.
At a cost of R265 per person your braai experience includes a starter and main course and is available to enjoy on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 12pm and 3pm. A low carb and vegetarian option are also available.
As Middelvlei is first and foremost a family owned establishment, the team strive to cater for all ages, and as such welcome visitors of all ages. There are farm animals to keep kids busy and wide open spaces for bikes or balls. The special kiddie’s meal costs R65 per child.
It is hard to find somewhere where you feel protected by everything going on in this world, which makes Middelvlei extra special – for a few hours on that warm Sunday everything seemed normal again. The kids ran around free, the adults got to breathe a little easier and someone else got to wash the dishes for a change.
To ensure a truly memorable experience pre-booking is advised. For groups of 10 or more Middelvlei’s cosy barn is perfect, and available at no extra charge. Contact the farm on 021 883 2565, email [email protected] or visit www.middelvlei.co.za for bookings or more information.
Pictures: Nidha Narrandes