Fine dining and impeccable service aren’t words you’d normally associate with a family-friendly restaurant. But then Stables at Vergelegen is no run-of-the-mill restaurant. This historic Somerset West estate has undergone a recent makeover, broadening its offerings to appeal to more than just local gardening clubs and lovers of haute cuisine (although the award-winning Camphors restaurant caters superbly for the latter).
Stables is the fresh new face of Vergelegen, a boon to parents who aren’t prepared to settle for stodgy fish fingers in an uninspired setting for the sake of keeping the kids happy. Here, guests are welcomed into the airy, contemporary interiors, a seamless blend of Scandi-chic and farmhouse classic with the work of local artists adorning the walls and an impressive driftwood horse sculpture taking centre place. But there’s nothing precious about the space, so you won’t be spending your lunchtime trying to keep prying fingers away from pricey breakables.
Chances are good you won’t even see much of the kids – there’s a Rolls-Royce of jungle gyms to keep them entertained, while older children can join in a game of cricket on the ample lawns or explore the myriad garden pathways. A long, shallow water feature in the central courtyard reflects the Hottentots-Holland mountains as well as providing a splash zone for hot summer days.
Nab an outdoor table so you can soak in the sunshine (while keeping a watchful eye on the kids) and peruse the excellent wine list, with a number of wines available by the glass. The bistro-style lunch menu offers tasty, uncomplicated fare, from hearty slow-roast lamb (you’ll want to return for this alone!) to lighter salads and gourmet pizzas. The ‘Little VIPs’ menu has something for all tastes too. Service is attentive yet unobtrusive, making for a relaxed overall experience. In fact, the only problem you might encounter is calling the kids back to the table to eat…
Where Vergelegen Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Trading hours Open daily from 9:30 am – 5 pm (kitchen closes at 3:30 pm)
Cost Average price for mains is around R115
Contact +27 21 847 1346, www.vergelegen.co.za
For more kid-friendly lunch spots in Cape Town, go here.
Photography Jill Kayton