The Breede River Valley isn’t usually a spot one would stop for a bite to eat. If you’re heading out of Cape Town, the obvious pitstop would be Worcester but take a left off the R43 towards Ceres and stop in this picturesque valley at BOSJES Farm.
Here, set on a 1 000-hectare family-owned protea and fruit farm, you’ll find BOSJES Kombuis (Afrikaans for kitchen). A contemporary space, epitomised by light and modern lines, this countryside restaurant is spearheaded by Executive Chef Kim Cox with well-known South African Chef Pete Goffe-Wood playing a consultant role, and offers a menu of simple, modern dishes served with locally produced wines or fresh fruit juice.
Inside, floor to ceiling glass and skylights let in the natural light and views of the incredible vista. To complement – but in no way overpower the natural beauty of the farm – interior decorator Liam Mooney opted for custom-made timber furniture, Lee Broom-designed chandeliers and mature trees in enormous pots.
This simplicity is further emphasised by the dishes on offer. Old favourites with a twist, such as pan-fried seabass fishcakes with creamy mash potatoes, wilted greens and mussel veloute or a grass-fed beef burger topped with camembert, caramelised onion and bacon, showcase the unfussy artisanal food revered by the BOSJES family.
Chef Kim’s philosophy of supporting ethical farming, pasture-reared animals, organically grown vegetables and SASSI green-listed seafood, even makes its way on to the kids and dessert menus. BBQ chicken drumsticks, homemade cheeseburgers with fries and fish goujons will keep little ones preoccupied – that is, if they aren’t already distracted by the children’s playground just shy of the Kombuis building and in good sighting from the patio – while adults can indulge in sweet treats as varied as homemade ice cream, almond pannacotta with poached pear and shortbread, and old-fashioned malva pudding.
Besides the food and amazing partnering of modern style with nature, the most interesting part of BOSJES Kombuis has to be the whimsical tree mural fashioned from 366 handpainted tiles on the outside of the building on the patio area. Created by artists Michael Chandler and Lucie de Moyencourt, the mural depicts BOSJES very own ‘Tree of Life’ with more than 100 fauna and flora, and even nods to the family heritage. The artists also cleverly tiled the interior of the Kombuis hatch so when opened, it depicts a slight change to the image. The mural is so dense with information that kids can delight in finding different fauna and flora with the BOSJES Kombuis worksheet, a printout of the mural with fun facts.
BOSJES Kombuis is open for lunch only and reservations are highly recommended as there’s plenty to do on the farm, including visiting the BOSJES Chapel – a beautiful feat of architecture by Coetzee Steyn of Steyn Studio – and the open-air tea garden where a daily selection of freshly baked cakes, scones and savoury bites are served informally.
Photography Courtesy images