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Posts Tagged ‘Franschhoek’

Uncorked wine, liver and onions in the Franschhoek Valley

September 21, 2012 5 comments

Tucked away behind the zhoosh coffee shops and bistros on the Franschhoek main road at the intersection with Reservoir Street you’ll find Café de Arts, a delightful little eatery run by Chris Hoffman and Louise Rambert.

I had the good fortune to eat lunch (and dinner) there on the Saturday of Franschhoek Uncorked a couple of weeks ago, and was I impressed!

Chris Hoffman hard at work in his open plan kitchen at Cafe des Arts, turning out his signature dishes.

Originally the preserve of the legendary and much loved Topsi Venter, the restaurant was taken over by Chris and Louise a couple of years ago when Topsi retired. Chris, who was running Café de Arts in Kalk Bay at the time, actually trained as a chef at Topsi’s some 16 years ago, so in many ways he was coming home.

I love liver so when I saw lambs liver with chilli roast potatoes, balsamic onions and bacon (R78) on the menu my choice was simple, and what a great decision!The menu is eclectic in that it changes literally daily, depending upon what’s available fresh and local Louise tells me, and it’s short but despite its brevity, choosing a dish is tricky.

The lamb was melt in the mouth tender, the creamy sauce just richly right, with a tiny hint of chilli, and the crispy bacon slices the perfect topping. Read more…

Libertè, egalitè, fraternitè! The Franschhoek Bastille Festival

the revellers celebrate freedom in true French style by raising a glass

Eppie and I were well and truly muffled up when we left Somerset West for Franschhoek on Saturday. With the hint of winter’s steel in the sunbathed air justifying the layers, we were looking most forward to a day in Franschhoek, celebrating everything that is French, but particularly the sentiment of freedom that has become synonymous with what happened at Le Bastille on that fateful day in 1789 when the rabble of Paris stormed the hated symbol of the French monarchy, and started the French Revolution.

As we approached the “French Corner”, winter’s cold white footprints were clearly evident on the surrounding mountains, further affirmation of the Michelin-man mode of dress we had adopted. Read more…