Kitchen heat continues to rise on Drakenstein Valley's Simondium Rd (from just after the Klapmuts intersection off the N1) en route to Franschhoek.
Glen Carlou recently extended their kitchen and head chef (and soon to be on honeymoon!) Hennie van der Merwe has been joined by Beau du Toit whose experience includes working with Chef Bertus Basson at Overture (Eat Out top 10) as well as David Thompson’s NAHM at the Haikin in London – the only one star Michelin Thai restaurant in the world.
|Glen Carlou's Zen Garden of local flora|
Glen Carlou now offer Tapas on a Friday evening and dinner on Thursday evening with their usual lunch time offering. Tapas with a Paarl twist include Kudu meatballs with aubergine or Basil Pesto Arancini with tomato salad.
Glen Carlou's Pinot Noir is drinking very well at the minute but if you want something with more structure try American sister estate Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 04 or if you really want to push the boat out try Eight Songs Shiraz 2000 from Australian sister estate Peter Lehmann.
The wine also list includes some seriously delicious Eden valley Riesling from Peter Lehmann including the 2002 reserve and the 03 Margaret Semillon.
Further down the road Babylonstoren has opened Babel with a strong focus on fresh produce from their own veggie patch. Well it's actually 8 acres of fruit, veggies and herbs including a walled bee garden, a mulberry orchard and cactus maze all inspired by The Company (Dutch East India) Garden established in Cape Town during the 18th century.
The food is served raw, steamed or grilled and they also offer breakfast in a range of surprise settings around the farm, depending on the weather and the occasion.
A little further down the road American-owned Noble Hill Wines offer Cosecha (Spanish for harvest), a Latin-inspired restaurant serving Spanish, Mediterranean and Mexican food. They also grow their own veggies including a wide range of chillies.
The breakfast menu includes classics like Heuvos Rancheros and if you have a need for the hair of a dog you can have your ranch eggs with a shot of Tequila - don't you want to be a cowboy?
Bocaditos (small plates) include Prawn Wrap, Ostrich Skewers with chimmichuri sauce and very moreish Chorizo dates - Medjool dates wrapped in streaky bacon in a paprika tomato sauce.
At the end of the road - but not least - you can try Cotage Fromage Country Bistro and Deli on the Vrede & Lust Estate for one of the best cheese platters going with own-bakery breads and a deli stocked with local and specialty cheeses, olives and cured meats all washed down with a particularly good dry Rose.