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10 foodie getaways in South Africa

There is an endless list of things to do in South Africa, but sometimes, when you’re after a laid back holiday, sightseeing is just something to do between meals. South Africa is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought after foodie destinations, offering fantastic quality, innovation, and diversity to travellers. Here are 10 of South Africa’s best foodie getaways. 1. Le Quartier Français The historic village of Franschhoek, in the Cape Winelands, is South Africa’s undisputed culinary capital. While award-winning cuisine beckons around every bend, the Le Quartier Français hotel is home to The Tasting Room, one of South Africa’s Top 10 restaurants where you can enjoy an 8-course South African menu paired with exquisite wines. Sister restaurant, Bread&Wine, is a popular choice for lingering lunches. Experience a hands-on culinary safari with Le Quartier’s cooking classes, private wine tastings, wine-blending class, and more. Le Quartier Francais 2. Royal Malewane and Africa House What more could you wish for on a Kruger safari than Big 5 game viewing, luxury accommodation, spa treatments, and decadent cuisine? Royal Malewane, situated in a private reserve alongside the Kruger National Park, is the only African Safari Lodge of its kind to have been awarded the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseurs Blazon for outstanding cuisine, facilities, and hospitality. After a day in the bush, gather under the stars to feast on imaginative, yet simple food as African melodies play on your heart strings. 3. Hartford House Listed as one of South Africa’s Top 5 Restaurants 2013, Hartford House reflects their obsession with food in every meal.  Set in Mooi River, a bountiful land of big skies and rolling green hills, Hartford holds claim to one of the planet’s greatest pantries where “in season” and “local” are key. Whether it’s in the grandeur of the dining room or by candlelight on the great veranda, dinner at Hartford is a timeless experience of African splendour. 4. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is an eco-paradise with two 5-star lodges on the fynbos and forest clad hills of Walker Bay, one of the world’s top whale-watching destinations. A culinary destination in its own right, Grootbos offers several spectacular settings to enjoy the best of South African cuisine. The Garden Restaurant and Red Indigo Restaurant each offer sophisticated cuisine crafted from the finest local ingredients, including seafood specialties and excellent South African wines. Guests can also enjoy picnics on the beach and enchanted candlelit dinners under a canopy of Milkwood trees. 5. Timamoon Lodge Timamoon Lodge is a seductive hideaway high in the forested mountains of Mpumalanga, close to the Kruger National Park and Blyde River Canyon. Your senses will be tempted with exotic food served by candlelight in a Bali-style restaurant built on stilts. Set alongside a small pond and overlooking a tropical garden and distant emerald hills, the restaurant is perfect for romantic dinners and scenic breakfasts.  All food is prepared in house, from breads and pasta, to ice-cream and speciality chocolates. 6. Andries Stockenström Guesthouse If you share Chef Gordon Wright’s philosophy of knowing the origins of your food and sourcing it yourself if need be, make a trip to the small Karoo village of Graaff Reinet. Gordon’s Restaurant at Andries Stockenström Guesthouse is internationally renowned for its simple, elegant cuisine. Gordon also runs a 3-night “Veld to Fork” cooking school where you can learn African bush craft and ethical hunting skills, and prepare a 4-course dinner in his restaurant. Vegetarian-friendly options and tailor-made packages with day trips to working Karoo farms are available. 7. Mimosa Lodge The award-winning restaurant at Mimosa Lodge has put the small hamlet of Montagu on the culinary map. Swiss Chef, Bernhard Hess, uses only the freshest ingredients and incorporates local specialities like lamb, springbok, and ostrich. Montagu lies along the Cape Wine Route 62 – the longest wine route in the world – and you’ll find dishes paired with local wines from the Robertson Wine Valley. Mimosa Lodge 8. Kwandwe Private Game Reserve Kwandwe Private Game Reserve offers a Big 5 safari adventure in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. The Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge is a classic-contemporary African lodge enhanced by the untouched surrounds. The focus is on fresh seasonal produce and local Karoo cooking, with a contemporary flair and French influence. On clear nights, the brilliant display of stars will have you lingering long after your plates have been cleared. 9. Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse offers an intimate gourmet getaway in the Drakensberg Mountains.  Perched on the edge of a trout-filled dam, with mountains soaring from the gardens, the secluded retreat is an unbeatable romantic escape.  Owner and chef, Richard Poynton, is passionate about food and sources only the finest ingredients, whether they be herbs freshly plucked from his garden or salmon imported from Norway. Dinners are an extravagant 7-course affair while the 3-course breakfasts promise an unusual treat. Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse 10. Babylonstoren Farm Once an unused kraal, Babel restaurant is the flagship of Babylonstoren Farm in Franschhoek. Their approach to food is “pick, clean, serve”, opting not to tamper, but rather to serve simple dishes with an edge. Aside from the chic country-style guest rooms that echo old Cape Dutch farm buildings, a highlight at Babylonstoren is the legendary Babel breakfast with only the freshest farm-style produce. Which foodie getaway sounds most appealing to you? Marcel Van de Ghinste is a Director at TravelGround. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. ” Owner and chef, Richard Poynton, is passionate about food and sources only the finest ingredients, whether they be herbs freshly plucked from his garden or salmon imported from Norway. ”

    Salmon imported from Norway is farmed. It is fed a diet of chemicals (to make the flesh pink etc.) and they are harsh on the environment. And the air miles….!!!!

  2. Babylonstoren is spectacular. Their Green House also has a lovely menu with light meal options and the most delicious iced tea. Well worth a visit

  3. There are many amazing culinary treats in South Africa. The author forgets the Test Kitchen, one of the world’s best restaurants, in Cape Town–with the chef from the formerly world-ranked La Colombe.

    Also, Singita Boulders now has some of the best culinary and wine pairing dining in the bush. We’ve been there twice now recently, and the Singita culinary team is spectacular. The chance to pair your meal with any non-Champagne wines from their vast cellar of South African wine is a chance few get to experience–and at no extra cost, to boot.

  4. @Bill – You are right – there are so many wonderful foodie destinations in South Africa it must have been tough selecting only 10 for this list. After reading what you say about Singita, it’s moved up a few spots on my personal wish list!

    As for The Test Kitchen, it is a magnificent restaurant (awarded #1 in the Eat Out Awards 2013), but it is not incorporated into an accommodation as this list clearly emphasises.

  5. Wow! That Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa must have been a love-inspired Place. Food would be the farthest thing in my mind in a romantic spot like that!

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