19 December 2012 by Denise Slabbert

Fun farm-style restaurants

Head out into the country and enjoy the fresh air and scenery as you feast on home-cooked meals at some of the country’s fabulous farm-style restaurants.

After a hearty lunch, you can take a tractor ride at De Oude Kraal in the Free State. Image courtesy De Oude Kraal

Once in a while it makes a nice change to escape the sometimes pretentious eateries of the city and grab a hearty, down-to-earth meal in the country, where you can exchange contrived and over-thought menus for a well-cooked roast and potatoes, or a home-baked chicken-and-mushroom pie.

Cows at Irene Dairy Farm. Image Ryan James/Darling Lama productions

Gauteng offers a number of farm-style restaurants within easy reach of the big cities. Wedged between Johannesburg and Pretoria is the Irene Dairy Farm. Breakfast and lunch options are available at 2 restaurants on the property. The Deck Restaurant is a coffee shop that serves an à la carte menu, while the historic Barn Restaurant, under century-old oak trees, is open for lunch on weekdays. It serves a sumptuous breakfast on the weekends, a braai lunch on Saturdays and a traditional Sunday lunch. Picnic baskets can also be arranged.

The Other Side Restaurant on Monaghan Farm near Lanseria is a child-friendly country option. It serves breakfast and lunch from Wednesdays to Saturdays, and a buffet lunch on Sunday. Trees and dams make the farm great picnic territory, and food baskets can be arranged in advance.

Fine fare fresh from the farm. Image Ryan James/Darling Lama Productions

In the Free State, De Oude Kraal is a fantastic place to enjoy fine country dining in a farm-style atmosphere. It is situated about 35km outside Bloemfontein. Owner Marie Lombard is a fabulous cook and her 'groaning tables' filled with Afrikaner and South African specialities are legendary all over the country.

Near Darling in the Western Cape you will find the Lelieblom Farm with its traditional Swartland homestead. It’s a small venue for private functions that will happily accept a booking to cater a lunch for a minimum of 10 people. Be sure to book at least a week in advance. Traditional waterblommetjie (small flowers indigenous to the Western Cape) stew, bobotie and lamb shank are some of the dishes you can enjoy.

Owner Marie Lombard is a fabulous cook and her ‘groaning tables’ are filled with Afrikaner and South African specialities.

In the same area is the Groote Post Restaurant, which serves lunch from Wednesdays to Sundays. Lamb, chicken, steak and pasta are some of the specials on the menu of this restaurant, which is set on a wine farm.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Midlands comprise rolling hills and lush vegetation ... and excellent food. Look out for Caversham Mill in Lidgetton or Tumble Downs in Howick, a shed that is warmed by a fire in the winter. More upmarket with an accent on superior dining is the 5-star Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse in Kamberg. 

The gorgeous Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse in KwaZulu-Natal. Image courtesy Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Category: Food & Wine

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