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GREG LAND­MAN finds Heaven in Her­manus and Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley

South African Country Life - - In This Issue -

Bliss spots in Her­manus and Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley

The Tast­ing Room at Cre­ation, Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley 028 212 1107

Beryl has this thing about whales. She loves walk­ing along the Cliff Path in Her­manus and peer­ing across the bay like some eter­nal ro­man­tic part of her na­ture that makes it so poignant. Of course it is whale sea­son again in that neck of the woods and we just had to go down to the seas again to look for them our­selves. On the way, and while there, we have to eat – that is the thing that binds us to­gether.

First stop was at Cre­ation in the Hemel-en-Aarde Val­ley – a knock­out des­ti­na­tion if ever there was one. The set­ting alone is spec­tac­u­lar

" '. Beryl is so ex­pres­sive when I am driv­ing and she can re­ally get into the se­ri­ous busi­ness of wine tast­ing.

There are var­i­ous op­tions at this great place, this cre­ation, if you will ex­cuse the ex­pres­sion, of JC Martin and his charm­ing wife Carolyn. Pair­ings are the or­der of the day and they in­clude a tempt­ing char­cu­terie plat­ter with air-dried, free-range meats like smoked duck and coppa matched with four se­lected wines, de­li­cious, es­pe­cially with the four ir­re­sistible home-made breads that ac­com­pany it. This is enough for two so we shared it but, ap­petites sharp­ened, also tried the cheese pair­ing. This in­cludes four ex­cel­lent cheeses, nice and fra­grant with age, like Gor­gonzola and Gruyère matched with the per­fect wines

"+ '. These two pair­ings are priced at

R205 each.

Show­ing they re­ally care, Cre­ation also of­fers a ve­gan pair­ing and,

: ¿ teas and glam­orous canapés at R595. Beryl said, "point, dear,' and mer­rily went on with the Chardon­nay in her glass that she noted was Riedel, which makes all the dif­fer­ence, she says, to how a wine tastes.

To bring the pair­ing to its nat­u­ral con­clu­sion we tried two scoops of home-made Spec­u­laas gelato (R35) with their Fine Cape Vin­tage (port) and went away feel­ing at peace with the beau­ti­ful set­ting and ready for any­thing.

Book­ings es­sen­tial. Open daily 11h00-16h00.

The Fish­er­man’s Cot­tage in Her­manus

028 312 3642

Beryl loves noth­ing bet­ter than sit­ting close to the sea and eat­ing some­thing that re­cently came from it. She oohed and aa­hed over this place be­fore she even went into the charm­ing ¿ – one of the orig­i­nal ones, packed with char­ac­ter and steeped in at­mos­phere. I had ac­tu­ally been there be­fore – in win­ter – ¿ and warm.

This time we sat in the sun-splashed area out­side and watched the com­ings and go­ings of the hoi pol­loi of Her­manus, which has long ago shrugged off its sleepy, sea­side vil­lage rep­u­ta­tion. To­day there are some re­ally fancy cars to be seen driv­ing through town and plenty of

¿

We started with the fresh­est, juiciest oys­ters – six each – at R25, a bar­gain. Madame slurped them down with alarm­ing gusto. We also tried one of their sig­na­ture dishes – pork belly, de­li­ciously suc­cu­lent, served with cured hake – a most un­usual and de­li­cious com­bi­na­tion at R75. Although it has a well-de­served rep­u­ta­tion for some of the

¿ ¿ – nice and red in the mid­dle and topped with sautéed mush­rooms (R185). Beryl, en­ticed by the aro­mas at the ta­ble next to us, could not re­sist the seafood curry (R138) packed with mus­sels and cala­mari and served

À "# $ % & '

I tasted some and she was not wrong.

The wine list has some of the gems of this area at good prices, and

¿ * ser­vice from a knowl­edge­able crew makes you feel as if you are in your own home. The black­board out­side lists some daily specials like

¿ are avail­able.

Open for lunch Fri­day to Sun­day, din­ner Mon­day to Satur­day.

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