Sa­vor culinary se­crets in a 200-year-old wine cel­lar

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOTORING -

Din­ing at La Pe­tite Dauphine Guest Farm’s Café BonBon is a leisurely ex­pe­ri­ence, dur­ing which you will en­joy some of the culinary se­crets of the pic­turesque Fran­schhoek Valley best by al­low­ing your­self to be tempted by the range of hand- crafted fine flavours, di­verse tex­tures, freshest lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and un­pre­ten­tious pre­sen­ta­tion of food.

Café BonBon is set in a skill­fully- con­verted 200- year- old wine cel­lar. Nes­tled un­der ma­jes­tic oak trees the café ter­race of­fers a glimpse into re­fined coun­try life with ponds, vine­yards and or­chards. The dra­matic Fran­schhoek Moun­tains form a perfect back­drop to the café set­ting.

Matthee says most of the in­gre­di­ents of the menu are lo­cally pro­cured to ac­cen­tu­ate the rus­tic, home- grown, French- Cape food flavours for which Café BonBon has be­come so sought af­ter.

He says the Café re­mains true to its rep­u­ta­tion of of­fer­ing fine wines that com­ple­ment its food.

The menu re­flects the peace and un­clut­tered at­mos­phere of the ru­ral set­ting by ex­tend­ing the sim­ple so­phis­ti­ca­tion into the cui­sine.

“Our food is French- Cape in­spired with an em­pha­sis on us­ing lo­cal, sea­sonal pro­duce. Whether it is sum­mer, au­tumn, win­ter or spring we take ad­van­tage of what is grow­ing in our gar­dens and avail­able in the near vicin­ity, from our herbs, olives, and farm fruit, nuts and veg­eta­bles to Cape Salmon.

“Our guests en­joy the fine de­tail of our food with­out it be­ing over-com­pli­cated,” says Matthee.

Café BonBon is pop­u­lar for break­fast, lunch and din­ner with ad­di­tional clien­tele vis­it­ing in­be­tween meals for cof­fee and a slice-or-two from the su­perb range of cakes that are baked daily and in­clude lemon meringue pie, New York-style cheese cake, choco­late cake, and a car­rot and wal­nut cake.

The wine list of lo­cal wines and a se­lect few vine­yards form fur­ther afield has been care­fully con­sid­ered to com­ple­ment each item on the menu.

The Café BonBon break­fast menu is ap­pe­tiz­ing enough to en­sure you en­joy a lan­guid morn­ing af­ter the feast.

Café BonBon has a se­lec­tion of La Pe­tit Dauphine and Fran­schhoek prod­ucts that guest may pur­chase to take home such as: La Pe­tite Dauphine Olive Oil; Fran­schhoek honey; pickled Gar­lic; gar­lic and olives; and home­made jam.

Another at­trac­tion at Café BonBon is Veruska’s Wine Bar, which re­flects the soul of Fran­schhoek. In­spired by the so­phis­ti­cated streets and rus­tic warmth of the Fran­schhoek Valley, this cosy wine bar has a re­laxed am­bi­ence, with sub­dued light­ning, and ex­posed brick walls lined with shelves of wines. Haut Espoir Wines are served in the rus­tic space, in­fused with tra­di­tional el­e­ments. The trad­ing hours at Veruska’s Wine Bar are from Mon­day’s to Sun­day’s 10am to 5pm and Wed­nes­day’s 10am to late. La Pe­tite Dauphine also of­fers en­chant­ing sites for out­door wed­ding cer­e­monies and re­cep­tions; un­der the flow­er­ing gum tree over­look­ing the pond, or un­der the 200 year-old oak trees, all with breath-tak­ing views of the Fran­schhoek Moun­tain as a back­drop. La Pe­tite Dauphine’s tranquil set­ting, well-ap­pointed and lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior dé­cor is re­flected in the wed­ding func­tion suites, which are el­e­gant and spa­cious. La Pe­tite Dauphine’s ded­i­cated team of highly ex­pe­ri­enced wed­ding plan­ners are on hand to guide and help turn dreams into re­al­ity.

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