Friday, January 21, 2011

Leisurely Luncheon in the Vineyards!

Outdoor seating at Avontuur Wine Estate and Stud Farm's Restaurant.
Yesterday was a typically hot, summer's day in the Western Cape, with a fairly stiff breeze blowing.  My husband and I had a number of errands to run in the village where we live, but had decided to 'treat' ourselves afterwards to a leisurely lunch.  We had never been to Avontuur, although we had heard several good reports, so yesterday seemed a good day to pay our first visit to this vineyard and stud farm.

The view from the outdoor seating areas is very attractive...please click the read more button below to continue ;)

...with lovely vine covered arbours...

but as it was a bit too hot and breezy, we opted to sit indoors...

View of the wine-tasting area from the diningroom.
We sat across from an open doorway, at the far side of the dining area.  From there, we enjoyed a lovely view of Table Mountain in the hazy distance and the grounds surrounding the restaurant.  A little water feature outside added soothing sounds of splashing water, always a wonderful sound on a hot day! While our meal was being prepared, I quietly slunk around the diningroom and photographed a few of the lovely paintings/prints that decorate the walls...
This painting is of the farm, Avontuur, looking across the paddocks towards the restaurant (the gabled building on the left) and other farm buildings, with the Helderberg Mountain in the background.

This work of Table Mountain from Blouberg Strand is by a well-known SA artist...

Gabriel de Jongh, son of Tinus, even more sought after by collectors.

And another by the same artist, a favourite theme of his being the majestic mountains of the Western Cape, where he was raised as a child.

His magnificent land and seascapes grace the walls of public buildings and private residences throughout the country. His works are also sought after by international art collectors.

Amongst other artworks adorning the walls of the restaurant are these older prints... 

An appropriate print to have in a restaurant...eating, drinking, merry-making!
Too much merry-making, perhaps?

This one appears to have some religious connotation, perhaps?

Thanks so much to Jenny @ jennyfreckles for pointing out that this is Rembrandt's Prodigal Son.
Much appreciated, Jenny ;)
Now what could this young girl be so forlornly pensive about?
Our waitron arrived with our glasses of the estate's Sauvignon blanc and a couple of warm slices of deliciously fresh, home-baked bread, so I happily abandoned any further picture-taking at this point and settled myself at our table.  This was probably just as well, as quite a number of other guests had arrived and the tables in our section were gradually filling up.
Fresh flowers always get the thumbs up from me :)
My husband had ordered the Crusted Kingklip served with a selection of steamed veg and a side of French Fries.
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~ Voltaire ~

I opted for a side serving of salad as an accompaniment to the Duck Liver Pate and Onion Marmalade, which is served as a starter, but I had it as a main.  It was served with toasted ciabatta and was rich and very good! 
As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices:  take it or leave it.  ~ Buddy Hackett ~
From the dessert menu, my husband selected the Brandy Snap Basket filled with Vanilla Icecream...
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  ~ Luciano Pavarotti ~
 ...while I chose the Brandied Crepes with fresh berries and whipped cream...
Seize the moment!
Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart.
~ Erma Bombeck ~
We rounded our meal off with filter coffees. It was a really delightful way to end what had been a busy morning of running several errands.  When I was a full-time, stay-at-home Mother raising our children and my husband was working in and travelling daily into and out of the city, we never had these opportunities.  This is one of the highlights of our working from home, being 'Derby and Joan', and occasionally being able to treat ourselves to a day OFF!  Bliss!



  1. First up, I dream of places like that sunny, vine-covered veranda. How lovely you now have time for these swoony visits. Your country is so beautiful. Sigh.

    Second up, I love those foodie quotes!!

    That's it, have a fabulous weekend.xx

  2. Let me be the first to comment.

    Is there any way you can mail the brandy snap to me pronto?

    And I got to look at this just before I have to take my dad to his favorite place to have lunch...McDonalds.
    Not kidding here! Dad (who will be 100 2/8) absolutely INSISTS on going to McDonalds for lunch EVERY DAY (has for YEARS). Although I seldom eat when I take him I think today's visit will be especially dreary after viewing this!

    In fact, as I think about it. There is not ONE dining place within a two hours drive that would offer anything like this! What a treat! kt

  3. Ahhhh, Desiree...
    I can't find you in my follower's block. I checked your list and there I am....

    Awhhh, mannnn, THEY are at it again!
    See post numbers 48 and 59 to see what I mean. These kind of things are always happening to me! kt

  4. Wauwwwww !! it looks like a dream !!!......delicious!!....happy love love Ria.....

  5. Oh how beautiful, the views, the arbors, the simple table settings, the paintings and YUM to the yummy food! All so beautifully presented I loved the desserts and especially the clever quotes, Desiree. Thanks for sharing this elegant outing with us... Have a great weekend. Jo

  6. Thanks for your feedback Everyone ;)
    I love finding comments when I check my blog first thing in the morning!


    You do know, of course, WHY these things keep happening to YOU??? It's to make sure you keep on going 'out of your mind!' Material for your stories :)

    Just been over to your blog to read through a couple of your archives - I had to stop after I packed up laughing at your MOON tale!

  7. Hi Desiree,
    Great pictures! I just posted pictures of decorative food on my blog too! But yours look much more yummy! I love your quote about the women on the titanic who skipped desert. Definitely something to ponder! :)

  8. I love the arbour covered eating area with thise views. What a wonderful place to be able to sit (breeze permitting).

    No comment on the food! I'm trying not to think about it!

  9. Right this moment I can't imagine what "too hot" means! I would love to be able to tele-transport to this lovely restaurant right now. You have really given us a feel for its ambience. BTW I think that religious picture is a print of 'The Prodigal Son' by Rembrandt. It's a nice painting to meditate on.

  10. Jenny:

    Thank you for 'naming' the print!!! You are a STAR...but I'd hate to compete with you in any Test Your Knowledge game!

  11. This place just looks perfect! I envy the sun and the heat:) Greetings from snowy Poland

  12. Everything looks delicious about the place...the setting, the paintings, not to mention the food :)

  13. What absolutely great posts you do! And the pictures...just gorgeous! The food presentation was just wonderful...
    It sounds like you and your husband are having a wonderful time just are we and it's just grand. like that is not easy to find here in Riverside...and if we do it costs as much as a home.
    How I love visiting you..


I would love to hear from you!