Sorry I have been a bit MIA on the blog, I seriously have not been balancing blogging with school and socialising. It is actually getting stressful but I am working on it, you will see me post more to social media than write blog posts (which often take me forever). Today, I am talking about one of my favourite vineyards that we were invited to for lunch on Women’s day. Before I get into the restaurant review; I want to tell you how I stumbled across Neethlingshof.
In 2014, when I arrived back from the states, I lived and worked in Stellenbosch. One day we finished work early and were looking for a wine farm to go wine tasting. We spotted flags and drove into Neethlingshof and were mesmerized by the stone pine trees. The famous kilometer-long avenue of stone pines that leads to the gabled homestead is an iconic feature of the Neethlingshof Wine Estate and the central motif of their wine labels. After I tasted their iconic Malbec and The Caracal, this became my favourite wine farm. I returned more than 5 times, with different people to show off their wines.
Neethlingshof farm was founded in 1692 which is over 3 centuries ago; initially it was called De Wolvendans (The Dance of Wolves). The name changed after 1788 when it was acquired by Charles Marais and his eighteen-year old wife; Maria, who immediately began extending the vineyards and building a cellar to produce their own wine. Maria was widowed not long after and when her daughter was married to Johannes Henoch Neethling in 1828, he became joint owner of the farm and the name was changed to Neethlingshof.
Maria put the finishing touches to the decorations on the manor’s gable after her husband’s death. She is said to have had an exceptional drive and vision for a women of her time. The homestead, is a beautifully preserved example of Cape Dutch architecture and today houses The Restaurant at Neethlingshof. Maria extended the vineyards to 80 000 vines and took on the wine-making responsibility to become one of the first female winemakers of the then young colony. Neethlingshof’s Maria Noble Late Harvest from the Short Story Collection is an ode to this incredibly brave woman. I thought this would be good to mention in keeping with Womens’s month.
Besides their outstanding wines and estate, another impressive accolade Neethlinghof acquired is being a member of Biodiversity & Wine Initiative. 28ha or the 110ha wine farm is set aside for conservation, focusing on replanting indigenous Renosterveld species to restore the natural balance in nature.
It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to sit outside and get some sunshine. The restaurant has a stunning interior as well as exterior.
Chef Brendan at Neethlingshof Restaurant has extensive experience spanning 14 years in the industry, years that have seen him working at the likes of La Colombe at Contantia Uitsig; Caffe Milano & 95 Keerom; The River Café at Constantia Uitsig to name a few. He came over to invite us and briefly explain the menu and we felt so welcomed. They menu offers the appropriate wine that matches the dish which is what we opted to do.
To start off I had the Grilled Miso Aubergine with edamame, spring onion, sesame seed, aubergine puree paired with their malbec. I am not the biggest aubergine fan but I truly enjoyed this dish. The flavours worked so well together, it was grilled to perfection and it hit all the right spots.
There were some mouthwatering sun dried tomato tortellini’s for the table. I could not get enough of this, I think I ate most of it myself.
My guests had the steamed fresh mussels and they thought the dish was unusually in terms of flavour but scrumptious nonetheless. They definitely would choose this dish again when we return! This is paired with the The Six Flowers which is a match made in heaven.
For the main meal I opted for the Vegetarian version of the Thai Green Curry paired with the Gewürztraminer. This being the only vegetarian main meal on the lunch & dinner menu, however there are a number of starters and light meals that are vegetarian. My partner had the chicken version and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. Comprised of aubergine, broccoli, water chestnuts, shitake mushrooms, bean sprouts and served with fragrant rice. This dish is packed with flavour and wholesome, perfect for a winter’s day. The sweetness of the Gewürztraminer complemented this curry brilliantly.
My other guests enjoyed their meals which were the pan-fried linefish and Ostrich fan fillet. How amazing does it look?
Thereafter, we had our delicious coffees and were on our way home. We had such an amazing experience food and wine pairing overall, the service was impeccable. It was not my first time eating here but on every occasion, it was just splendid. I think they do a good job of catering to vegetarians as myself and the pairings are absolutely spot on. I think they could be room for another vegetarian main, should someone not enjoy curry. This is one Women’s day experience we will not forget, did I commend their exceptional service? I can highly recommend the Restaurant at Neethlingshof for an experience like no other! They are also on the the Entertainer app as welll.
If you would like to book a lunch or dinner at Neethlingshof you may book online here or call them on 021 883 8966 or 081 353 2039.
Hope you enjoyed reading about this, let me know in the comments section if you would like to see more posts like this.
Until next time,
xx Miss Dhanusha
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Lunch was provided by the Restaurant at Neethlingshof. All thoughts and opinions are my honest views.