Need dining advice in the wine country

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Jan 12th, 2006, 07:58 AM
  #1
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Need dining advice in the wine country

o we have 2 nights in Franschhoek and one in Hermanus on our honeymoon, and I am trying to line up some dining experiences, but with such a concentration of great restaurants, it is really hard. I want to make sure we avail ourselves of some of the fine restaurants, but I am also afraid of being overwhelmed. Here's my current thinking, but since this is driven by 100% lack of local knowledge, I'd love to have some input:

Day One
+ Le Quartier Francais dinner the night I arrive
or
+ Monneaux (Frans. Country House)

Day Two
+ Bread and Wine for Lunch
+ Bosmann for dinner?

Day three
+ Le Fromaggerie at La Grange for Lunch
+ Burgundy in Hermanus for dinner
or
+ Drive to Somerset West and eat at Divine?

Day four
+ Mariana's for lunch in Stanford Village
heading to Cape Town

As far as I can understand these are all great restaurants, and I am a little concerned that we may be going overboard and doing too much. Any comments, suggestions?
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Jan 12th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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I can't comment on the restaurants, but I do think reserving lunch and dinner reservations for a multi-day period is too much, since it pins you down and removes a lot of flexibility. For example, you may have to cut short a vineyard visit to make it to your lunch reservation. My preference would be to reserve one or two dinner places, assuming they are very difficult to get in, and play the rest by ear. Its just food, and even if you don't eat at the very, very best place, I'm sure the next tier are fine.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Very good point. this may be a little excessive.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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You've chosen a great selection of places to eat. Definitely go to Bosmans - very grand and amazing food. Of all the restuarants in Cape Town it is the only one that has never let me down. Bread & Wine: lovely and relaxed. I think Reubens in Franschhoek is also a great place for lunch or dinner.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Leana

Bosmann does sound great, but I am wondering if I should substitute it with something close to Franschhoek. I don't know how long the drive is from Paarl?
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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I think it's about half an hour but quite a dark road and if you've had wine...?

Yes... I'd stick to Franschhoek and have supper at Reubens instead. Check this for info re Franschhoek restuarants: http://www.eatout.co.za/EatOut/Eat_S...11245,,00.html
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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sorry that link didn't work:

http://www.eatout.co.za

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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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To throw another into the mix, can I suggest you do a search in this forum for our reviews of Bon Vivant in Franschhoek.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Franchhoek--so many good restaurants. My favorites are Chamonix, La Petite Ferme, and Haute Cabriere.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Another vote for Le Petit Ferme for lunch......one of the best meals/experiences we had on our trip.

And you will love Le Quartier Francais - it was beautiful.
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Jan 16th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Kavey,

I did search for Bon Vivant, but was unable to find the review.
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Jan 16th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34674362

Here's one!

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Jan 18th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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ttt incase you missed the post with the link
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Jan 18th, 2006, 01:10 PM
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I second Ruebens - excellent food - but don't lave Franschoek without eating at Le Quartier Francaise. Also lunch at La Petit Ferme was beautiful and surprisingly inexpensive.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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lessthanzero

Seeing that you only have two nights in Franschhoek if I were you I would choose from the following restaurants:

Lunch
-----
Choose from:

Bread and Wine (just outside Franschhoek)

La Grange

Le petit ferme (you have to book this venue).

Dinner:

Choose from:

Bon Vivant

French Connection

Spoil yourself rotten if you can afford it and go to Klein Olifantshoek. Fair warning this restaurant is phenomenal as a venue to dine at but you will be paying accordingly and we aint talking in pennies here!

In your first mail in this thread you mention that you want to try and eat at D'Vine and Mariana's. Dont give up on these establishments as they are wonderful places to dine at. Just be aware that Marianas is only open on certain days of the week and only for lunch(unsure of which days)

Hope that you have a wonderful winelands dining experience when you visit us.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa


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Jan 27th, 2006, 05:57 AM
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Just realized that this thread was still alive and full of new information. Thank you all. Particularly for the link to reviews of Bon Vivant!

With so much info, I wish somebody could compare and contrast ambience and food (and prices) at the following places:
- Bon vivant
- French connection
- Le Quartier Francais
- Reuben's
- Klein Olifantshoek

I am finding myself with not enough dinner time! I hate having to chose with all these great options.

Would you recommend Olifantshoek over Reuben's and LQF? It seems to me that pricewise they are similar (with LQF being the priciest one).

Oh, and I did get a reservation at Mariana's.
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Jan 30th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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PS
The Restaurant at Klein Oliphantshoek, is that the one called "Bouillabaisse," that is no longer in the hotel?
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Jan 30th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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From our recent experiences we found that Bon Vivant was quieter - it is laid out across several rooms in I think an old house - while dining in Reubens takes place in a large high cealing-ed room so there is more of a buzz and chatter about the place. Reubens also has more atmospheric lighting.

We thought the service in Le Bon Vivant was much better than Reubens, but the food vice-versa with the Bon Vivant offerings much more intricate dishes which didn't blow us away, while the cuisine in Reubens was relatively simple but really well executed.
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Jan 30th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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So hard. Thanks for your report(s) Muz.

<0
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Jan 31st, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Lessthanzero,

Firstly Bouillabaise is the newest kid on the block when it comes to restaurants in Franschhoek. It is owned by Camil an Ingrid who are the owners of Klein Olifants Hoek however the restaurant is located in a completely different venue viz where Delicious used to be. I ate at Bouillabaise 3 nights ago and reckon that everyone on Fodors is going to hear a lot more about this newbie restaurant soon. The food is mainly fish based and the restaurant is decorated in a very modern type setting. The food as well as presentation was wonderful. The restaurant is classified as a Champagne and Oyster bar and I think that this is a very apt description. At the present moment they are running a set menu on certain nights at R290/meal while on other nights they are serving from an a la carte menu. YES THEY ARE RELATIVELY EXPENSVE. The restaurant is only open on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays from 10h00 to 20h00.

In terms of your choices in Franschhoek if you are going to start comparing restaurants and wanting to get to the so called best place in Franschhoek you are going to put yourself through a futile operation of hearing different opinions on this board. All that I can tell you is that all the restaurants that you have mentioned are good however Klein Olifants Hoek is MUCH more expensive than any other restaurant that you will find in Franschhoek. No matter what, an evening at Klein Olifants Hoek is a very special event

My favourite still remains Bon Vivant. Two nights ago I once again ate at the restaurant and all that I can say is that it was absolutely fabulous once again. Other than Bon Vivant from your list my second choice would be French Connection.

With all of the above said I want to reiterate that from your list it is highly unlikely that you will walk out unhappy from any of the restaurants that you have quoted as the standards throughout are very high.

Donít worry so much, enjoy your honeymoon and rest assured the Franschhoek eateries on your list will treat you well.

Congrats on your marriage.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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