Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hillcrest Berry Farm.

There is something quite magical about taking a day trip to the wine lands of Franshoek and Stellenbosch where the evergreen farms are surrounded by the mountains, with the animals roaming around the open fields.

Personally you can't get anything better than the wine lands of Franshoek and Stellenbosch; the picturesque landscape is aw inspiring, while the magnificent tastes of the different wines could lead any teetotaller to drink, and not to mention the fine cuisine that is produced is purely sensational.

Franshoek and 'Stellies'- as known to the locals- are famous for their fine-dining, award winning restaurants; seeing both towns blessed with famous Chefs such as David Higgs of Rust en Vrede and Margot Janse from The Tasting Room. While their food is aesthetically pleasing and sets alight all the human senses, there are other unknown smaller places that I like to try.

My favourite has to be Hillcrest Berry farm in Stellenbosch. Known for their famous berries and berry products such as jams, liqueurs and coulis; Hillcrest also has their own deli and farm shop.
With an outside terrace that over looks one the many mountains and valleys that the wine lands have to offer, the view is perfect for one looking to soak up the sun, scenery and enjoy good food.

With the weather gods blessing us with yet another perfect day in Cape Town there was no better option but to head to Hillcrest for a good, wholesome and healthy meal while admiring mother nature's landscapes.

What sets Hillcrest apart from the rest is their constant changing of the menu. Every week or so new ingredients are brought in and the menu is constantly adapted to the season and the availability of ingredients.

With a Chicken Cesar salad and a Goats cheese tart ordered, we sat back, soaked up the sun and admired the view.

The Cesar Salad was one generous portion with chicken, croutons, bacon, egg and Parmesan shavings topped with an anchovy Cesar dressing. The dish it self was full of flavour and the different textures of the delicate chicken and crunchy croutons complimented each other well.

My goats cheese tart was not a baked tart. The base was baked into a mini tart base and it was filled with rocket, warmed goat's cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, raspberry roasted onions topped with a freshly made pesto.

The tart was amazing as the colours and display of the tart was perfect while the flavours of each individual ingredient could be distinguished but complimented each other in such a way that made the dish one unit. The homemade pesto was fantastic as it was covered in oil, the garlic wasn't pungent and every now and then one would stumble across some crunchy pine nut pieces.

Both dishes were fresh and light; perfect for the hot summers day. Fourth time back and Hillcrest is yet to disappoint. A much highly recommended stop for anyone passing through Stellenbosch and Franshoek. They serve scrumptious breakfasts, light lunches and High tea, which is available all day.

Unfortunately no photo's were taken of the dishes.

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