Today I’m taking you into the Hemel en Aarde Valley for some wine tasting and a delightful lunch. On our way to our stay at The Stanford Valley Guest Farm (read more about that by clicking here), we paid a visit to the fabulously named Spookfontein.
The farm, which is close to the coastal town and whale watching capital of Hermanus, originated in 1847 although the winemaking is way more recent. Their first vintage was produced in 2005.
Spook is Dutch for ghost and legend goes that you can discern a spirit in the waters of the flowing spring, hence the name. I didn’t spot any spirits or ghosts but I did fall in love with their welcoming restaurant overlooking the Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley. The light-filled room is beautifully designed with curved, exposed brick walls and floor-to-ceiling glass making the most of those spectacular views.
We were looking to taste their wines (which I’d never heard of…shame on me) and have a light bite to eat. So good news – we were welcomed with the news that we could do our wine tasting while we ate our lunch. Why have I never thought of that before? A great way to taste all the farm’s wine offering and its food.
What’s on the menu
There’s a good mix of culinary influences on offer with quite a few of the dishes having a distinct Asian flavour. And you can clearly see the inspiration taken from the local ingredients. As we had dinner plans I decided to stick to a starter for lunch. It’s hard work managing all those food choices, I tell you.
The yellow fin tuna came on a bed of corn salsa with an Asian dressing and dots and swishes of wasabi mayo. The tuna was perfectly seared and beautifully spiced and a perfect match for that salsa and wasabi.
From the main course selection we opted for the pork ramen. Served in a perfectly balanced chilli ginger broth with bbq sauce and noodles and topped with crunchy veg, herbs and a soft-boiled egg. What wonderful flavours and textures and tasty pork that fell apart to the touch.
It’s hard to resist a Pavlova – well impossible today! Especially when served with a selection of local berries and drizzled with delicious local honey. Actually it was so light it almost tasted like health food! Good for the soul for sure.
Stylish seating and great views
The restaurant is modern and airy and the service welcoming, friendly and efficient. All making for a wonderful lunch stop. Oh and the wine’s lovely too. Our tasting with lunch resulted in purchasing a case to take away. We particularly love their Phantom (great name, too) – a Bourdeaux-style blend.
And here’s the view. Love the atmospheric cloudiness of it.
The farm is home to myriad fynbos which colours the local spring water and gives it a slightly herby taste. And also makes for great table decoration.
Today’s price point
We paid R260 (£12.38 at today’s exchange rate) for a starter and a main course.
We did the wine tasting with our food and as we bought wine to take away we didn’t have to pay for it.
Sometimes life is perfect!
Spookfontein is at Hemel en Aarde Road, Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley, Hermanus.