River Café pop-up

Vergelegen Wine Estate, located in Somerset East, is focusing on fresh, local produce at its latest popup restaurant, The River Café.

The café is housed in a beautiful glass marquee on the bank of the Lourens River on the estate with a veranda overlooking the river. Flowers hang from the ceiling, which fits perfectly with the menu focused on fresh, local ingredients. The food is inspired by the scenic environment and the kitchen garden of the café.

The menu is  inspired by this sublime riverside setting, the kitchen garden, and the estate itself, says

“Our aim has been to create a relaxed lunch experience near  the water’s edge, with the flow of the picturesque river beside you creating the natural music and ambience,” says Executive Chef Michael Cooke, who wanted the food to compliment the scenery.

Seafood is at the centre of most dishes, again taking inspiration from the Lourens River. Enjoy smoked Franschhoek trout with horseradish, capers and parsley or gem squash ravioli with parmesan cream, leaks and sage, to name but a few of the dishes on offer.

The estate’s first rosé wine, Florence. PHOTO: Arno van der Vyver

Vergelegen, a 31-year-old estate, recently launched its first rosé wine. The limited edition rosé has been a popular choice on the wine list, says sommelier Christo Deyzel. The wine is named ‘Florence’ after Lady Florence Phillips, who owned the estate with her husband, Sir Lionel Phillips, from 1917-1941.

The popup is expected to remain open until March next year.

Operating hours: Wed-Sun 12h00-17h00, kitchen closes 15h30. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Reservations are essential. Email or phone 021 847 2111

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