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Set right next to the R44 towards Somerset West, you can’t miss it. With a french feel to the interior and a veranda in the front for al fresco dining, Sweetwell strikes an easy balance between farmstyle casual and simple elegance.

The main attraction here is pork. In fact, the restaurant is almost a showcase of the free range pork produce from this award-winning working livestock farm, comprising of a stud and commercial piggery. And, farmer and owner Hennie Cronje’s wife Alison, has set up a butchery across the verandah, selling the farm produce . This includes shoulders, leg roasts, smoked rashers, gammon, kasslers and rolls. Alison’s recipes for metwurst, bauern-bratwurst and hams are a hit with German tourists. Free-range eggs are also sold.

The farmstyle type cuisine on the menu is seasonal, diverse, not the run of the mill, and not limited to pork. Sections include: All day breakfast , Pure Platters, Sweetwell Specialities (made from their farm produce), Grills, Rustic Pizza, Lite Bites, Inspired, and Sage sweets.

On this occasion we had the pork fillet poached in a brandy, raisin and cream sauce served with truffle oil drizzled shoestring fries (R105) and Honey glazed grilled kassler cuts with fries and whole baked tomato stuffed with goats cheese, pesto and truffle oil (R105). All mains come a choice of garden salad or grilled vegetables.

Do yourself a favour and check out the rest of their menu, not to mention the wine list, which is focused on local wines and offers excellent value for money with most of the selection priced under R100, and all available by glass. The chef apparently believes that wine is meant to compliment food and not to empty your pocket. Well, Kudos to him! The wine list has won the 2011 Diners club award for National best wine list in the silver category (whatever that means to you).

What else can I say? Service is friendly, ingredients are fresh and locally sourced by chef Jan Kruger and… there is a fireplace for winter and views of the Helderberg mountains (across the R44) for summer, making it an all year destination. Also, the restaurant and butchery is separated by an Antique and collectables store specializing in  antiques, vintage pieces and décor. Whats not to love?

The restaurant and butchery are open daily from 08h00 – 17h00 and for special functions upon request in the evenings.

Address: Sweetwell Farm R44 Near Winery Road towards Somerset West
Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Tel: 021 855 1203.
Email: info@sweetwell.co.za , sagerestaurant@sweetwell.co.za , or butchery@sweetwell.co.za
http://www.sweetwell.co.za/

The Eat Out review:
Sage Restaurant aims to offer an elegant dining experience to a range of palates. The kitchen uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and chef Jan Kruger designs seasonal menus inspired by German pork dishes with oriental, South African and continental fusions. Sage Restaurant has been awarded the National Best Wine list (in the Silver Category) by Diners Club for 2011. With a focus on local wines, the wine list also features 47 wines from the Stellenbosch area and all wines are available by the glass.

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