Mariana Esterhuizen and husband Peter started this venture as a deli, but word spread like wildfire and soon they needed to expand their offering to serving country-style lunches to the madding crowds.
Peter welcomes guests like old friends, and most are, as once you have been, you tend to rebook and rebook and rebook again and again, but even on a first time visit, guests are made to feel special, like they are having lunch with friends, and encouraged to spend all afternoon enjoying the relaxed ambience of the pretty cottage and lovely stoep overlooking the kitchen garden.
Peter is a lovely and jovial host, easy to please and always ready with a quip or a joke. His explanation of the dishes on the seasonal blackboard menu leaves mouths watering and decisions very difficult to make!
Pioneering the harvest to table phenomenon in South Africa, the food from Marianas kitchen comes straight from her soul (and the neighboring kitchen garden), and sets a shining example of what country cooking should, and used to, be.
Laid back options like pork neck and skaapblad, fish curry and duck confit speaks of primary flavours, but shows depth and complexity that is pure genius. Apart from gardening, slow cooking and preserving are among a few other things you still have time for in the country, and Mariana certainly makes the most of these typically heritage methods to showcase her generous talents in the kitchen.
To complement the food, service is easy and Peter has compiled a varied wine list with platter ratings and locality taken into consideration, at a very generous price point.
All in all it is too easy to while away an afternoon with such good company, food and surroundings and I for one certainly wish I could do it more often.
12 noon – 2pm(last order), Thursday to Sunday
Closed for a few months in winter
Physical address: 12 Du Toit Street, Stanford
Call 028 341 0272