Our first trip out to the winelands for 2017 was Hartenberg Wine Estate and they have set a fantastic tone for the year of adventuring to come! Hartenberg is known for their picnics, their shiraz and their beautiful gardens. I have been to a picnic at Hartenberg before and really enjoyed the experience. This time we were back for their courtyard lunch. We headed through a little early for a sneaky wine tasting.
Hot tip: when dining at a wine farm always head through early for a wine tasting as that way you’ll know the best wines to order over lunch!
Hartenberg prides themselves on their shiraz, chardonnay and riesling. We tried two of their Chardonnays with my favourite being The Eleanor. The Eleanor is seriously delicious and a perfect wine to be enjoyed over lunch. On the shiraz side I really enjoyed the Hartenberg Shiraz finding it a very easy drinking shiraz.
To work up an appetite for lunch we went for a little stroll around the gardens. Hartenberg is beautiful and I completely understand why it is such a great picnic destination. They are also great for large group events – we walked past a baby shower and a birthday. Everyone had full glasses of wines and big smiles.
Stellenbosch is so great for a little Cape Town escapism. And the beauty is great for the soul. (ya, I’m a little mushy – I haven’t blogged in awhile)
After climbing into bushes and charming Jono into whipping out his “instagram husband” skills we felt we definitely deserved lunch!
Our host at Hartenberg wanted us to try the courtyard menu with a few favourites from the picnic menu thrown in. We decided we were safest leaving the hard choices in his hand and settled back with a bottle of wine.
We enjoyed our shiraz favourite from the wine tasting with crusty farmstyle bread, snoek paté and waterblommetjies. I have actually never eaten waterblommetjies before and really enjoyed the salty malay spiced waterblommetjies paired with generous scoops of snoek paté on crusty bread.
By this stage we were more than hungry but were not quite prepared for what was about to come!!
This came up the stairs, passed all the large tables and headed straight to us! A smorgasbord of their menu highlights! And come on! How’s that for presentation! We were completely blown away – and glad we had skipped breakfast!
The beautiful charcuterie, cheeses and corn salad is from their picnic basket offering. And were lovely added extras to our main event! I also loved the fresh salad of cucumber ribbons, red onions and sweet little strawberries. All the food was fresh, packed with flavour and very well executed.
Apparently the Hartenberg burger has been missing in action from their Terrace lunch menu for a little while. But due to popular demand and return guests requests – it is now back on the menu! I can see why they were demanding the return – this burger was delicious with a perfectly cooked wagyu patty and fresh sesame bun.
However, my highlight of the lunch was those gorgeous lamb chops. The marinade was sticky and sweet and beyond more’ish. I picked up the lamb with my hands, with absolutely no shame, out of fear of missing any of the tender lamb chop. Apparently the trick is the marinade and allowing plenty of time for the marinade to tenderise the meat. Amazing! I need to re-look my opinion on lamb chops.
Dessert was a less fabulous end to the lunch. It consisted of a frightfully sweet meringue, cream and chocolate shavings thing. And a slightly salty cheese cake. To be honest, lunch was so incredible and we ate so much that really dessert wasn’t necessary. However, they should look into upping their dessert game for those that still have space for something sweet and delicious. Bread and butter pudding with orange zest and custard? Berry crumble and vanilla ice cream? Something delicious and authentic to tie in with their farm style lunch.
We skipped the dessert in favour of their stunning wines and spend the end of our lunch laughing at the guinea fowls and admiring the view.
Hartenberg is a beautiful estate with gorgeous lunch options and the best lamb chops I have ever eaten.
Make sure to add them to your list of farms to visit and try some of the highlights on our smorgasbord!
- Location: Hartenberg Estate, Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch
- Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 9am til 4pm
- Contact details: 021 8652541
Disclaimer: We enjoyed our lunch as guests of Hartenberg, however all views and images are my own.