A lunch at SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

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SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

From a journey that spanned nearly three years, Vrymansfontein, born from the heritage of Vondeling wines, has recently opened its doors. Nestled on a 330-year-old almond farm at the base of Paarl Mountain, this 380-hectare property is not just a working almond farm; it’s a meticulously crafted wine and dining destination. I visited last Sunday and loved the experience.

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Originally planned to be the wine-tasting facility for the Vondeling wine brand, Vrymansfontein evolved into the lifestyle destination it now is. With the expertise of architect Rick Stander and hospitality interiors specialists Source IBA, owner Max Ward shaped a contemporary oasis with breathtaking vistas, thanks to its elevated location.

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

The food at SCAPE is rooted in simplicity, with an elegant and refined approach and considered culinary finishes. “The menu is inspired by the beautiful simplicity of the dishes you can find throughout the Mediterranean region – be it a flawlessly roasted piece of fish, a four-ingredient steak tartare using the best fillet there is, or the likes of our house favourite – veldt reared rotisserie chicken. We have sourced the very best local and seasonal produce available so that we can stay true to our principles of produce and flavour first,” says Max Ward. 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

That’s not to say the dishes are one-dimensional. Grobler has leaned into his vast bank of knowledge and produced a menu featuring dishes dressed with beautifully balanced flourishes and flavour marriages that sing. 

Kevin Grobler, SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Guests may choose from a variety of small plates, salads, cured and smoked house specialities, and larger plates which include meat, fish and fowl options. Additionally, vegetable sides and sauces complete the culinary picture. 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

All of the plates and sides are brought to the table to be shared family-style. It’s a deliberately casual approach to refined dining, created to foster conviviality and to spark conversations – all while being immersed in an extraordinary setting. 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

At the Tasting Bar on the deck, guests can can taste Vondeling estate wines before purchasing. They can do a speedier stand up tasting or a more leaisurely seated one.

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl
SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

The interiors at SCAPE mirror the local environment, blending natural tones inspired by farmland with deep blues reminiscent of Paarl Rock. The design incorporates elements like oversized cork hanging pendants, paying homage to Vondeling’s wine heritage and local artisans. Art also plays a significant role, with landscapes by local artist Rose Williams adorning the space, capturing the essence of the surrounding farms.

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl
SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

I loved the restaurant space and open-plan kitchen which was calmly run by Kevin. I loved the beautiful views from every window making it the perfect setting to while away an afternoon. Having sommelier George Young serve and chat about the wines was a real treat. He has put together a superb wine list featuring stellar Vondeling and local wines.

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl
SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl
SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

This is the kind of food I always want to eat and I can’t wait to return to try a few more dishes.

This was the menu on the day

SCAPESMALL PLATES

Nduja, smoked burrata bruschetta R130 

Tomato bruschetta R45

Ajo blanco, sweet grape, salad R65 

Tomato gazpacho R60

Spiced cauliflower fritters R45 

Tempura zucchini, basil aioli R60 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Grilled feta, dates, brandy R80

Strawberry, goats’ cheese, pancetta R125 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

CEVICHE

Yellowtail, red onion, chilli, lime R80

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Sea bass, mango, avocado, cucumber, chilli R165

TARTARE

Beef egg yolk, rocket, lavash R135

Tuna, avocado, ginger, radish R170

SALADS

Corn, cucumber, mint, goat’s cheese R70

Romaine, peas, avocado, pumpkin seeds R60

Beetroot, carrot, grapefruit, candied almonds R70

CARPACCIO

Beetroot, almond gremolata, grapefruit R65 

Beef sirloin, Parmesan, capers, aioli R90

LARGE PLATES

Grilled sea bass fillet R265 Whole roasted fish of the day R295 Karoo lamb cutlets R365

Cote de boeuf 1kg R850

Veldt reared rotisserie chicken: Full portion R550 / Half portion R280

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

SIDES

Green beans, mustard dressing R60

Charred broccolini, preserved lemon, almonds R85 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Roasted carrots, harissa, R60

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Caponata R75

Tabouleh R60 Green salad R60

Crispy potatoes R60 

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Mash potatoes R60 

Saffron rice R60

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

DESSERT

Cheesecake, macerated strawberries, cardamom R85

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Nectarines, chantilly, almond brittle R95 Saffron and lemon lokma R60

Assortment of ice creams R40

SCAPE at Vrymansfontein in Paarl

Vrymansfontein details:

Vrymansfontein is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
The wine and dining options at Vrymansfontein include:
SCAPE – a smart design-led interior, with a simple but refined Mediterranean
inspired menu

Open 12:00-22:00 (summer season, subject to change in winter)
The Tree Bar – a shaded outdoor space serving Levantine-inspired dishes
Open 12:00-22:00 (summer season, may change winter)
The Tasting Bar – Vondeling and stellar Cape wines by-the-glass or bottle,
including cellar-door Vondeling wine purchases
Open 10:00 – 18:00

Vrymansfontein is situated on the Suid-Agter-Paarl Road on the southern slopes of
Paarl Mountain.

My guide to eating out in Cape Town

https://drizzleanddip.com/2017/06/29/my-guide-to-eating-out-in-cape-town/

*I was invited as a guist to experience Sccape at Vrymansfontein with no obligation

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